March 2000

EDITORIAL

20th Century Health Achievements

The Center for Disease Control has announced what they believe to be the "Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century".  They are as follows:

    * Immunizations
    * Motor Vehicle Safety
    * Workplace Safety
    * Control of Infectious Diseases
    * Declines in Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke
    * Safer and Healthier Foods
    * Healthier Mothers and Babies
    * Family Planning
    * Fluoridation of Drinking Water
    * Tobacco as a Health Hazard
    * Future Directions of Public Health

For more information on these subjects visit the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov

Campus Safety Committee 1999-2000

The Creighton University Campus Safety Committee serves in advisory capacity to the President and member ship i sby appointment by the President.  The committee is responsible for for review of campus safety issues and complies with State of Nebraska LB 757 and all applicable federal requirements.   The committee, which is represented by management and non-management personnel, meets on a quarterly basis and minutes are published and availiable for public review.

Embalmer gets TB

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to recommend that funeral home workers take the same precautions as medical workers to prevent transmission of disease.

An embalmer contracted tuberculosis from the corpse of a 35-year-old man who had AIDS  as well as TB.   DNA fingerprinting determined that the embalmer's TB did come from the dead man.

The embalmer was treated with antibiotics for six months and is now tuberculosis-free.

 

Visual Ergonomics

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to recommend that funeral home workers take the same precautions as medical workers to prevent transmission of disease.

An embalmer contracted tuberculosis from the corpse of a 35-year-old man who had AIDS  as well as TB.   DNA fingerprinting determined that the embalmer's TB did come from the dead man.

The embalmer was treated with antibiotics for six months and is now tuberculosis-free.For many, computers have become an essential part of their job.  Along with the many enhancements that computers bring to the workplace there are also some concerns.

A number of workers indicate vision problems when working with Video Display Terminals (VDT's).  These problems are generally a combination of individual vision problems and poor visual  ergonomic.   Problems generally occur whenever the visual demands of he task exceed the individual's visual abilities.  The most common problem of computer users is that their normal prescription lens  not properly correct the vision for CDT's.   Generally, the VDT is farther away than the usual reading distance for which the glasses were prescribed.  Bifocals have a different viewing angle than the VDT screen.  Sometimes causing neck or back strain from assuming an awkward posture to compensate.

If you are having these types of symptoms, you should consider an eye examination for the correct adjustment.   Proper lenses designed for VDT use can improve quality and efficiency by up to 82%.

Child Restraints for 4-8 year olds

According to  government research, children in the 4-8 year old age range face a higher risk of dying in car accidents because of non-usage of seatbelts.  According to  a study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 500 children in this age group die annually in car wrecks.  From 1994 to 1998, 14,411 children in this age group were involved infatal wrecks; 2,549 of them died.  The report slo indicated that more than two thirds of the children killed were not wearing a safety restraint, and fewere than half were in the back seat.

Public service announcements stressing the importance of child safety seats have saved lives of many younger children but many parents do not realize that according to the CDC,  children must be 58 inches tall and weigh 80 pounds before they can fit into an adult seat belt.  The CDC has found that most states have child-restraint laws but do not require booster seats or safety measures for children in the 4-8 year-old age group.  Only 12 states prohibit the use of of adult seats for children and 19 states allow children to ride in the back seat without a restraint.  All children-including infants- should ride restrained in the back seat.

 

Nebraska Occupational Fatalities - FY 1999

TOTAL 61
October 1, 1998 through September 30, 1999

 

Transportation Accidents - 24

    8 -  Single Vehicle
    12 - Vehicle/Vehicle (1 accident killed 2, and a pro race car driver was killed during a race)
    1 -   Airplane Crash
    1 -  Vehicle/Train
    2 - Train Pedestrian (both victims worked in the train yard)

 

Crushed by Machine/Vehicle - 7

    3 - Vehicle (Working under vehicle)     2 - Crane
    1 -  Skid Steer Loader                                 1 - Crushed by robotic platform on automatic box moving equipment

 

Suffocation - 5 (All in grain)

 

Vehicle Overturns (other than transportation accidents) - 4

    2 - Tractor Overturns                            1 - Combine
    1 - Payloader

 

Run Over By - 3

    1 - Combine                                           1 - Semi (run over by own truck)
    1 - Dumptruck (Bulldozer pushed dump truck forward while victim   was working under it)

 

Falls - 3

    1 - Fell while painting water tower        1 - Fell from roof
    1 - Fell while dismantling paper baler

 

Homicide - 3 ( 2 shoot and 1 suffocated by another individual)

 

Suicide -  3 (2 Carbon Monoxide, 1 burned)

Struck by object  - 3 (1 struck  by a cable that snapped on a rail car, 1 struck by large tank and 1 struck by hay bale)

 

Trench Cave-In - 2

Electrocution - (Touched by live wire)

Animal - 1 (Fell from horse then victim was stepped on by horse)

Gunshot - 1 (Accidentally shot during training)

Burned - (Oil vapor ignited)

NOTE:    24 (39%) of the 61 fatalities were transportation accidents
                21 (34%) of the 61 fatalities were agriculture related

Cladasporium

Cladosporium is the most frequently found genus of fungi in outdoor air in temperate climates.  The conida, borne in very fragile chains, easily become airborne and transported over long distances.  The natural high season for outdoor air concentrations is typically late summer and autumn and low season is typically winter and early spring.  It has been isolated from many different types of soil and is a major colonizer of plant litter.  Th enzymes of Cladosporium are especially suited for breaking down cellulose, pectin and lignin, which are the major components of plant litter.  IT is found indoors a swell, but usually in less numbers, unless there is an indoor source of contamination.

Indoors this fungus is often encountered in dirty refrigerators, especially in reservoirs where condensation is collected, and on moist window frames as a result of condensation.  Cladosporium often discolors interior paint, paper, or textiles stored under humid conditions.  houses with   poor ventilation and houses located in damp environments may have heavy concentrations of Cladosprium.

Due to its ability to rapidly invade many different ecological niches, Cladosporium is ubiquitous and therefore sometimes problematic.  The ability to sporulate heavily, ease of dispersal, and buoyant spores makes this fungus an important fungal allergen, and together with Alternaria, commonly causes asthma and hay fever in the western hemisphere.   A few species of this genus are capable of causing disease, mostly in patients with underlying debilitating illness.  They-re no specific secondary metabolites or mycotoxins known to be produced by species of Cladosporium.  Effective sampling methods for Cladosporium include impactor sampling (Aerotech 6/AndersonN6), swab or bulk sampling, and air-o-cell cassette (spore trap) sampling.  Cultivation is generally best achieved using general mycological media such as potato dextrose agar or malt extract agar.  Optimal growth temperature is 18 to 28 degrees Celsius, but growth can occur as low as -6 degrees Celsius.