Safer Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfection in Child Care Facilities and Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 30, 2020
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Many products sold for cleaning and disinfecting pose health risks, especially for young children and pregnant workers. In this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are using more disinfectant products than previously to prevent the spread of the virus. During this webinar, Drs. Stephanie Holm and Victoria Leonard addressed how to more safely choose and use cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting products and practices for child care facilities and schools in this time of COVID-19. The speakers also described the differences between these different activities and how to know where and how often each should be done.

Featured Speakers

Stephanie Holm, MD, is Co-Director of the Western States PEHSU. Dr. Holm received her medical degree in 2011 from the University of Pittsburgh. She is board certified in both pediatrics and occupational/environmental medicine (trained at Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland and University of California San Francisco, respectively). She also completed a year of pediatric pulmonary training at Oakland before leaving to further pursue her interests in pediatric research and pediatric environmental medicine. She was the PI on THE AQUA study, a dual cohort study of asthmatic children with and without cigarette exposure, which measured particulate matter levels in children’s home environments in order to correlate these with features and behaviors of the household and its occupants. As part of her work with the Region 9 PEHSU, she reviewed literature relevant to disinfectant use and toxicities in early care and education environments. Dr. Holm completed an MPH in epidemiology at UC Berkeley in 2017 and is currently pursuing a PhD in epidemiology while continuing her research activities.

Vickie Leonard, RN, FNP, PhD has been working as a Child Care Health Consultant for the past seven years, first as a nurse at the California Childcare Health Program, UCSF School of Nursing, then  at the UCSF Institute for Health & Aging. Dr. Leonard was the principle author of the California Department of Education, Child Development Division’s Preschool Learning Foundations in Health and Physical Development (Volume 2, released in 2011). While at CCHP, she developed an interest in environmental health in early care and education. She was the principle author of Integrated Pest Management: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education Programs, developed through a grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. She worked with Dr. Asa Bradman on a Department of Pesticide Regulation-funded survey of pesticide use in California Child Care Centers, and was the PI  on a second Toolkit: Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education. She worked on a project to develop a continuing education module on The Healthy Schools Act  for for pest management professionals working in child care programs and schools, the hazards of pesticides for children and child care and school staff, and the use of IPM in childcare centers and schools. She has presented to audiences of child care providers, directors, EPA staff and administrators on health hazards associated with environmental exposures as well as IPM and green cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.  Vickie heads up the PEHSU’s Environmental Health in Early Care and Education Project.

This webinar was moderated by Karen Wang, PhD, director of CHE. It lasted for 60 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive.