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Legionella Testing Laboratory

Category Press Release
Publish Date 9/6/2017
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Linked to Hot Tub at Popular Gym
Introduction EMSL Analytical offers PCR and traditional culturing methods to quickly and accurately identify the pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

Cinnaminson, NJ, September 6, 2017

Last month, Washington’s KEPR published a report about several members of a popular gym that were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. According to the article, local health officials have determined that at least two of the infections could be traced back to the gym’s hot tub where the bacteria that can cause the disease were detected.

People can get Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in mist or water droplets that have been contaminated with the Legionella bacteria.  Certain groups of people are more likely to become seriously ill when infected, including individuals who are 65 years of age or older, smokers, people with chronic lung disease and individuals with a weakened immune system.

Legionella is naturally found in water, especially warm water,” said Christopher Goulah, Ph.D., Legionella Technical  at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Hot tubs that are not cleaned and disinfected properly can become contaminated with the bacteria. High water temperatures in environments such as hot tubs can make it difficult to maintain the disinfectant levels needed to kill the bacteria. Proactive testing of common Legionella sources, which include hot tubs, cooling towers and decorative water features, can help prevent outbreaks of this potentially fatal disease or pinpoint the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred.”

EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers traditional culturing methods as well as advanced Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing test methods. PCR tests are an excellent method for rapid results, but they do not indicate whether the bacteria are alive or not. Therefore, traditional culturing methods remain the gold standard, although the two testing methods are often used together.

EMSL also provides all of the necessary sampling supplies and has 16 laboratories that have received the CDC’s Certificate of Proficiency from the agency’s ELITE Program for Legionella testing. EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about Legionnaires’ disease and hot tubs that can be seen at:

To learn more about Legionella or other microbial testing services, please visit or, email or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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