Results of the cultured sample tests from the cooling towers on campus have been received from EMSL Analytical, Inc.

  1. Test results from EMSL Analytical, Inc.
    1. East Academic Complex / “C” Building /450 Grand Concourse (“Cooling Tower Results - C Building.pdf”)
    2. Allied Health Building / “A” Building / 475 Grand Concourse (“Cooling Tower Results - A Building.pdf”)
  2. OSHA Guidelines (“OSHA Sampling Guidelines - Legionella.pdf”)
  3. Work orders for two disinfections performed by Gotham Refining Chemical Corp. (“Gotham Chem Disinfect Round 1.pdf” and “Gotham Chem Disinfect Round 2.pdf”)
  4. Invoice for cleaning performed by Atlantic Cooling Technologies & Services (“Atlantic Cooling Physical Clean and Disinfect.pdf”)

Final results are as follows:

  • East Academic Complex / “C” Building /450 Grand Concourse (referenced on test results as “AH”) – “none detected”
  • Allied Health Building / “A” Building / 475 Grand Concourse (referenced on test results as “Bldg C”) – “10 CFU/mL” (10 colony-forming units per milliliter)

According to OSHA sampling guidelines, action is recommended for findings of at least 100 CFU/mL. The Association of Water Technologies (AWT) guidelines call for increasing biocide additions for our finding of 10 CFU/mL. Neither organization suggests that cleaning is necessary for a finding of less than 100 CFU/mL.

Regardless, the College had elected to treat and clean our cooling towers ahead of the test results. Gotham began the first disinfectant treatment on the evening of Tuesday, August 11, 2015. An additional disinfectant treatment was performed by Gotham starting Saturday, August 15, following a scrubbing of the tanks by Atlantic.

In the interest of environmental health and safety, the institution has been consistently engaged in preventive maintenance. Hostos has been under contract with Gotham Refining Chemical Corporation for over five (5) years—and with other vendors in years prior—markedly ahead of any guidelines now proposed by the City or State. Our cooling systems have pumps installed that automatically add prescribed chemicals at specific intervals to treat the units, and Gotham visits regularly during the cooling season to ensure the whole system works properly.  Additionally, the towers are disinfected and scrubbed the beginning and end of each cooling season.

Date: August 3, 2015
Time: 3:53 PM

Hostos takes the situation of Legionnaires' Disease very seriously. As of August 10, we have no reported cases at Hostos. Notwithstanding, we have taken the initiative to proactively address our cooling towers. The College’s cooling towers have already been tested, and the campus is awaiting the results of those tests.

To ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as the surrounding community, Hostos is closing the campus on Friday, August 14, for additional rounds of preventive cleaning and maintenance to the College’s cooling towers. These measures will allow Hostos Community College to be fully prepared to welcome students for fall registration and classes on Monday, August 17.

Given Hostos’ responsibility as an anchor institution in the South Bronx, a State Mobile Command Center has opened at Hostos Community College to aid Legionella bacteria testing efforts in the Bronx. For additional resources, go to:

Legionnaires Disease: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Legionnaires disease?
Legionnaires disease (or Legionellosis) is a type of pneumonia. It is caused by a type of bacteria (Legionella) that grows in warm water.
Is the disease contagious?
No. Legionnaires disease is not spread from person to person. People only get sick by breathing in water vapor containing the bacteria (for example, by inhaling contaminated mist from faucets, showers, whirlpools or cooling towers). People who are sick cannot make others sick.
Who is at risk?
Groups at high risk include people who are middle-aged or older—especially cigarette smokers—people with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems and people who take medicines that weaken their immune systems (immunosuppressive drugs).
What are the symptoms of Legionnaires' Disease?
Symptoms resemble other types of pneumonia and can include fever, chills, muscle aches and cough. Some people may also have headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion or diarrhea.
What should I do if I think I have Legionnaires' disease?
If you have symptoms such as fever, chills and cough, call a doctor and get checked for pneumonia. If you have a medical condition that affects your breathing, like emphysema, or if you are a smoker, ask your doctor about testing for Legionnaires disease.
What is the treatment for Legionnaires' disease?
The disease is treated with antibiotics. Most people get better with early treatment, although they may need to be hospitalized. In rare cases, people may get very sick or even die from complications of the disease.

Legionnaires’ Disease Frequently Asked Questions - English (.pdf)
Preguntas frecuentes sobre la enfermedad del legionario - Español/Spanish  (.pdf)