Updated: Legionella longbeache cases in Edinburgh, Tayside, Scotland

Testing for bacteria in lab

Legionella longbeache outbreak in Edinburgh and Tayside areas

New research has shown the importance of taking sensible precautions and good hygiene when working with compost. The research found that a significant number of widely-available compost products might contain legionella bacteria.  NHS are investigating cases of Legionella Longbeachae in Edinburgh and Tayside.

The Legionella Longbeachae outbreak in Edinburgh was linked to gardening compost.  All of those reporting symptoms of Legionella Longbeachae in the Edinburgh area were keen gardeners and had purchased compost products before becoming ill.  

Defective products and product liability

Digby Brown Solicitors have been instructed by one of those affected. Individuals, who buy products which turn out to be defective or faulty and which cause the buyer harm, are entitled, under the Consumer Protection and Sale of Goods laws, to claim compensation.

Health authorities' advice for gardeners and others working with compost

Health authorities' are advising gardeners and others working with compost to take sensible steps to protect their health.  These include:

• read and follow any manufacturers' instructions on the bag
• open any compost or potting mix bags carefully, if possible using a blade
• wear gloves when handling compost
• keep the door open in greenhouses or sheds when potting-up plants or filling hanging baskets
• wear a mask if the air is dusty, particularly indoors
• wash hands immediately after use of compost
• if you are going to smoke while gardening, please wash your hands before doing so.

Get in touch if we can help

Should you or one of your relatives develop an infection which you suspect may have been caused by exposure to legionella, you can obtain further advice from our Mark Gibson on 0141 566 9503. Mark is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in personal injury law and has a special interest in Product Liability Law.