The articles support the facts that the Pittsburgh VA staff failed to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and deployed improper testing procedures.
(via Business Wire): LiquiTech made the following statement regarding the investigation into the Legionnaires’ outbreak that killed six veterans at the Pittsburgh VA in 2011:
A comprehensive investigation by journalist Sean Hamill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has uncovered the truth surrounding the Legionnaires’ outbreak that killed six veterans at the Pittsburgh VA in 2011. His investigation was published in a two-part series Sunday and Monday, and led to a call for a congressional investigation into the situation from Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
The articles support the facts long known to LiquiTech that the Pittsburgh VA staff failed to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance of the copper silver ionization water disinfection system and deployed improper testing procedures, going against EPA guidance. The Veterans Administration Office of the Inspector General came to a similar conclusion in its report on the cause of the outbreak.
The Post-Gazette stories also challenge research published in 2015 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases that was based on that same flawed testing methodology and a misunderstanding of how the technology was designed to work. The Journal piece called into question the efficacy of copper silver technology, despite its long track record of superior outcomes in preventing and remediating waterborne disease outbreaks around the world.
“The irony is that the Pittsburgh VA had been a pioneer in the successful use of copper silver ionization water disinfection technology, keeping veterans safe for a decade before it stopped maintaining the system,” said Tory Schira, chief operating officer of LiquiTech.
The LiquiTech copper silver system disperses positively charged copper and silver ions into the water system. It is a registered solution with federal and state Environmental Protection Agencies for killing Legionella in drinking water. It has been validated in more than 100 clinical articles as the most effective water disinfection technology to control Legionella.
In June 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new toolkit for building owners and managers, endorsing regular testing for Legionella in drinking water as part of water management strategies and naming copper silver ionization as an effective means of preventing the growth of Legionella to help facilities prevent such outbreaks as the one in Pittsburgh. “It’s good to see that the CDC is now embracing a philosophy that will minimize Legionella infections and deaths,” Schira said. “Thankfully, we are making progress, and more organizations are looking to prevent waterborne infection outbreaks and protect the people who live in, work at and visit healthcare facilities and public buildings.”