Our Swan Song: Science, Innovation, and the Big Picture

In a nutshell… The Water Quality & Health Council has acted as an outside technical advisory group to the American Chemistry Council’s Chlorine Chemistry Division for the past 29 years. For the last nine of these, we have posted a weekly Perspectives article on public health topics ranging from waterborne illness trends, to the chemistry

COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Need for Universal Access to Safe Water and Sanitation

In a nutshell… The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for universal access to safely managed drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene. Acutely aware of a lack of progress toward achieving the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pre-pandemic, and new impediments resulting from the pandemic, innovative projects around the globe can help inspire

Extremely Rare but Deadly: Brain-Eating Naegleria fowleri Amoeba in Water

In a nutshell… This article discusses Naegleria fowleri risk and prevention in water. These free-living amoebas can thrive in warm freshwaters such as lakes and sometimes inadequately treated, warm household (e.g., drinking, bathing) water. Entry of contaminated water through the nose—not by swallowing—can lead to a fatal brain infection. Only a handful of cases are

Chlorine vs. Chlorine Bleach: What’s the Difference?

In a nutshell… The terms “chlorine” and “chlorine bleach” are not always used accurately in reporting emergency incidents in which elemental chlorine gas or liquid chlorine bleach escape their containers. These two substances have different chemical and physical properties and represent different potential risks to human health. This article explains the differences between the substances

How Will COVID-19 Impact Halloween This Year?

In a nutshell… Many Halloween celebrations will be modified this year to include precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Depending on your county disease risk level and local restrictions, holiday activities can be selected that are appropriate without raising the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.   How are your fall and winter

What Will Happen When Flu Season Meets the COVID-19 Pandemic?

In a nutshell… As the Northern Hemisphere flu season approaches amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the same infection control measures used during the pandemic could help reduce flu cases. This article compares the two viral illnesses and the actions people can take to help prevent them.   What will happen when the 2020 flu

Airborne Coronavirus: What We Know Can Help Prevent Illness

In a nutshell… This article reports on a recent virtual workshop on the airborne transmission of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Based on the state of knowledge of this mode of virus transmission, experts outlined recommendations for modifying human behavior and indoor spaces to help avoid coronavirus infection.   Still image from a “shadowgraph” video of the respiratory

The Battle against Coronavirus: Surface Disinfection with Electrostatic Sprayers

In a nutshell… This article introduces electrostatic sprayers as an efficient method of applying liquid chemical disinfectants to surfaces. This technology may have significant advantages in helping to control infection during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.   Disinfectant is applied to exercise equipment through an electrostatic sprayer using a backpack model. Sprayer systems are available in

Using Public Restrooms Safely during the Coronavirus Pandemic

In a nutshell… This article presents recommendations on using public restrooms safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These include classic infection control measures, such as good hand hygiene, as well as strategies unique to avoiding the coronavirus, including wearing face masks to avoid its transmission through airborne droplets.   As we venture out of our

We Can Get Food Poisoning, Even during a Pandemic

In a nutshell… Food safety remains a significant public health issue in the U.S. during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Recommendations for avoiding foodborne illness include the traditional “clean, separate, cook, and chill” messages as well as common sense adaptations based on the “new normal” of life during the coronavirus pandemic.   With a Cyclospora recall