RAMP Digest – April 3
California Breathing, a program in the California Department of Public Health, is inviting asthma coalitions and other educational and advocacy organizations to nominate K – 12 California schools for the AIR Health Awards, a recognition program designed to acknowledge the successful efforts individual schools have made to create healthy, asthma-friendly environments for students and school personnel. The award includes a monetary prize of $500 to $1000. The nomination deadline is noon on April 13th. For more information, visit //tinyurl.com/43p45s or contact Scott Kessler at 510-620-3643 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a study published in the on-line edition of the journal Environmental Health, researchers examined cleaning product ingredients of concern with respect to respiratory and skin irritation and sensitization and also assessed the potential for inhalation and dermal exposures to these ingredients during common cleaning tasks. Ingredients of concern were prioritized in cleaning products commonly used in several hospitals in Massachusetts and potential for exposure in the workplace was also assessed. The results showed that cleaning products used for common cleaning tasks were mixtures of many chemicals, including respiratory and dermal irritants and sensitizers. Cleaning workers are at risk of acute and chronic inhalation exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOC) vapors and aerosols generated from product spraying and are also at risk for dermal exposures. To view the abstract of this study, visit //www.ehjournal.net/content/8/1/11.
In a study published in the March edition of the Journal of Environmental Health researchers determined the percentages of people who report adverse effects from exposure to fragranced products in the U.S. population and in subpopulations of those with asthma or chemical sensitivity. Data was collected through telephone interviews from two random samples of the continental U.S. in two surveys during two different time periods. Results aggregated from both surveys found that 30.5% of the general population reported scented products on others irritating, 19% reported adverse health effects from air fresheners, and 10.9% reported irritation by scented laundry products vented outside. This study reveals that a considerable percentage of the U.S. population reports adverse health effects or irritation from fragranced products, with higher percentages among those with asthma and chemical sensitivity. To view the abstract of this study, visit //tinyurl.com/c99pxa.
The National Environmental Education Foundation now has environmental health tools and resources available in Spanish for health care professionals serving the Hispanic community. The tools include “Environmental Management of Pediatric Asthma: Guidelines for Health Care Providers” which is designed to help pediatric primary care providers advise families about environmental interventions to help reduce or eliminate asthma triggers. This resource can be found at //www.neefusa.org/health/asthma/asthmaguidelines.htm. Also available in Spanish are the Pediatric Environmental History Forms, a five-minute, one-page questionnaire administered by primary health care providers to capture most of the common environmental exposures to children and a follow-up survey to assess more information on specific types of exposures. This resource can be found at //www.neefusa.org/health/PEHI/HistoryForm.htm. Additional resources include Spanish-language online presentations and supplemental resources for clinicians on environmental history taking and controlling environmental triggers of asthma and these can be accessed at //www.neefusa.org/health/asthma/recursos.htm.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), California Chapter is hosting their Spring Luncheon on May 21st in Los Angeles. At the Luncheon, titled “A Breath of Fresh Air”, S. David Freeman, President of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners will be honored as a recipient of AAFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. For more information, call 1-800-624-0044 or visit //www.aafa-ca.org/.