Environmental health officer’s knowledge of sensory deprivation tanks in BC
Background and Purpose: Personal service establishments are abundant such as piercing shops, tattoo parlours, spas and now float spas. Sensory deprivation tanks were popular in the 1980s and have come back as a new way to relax, reduce pain and relieve stress and to provide a complete deprivation of the senses. The sanitation of these tanks have caused concern in the public health field as bacteria and parasites can easily live and proliferate in the tank water. Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) have to keep up to date with new or returning technology in order to provide information to the public and to ensure their safety. This research project investigated EHOs with differing years of employment in the field, geographic working location and age and their knowledge of sensory deprivation tanks. Methods: A survey created in Google Forms and Survey Monkey was disseminated through e-mail who then forwarded an e-mail to all EHOs in BC. The survey asked demographic questions, health and safety, sanitation and disinfection and general knowledge of floatation tanks. A t-test and ANOVA was used to analyze the data. Results: Three comparisons were tested: first was the number of years an EHO has worked in the field and their test score; second was their age and test score; and last was their geographic location and test score. The null hypotheses were not rejected as the p-value was found to be greater than 0.05 for all of the variables analyzed. Discussion: Overall, there was weak knowledge in EHOs and due to the small sample size there was weak statistical significance between the associations found regarding the number of years an EHO has worked in the field, their age and geographic location where they work compared to their test scores. Conclusion: More information needs to be provided to all EHOs to keep them updated on new personal service establishments.