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Hand Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Food Safety Blog

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Hand Washing: Separating the Science from the Myths

hand washing

There are many old-wives tails, rumors and stories that are so ingrained that we don’t know if they are fact or fiction. The list is so long that a popular TV show called “The Myth Busters” is totally devoted to applying science to verify if myths are true or false. The show is for entertainment but it is when myths or non-substantiated knowledge, are actually applied in regulations and guidelines with the thought that someone must have done the science at some point in time. With this in mind we see the method for hand washing posted everywhere from web sites to posters above sinks. However, we rarely pause to think about the scientific evidence to support the guide on effective hand washing.

The Connundrum of EV68 Infection Control

enterovirus 68

This summer, a virus has spread across the United States and Canada leaving hundreds of children infected many of whom required hospitalization.  The cause is enterovirus D species, serotype 68 (EVD68 or EV68).  This virus is well known to microbiologists but has rarely grabbed media headlines.  Yet for some reason, whether due to evolution or some other unresolved risk factor, the pathogen has sparked concern for parents and public health officials alike.

On Global Handwashing Day, make hands clean, not contagious!

Global Handwashing Day

October 15th is Global Handwashing Day , a day that was originally created for children and schools, but can be celebrated by anyone promoting handwashing with soap. Each year, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world. However, Global Handwashing has since expanded to include everyone, including all types of workplaces where hand hygiene continues to be a priority.

How to Protect your Skin from Heavy Metal Dusts

Coal in hands

Rest easy, metalheads. This article will not be expounding the harmful decibel levels or dubious lyrics of your favorite bands. Instead, it will present a concise overview of a serious health hazard — workplace exposure to heavy metals — and provide practical, relatively simple ways to help guard against their potentially harmful effects.

How To Avoid The Flu This Season

flu at work

The flu season is upon us once again. This year, Center of Disease Control (CDC) is urging the public to take 3 actions. Their “Take 3” Actions To Fight The Flu include:

Mis-LEEDing information made clear: Understanding hand hygiene as it applies to green cleaning

LEED hand hygiene

Recently, a sales representative was informed by a distributor that a manufacturer promised the distributorʼs customer they could gain 10 points toward their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Existing Buildings (LEEDEB) certification program just by purchasing his companyʼs hand cleaners.

Is Ebola the “Bat-out-of Hell” and will we learn something from this experience?

Ebola outbreak

My esteemed blogging colleagues have written much on the subject of the most recent and deadly Ebola outbreak(s).  That's right; we now have the outbreak of two Ebola strains to be concerned about, one in Zaire and the other in the DR Congo.  Certainly unprecedented in modern times, if not for its scope, but for the shear terrifying manner in which the virus does its dirty deed.  Researchers say that the Zaire outbreak started when a fruit bat bit a 2-year old child and within a week both toddler and mother were dead.  Fruit bats live in colonies around the world of sometimes thousands or even millions strong.  This reminds me of the ‘super-herds’ represented by our large cities. In this case the butterfly effect so talked and written about has turned into a bat wing!

The Dermatitis Detective: Tracking the causes of dermatitis in your workplace

hand hygiene

Researchers at the University of Michigan made public the results of an unusual study involving hand washing. When students washed their hands after making a choice (decision), they appeared to experience less indecision (question their choice) than fellow students who did not wash their hands after making a decision. In short, "washing your hands" of the matter apparently makes you feel better about your choices.

Clean soap dispensers are good for business

dispenser in use

It should come as no surprise that restaurant patrons, industrial employees, and students all may view a restroom experience as an overall indicator of a facility’s level of excellence.

Nano-sized titanium dioxide in sunscreens - friend or foe?

sun protection

Exposure of the skin to the sun has always been a concern in all civilizations, and this from the earliest age; the related skin damages ranging from burns to cancers. For ancient Greeks and Egyptians, zinc oxide, olive oil and various plant extracts (i.e. jasmine) were used to prevent skin dryness and to reduce the risk of skin burns. Shea butter and clay are still traditionally used in Africa for the same purpose.

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