A program of the Maryland Pesticide Education Network
Watch & learn at your convenience!
EVS Managers/employees, Maintenance and Housekeeping professionals
On-demand webinar series!
#1 Common Sense Strategies for
Preventing & Solving Roden Problems
with Q&A for Dr. Green's input on your facility's challenges.
Coming next month:
"Common Sense Strategies for Preventing and Solving
Weed, Turf and Landscape Issues"
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 ensuring a protected and toxic-free environment for your facility and those you serve.
Protect patients and staff from COVID-19 and avoid disinfectants containing respiratory-irritating toxic substances.
A New Tool for Assessing the Most Efficient and Safest Disinfectants for Your Facility
All you need in one chart to Identify safer products by surface, need, and formulation type!

Over 80% of Disinfectants Can Harm Patients & Staff
Many disinfectants on EPA’s List N for institutional use against SARS-CoV-2 contain the active ingredient Quaternary ammonium. Quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC) are registered with the EPA as pesticides and increasingly are being found to cause serious health effects. Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health report on Quaternary Ammonium Compounds for health professionals cautions QAC exposure from cleaning products for triggering asthma symptoms even in people with no prior asthma history, among other serious harmful impacts. Chlorine-based disinfectants also cause respiratory irritation and illness. Nurses’ regular use of disinfectants is associated with developing COPD, 24-32% higher.

Mosquito season is around the corner!
Some facilities contract with mosquito control vendors or are located within a community signed up for the state’s mosquito control program.

An insecticide widely used in public mosquito control and used by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been found to contain high levels of toxic “forever chemical" PFAS, according to test results ordered by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Maryland Pesticide Education Network (MPEN). Because PFAS (per-and polyfluoralkyl substances) do not break down in the environment, their presence in pesticides represents a new, uncontrolled pollution source. PFAS are associated with liver damage, thyroid disease, developmental issues, reduced fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression, and cancer.

PEER and MPEN notified the US EPA, MDA and the Maryland Dept. of the Environment (MDE) in a letter that a sample of the pesticide Permanone 30-30, used by MDA for the state’s annual mosquito control program, contains 3,500 parts per trillion (ppt) of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), one of thousands of PFAS. The sample also contains approximately 630 ppt of another PFAS (HFPO-DA). EPA currently has a lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt for PFOA.
In addition, combining PFAS with Permanone, an endocrine-disrupting pesticide that is linked to cancer and the exacerbation of respiratory illnesses, is of concern--especially for the patients health care facilities serve. EPA has thanked the two organizations for the data and opened an investigation. Soon after a similar pesticide in Massachusetts was found to be contaminated with PFAS, EPA stopped the use of that product around the country. This urgent action taken by EPA underscores the seriousness of these findings.
Other pesticides may also be contaminated by PFAS either from contaminated containers or as allowable inert ingredients in certain pesticides. While we await EPA’s guidance on Permanone and their plans to further test pesticide products for PFAS contamination, we urge all health care facilities to err on the side of caution and consider opting out of the state’s mosquito control program or from a vendor contract for mosquito control for this upcoming season. We hope that EPA and the state of Maryland will lead the way in a timely manner and halt the use of mosquito-eradicating pesticides this season until they have tested all such products for PFAS.

Contact us to find out about steps that can be taken to minimize mosquito populations without pesticides.
When was your facility's last IPM health check-up?

Your pest management company may be unknowingly complicating the treatment of COVID-19 patients and others with immune and respiratory illnesses. We can help you ensure your facility is supporting a safe environment for vulnerable patients and essential staff. Contact us to review your pest management practices to ensure that hazardous pesticides are not exacerbating patients’ treatment and unnecessarily depressing immune systems.
At no cost, we'll review your vendor's log and let you know if any use of pesticides may be increasing impacts to patients and suggest safer effective alternatives.

Our mission is to serve your health care facility, pro bono.
Contact us to learn more.
The IPM in Health Care Facilities Project would like to spotlight your facility’s successful IPM practices and current disinfectant strategies in our next newsletter. And we are here to help you with your IPM program. Just contact us for input on challenging pest or weed problems or to review your vendor’s logbook entries to ensure your IPM policy is being adhered to with least-toxic pesticides that are used only as a last resort

Share your top Spring / Summer pest prevention strategies or simply recognize an IPM team leader!
Contact Ruth Berlin, berlin@mdpestnet.org or 410.849.3909 ext. 1
by May 1st to be included.