The WVU School of Public Health Department of Biostatics will kick off its monthly seminar series with a presentation by M. Abbas Virji, MSc, ScD, CIH, FAIHA. Virji is a research industrial hygienist in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Respiratory Health Division.
The presentation will take place Wednesday, September 18, from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Health Sciences Center room 3301 and is titled “Studying the Effects of Cleaning and Disinfection of Environmental Surfaces on Work Related Asthma and Infection Control.”
In healthcare, cleaning and disinfection is critical for maintaining infection control and the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. At the same time, healthcare workers have a higher risk of asthma and respiratory symptoms related to the use of cleaning and disinfection products. These asthma symptoms are associated with the use of most major classes of cleaning and disinfecting products, e.g., bleach, quaternary ammonium compounds, but the specific chemical exposures and the levels at which they pose a risk for respiratory health outcomes remain unknown. Cleaning products are complex mixtures of chemicals, some of which may be irritants and sensitizers. Understanding the efficacy of disinfection and the chemical exposure levels at which adverse respiratory effects occur during the use of cleaning and disinfecting chemicals is of utmost importance, as it allows for the identification and prioritization of interventions to reduce specific chemical exposures while maintaining infection control. In this seminar, Virji will explore a series of completed, ongoing and planned studies conducted by NIOSH to tackle the challenge of understanding the causes of WRA and balancing the needs of asthma prevention with those of maintaining an effective infection control program.
CONTACT: Nikky Luna
WVU School of Public Health