03-16-2016, 11:55 AM
I'm wondering if anybody has looked into the possibilty of contracting "LEGIONNAIRE'S" or any other water borne germ as a result of using a CPAP.(humidifier tank not being frequently or properly cleaned)
The last I heard was that it only existed in cold water "chillers" used in large air conditioning units.
When I sent an e-mail (TWICE) to he CDC in Atlanta about 7 years ago re this issue, I received a reply that didn't answer my question.
Maybe someone else on this board could give it a try.
03-16-2016, 01:32 PM
(This post was last modified: 03-16-2016, 01:48 PM by surferdude2.)
The source of the bacteria Legionella is from fresh water since it occurs naturally in water, according to the CDC. It normally doesn't grow to problem levels until the water is warmed to a certain level, such as in the chiller towers of large a/c systems where the water carries the heat of compression to the tower where it is rejected into the atmosphere by the process of evaporation.
Since this water may used for a long period of time without disinfecting it can grow Legionella bacteria to high levels. Proper water treatment measures help prevent that from being a hazard but the best way is to avoid breathing the air that comes from the tower. That's easily done except when you are on a cruise liner or similar circumstance where you can't easily avoid the area where the tower is located and especially where the air is exhausted. Also consider that this air may get sucked back into the a/c system via the fresh air induction that is required on a properly installed system. That spreads the hazard to everyone aboard a ship on those cruise liners.
Since not properly cleaning and disinfecting a CPAP humidifier would seem to provide the same environment/conditions for the bacteria to grow and propagate into the air, it should make all of use concerned about the quality of the water we use and the need for disinfecting the humidifier on a regular schedule. We use water, we heat it and we breathe the air passing over it. Same conditions... airborne bacteria.
<quoting the CDC>
The key to preventing legionellosis is maintenance of the water systems in which Legionella grow, including drinking water systems, hot tubs, decorative fountains, and cooling towers (air-conditioning units for large buildings). There are no vaccines that can prevent legionellosis. </quote>