As Iowans recover from the 2008 flood, a collaborative effort between the University Hygienic Laboratory (UHL) and the University of Iowa College of Public Health (CPH) is helping inform Iowans of the serious public health risks associated with flood cleanup.
"From a public health standpoint, the flood cleanup phase is a very dangerous and serious situation," said James Merchant, dean of the UI College of Public Health. "During this time, there needs to be an emphasis on adequate protection and awareness of public health hazards."
"The flood of 2008 left many Iowans with the daunting job of cleanup and rebuilding their homes," said Christopher Atchison, UHL director. "Our goal in providing this flood-related information is to help guide people through the public health risks they might face as they work."
Planned future topics for the site include preparedness for future storms, tracking the rate of illness following a flood, and mould cleanup.
Established in 1999, the UI College of Public Health is one of 40 accredited schools of public health in the United States and the only such school in Iowa. The college offers the Master of Health Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with multiple majors and focus areas, as well as combined degree programs with the UI Colleges of Business, Law, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy — and Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
The University Hygienic Laboratory is part of the University of Iowa and is the state of Iowa’s environmental and public health laboratory. The UHL is the designated laboratory for the Iowa Neonatal Metabolic Screening Program, with facilities located on the Oakdale Campus in Iowa City and at the Iowa Lab Facilities in Ankeny, a Des Moines suburb. Among its many services, the laboratory functions as a consultative and analytical support facility for state agencies, health professionals and citizens. 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.
(Source: University of Iowa College of Public Health: July 2008)