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Bugs and Bacteria Environmental Science with Y10’s

Today Wednesday 16th October saw 55 Y10 students studying science and food sat in for a talk with Dr Dan Appasamy Lecturer and course lead for Environmental Health at University of Wolverhampton.

Students learned that the course at the university is accredited by the Chartered institute of Environmental Health CIEH) Dr Dan told them that the protection of public health is the key principle of the work of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP).

This could be investigating a food poisoning outbreak, fly tipping, noise problems, housing issues and contamination of the environment. They are even involved in the exhumation of bodies from cemeteries. This bought a murmur of gross from some of the students. There were similar reactions to the domestic cockroaches he took around the classroom to give students an up-close view of the type of things lurking in homes and food environments.

Dr Dan spoke of something close to everyone’s hearts the good old take-away. He advised that students should not reheat any left over rice, as this is one of the main causes of food poisoning.

To show them how bacteria clings to surfaces, students were given a Glitter Bug gel to rub over their hands, they were then asked to wash their hands. Once this was done, Dr Dan went round with his UV light, he played the beam of the UV light over their hands to show which of the hands still showed traces of the gel. This indicated that the hand washing had not been fully effective. Using items from both staff and students he tested 2 mobile phones a pencil case and a water bottle. One of the phones and the water bottle gave out readings of 143 and 122 respectively, showing that they really needed to be cleaned more often Dr Dan said we should all be wiping down some of the items we use with an anti bac wipe at least once a week. Other surfaces we should be wary of include keyboards, TV remotes, steering wheels and keys.

So the rule is, if you can wash it using hot soapy water do so, if it cannot be washed make sure it is wiped over with anti bac spray at least once a week.

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