The MetFDA, a professional trade association, represents corporate and independent funeral establishments in the New York metropolitan area including Westchester County.
The current outbreak of the Legionnaires Disease bacteria has many questioning the dangers posed to our profession. The attached link has some generic answers from the NYC DOH at a recent Bronx meeting concerning public safety.
In reference to funeral service:
First; this disease poses no more risk than any other pneumonia case passing through your facilities.
Second; the disease is most commonly spread by directly inhaling water vapors from air conditioning evaporator cores that have not been properly sanitized. Severely contaminated units can also draw the bacteria indoors via the air ducts by entering the building through doorways and other egress points. This is an issue for those of you who may still operate a water cooled air conditioning evaporator core outside your building and it is simple to know the difference.
Today almost 95% of small to moderate sized air conditioning systems run an air cooled evaporator core (condenser) located outdoors. There is a fan that draws dry air through the condenser. If you have a unit with water cascading down from the top passing over the evaporator core, you have a water cooled unit and should have it inspected.
These water cooled units are more frequently found in malls, high rise buildings and complexes like Co-Op City. These structures use recirculated water to cool down the condenser which creates the heat exchange or ‘air conditioning’. Water cooled ‘towers’ as they are referred to, should be on a maintenance program by a certified HVAC company. The untreated, constantly recirculating water is similar to a fresh water pool or spa; when exposed to temperature extremes and left untreated, bacteria will begin to grow.
Funeral service professionals are at no greater risk over this issue and should always exercise universal precaution. For more public information please click on the link below.
If you’re uncertain about your air conditioning equipment, please call your service company or this office for assistance.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program to reimburse for the purchase of a casket or urn used to inter a deceased, eligible, Unclaimed Veteran in a VA National Cemetery, is in place. The program allows for the reimbursement to any individual or entity, has standards for the casket or urn purchased, and by law requires that the Veteran died on or after January 10, 2014.
For eligible Veterans who died on or after January 10, 2014 and were interred in a VA national cemetery prior to May 13, 2015 there are special instructions for applying for the reimbursement.