Paper Towel vs. Electric Hand Dryers in Public Restrooms: Which is Best?

Consider the public restroom. We may be a bit concerned about how sanitary it is, but when nature calls while we are out and about, the facility is a welcome sight. But how do we utilize public restrooms with minimum risk to our health? Automatic flush toilets, no-touch water faucets, electric hand dryers, and automatic

Hand-washing for the Holidays

Proper hand-washing is one of the most important steps families can take to avoid colds, flu, stomach bugs, and other viruses swirling around us this Holiday Season. Make it fun: teach kids to lather up their hands with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds, which is approximately as long as it takes to

How Norovirus Spreads and What to Do When It Arrives in Your Home

The “stomach bug” or norovirus, can be a seasonal “downer” for the whole family. This so-called “perfect pathogen” is heartier than you might imagine. It spreads easily, remains viable on environmental surfaces for days (if it’s not hit with an effective disinfectant), and mutates over time, raising the possibility that your first harrowing experience with

Celebrating Dr. John L. Leal and 110 Years of U.S. Drinking Water Chlorination

Most Americans are just a twist of the tap away from safe, cheap (pennies per treated gallon), and abundant drinking water. But this remarkable public health and engineering triumph—made possible by drinking water treatment—did not appear overnight! It can, however, be traced to a pivotal day in U.S. public health history in Jersey City, New

Flood Cleanup Tips after Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence will be remembered for the relentless rain associated with her slow trek over the Carolinas. As residents return to flooded neighborhoods to deal with Florence’s aftermath, we offer the following tips for cleanup and recovery.

Home and Garden Tips for Fall

For home gardeners, late summer brings a happy burst of activity around the fruits—and vegetables—of their labor. Many gardeners can and store foods to prolong the enjoyment of their home-grown staples. Some are preparing the garden for a fall crop, benefiting from the last of the mild weather.

At this time of the year, it may be helpful to know about a handy product that can increase the success and enjoyment of the backyard, the garden and its bounty. Dilute chlorine bleach solutions can be used judiciously to help destroy harmful microorganisms on surfaces. Bleach is a great example of “chemistry in a bottle.”

Preventing Foodborne Illness: Destroying Raw Food Pathogens on Surfaces and by Cooking

One of the most challenging aspects of cooking is safely handling raw foods. Uncooked and undercooked foods can transfer pathogens to every surface they contact, including cooks’ hands. With no way of knowing whether a given raw food harbors pathogens, cooks must assume all raw foods do. That is the reason, for example, we never return cooked meats to the platter upon which they were delivered, raw, to the backyard grill.

Harmful Algal Blooms: Cyanobacteria and Safe Drinking Water

This summer, you may have read about the growing problem of harmful algal blooms (HABs1) due to cyanobacteria in lakes, rivers, and other freshwater bodies across the United States and worldwide. In 2014, we wrote about the 500,000 residents in and around Toledo, Ohio, who were alerted that their tap water had been declared undrinkable.

Personal Hygiene at the Pool: Kids’ Worksheets and Activities

Swimming in the pool is one of the healthiest and most fun-filled summertime activities available to children. Safe swimming depends on several factors, including proper swimming instruction, lifeguard supervision, and pool water quality management. Few people realize, however, that safe pool swimming also depends on swimmers’ hygiene. The new, downloadable Healthy Swimming Education & Activity

More Swimmers through “Lessons from Lylah”

Each summer for the past few years, the American Chemistry Council has supported the National Swimming Pool Foundation’s Step Into Swim® program initiative known as “Angels of America’s Fallen” (AOAF). “Angels” provides healthy activities, including swimming lessons, for the children of our country’s fallen military and first responders. This summer, the Council has donated $5,000