Good Hand Hygiene Reduces the Spread of Beach Bacteria

Good hand hygiene, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the single most important thing we can do to reduce the spread of bacteria and infectious illness. With that in mind, what happens to hand hygiene at the beach? A day at the beach usually includes hand contact with sunscreen, sand

An Engineer’s Mission to Combat Mold and Disease Transmission in Puerto Rico

Hurricanes Irma and Maria, now distant memories for most Americans, remain top of mind for Puerto Ricans who are still laboring to recover from those historic storms. As an engineer-volunteer for Water Engineers for the Americas (WEFTA), I traveled with my 13-year old daughter, Kati, to Puerto Rico this spring to lend a helping hand.

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

Household Disinfection 101

Spring cleaning time is here again and many penny-wise consumers are choosing to mix their own cleaning and disinfecting solutions to help stretch the household budget. The Water Quality & Health Council would like to help consumers make good choices as they tackle their disinfecting chores. Cleaning Is Not the Same as Disinfection Cleaning and

New Study Forecasts How the Flu Spreads Across America

A University of Chicago research team has identified the critical factors that affect the annual spread of the flu across America. In their new study, the researchers compare the spread of seasonal flu to the spread of a wildfire, identifying the “spark,” “dry tinder” and “wind” required to disperse the illness from place to place.

Controlling the Spread of Invasive Aquatic Species with the Ballast Water Management Convention

Ballast water is the marine or fresh water taken into the ballast tank of a ship to improve the vessel’s stability, buoyancy and maneuverability. Unfortunately, the process of adding and subtracting ballast water, so vital to a ship’s operation, can have unintended consequences for aquatic ecosystems. Ballast water may include aquatic life forms native to

Autumn: When Leaves Fall, So Can Water Quality

Now that summer is over—and hopefully the record-setting 2017 hurricane season—many of us can turn our attention to the cooler temperatures, shorter days and the colorful splendor of autumn leaves. Of course, all of those red, orange, and yellow leaves are short-lived and fall to the ground, forming truly massive amounts of organic debris. But did you know

In the Wake of Hurricanes: The Problem with Standing Water

A discarded tire containing standing water can become a choice breeding ground for mosquitoes.   As flood waters recede in Houston and Florida, a new public health threat rears its ugly head: Mosquitoes breeding in standing water left in the wake of hurricanes. Puddles, flower pots and saucers, rain barrels, bird baths, pet bowls, discarded

Cleaning up After Hurricane Harvey: Chlorine Bleach Is Your Friend

After the shock and heartbreak of experiencing a flood comes the clean up to prevent further damage and spread of disease. Flood cleanup starts with removing flood water (usually contaminated with sewage) and drying the affected areas. Evaluate all items touched by flood waters, deciding which to keep and which to toss. Whenever possible, use

Sepsis: A New Global Health Priority

“Sepsis,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is “a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.” More commonly known as “blood poisoning,” sepsis strikes “with equal ferocity in resource-poor areas and in the developed world,” according to