November 26, 2012

Who Is Your 2013 Healthy Schools Hero?
Please post. Please forward

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ellie Goldberg, M.Ed., 
Attn:  Science educators, STEM advocates, professionals in public health, school health, environmental health, facilities management, IAQ, IPM, health and safety, lab safety, school security, emergency and risk management, asthma educators, first responders, school administrators, nurses, advocates, parents and students.

Do you know someone whose sense of responsibility, inspirational leadership, and exemplary persistence and courage protects children from school hazards and unhealthy school conditions?

Send your hero's name, email/phone #,
and your hero's story by February 10, 2013
to Ellie Goldberg at
Lessons Learned. Lives Saved.  

The Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Hero Award was created as an annual opportunity to tell the story of the 1937 Texas School Explosion and to inspire leadership and partnerships to protect children from the chemical hazards and unhealthy conditions in today's schools. (HEROES 2012 - 2004)

March 18, 2013 is the 76th anniversary of the 1937 Texas School Explosion.  The 1937 Texas School Explosion was the worst school disaster in American history. It was a gas explosion that killed more than 300 people, mostly students, just minutes before the end of the day in their new state-of-the-art public school. No expense had been spared except when it came to safety.

The story of the 1937 Texas School Explosion needs to be part of our national legacy because the decision-making that led to the 1937 explosion is the same type of decision-making in too many schools today.  The story can inspire us to break the silence about school hazards and to prioritize the values and technical skills we need to live safely with 21st century chemicals and technology.
Send your 2013 hero's name, contact information, and your hero's story by February 10, 2013 to Ellie Goldberg at
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Photo (E. Goldberg,2005): Cenotaph Commemorates Memory of Those Who Died in School Blast March 18, 1937

November 24, 2012

When Washing Rags Creates Toxic Emissions

Mechanic Ray Duran changes oil in a car at a Shell station in Los Angeles in 2011. (Reed Saxon/AP)
Shop towels, which are used to wipe up oil, solvents and chemicals, can release toxic chemicals into the air when laundered – but they’re largely unregulated.

Science journalist Barbara Moran, who wrote about the issue in The Hartford Courant, told Here & Now that environmental regulators admitted to her they had missed this problem of solvents from industrial rags and shop towels in industrial laundries.   

"Inspectors were amazed at the fumes."
"I'm taking an organic chemistry class. and we use a lot of these chemicals in the lab and we wear goggles and gloves and work under a fume hood and often people get sick anyway and have to leave lab and get some air….Barbara Moran.

November 23, 2012

Laboratory Safety
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Specialized Information Services(SIS) recently released a new Enviro-Health Links page, “Laboratory Safety” ( which offers links to information for clinical, academic and school laboratories, including resources for handling chemical, biological and nanotechnology safely.

Also included are links to regulations and policy, hazard analysis, MSDS, waste management, and pre-formulated TOXNET and PubMed searches


Creating Safety Cultures in Academic Institutions: A Report of the Safety Culture Task Force of the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety, 2012 (PDF, 1.3 MB)  Committee on Chemical Safety, American Chemical Society