Aug 03

Remote work benefits air quality, employers and employees

Posted on August 3, 2020 at 8:47 pm by Clay Curtin

During the shelter-in-place, many Bay Area companies implemented work from home policies and procedures. As a result, air quality has dramatically improved!

To keep air quality moving in the right direction, the Air District has launched the Spare the Air Cut the Commute Pledge to encourage employers to commit to extending commute-free options after COVID-19 restrictions are eased or lifted by at least 25 percent for employees whose work requirements allow for that flexibility. In addition to greatly reducing air pollution, implementing a new program or continuing to offer an existing remote work program at your workplace has many other benefits.

Together, it is possible to have a large impact on creating cleaner and healthier air quality in the Bay Area. Learn more about Spare the Air Alerts and take the pledge at, or to sign up for text alerts, text the word “START” to the number 817-57.

Aug 03

FDA warns about dangerous alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol

Posted on August 3, 2020 at 8:36 pm by Clay Curtin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to warn consumers and health care professionals not to use certain alcohol-based hand sanitizers due to the dangerous presence of methanol, or wood alcohol – a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin as well as life-threatening when ingested. The agency has also taken additional action to help prevent certain hand sanitizers from entering the United States by placing them on an import alert. The FDA is proactively working with manufacturers to recall products and is encouraging retailers to remove products from store shelves and online marketplaces.

The FDA has posted a do-not-use list of dangerous hand sanitizer products, which is being updated regularly. In most cases, methanol does not appear on the product label. However, methanol is not an acceptable ingredient in any drug, including hand sanitizer, even if methanol is listed as an ingredient on the product label. The FDA’s ongoing testing has found methanol contamination in hand sanitizer products ranging from 1 to 80 percent.

Importantly, the FDA is urging consumers not to use any hand sanitizer products from the particular manufacturers on the list even if the product or particular lot number are not listed since some manufacturers are recalling only certain – but not all – of their hand sanitizer products.

When identifying hand sanitizers from the FDA’s do-not-use list, consumers should look for one or more identifiers from the list that match the product’s labeling, including:
  • Manufacturer name
  • Product name
  • National Drug Code (NDC) number
If any of the identifiers (name, company or NDC) match a product on the list, the FDA urges consumers to immediately stop using the hand sanitizer. Dispose of the hand sanitizer bottle in a hazardous waste container, if available, or dispose of as recommended by local waste management and recycling centers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain or mix with other liquids.

Visit the FDA's Q&A for Consumers: Hand Sanitizer and COVID-19 for more information.

Aug 03

Keeping a safe distance during COVID-19

Posted on August 3, 2020 at 12:47 pm by Clay Curtin

Families are gradually returning to some of the activities that paused when the COVID-19 pandemic began. With the virus still spreading, however, it is important for everyone to continue social distancing. Social distancing means keeping physical space between yourself and other people outside your household. It is a vital step in helping to slow the spread of this virus. 

What are social distancing measures?
Social distancing measures reduce when and where people gather and help to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and canceling events. When in public spaces it is important to stay 6 feet away from other people.

We can apply social distancing practices in our everyday lives to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Consider the following tips for practicing social distancing when you decide to go out.
  • Know before you go: Before going out, know and follow the guidance from local public health authorities where you live.
  • Prepare for Transportation: Consider social distancing options to travel safely when running errands or commuting to and from work, whether walking, bicycling, wheelchair rolling,or using public transit, rideshares or taxis. 
  • Limit contact when running errands: Stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household while shopping and in lines. If possible, use drive-thru, curbside pickup, or delivery services to limit face-to-face contact with others. Maintain physical distance between yourself and delivery service providers during exchanges and wear a mask.
  • Choose safe social activities
  • Stay distanced while being active: Consider going for a walk, bike ride or wheelchair roll in your neighborhood or in another safe location where you can maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other pedestrians and cyclists.