Medieval Cures and Hospital Superbugs: A Potent Solution?

Medieval Cures and Hospital Superbugs: A Potent Solution?Antibiotic resistance. Over the last few years, the term has been popping up more and more frequently in healthcare news stories; hospitals especially are finding it difficult to fight back against new “superbugs” and drug-resistant bacteria infecting their operating rooms and equipment.

Now, researchers at the University of Nottingham and Texas Tech University may have uncovered a medieval cure to this modern malady. Is this the new superweapon in the fight against evolving hospital bacteria?

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Good Eats? Nearly Half of Restaurant Kitchens Have “Critical Violations”

Good Eats? Nearly Half of Restaurant Kitchens Have “Critical Violations”Tasty or terrifying? If you’re eating in Delaware, there’s a 46 percent chance that you’ve ended up in a restaurant with at least one “critical violation,” according to Delmarva Now. These violations include everything from cutting boards kept on the floor to food stored at unsafe temperatures and dishwashers run without sanitizer. The state is now introducing new regulations to combat these issues, but what’s the real danger for diners?

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Ebola Control: Containing the Contagion

Ebola Control: Containing the ContagionAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of Ebola cases in West Africa will surpass 9000, while mortality rates surge above 70 percent. Closer-to-home cases are few and far between but of increasing concern to government authorities, prompting the creation of rapid-response teams that can be at any hospital site in the country within hours. This outside assistance is only activated once Ebola-like symptoms have been identified, however — how can healthcare agencies help limit exposure and control infection day-to-day?

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When Groundwater Goes Bad: How to Clear Leachate Systems

When Groundwater Goes Bad: How to Clear Leachate SystemsIn Pennsylvania, the Keystone Sanitary Landfill is coming under fire for contaminating groundwater. A recent set of tests performed by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) found “increasing concentrations of ammonia-nitrogen, chloride, nitrate, sodium, and total dissolved solids in one of the landfill’s groundwater monitoring wells,” according to the Times-Tribune. These rising levels indicate that the Landfill’s leachate treatment system isn’t working properly — and this isn’t a one-time issue.

Over the last dozen years, Keystone has faced leachate challenges, a familiar problem for similar facilities across the country. With landfills already under heightened scrutiny and increasing public concern over accidental contamination, what’s the best way to plug holes and stop leaks?

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Moldy Oldies – Time for Immediate Remediation?

When the New Paltz, NY planning and zoning secretary went into the basement of the town hall she expected to return with a handful of old records. Instead, a massive colony of black mold sent her running back upstairs with a constricted throat and red eyes.

iStock_000011868916SmallNow town officials are trying to decide if it’s worth remediating the facility or if it’s time for total destruction. But could this problem have been avoided?

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Going Green? Your Restroom Cleaning Plan

Think your restroom is clean? Think again. Public and commercial bathrooms contain “too many bacteria to count.”

public toiletThat’s the designation applied when there are more than 250 colony-forming units per millimeter – in the case of high-traffic restrooms, the number approaches 1000. Yuck.

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Cheap Natural Gas Fires Up Cogeneration Plant Proponents

In 2006, Koda Energy inked a deal with Minnesota company Rahr Malting Co. to build a power plant that not only generates electricity but captures waste heat created during the process and puts it to use.

iStock_000039111840SmallThese “cogeneration” plants aim for both environmental stewardship and fuel savings, which fluctuate with the price of natural gas.

When the plant got the green light, for example, the price of natural gas was $13 per one million BTU. By 2012, it bottomed out at $2. Is cheap natural gas the start of a slow decline for cogeneration?

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Descaling in Vessels for Effective Heat Transfer

It’s been a few years since we addressed this topic head-on, which is why we feel it’s necessary to revisit the importance of descaling in ships.

iStock_000006249147SmallShips contain a number of heat exchangers, serving many of the same purposes as HVAC system, refrigeration systems and fresh water systems, to name a few.

When water scale develops on a heat transfer surface, heat transfer is greatly affected, reducing equipment efficiency and increasing energy consumption, which increases operating costs.

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Calif. Building Explosion Underscores Need for Explosion-Proof Vacuum

Recently, 11 people were hurt in an explosion and fire in a metal-polishing shop in the Los Angeles area. Two of the 11 were critically injured, with third-degree burns covering 90% of their bodies, according to the Associated Press. Most of the victims suffered smoke inhalation.

iStock_000022063722SmallThe accident occurred at Gorilla’s Polishing Corp. located in La Habra, California. The resulting fire took about 40 minutes to extinguish, with 50 firefighters working to knock down the flames.

A preliminary investigation revealed the explosion was purportedly caused by dust and lint buildup in a duct system, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Scott Miller.

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HEPA Filters: Why They Matter

The fact is: HEPA filters matter. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are used for a number of reasons including to control allergens and microbes in hospitals and laboratories, in sensitive manufacturing facilities and in facilities that need to be protected from agents of bioterrorism.

Busy doctors prepering surgeryFor a filter to carry the name “HEPA” it must meet certain guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Energy. The most basic guideline for a filter to qualify as a HEPA filter is that it must remove 99.97% of all contaminants from the air that are at least .3 microns in diameter.

A micron is 1 millionth of a meter. To give you an idea just how small a micron is, consider that a human hair is about 100 microns wide. A tobacco smoke particle is usually between .01 to 1 micron, and most bacteria particles fall in the .35 to 10 micron range.

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