Safer Chemicals Series: Antimicrobials in furniture: Do they deliver on the promise?

Recorded On: 06/30/2016

When required, please enter meeting password "Pgh2016".

Session Description

Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) are an urgent health care and public health priority with significant consequences for morbidity, mortality and health care costs. New technologies, including adding antimicrobial agents to hospital furnishings and interiors are being promoted to help address this pressing problem. The evidence supporting both the efficacy and safety of these new technologies is insufficient and in some instances, of low quality. In this webinar, learn about Health Care Without Harm's comprehensive analysis of the evidence on the safety and efficacy of these products. Recommendations for health care clinicians, administrators and purchasers will be discussed, as well as recommendations for furniture and chemical manufacturers. The need for a critical research agenda to address significant data gaps also will be presented. Also hear from experts in a hospital system that has introduced an evidence-based evaluation of antimicrobials, and restricted their use in certain applications.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the applications of antimicrobials in furnishings in the health care setting
  • Understand the health and environmental concerns associated with antimicrobials in furnishings and analyze gaps in knowledge related to their safety, efficacy and clinical performance
  • Understand the importance of a systems approach in HAI prevention and the role that antimicrobials in furnishings may play in a larger systems approach
  • Describe the opportunities for reducing unnecessary antimicrobial use


Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, Science Advisor, Science and Environmental Health Network
Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, is a physician with over 30 years of clinical experience in patient care. For the past 20 years, his work has explored the intersections of individual, public, and environmental health. He has published numerous papers in scientific journals, co-authored several books, and gives frequent presentations addressing environmental impacts on human health as well as the ways that human activities influence environmental quality.
Dr. Schettler serves as the Science Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network. He also serves as Science Director of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment and the Science Director of Health Care Without Harm. He has a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and masters in public health from Harvard University. Dr. Schettler is co-author of “Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment"; “In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development"; and "Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging." Recently he published “The Ecology of Breast Cancer: The Promise of Prevention and the Hope for Healing". He has also published a number of articles on related topics in peer-reviewed journals and has served on advisory committees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Academy of Sciences.
Katie Wickman, MS, RN, CIC, Environmental Stewardship Coordinator, Advocate Health Care
Katie Wickman, MS, RN, CIC is the environmental stewardship coordinator at Advocate Health Care in Illinois, with past experience as a clinical nurse and infection preventionist (2009-2015). She is Certified in Infection Control and holds a Master of Science in nursing (DePaul University, IL) and a Bachelor of Science in biology (St. Norbert College, WI). Ms. Wickman serves on Advocate's Antimicrobial Stewardship and Healthier Hospitals Committees, playing key roles in the development of healthy and sustainable procurement standards at Advocate, and also participates in several market transformation groups working to advance health and sustainability in the health care supply chain.


Member: $0 Nonmember: $0


Antimicrobials in furniture: Do they deliver on the promise?
60-minute presentation Live event: 06/30/2016 at 12:00 PM (EDT) You must register to access.
Presentation Slides
Presentation slides in PDF You must register to access.