Environmental Health/Safety

Re-entering Vacated Buildings:
The Health Protection Office is available to consult with faculty, staff and students regarding biological safety, chemical safety, radiation safety, occupational safety, select environmental programs (waste management) and other issues in the aftermath of the flood and will also work with faculty and staff with regard to procedures needed to re-enter flood damaged facilities once the time table for recovery efforts is established by university leaders.    

Key contact: Jim Walker, Director, Health Protection Office, 319-335-9546

The University Hygienic Lab (UHL) is the state’s public health and environmental laboratory.    The UHL performs analyses on samples from virtually all matrices, including human clinical specimens, air, drinking water, wastewater, soil, sediment, industrial effluents, oil and fish.  The UHL is an Environmental Protection Agency-certified laboratory for the testing of drinking water as mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act.  UHL works with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to provide real-time air quality monitoring and monitoring of Iowa’s rivers and lakes.  Iowa has a strong public health surveillance network to ensure detection and quick remediation of possible flood-related illnesses.  The UHL, Iowa State University and the Iowa Department of Public Health have an ongoing, statewide arbovirus surveillance program. 

Key contact:  Christopher Atchison, Director, University Hygienic Lab, 319-335-4500.

Hygienic Lab Offers Tips on Assessing Floodwater Health Risks:

Nancy Hall, a microbiologist with the University Hygienic Laboratory on the University of Iowa Campus, provided information about the health risks that may lurk in floodwaters in a recent interview with KXIC radio. A transcript of the interview is available here. An audio file (mp3) of the interview is available here.



















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