Davis, California -- PERC-med appointed James Russell Roberts, MD, MPH to its Advisory Board. A board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Roberts is a Professor of Pediatrics with Tenure at the Medical University of South Carolina. PERC-med is the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative for Medical Professionals, a five-year cooperative agreement (#X-83935901) between the U.S. EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs and University of California Davis Extension, in collaboration with Oregon State University. The primary goal of this project is to widely promote and market pesticide-related health resources to medical providers across the U.S. to help them prevent, recognize and treat pesticide-related health conditions.
Diana Simmes, MPH, Pesticide Medical Education Director at UC Davis said, "Dr. Roberts has significantly contributed to the field as co-author of the most authoritative reference on pesticide poisonings -- Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisoning." She continued, "His work with the EPA and the Children’s Environmental Health Network -- plus his dedication to pediatrics, environmental health and public health -- makes him a great resource for PERC-med and our mission to educate clinicians on pesticide-related illnesses."
"I am honored to join the Advisory Board at PERC-med," said Dr. Roberts. "My passion for educating healthcare practitioners on pesticide-related illnesses aligns perfectly with PERC-med's vision. By working with this diverse group of environmental, healthcare and scientific professionals, I hope to bring awareness to this medical and environmental issue."
Dr. Roberts has published over 50 peer-reviewed publications, received 20 grants, and has written seven chapters and six books. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academic Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology.
Dr. Roberts received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from McMurry College in Abilene, Texas; and his Doctor of Medicine from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas. He completed his Pediatric Internship and Residency at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia; and was a General Academic Pediatrics Fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Roberts also received his Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Roberts currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina. He joins other members of the PERC-med Advisory Board, including:
You may be surprised to learn that many infection control products commonly used in healthcare are actually pesticides.
More specifically, they are antimicrobial pesticides. Antimicrobial pesticides are essential public health tools because we use them in hospitals, schools, bathrooms and food preparation areas to prevent the spread of germs that can cause disease. So, what exactly constitutes a pesticide? A pesticide is defined as any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. Microorganisms, bacteria and viruses are included in the definition of pests. Pesticides help protect our food, water, and health. However, there are always risks related to their use.
Given global challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of antimicrobial pesticides are being used to help control the spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19. Since the emergence of COVID-19, the demand for antimicrobial pesticides has risen sharply. A recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that U.S. poison centers received an increase in calls (45,550) related to exposure to cleaners (28,158) and disinfectants (17,392) from January–March 2020, compared to January–March 2019 (37,822) and January–March 2018 (39,122). Although this data does not provide a definite link between exposures and COVID-19 related cleaning activity, a clear temporal association can be seen (Chang, 2020).
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To arrange an interview with an expert on pesticide and pesticide-related illnesses, contact us at PERC-MedSupport@ucdavis.edu. Our experts can speak about pesticide, pesticide related illnesses, toxicology, occupational health, environmental health, pediatrics, agromedicine, and public health.