Antimicrobial Resistance: Stopping “Nightmare Bacteria” in their Tracks

“Antimicrobial resistance poses a fundamental threat to human health, development and security,” stated Dr. Margaret Chan, former director-general of the World Health Organization at a UN meeting of world leaders in 2016. The issue remains a significant concern in both developed and developing countries in 2018. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


After All These Years, Was My Mom Right about Removing Your Shoes When Entering a Home?

My mother always made us take our shoes off just inside the doors of our home. Did that make scientific sense back then or now? Although most of us would not track wet, sandy or muddy shoes into living quarters, many of us routinely make an entrance wearing shoes that are dry and free of


The Once and Future Water Fountain

In the years since we last wrote on this topic, drinking water fountains—a once ubiquitous feature of the U.S. public health landscape—continue to decline in diversity, maintenance and numbers.1 Yet because many people, including commuters, tourists and the homeless, often rely on fountains for (usually) free and safe municipal water, they should not be taken for granted.


Life is About Choices and their Inherent Risks, Here’s One: De-Iced Roads or Drinkable Water

Salting roads, highways and walkways in winter helps prevent injury and save lives by reducing the risk of accidents on icy surfaces. As with everything in life, however, there is no “free lunch.” Everything has a downside; sometimes we have to look for it. As I told my son years ago, when something is “free”


Your Guide to Removing Swimming Pool Stains

The swimmers at the summer games inspired awe in all who viewed those exciting events, including the littlest backyard pool athlete who has dreams of winning gold.  Recently, the sparkling blue of the dive pool in Rio was transformed into a deep green, sparking fears of algae.  In fact, the color change was blamed on


Avoiding MRSA at the Gym

A healthy workout in the gym should leave you with a feeling of well-being and nothing worse than a duffle bag full of sweaty clothes.  It should not leave you with a MRSA skin infection. What is MRSA? MRSA, or “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” is a type of staph bacteria that is, according to the US


Will you Have Enough Safe Water for Personal Hygiene in Case of an Emergency?

Nothing beats the comfort of a hot bath or shower after you’ve been drenched by rain or pelted by snow and ice. But when a weather or natural disaster emergency prevents your access to safe running water, life as you know it can change in an instant.  If your source of water is a private


Chlorinating Brainerd’s Drinking Water Can Save Lives

There’s a controversy brewing in the Mississippi River city of Brainerd, Minnesota that is about to boil over.  On October 28, the Brainerd Public Utilities Commission will debate whether or not to chlorinate the city’s drinking water on a permanent basis.  The question for many in the municipality of nearly 14,000 is whether disinfecting is worth


Why is it OK to Pee in the Ocean, But Not in the POOL????

A short video produced recently by the American Chemical Society answers the question, “Is it OK to Pee in the Ocean?” with a resounding “yes!” Ocean swimmers, relax, and know that your, eh, “contribution” is processed by the marine environment. Pool swimmers, you are not off the hook. When nature calls, swim to the nearest


Tips to Help Prevent Your Toothbrush from Making You Sick

Brushing teeth is a no-brainer for dental health, as any dentist will attest, but can tooth-brushing have a down side?  First, most of us have been taught how to use a toothbrush correctly, e.g., don’t brush too hard, brush up-and-down, not side-to-side, and avoid damaging gum tissue.  But there is another aspect of dental hygiene