Green Buckeye RN


Newsletter: Vol. 2, No. 1

>>IN THE HOME AND AT WORK: MICE, COCKROACHES & ANTS… OH MY!
>>IN THE NEWS
>>CONFERENCES AND EVENTS
>>I’D RATHER BE READING
>>LEGISLATIVE/REGULATORY NEWS
>>SURFING THE WEB


>>IN THE HOME AND AT WORK: MICE, COCKROACHES & ANTS… OH MY!

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a method for preventing the invasion of a variety of pests without the use of noxious pesticides.  The techniques of IPM can be applied to any setting where people live or work.

The Healthy Housing Reference Manual (www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthyhomes.htm),  published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, describes IPM as a series of concentric circles that include the following protective steps:

  • Monitoring, identifying, and determining the level of threat from pests;
  • Making the environment hostile to pests;
  • Building the pests out by using pest-proof building materials;
  • Eliminating food sources, hiding areas, and other pest attractants;
  • Using traps and other physical elimination devices; and
  • When necessary, selecting appropriate poisons for identified pests.mousetrap

Mice and rats, for instance are animals that can gnaw through wood, insulation, and wires.  To prevent entry, seal all holes and cracks less than 4 feet above ground with sheet metal, hardware cloth, or good quality cement.  Breeding grounds can be eliminated by storing all lumber or firewood at least 18-20 inches above the ground.  Remember that rodents like to skim around the edges of walls as a protective measure.  On outside walls, keep shrubbery away from the house or trimmed back.  And, of course, eliminate those food sources.  If you have a pet, make sure their pet food bowls are clean and empty at night.  Develop an effective system for waste management that removes food scraps from sinks or easily accessed waste receptacles.

Recommendations differ for different types of pests. Example: Termites love cellulose-containing mulch or wood chips; use decorative stone or gravel instead.  However, regardless of the pest, standing water, even a very small amount, and wood products including fire wood are attractive to pests.  Never store firewood on the ground or in your home.  Bring in only the amount of firewood you are going to use immediately. 

Individualized recommendations for controlling different types of pests are available in the downloadable Healthy Housing Reference Manual.

The movement of IPM into the healthcare sector (as well as schools) has been heavily influenced by the growing data on the links between pesticides and damage to human health.  The breakdown products of even banned pesticides can still be found in humans and animals.  Pesticides have been linked to cancers, neurological damage, reproductive effects, birth defects, liver and kidney damage, and endocrine disruption. 

A decrease or total elimination of the use of pesticides in hospital settings can be accomplished via a thorough assessment of current hospital practices and taking steps to change those practices as needed.  Areas for assessment might include effect sanitation and maintenance practices/policies including trash handling and removal, receiving and loading areas, storage areas, and food preparation areas.  Likewise maintenance of the facility water resources (pipes and drains), elevator shafts and stair wells, entries and exits, light fixtures, and sump pumps need to be evaluated for effective function as well as possible sources for pests to enter a facility. 

The use of pesticides on landscaping should also be curtailed.  Pesticides that linger in the soil, plant life, and air represent a danger to human and animal health.

Resources for hospitals concerning IPM can be found at the Health Care Without Harm website, www.noharm.org, Practice Greenhealth, www.practicegreenhealth.org, and Beyond Pesticides, www.beyondpesticides.org

Taking Toxics Our of Maryland’s Health Care Sector offers a comprehensive look at how this state both evaluated and promoted change in the use of pesticides in their health care facilities.  The report can be found at http://www.mdpestnet.org/publications/IPM_in_HCF.pdf

Healthy Hospitals: Controlling Pests Without Harmful Pesticides, a report by Health Care Without Harm and Beyond Pesticides, can be found at http://www.noharm.org/details.cfm?type=document&ID=864.


>>IN THE NEWSnews1

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland presented awards for Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Stewardship in December 2008.  Noteworthy recipients included The Christ Hospital of Cincinnati, a 555-bed, not-for-profit acute care hospital.  Christ Hospital’s green efforts include reducing energy and water requirements, recycling, autoclaving red bag waste, and green roofs.


Nursing 2015’s first Pollution Prevention University for Nurse Leaders was conducted at The Christ Hospital on December 3, 2008.  Eight nurses from around the state attended the presentation and will follow-up with initiatives in their home hospitals in 2009.

 Also receiving an award was Bowling Green State University’s Elemental Mercury Collection and Reclamation Program.  Since 1998, BGSU has collected more than 19,500 pounds of mercury from a variety of sources throughout Ohio.  If you’re planning a thermometer exchange, you need to contact BGSU’s Dave Heinlen at daveh@bgsu.edu.

A total of nine awards were presented. 
See http://www.epa.state.oh.us/pic/features/2008/2008-environmental-stewardship.html.


 The Ohio Green Fleets program is designed to reduce the emissions and fuel use of business and government vehicle fleets.  A voluntary certification process, the program includes three components: helping fleet managers develop Green fleet policies, hands on assistance in implementing the policies, and the development of a statewide rating system.  http://www.ohiogreenfleets.org/.


 Trinity Hospital West in Steubenville, Ohio will open new patient care units that feature a number of evidence-based design elements.  The two twenty-bed units will have private rooms to reduce hospital-acquired infection, a new medication-dispensing system, and mechanical lifts that will help to prevent patient and staff injuries.  Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register, 11/29/08.


 It’s that time…digital TV is in and the old cathode-ray tubes are out!  If you have a TV to dispose of, please contact a recycler!  Old TV sets contain 4-8 pounds of lead which can contaminate soil and groundwater!  If you live in Franklin County, consult the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio at  http://www.swaco.org/SmartPeople/Disposal.aspx to find a legitimate recycler.  There may be a small fee for this labor-intensive recycling, so be prepared. 


 In early December 2008, a group of nursing leaders representing a range of nursing organizations gathered in Oracle, Arizona to launch a new configuration of nurses who are interested in the relationship between the environment and human health and how it relates to their individual nursing practices and the nursing profession as a whole.  On the heals of the newly established Environmental Health Principles for Nursing, this group developed a strategic plan for the integration of environmental health into nursing education, nursing practice, research, and advocacy/policy work.  The end-of-meeting product was a strategic plan that will help to guide the work of a newly-formed cadre of nurses who are committed to engaging the nursing profession in environmental health.

To learn more about the Unity Meeting, including access to presentations, videos, and photos, see: www.e-commons.org.  To register to post to the site, look on the column on the right hand side of the page and click on “register.”


 The Autism Society of America has launched a new online course on autism and environmental health.  Sponsored by the John Merck Fund, this introductory-level course was designed to give individuals with autism spectrum disorders, parents, other family members, physicians, educators or anyone affected by autism a general overview of the links between environmental toxins and autism. Go to http://www.autism-society.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=12427.


 MIAMI, FL – As construction continues on the new College of Nursing & Health Sciences (CNHS) building on Florida International University’s University Park, project leaders and college officials have announced that the new facility has been officially LEED registered, and all steps are being taken in order to culminate with LEED certification. When the process is completed and approved, the new CNHS building will be the first LEED-certified building in the University’s history, and the first among Nursing institutions in the state.  FIU Press Release.


Save the Date!


>>CONFERENCES AND EVENTS

Cleanmed, the green health care conference, will be held in Chicago, Illinois on May 18-20, 2009.  The meeting focuses on environmentally preferable purchasing, sustainability, green building, and waste reduction.  Go to www.cleanmed.org.


 Greening up health care’s food service is the topic of FoodMed at www.foodmed.org.  The conference is scheduled for June 30 – July 1, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  Break out tracks include such topics as obesity and the food system, protecting antibiotics through sustainable food procurement. food waste management, implementing farmers markets and onsite gardens, understanding food certification ecolabels, and eating locally.


 The Green Jobs National Conference is slated for February 4-6, 2009 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Elected officials and leaders from labor, business, community groups, and environmental organizations will present an agenda for changing the U.S. economy via environmental solutions.  Registration is $125.  Go to www.greenjobsconference.org.


 The Central Ohio Sierra Club (www.ohio.sierraclub.org/central/) will be showing Liquid Assets: The Story of Water Infrastructure in their offices at 251 South Third Street in Columbus at 7 pm on Wednesday, January 14, 2009.  The 90-minute film provides information on public health and water/wastewater issues.


 Studio 35, 3055 Indianola Ave. in Columbus Ohio will screen the movie Flow on Thursday, February 19th.  The film explores water issues throughout the world including the struggle to obtain safe drinking water and the issue of privatization of water resources.  Admission is $5.00.  Sponsors of the film, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed, Columbus Green Drinks and the Global Gallery will also serve as panelists in a discussion of how the film relates to local issues.  Doors open at 6 pm for pizza and beverages.


 A discussion of Environmental Justice in Ohio is the topic of a meeting on Monday, January 19, 2008 at the Urban-Spirit Coffee Shop, 893 E. Long Street, Columbus, Ohio. The meeting is jointly sponsored by the Ohio Environmental Council, Buckeye Environmental Network, and Ohioans for Health, Environment & Justice. 


>>I’D RATHER BE READING

Yes, I too could shellac the pile of reading that overtakes my office or bedside and create a new nightstand.  Here are some items I won’t shellac yet.

American Earth: Environmental Readings Since Thoreau, a publication of The Library of America (www.loa.org), 2008.  If you like to dip into a book here and there, this is a publication you will enjoy.  Over one hundred writers, from environmental luminaries such as Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Terry Tempest Williams, and Sandra Steingraber mix with unexpected surprises, including P.T. Barnum, Woody Guthrie, E.B. White (surely you remember Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little), and Alice Walker.  The best writing from the best writers, you can also find this publication through many of the online booksellers. 

Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children, by Philip and Alice Shabecoff,  Random House, 2008.  Journalists by trade, the Shabecoff’s have published an investigation into the likely environmental sources contributing to the rise of birth defects, asthma autism, cancer, and other illnesses.  The stories of individuals and towns like Dickson, Tennessee, with its startling incidence of babies born with cleft palates, will capture your interest and hold it to the end.  Meticulously documented and supported by numerous personal interviews, this volume offers much more than just stories.

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv,  Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2006.  Louv offers a cogent lesson on the damage to a child’s physical and emotional health when they lack exposure to the outdoor free-roaming play that many of us baby-boomers experienced during our childhood.  Soccer teams are no substitute for the problem-solving and critical thinking, to say nothing of the healing that happens when a child spends extended periods of times in unstructured play in the out-of-doors.  Louv even tackles our fear of “stranger-danger” and all the other contemporary concerns of today’s parents.


>>LEGISLATIVE/REGULATORY NEWSUnited States Capitol Building

Prudent Disposal of Unused or Expired Medications
Public Comments Requested for Disposing of Hazardous Pharmaceutical Waste EPA is seeking public comment on its proposal to add hazardous pharmaceutical waste to the universal waste rule.  To help provide a streamlined system for disposing hazardous pharmaceutical waste that is protective of public health and the environment, the EPA is proposing to add hazardous pharmaceutical waste to the Universal Waste Rule.  The proposed rule encourages generators to dispose of pharmaceutical waste that is classified as non-hazardous under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as universal waste. The proposal will also facilitate the collection of personal medications that are classified as household hazardous waste so they can be more properly managed.

The proposed rule applies to pharmacies, hospitals, physicians’ offices, dentists’ offices, outpatient care centers, ambulatory health care services, residential care facilities, and veterinary clinics, as well as other facilities that generate hazardous pharmaceutical waste.  It does not apply to pharmaceutical manufacturing or production facilities.  Currently the federal Universal Waste Rule includes batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and lamps. Universal wastes typically are generated in a wide variety of settings including industrial settings and households, by many sectors of society, and may be present in significant volumes in non-hazardous waste management systems.

Comments are due by February 2, 2009. To view the Federal Register:
http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WASTE/2008/December/Day-02/f28161.htm

The proposed rule can be found at http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastetypes/universal/pharm.htm.


No Child Left Inside
The efforts to move childhood education into the study of the natural environment passed the House (H.R. 3036), but failed to achieve action in the Senate (S. 1981).  Look for this bill to be reintroduced when the new administration takes office.  The bill can be accessed at www.thomas.gov.

 


>>SURFING THE WEB

Is there anything you can’t find on the web? Check out these sites for resources and education.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle: Did you get a new phone this holiday?  One way to put the old phone to good use is to donate it to a center for battered women.  Go to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network at www.odvn.org for more information on how to donate your old phone or other much needed items as these women and their families reestablish their lives.

The Waste Not Center in Central Ohio accepts donations of art, school and office supplies and makes them available to teachers, artists, and non-profit organizations. For a complete list of needed materials and drop-off sites, go to www.wastenotcenter.org.


The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (www.safecosmetics.org) has released A Little Prettier, a follow-up to the 2002 Not Too Pretty Report.  The report provides links between phthalates and health problems and discusses what actions cosmetic companies have or have not taken to remove phthalates from their products.


The Center for Health, Environment and Justice (www.chej.org) has produced a PVC-free guide for family and home use entitled Pass Up the Poison Plastic.  The guide contains loads of resources for purchasing PVC-free household products and toys. Want to spread your green purchasing beyond your household?  CHEJ also has a new Green Purchasing Tool Kit available at http://www.besafenet.com/ppc/archives/green_purchasing_tool_kit/index.html.

www.HealthyToys.org, offered by The Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, MI allows you to look up toys by brand or type to ensure that you are purchasing toys that are safe for your children to play with…i.e. toxin free.  This is the second edition of www.HealthyToys.org which previewed prior to the holiday season in 2007 and 2008.


 A forward-looking, well-reasoned report entitled “Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging: With a Closer look at Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Diseases” recently was issued jointly by the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Science and Environmental Health Network.

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are considered in a broad context of aging and the impact of environmental factors on the aging process. The report discusses the relationship of environment and disease patterns and presents a primer on brain structure, function, and neurodegenerative diseases.  Environmental factors that are likely to be involved in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are also discussed.

For more information or to order a copy please see http://www.psr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=boston_ha.


Health for Sale asks: Are the world’s largest drug companies, paradoxically, major obstacles to making a healthier world? The film focuses on Big Pharma, the ten largest pharmaceutical makers, who account for 500 billion dollars of world health spending a year and whose 205 billion dollars in pre-tax profits were more than the combined profits of the 490 other Fortune 500 companies. Officials from all sides debate the impact of drug companies’ patenting, “intellectual property,” pricing and new product development strategies on global public health. These policies, according to Nobel Prize winning economist and former World Bank Chief Economist, Joseph Stiglitz “are condemning billions of the world’s poorest citizens to death.” The DVD is available for purchase at http://www.newsreel.org/nav/title.asp?tc=CN0215&s.


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