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Urgent reviews of anti-Legionella water treatment essential after HSE ban on elemental copper
Thousands of property managers responsible for public buildings are being forced to carry out urgent reviews and source alternative water treatments following the recent Health & Safety Executive ban on the use of elemental copper as a biocide, particularly for legionella control.
The HSE says: "It will be illegal to sell or use water treatment systems that use elemental copper in order to add copper ions to water as a biocide. It will also be illegal to supply the copper needed for their use." The decision has been taken following a review by the EU under the Biocidal Products Directive.
Bob Wilson, Principal of Meadowhead Consultancy, an independent expert on the efficacy of anti-legionella treatments, has been looking at the options available and how building managers should review them.
"From owners of apartments, office blocks and shopping centres to hospitals, hotels, schools, factories and sports arenas, facilities managers of these premises must take action immediately," he warns. "The deadline is looming and the HSE says its 'primary concern is that Legionella control is not compromised. Businesses and organisations have a responsibility to manage the risks from Legionella and it is essential that these duties continue to be met.
"L8, the legislation and Approved Code of Practice for the control of Legionella, only mentions two possibilities for continuous dosing of building water system. These are firstly, chlorine dioxide and secondly, copper / silver ionisation. The demise of copper / silver ionisation suggests that chlorine dioxide is the only viable alternative.
"Chlorine dioxide is a toxic gas which must be produced by mixing two chemicals. The gas is then introduced into the water system. This requires expensive dosing equipment to ensure this is done safely. Chlorine dioxide is known to be corrosive, and long term dosing will result in an increased maintenance spend. The product gases off in calorifiers, resulting in inadequate treatment and possible Legionella proliferation.
"As silver may be added to the water, the best treatment is probably one that combines Hydrogen Peroxide and Activated Silver such as EndoSan. This was used at the London 2012 Olympics, instead of chlorine, to disinfect athletes' ice baths, therapy, treatment and training pools. It is also widely used for one-off disinfections and increasingly, as a continuous dose chemical."
Phil Buchanan, Managing Director of Endo Enterprises, an innovative, leading edge disinfection and infection control company based in Salford Quays in Manchester, comments: "Independent analysis has shown that EndoSan offers many advantages over chlorine dioxide and overall is probably the most highly cost-effective option to replace copper ionisation treatments.
"EndoSan is more effective than chlorine dioxide for removing biofilm, it is much less corrosive and far more stable. It is equally effective at high and low temperatures and is independent of pH. It is easy to dose using inexpensive dosing systems which means that domestic hot water temperatures can be reduced and energy saved.
"Following risk assessment in compliance with L8, many water treatment facilities, estates management groups and healthcare operators, utilise EndoSan and our Constant Dosing system as the preferred method of Legionella control, throughout the UK."
Endo Enterprises is a privately owned, limited company, based in the re-generated docklands area of Manchester, UK. Its strategy is to bring new and exciting leading edge technologies to the worldwide disinfection and infection control market.
In addition to its UK head office, it also has global distribution and production centres located in Mauritius, and Malaysia.
The product range has gained worldwide recognition and accreditation from many leading global organisations and authorities including the Environmental Protection Agency, Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, and the World Health Organisation. Endo Enterprises enjoys the benefit of a global network of business partners, ensuring expedient delivery of its products and services to its worldwide clientele.
24th January 2013