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November , 2008

eligible events varies among states according to their reporting resources, state and local laws, and capacity to follow up on events. As such, some states might capture more events that are less severe (i.e., events that do not result in serious injury or evacuation) than others. Finally, other factors might result in underreporting of school chemical incidents.

CDC’s School Health Policies and Programs Study 2006 found that most school districts in the United States had policies on how to use (81%), label (85%), store (88%), and dispose of (87%) hazardous materials (7). An even greater per- centage of schools nationwide had plans on how to use (92%), label (90%), store (93%), and dispose of (93%) hazardous materials, and 78% of schools kept an inventory of hazardous materials (7). However, to support those policies and plans, school districts and schools need resources to ensure proper chemical management. For example, school districts need assistance in building their capacity to systematically inventor , remove, and manage potentially dangerous chemicals.

To reduce chemical misuse and improve chemical man- agement in schools, the Environmental Protection Agency developed the Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign and Prevention Program (SC3), a national strategy that incorpo- rates models, tools, and guidance from pilot programs, along with building a national network of community partners to assist schools.§ Using this program, government agencies, private companies, and community leaders can work with schools to 1) increase awareness about the risks associated with chemicals in schools; 2) facilitate the removal of outdated, unknown, unneeded, and potentially dangerous chemicals; 3) prepare teachers and schools to use less dangerous chemicals and in smaller quantities where appropriate; and 4) provide inventory tools and information to better manage chemicals that cause safety and health concerns in schools.

§ Additional information available at http://www.epa.gov/sc3. References

  • 1.

    Audi J, Gellar RJ. Chemical exposure in and out of the classroom. In: Frumkin H, Geller R, Rubin IL, eds. Safe and healthy school environments. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2006:189–204.

  • 2.

    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance system. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hs/ hsees.

  • 3.

    CDC. Homemade chemical bomb events and resulting injuries—selected states, January 1996–March 2003. MMWR 2003;52:662–4.

  • 4.

    Berkowitz Z, Haugh GS, Orr MF, Kaye WE. Releases of hazardous substances in schools: data from Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance system, 1993–1998. J Environ Health 2002;65:20–7.

  • 5.

    US Environmental Protection Agency. State mercury school programs: state legislation and regulations. Available at http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/ hazard/tsd/mercury/laws.htm.

  • 6.

    Associated Press. Mercury spill causes scare but no danger at Fallon school. Nevada Appeal. February 26, 2008. Available at http://www.nevadaappeal. com/article/20080227/region/298489457.

7. Everett Jones S, Axelrad R, Wattigney WA. Healthy and safe school environment, part II, physical school environment: results from the School Health Policies and Programs Study 2006. J Sch Health 2007;77: 544–56.

Update: Recall of Dry Dog and Cat Food Products Associated with Human Salmonella Schwarzengrund Infections — United States, 2008

On May 16, 2008, CDC reported on a 2006–2007 multi- state outbreak of infection with Salmonella enterica serotype Schwarzengrund that was associated with dry dog food (1). At the time of that report, a total of 70 cases had been reported from 19 states, with the last case identified on October 1, 2007. Subsequently, an additional case was identified on December 29, 2007. Epidemiologic and environmental investigations have suggested the source of the outbreak was dry pet food produced by one manufacturer, Mars Petcare US. ๎œis report updates the previous CDC report, provides additional epide- miologic findings, and describes additional actions taken by public health agencies and the manufacturer. In 2008, eight more cases have been reported, bringing the total number of cases in the outbreak to 79. On September 12, 2008, the company announced a nationwide voluntary recall of all dry dog and cat food products produced during a 5-month period at one Pennsylvania plant.* Dry pet food has a 1-year shelf life. Contaminated products identified in recalls might still be in the homes of purchasers and could cause illness. Persons who have these products should not use them to feed their pets but should discard them or return them to the store.

During 2006–2007, CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and multiple state health depart- ments investigated reports to PulseNetof persons infected with a strain of S. Schwarzengrund with an indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern.§ A case was defined as a laboratory-confirmed infection with the out- break strain of S. Schwarzengrund in a person residing in the United States who either had symptoms beginning on or after January 1, 2006, or (if the symptom onset date was unknown) had S. Schwarzengrund isolated from a specimen on or after January 1, 2006. Investigators initially identified 70 cases, mostly in children. As a result of these findings, on August 21, 2007, Mars Petcare US (referred to as manufacturer A in

*๎œe list of recalled products is available at http://petcare.mars.com/othernews releases.html. ๎œe national molecular subtyping network for foodborne disease surveillance. XbaI pattern JM6X01.0015. §

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