Greetings! The year is almost over but the continued challenges for all health care facilities in Maryland are not! If you missed our free 1-hr webinar with 7 experts in the field, who address some of these challenges facilities deal with (like bed bugs, and which disinfectants exacerbate Covid symptoms), you can now watch on your own time and even pick the specific 5-minute presentations that are of most interest to you. 
This newsletter also provides Breaking News on PFAS the “forever chemicals" found in widely used pesticides that cause life-long health impacts. Also, check out two articles we recently published that bring to light how pesticides affect can the mental health of your patients and an article to share with your colleagues and staff on how a facility’s pest management program is a public health concern. And Joe offers some tips on keeping rodents out of facilities this winter!
In the News: PFAS Found in Pesticides
Have you heard of PFAS? Maybe you recall hearing about their use for non-stick cookware, or the dangers they pose in firefighting foam and firefighters' gear, or their use in fast food packaging, stain-resistant rugs, and upholstery. PFAS is in the news as a dangerous pollutant with serious health impacts, including impaired functioning of the liver, kidneys, and immune system, kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, hormone suppression, birth defects, developmental damage to infants, pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, less effective responses to vaccines, and more serious COVID-19 outcomes.

Why the healthcare industry needs to pay attention to PFAS as an emerging issue
PFAS, which stands for per-and polyfluorinated substances, do not break down in the environment and the recent discovery of their presence in pesticides represents a new, uncontrolled pollution source. They are called “forever chemicals” because our bodies are unable to rid ourselves of them in our lifetime.

PFAS are now being found in widely used pesticides at alarmingly high levels
The EPA lifetime exposure to PFAS in drinking water is .004 to .02 parts per trillion (ppt) – almost undetectable. Certain pesticides, we know are being used in and on the grounds of some facilities, have been found to be among the pesticides that contain PFAS at millions ppt! This article on PFAS, published in The Guardian, provides a detailed overview of recent findings.

Pesticides alone are often linked to adverse health impacts that patients we serve are being treated for. There is no research to date on the impacts of pesticides already classified by EPA in danger, warning, or caution categories acting in combination with PFAS forever chemicals. Given the vulnerable populations that facilities serve, ensuring a prioritized IPM program with least toxic pesticides that are only used as a last resort has become even more important.

Your focus on preventing pest pressures with needed housekeeping and maintenance actions can make a difference.
More News: Pine-Sol Recall
Clorox recalls 37 million bottles of Pine-Sol that could contain bacteria
And we have other breaking news regarding a number of PIne Sol disinfectants that have been terminated for use, having been found to be bacteria-contaminated. In the event such products have been used in your facility, it is important to stop using them. Also of note, these PineSol products also contain increased risk chemicals according the the website. The increased-risk ingredients are Phenolic and Glycolic Acid Tuck 3. Read the article 

You can find safer disinfecting products, and check your existing product inventory for increased-risk products, at
Free 1-Hour On Demand Webinar
Watch and share this webinar on the many ways a prescribed IPM Program will benefit patients, staff, and your department, with tips from experts on how to implement a winning program!

Short on time? No problem!
The timestamps included after each topic will let you advance the video to only watch the 5-minute segments that most interest you.
PRESENTATIONS to share with colleagues
Lessons from 35 Years in the Business - begins @ 1 min :10 secs into the video
Joe Griffen, Retired EVS Director, Aramark Healthcare, Sheppard Pratt Health System
Pesticide Impacts on Newborns and Children - begins @ 8 min :14 secs
Michael Ichniowski, M.D., Chair, Environmental Health and Climate Change Committee, Md Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Harmful vs. Safer Disinfectants in a Pandemic - begins @ 16 min :04 secs
Ana Rule, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Best Bedbug Management - begins @ 24:55
Inar Maharaj, Luminis EVS Director, Anne Arundel Medical Center
Prioritized Pest Management in Health Care - begins @ 34:50
Frank Meek, BCE, PHE, PCQI, Manager, Technical Services, Rollins (subsidiaries include Orkin and Western Pest Control)
IPM in Health Care Around the Country, Green Shield Oppty. - begins @ 45:34
Ryan Anderson, Community IPM Manager, IPM Institute of North America
Md State House: Model for Facility Pesticide-free Land Care - begins @ 53:36
Kevin Wengernuk, CEO, KW Landscaping
Did You Know?
Pesticide Exposures Impact Mental Health
A growing body of research makes it clear that pesticides can exacerbate existing mental, neurological, and developmental issues, and critically confuse diagnosis and treatment of related issues. Read the article

Pest Management: Public Health Priority
Make sure the people your facility serves are protected from all pests – some can carry serious bacteria and viruses. This a critical pest management goal in alignment with the medical profession’s commitment to "first do no harm.” Equally important, ensuring the people your facility serves, facility staff, and visitors are protected from the potentially serious harm that pesticides can cause – also a critical health care priority to do no harm.
Did You Know?
Latest Tips from Joe
Joe Griffin had a 16-year tenure at Sheppard Pratt and a total of 35+ years of Senior Level Facility Support Operations experience. Joe is a consultant to the IPM in Health Care Facilities Project.

EVS Directors have their hands full, so we tend to rely on our contracted pest and land care vendors. That's why it's critical to remember: 
Your vendors work for YOU and under YOUR guidelines to provide
a safe facility environment – without adverse harm from pesticides.

Tip #1:
"Door sweeps eliminate 65% of rodent pests"
Installing door sweeps in entrance/exit doorways are crucial to eliminating rodent pests from entering the facility. Research indicates that door sweeps can actually eliminate 65% of rodent entry. Electrical doors fall into this category, but you should review what type of sweeps would be acceptable to retrofit electric doors for safety.
Tip #2:
"Institue food safety practices in break rooms"
Break rooms are one of the more attractive facility locations for pests to make their home. Staff are on time-limited breaks, often resulting in leftover food not being properly stored or discarded, which provides a welcome feast for pests. Remind staff about properly storing and discarding food and cleaning up after their use of the breakroom. Even a posted reminder can make a difference. EVS needs to monitor these areas closely, as they may need to adjust schedules to perform more detailed cleaning to help reduce and eliminate a rodent pest outbreak.
What's in Your Disinfectant?
If you haven't yet... Share with your team
Find out if you're using disinfectants containing hazardous chemicals that pose an increased risk to staff and the people your facility serves.

From the IPM Project Toolkit
Most webinars are just 20 minutes long - but packed with how-tos.
Solving Insect Pests in Health Care Facilities
Strategies for Preventing & Solving Rodent Problems
Strategies for Housekeeping & Maintenance Professionals Working in Health Care
The IPM in Health Care Facilities Project promotes safer pest and weed management best practices that are effective and protect the public and environment. Exposure to harmful pesticides can cause or exacerbate the very issues for which patients/residents are being treated. Especially during this challenging pandemic, we keep you updated on important news and research related to COVID-19 issues — from least toxic disinfectants to pesticides that do/do not exacerbate coronavirus symptoms. We support your efforts to ensure a protected and toxic-free environment for your facility and those you serve —
and ALL our IPM in Health Care Facilities Project services are FREE.
For information and help, 
contact us! 
Our services are always free.
IPM in Health Care
Facilities Project
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