In July 2003, the authors investigated an outbreak of Shigella sonnei infections in Marion County, Oregon. Nineteen confirmed and 37 presumptive cases, mostly young children, were identified. A case-control study implicated play in an interactive fountain in a city park (matched odds ratio undefined; p < .002). The association was confirmed by a cohort study among local schoolchildren (RR [relative risk] = 12.6, p < .001) that allowed us to estimate that >500 persons became ill. Fountain design flaws and inadequate maintenance set the stage for the outbreak. In 2007, the authors surveyed state health departments to assess rules and regulations governing interactive fountains. Thirty of 48 states responding (62%) reported public health regulation of fountains; standards and enforcement capacity varied. Regulation is a relatively new phenomenon; only 13 states (27%) had rules before 2000. A lack of enforceable design and maintenance standards increases the risk of enteric disease transmission at these increasingly popular venues.
New California Regulations Pose Challenges and Potential Economic Benefits for Industrial Facilities
States like California are well on their way to implementing laws, rules, and regulations that call for more community ambient air quality monitoring and greater transparency from the chemical industry. For instance, California Assembly Bill 617, signed into law this July, establishes a statewide air monitoring network and calls for greater community air quality monitoring in and around chemical facilities. At the same time Assembly Bill 1647, signed into law earlier this month, directs local air pollution...
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma highlight need for regulating developments
There’s a lingering image of the American Frontier where a calm breeze blows through endless prairies of tall grass, and “the skies are not cloudy all day.”As the prairies become more populated, they get paved over to make way for roads and westward expansion.The tall grass that once ran 14 feet deep is replaced with impermeable asphalt, and the calm quiet is replaced with bustling cities.On days where the blue skies are replaced with rain, the water has nowhere to go but over the impenetrable...
EC Publishes NanoData Landscape Compilation Reports
On June 8, 2017, the European Commission (EC) published eight NanoData Landscape Compilation reports. The EC states that the reports offer a snapshot of the environment for nanotechnology in different application fields: NanoData Landscape Compilation: Health: This report offers a snapshot of the status of the environment for nanotechnology in the context of health. Analysis of that environment, trends in the data, and the effects of European policies and actions on health nanotechnology will be reported in...
New York Legionella regulations: are they missing the boat?
AbstractA large outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx in 2015 prompted NYC to enact law and NYS to propose emergency regulations on the registration and maintenance of cooling towers. This paper describes the fundamental characteristics of point sourced vs. potable water sourced outbreaks and discusses the Bronx outbreak from those perspectives. Ultimately a case is made that these new regulations will not have a measurable impact on reducing the incidence of Legionellosis. Rather, more detailed...
Report documents effects of 40 years of groundwater withdrawal
The cumulative effects of 40 years of groundwater withdrawals in the Houston-Galveston region are documented in a report from the United States Geological Survey. Decades of extensive withdrawals have caused the land to sink, or subside.The Houston-Galveston region is one of the largest areas of land surface subsidence in the U.S., according to the agency. Water withdrawals started as early as 1836, but routine, precise data gathering in the region began in the 1970s. The information has been used to inform water...