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The XV Congress of Environmental Health focuses on the prevention and control of Legionella

Dr. Juan Ángel Ferrer, author of the report ‘Disease of the Legionnaire and Towers of Refrigeration and Evaporative Condensers in Spain’, presented in the last edition of Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, and in whose elaboration has collaborated the Group of Manufacturers of Evaporative Refrigeration Equipment of AEFYT ( Spanish Association of the Cold and its Technologies (Asociación Española del Frío y sus Tecnologías)), participates in the fifteenth edition of the Spanish Congress of Environmental Health, where it will present the main conclusions of the report.

The Congress, organized by the Spanish Society of Environmental Health (SESA – Sociedad Española de Sanidad Ambiental ), is held between May 22 and 24 at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Valencia, under the theme ‘Environmental health in the face of climate change’.

The prevention and control of legionellosis will focus one of the five workshops that, together with the conference panel, make up the program of the Congress. Their drivers will approach the scientific, technical and normative frame around the disease, being the update of the UNE 100 030 standard, which defines the preventive and control framework of Legionella, and in whose elaboration the Group of Equipment Manufacturers collaborated. Evaporative cooling of AEFYT, the axis on which the present workshop can be seen.

Precisely, evaporative cooling equipment, which for years has been targeted as the cause of Legionella, will star in the intervention of Dr. Juan Ángel Ferrer, of the Legionella Prevention Area of Microservice, author of the report “Legionnaire’s Disease and Torres de Refrigeration and Evaporative Condensers in Spain ‘, with the collaboration of the Group of Manufacturers of Evaporative Refrigeration Equipment of AEFYT. This study shows that there is no direct relationship between the number of cooling towers and the cases of legionella detected in Spain. Dr. Ferrer will focus his intervention on the relationship between legionary disease and cooling towers in Spain by Autonomous Communities.

In this sense, the report focuses on the analysis of both the evaporative cooling equipment park and the impact of Legionella cases in the CC AA and in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. AEFYT has contacted the corresponding General Directorates of Public Health that have provided data on the number of teams registered at the end of 2016 at each CC AA, as well as with the Carlos III Health Institute – National Epidemiology Center – which has facilitated the data related to Legionella cases registered in said period.

The main conclusions of the report are the following:

  • The cooling towers and evaporative condensers are not the main problem of Legionella in Spain, there is no direct relationship between these facilities and the number of reported cases of the disease: if we cross the number of cooling towers and evaporative condensers per 1,000 km2 / 100,000 inhabitants per CC AA with the cases of Legionella patients per 100,000 inhabitants per CC AA in 2016, the data do not show any relationship between the communities with the largest equipment park and the highest incidence of Legionella cases.
  • Moreover, the low incidence of this disease in the Community of Madrid is particularly striking, of 0.68 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, in contrast to the large concentration of cooling towers and evaporative condensers in this region. The same happens in other Autonomous Communities such as Navarra, La Rioja and Murcia.
  • On the other hand, Catalonia, Aragón and Comunidad Valenciana, which have a number of cooling towers and evaporative condensers located in the middle band, present incidences of higher cases of Legionnaire’s Disease.
  • In Spain, 58% of outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease are caused by contagion from hot water networks, compared to only 27% caused by cooling towers. It also happens in the United States or the European Union.
  • Consequently, it is considered necessary to continue investigating the conditioning and epidemiological factors of the occurrence of cases and outbreaks of disease in Spain, as well as to modify the official strategy that is carried out on the prevention of Legionellosis in Spain.

All these circumstances come to support the main arguments that AEFYT has always come up with in this regard.

  • The first place, the cooling towers and the evaporative condensers are completely safe equipment with a simple maintenance, as determined by the Royal Decree 865/2003, of July 4, which establishes the hygienic-sanitary criteria for the prevention and control of legionellosis, maintenance that must be carried out throughout the year and that not only prevents the proliferation of the bacteria, but also optimize the yield and its useful life.
  • Secondly, the need to investigate the rest of the risk facilities – nebulizers, sources, spas, hot water installations – that must undergo exhaustive controls in the same way that has been happening for years with evaporative cooling equipment. , a field where manufacturers, installers and owners of the facilities have made an important effort to promote safety. The truth is that, over the past few years, the health authorities seem to have stopped focusing exclusively on evaporative cooling equipment as the cause of the outbreaks, beginning to consider the rest of the risky facilities and adopting more appropriate measures against the problem. As a result, the official and media pressure to which these teams have been subjected for years has been reduced.
  • Lastly, the competent authorities must adopt the means that allow the exhaustive detection of the origin of the outbreaks and prioritize the informative transparency in all their communications.


Control y Ventilacion, S.L. is a company of international renown within the industrial and livestock sector, for being a manufacturer of products within the evaporative cooling sector, such as the HUMIBAT, evaporative plastic cooler; or its NUCLEOS towers, Cooling Towers. In both products, the substrate in which the evaporative process is produced is a plastic honeycomb, a honeycomb resistant both to physical and chemical attacks, and at the same time flexible, a honeycomb with a mesh structure, made of polyethylene High Density, and marketed under the names of PANAL C & V or in the case of being a drop separator, SEPARADOR C & V .

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