BARDA funds mass decontamination research to help first responders, hospitals
With $6 million of funding support from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the University of Hertfordshire will undertake a new series of studies to develop a robust standardized response to chemical incidents by U.S. first responders and hospitals.

The research will allow BARDA to make pertinent revisions to the Primary Response Incident Management System, which is the nation’s first scientifically based guidance on best practices to decontaminate survivors of an accident or terrorist attack involving chemical agents.

Researchers also will explore unresolved issues regarding how hair affects decontamination procedures and work to develop a decision-aiding tool for disrobing and mass decontamination processes at the scene of an incident.

EPA orders developer to stop selling pesticide found ineffective against C. diff.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered sBioMed LLC to immediately stop the sale and use of the pesticide products Steriplex SD Part A and Steriplex SD Activator Part B, the agency told the Association for the Healthcare Environment. According to the order, recent testing gives the EPA reason to believe the products are “misbranded pesticides” and not effective against Clostridium difficile as indicated on the product labels. 

Joint Commission removes Life Safety chapter from ‘Office-Based Surgery Practices Manual’
Effective immediately, the Life Safety (LS) chapter in the “Office-Based Surgery Practices Manual” is no longer applicable for Joint Commission-accredited, office-based surgical practices. The removal of the LS chapter aligns with revised eligibility criteria for office-based surgical practices that became effective Jan. 1, 2015.

FDA issues Class I recall of Freedom driver system by SynCardia
The Food and Drug Administration notified health care professionals of a Class I recall of the Freedom driver systems used with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. A specific part of the Freedom driver’s drive mechanism may fail and cause the device to stop pumping. 

WHO publishes Ebola response Phase 3 framework
The World Health Organization published Ebola Response Phase 3: Framework for achieving and sustaining a resilient zero. The purpose of the framework is to incorporate new knowledge and tools into the ongoing Ebola response and recovery work to achieve and sustain a "resilient zero." Phase 3’s objectives are to accurately define and rapidly interrupt all remaining chains of Ebola transmission; and to identify, manage and respond to the consequences of residual Ebola risks.

OSHA extends comment period for rule clarifying employers' record-keeping obligations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is extending the deadline for submitting comments on the proposed rule that clarifies an employer's continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness. The comment due date has been extended to Oct. 28, 2015.