Breakthrough research on protective wear could keep firefighters safe

Research has found that the sulphur content in some high-performance fabrics weakens them when exposed to moisture

Breakthrough research on protective wear could keep firefighters safeResearchers have solved the mystery of why a high-performance fabric commonly used in firefighting and other protective garments weakens prematurely when exposed to moisture. The breakthrough helps solve a big safety challenge, says Saiful Hoque, a researcher with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences. “As the garment weakens over time,…

Violence should never be normalized in school

Schools must avoid the equally misguided extremes of zero-tolerance policies and permissive idealism

Violence should never be normalized in schoolSaunders Secondary School in London, Ont., is home to approximately 2,000 students. It’s been in the news a lot lately, but not in a good way. A recent CBC story quoted an anonymous teacher who described Saunders as a “tinderbox of violence” where students regularly challenge teachers to fist fights after school. Over the last six…

Made-in-Alberta sanitizing device kills SARS-CoV-2 virus in 60 seconds

The TESER ACT unit uses UV light to kill viruses and other common pathogens

Made-in-Alberta sanitizing device kills SARS-CoV-2 virus in 60 secondsA new made-in-Alberta sanitization product to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 will soon be in use at the Edmonton International Airport and government offices in Calgary and Edmonton, thanks to a partnership with scientists at the University of Alberta’s Biosafety Level 3 Lab. The TESER ACT unit uses ultraviolet-C light from hundreds of LED light…

Public transit not meeting many Canadian women’s needs: report

Gender-based data needed to help make services more equitable, say authors

Public transit not meeting many Canadian women’s needs: reportThe first report of its kind in Canada to examine how women use public transit suggests their travel needs aren’t always being met by standard planning and service models. “In a lot of transit agencies, women are the majority of riders,” explained Priyanka Babbar, a master’s student in the University of Alberta’s School of Urban and Regional Planning.…

Get emotional about a culture of safety

It’s a dangerous myth to believe there is a trade-off between safety and profitability

Get emotional about a culture of safetyIt was a small terraced house in a northern English city. The young couple did not look old enough to have a son in our apprentice programme. They gave me a cup of tea and I sat down on their sofa. There was no TV, just some chairs, a picture of their son and the…

Why can’t football make brain health a priority?

American society loves football so much it avoids hard discussions about the sport’s safety

Why can’t football make brain health a priority?We found out recently that a bright young man with a big heart and promising future died because of football. Twelve-year National Football League veteran and three-time pro bowler Vincent Jackson, who died at age 38 in February, had stage 2 CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) his family announced on Thursday. CTE is a degenerative brain…

Incontinence can lead to increased risk of falling in older adults

Overactive bladder can distract from balance and stability

Incontinence can lead to increased risk of falling in older adultsA team of University of Alberta researchers focused on aging Albertans has found that urinary incontinence could be a contributing factor in falls among older adults. In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers showed for the first time that the feeling of having to pee acts as a distracting factor that increases the…

Does prescribed opioid use in children lead to later drug misuse?

Calls for rigorous research to determine if short-term medical use in children is safe

Does prescribed opioid use in children lead to later drug misuse?Pediatric researchers are calling for more rigorous research into the possible link between short-term opioid use for pain management in childhood and opioid use disorder later in life. The University of Alberta team reviewed the results of 21 previous studies but found no definitive answer to the question, according to a new study published this week in…

Want to enjoy wildlife? Here’s how to do it safely

Don’t be afraid to enjoy nature – just do it on their terms and with their survival in mind

Want to enjoy wildlife? Here’s how to do it safelyWith COVID-19 an overriding part of our lives, many folks have begun to see and appreciate nature like never before. Whenever we encounter nature, and while our actions may seem harmless, they might be dangerous to wildlife. Wildlife can be negatively impacted by what we do and how we do it. Having studied wildlife most…

University students return to campus for a unique school year

Safe, successful learning are top priority as nearly 36,000 students converge on U of A campus

University students return to campus for a unique school yearThe eagerly anticipated first day of the University of Alberta’s 113th school year will see students welcomed back on campuses for the first time since the pandemic began almost 18 months ago. “I have been looking forward to the arrival of students with great anticipation,” said U of A president Bill Flanagan. “I know many…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Learning to roll with one of this tour’s unexpected twists

"Disappointment" doesn’t describe the feeling of being sidelined after a broken collarbone

ConnecTour Chronicles: Learning to roll with one of this tour’s unexpected twistsTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

Sensor detects when firefighters’ protective clothing is no longer safe

Textiles scientist works with industry to develop a faster, easier way to detect damage from heat, moisture and UV light

Sensor detects when firefighters’ protective clothing is no longer safeFirefighters risk their lives battling blazes, and ageing protective gear can put them at even greater risk. A University of Alberta researcher is working with industry to reduce that risk with a sensor that can detect the gradual breakdown in garments from exposure to heat, moisture and ultraviolet (UV) light. “These fibres age silently and…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Reckless drivers are the scourge of cyclists

I wish dangerous drivers could see the world from a bicycle seat. Perhaps it would make them reconsider their recklessness

ConnecTour Chronicles: Reckless drivers are the scourge of cyclistsTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

Firefighters who fought Fort McMurray wildfire suffer persistent lung damage

With the risk of asthma more than doubling

Firefighters who fought Fort McMurray wildfire suffer persistent lung damageFirefighters at the centre of the battle against the massive Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016 have persistent lung damage, according to new findings published by a University of Alberta occupational health research team. “Those who were dealing with burning organic matter were exposed to a barrage of small particles in the smoke, and the ones with the…

Reviving food service sector key to economic recovery

Living in fear is terrible and restaurants offer a great escape when Canadians can go out again, while taking proper precautions

Reviving food service sector key to economic recoveryAs we inch toward a more normalized economy, the focus will be on how we can make people feel more comfortable about going out and about again. Our economy needs it and our food service sector desperately needs it – but it’s not going to be easy. In a survey conducted in mid-May by the…

Dentists see more fractured teeth during pandemic

Dental offices are safe, says U of A periodontist who urges people not to put off appointments that would prevent problems

Dentists see more fractured teeth during pandemicDental issues such as broken and fractured teeth are on the rise as COVID-19 pandemic stress continues to affect our lives. Dentists at the University of Alberta’s School of Dentistry Oral Health Clinic are warning patients that postponing treatment will only escalate the problem. “It’s a very stressful time, and we are grinding and clenching our teeth…

How to safely – and gainfully – prepare for the end of the pandemic

We'll likely be able to celebrate a more normal December holiday season in 2021. The hard part's getting there

How to safely – and gainfully – prepare for the end of the pandemicWe’ve just marked (I won’t say celebrated) the first anniversary of the pandemic. And we have a long way to go – but we need to stay diligent. A year ago, when it was just starting, most of us expected that the resulting fear, uncertainties and restrictions would be over in a few weeks. As…

Protective masks found to be safe for moderate and heavy exercise

Evidence review shows wearing a mask during exercise doesn’t affect cardiopulmonary function

Protective masks found to be safe for moderate and heavy exerciseA review of evidence by a team of Canadian and U.S.-based researchers shows that for most people, using face masks during moderate to heavy exercise does not affect lung function. The review, published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society, and referenced in guidance issued from the World Health Organization, examined the effects of various face masks and…

It may not be COVID – the air in your home could make you sick

A professional can test for radon levels and other air pollutants in your home, or you can do it yourself with a detection system

It may not be COVID – the air in your home could make you sickYou may think you’re doing your duty to help flatten the COVID-19 infection curve but staying home may expose your family to different types of health risks. No, the culprit isn’t bacteria or a virus. It’s the quality of the air we breathe in our homes and the contaminants lurking within. It may be an…

We can – and must – stop our plastic legacy

Countless animals ingest plastics and die. Do we care? Do we care that these plastics are now in the human food chain?

We can – and must – stop our plastic legacyWe often see news items about the environmental impact of single-use plastic straws. And we want to do something, which is good. Costa Rica plans to ban single-use plastics. At a recent G7 summit, the nations condemned single use straws and said they will discuss the matter at a future meeting. But no action has…

Standard surgical masks as good as N95 for family doctors: review

Evidence reviews of masks, goggles and shoe covers suggest individual pieces of PPE aren’t enough by themselves

Standard surgical masks as good as N95 for family doctors: reviewBy Michael Brown Contributor Troy Media There’s no evidence to suggest simple surgical masks aren’t as effective as scarce N95 respirator masks in protecting health-care staff during routine primary care, according to an international research team conducting literature reviews of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the context of COVID-19. University of Alberta occupational medicine specialists Sebastian…

Bike riders need to learn to share the road

Just because you ride a bike, that doesn’t put you on the side of the angels or make you better than the rest of us

Bike riders need to learn to share the roadIn Vancouver, my hometown, city council is using the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfil a long-held fantasy: the elimination of cars and the end of vehicle traffic throughout the city. While the rest of us are coping with one of the worst economic crisis in Canadian history and bungling along with reduced public transit and dwindling…

Unverified IDs leave online safety training in doubt

Until regulators more loudly express their expectations for online identity verification, the integrity of risk mitigating training will be in doubt

Unverified IDs leave online safety training in doubtEditor’s note: Online health and safety training is a booming industry, but how can employers and the public be assured that workers are completing course requirements? In the third in a series, Troy Media looks at gaps in regulation that throw the integrity of online learning into doubt. Online safety training for workers is here…

Modern car features add up to a safer ride

Today’s automobiles are full of safety features and more improvements are added every model year

Modern car features add up to a safer rideIn a dramatic video that made the rounds on the Internet a few years ago, a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu is crashed into a 1959 Chev Bel Air in a front offset collision staged by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Despite the prevailing wisdom that older automobiles, with their heavier construction and greater use…

Implementing online safety training that works

Robert Day talks about the technology that Integrity Advocate has developed to verify that online students complete the training required of them

Implementing online safety training that worksIntegrity Advocate co-founder Robert Day is a licensed investigator and paralegal. Can you tell me what you do? Day: I’m a co-founder of a company called Integrity Advocate, as well as a licensed paralegal and investigator. I co-developed the patented technology that Integrity Advocate is known for, which addresses legality and effectiveness concerns associated with…

We must manage the Internet of things with care

Who will ensure devices have been tested thoroughly and are secure? Who will ensure our privacy is protected?

We must manage the Internet of things with careBack in the early 1990s, I came across a story about a Coke machine that you could query from anywhere on the Internet and it would tell you the temperature of the drinks, the last time it was stocked and how full it was. The machine was in the computer science department of Carnegie Mellon…

A high-tech tool to help manage high-conflict relationships

Carrie Gour of PwrSwitch talks about helping those being harassed, stalked or abused reclaim peace of mind, a sense of security and a measure of control

A high-tech tool to help manage high-conflict relationshipsCarrie Gour is co-founder and CEO of PwrSwitch. What is PwrSwitch and what does it do? Gour: PwrSwitch is an application designed especially (though not exclusively) for anyone managing the aftermath of a high-conflict relationship, or anyone dealing with cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking. It effortlessly creates the foundation of evidence you need to file court orders,…

Online safety training: Are workers tuned in … or texting?

Online health and safety training is a booming industry, but how can employers and the public be assured that workers are completing course requirements?

Online safety training: Are workers tuned in … or texting?Editors note: Online health and safety training is a booming industry, but how can employers and the public be assured that workers are completing course requirements? In the first of a series, Troy Media explores efforts to prevent fraud in the new world of digital learning. Safety training is increasingly going online because companies and…

Four things business owners owe their employees

A safe environment, fair pay, leadership and consideration for employees’ futures should always be at the forefront

Four things business owners owe their employeesI recently heard of a leader within an organization who was treating his assistant much like a slave. Not only was the leader verbally demeaning to the assistant, he would often bring his dog to work and expect his assistant clean up the mess his dog left in the building. Working in a non-unionized environment,…

Forget about speeders, let’s crack down on driving while phoning

You just don’t have the necessary eye-hand-ear co-ordination to drive and carry on a conversation at the same time, not even if you’re using Bluetooth

Forget about speeders, let’s crack down on driving while phoningHey you! Yeah, I’m talking to you … the guy who seems to be talking to himself or, worse, the one with a cellphone plastered to the side of his head. A moment of your time, if you please. I’ve been stuck in traffic behind you for a while and even if you haven’t noticed,…