Category: Safety

U.S. Senator Seeks to Amend Lead (Pb) Exposure Rule

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Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has re-introduced S.484, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2013, to amend the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule (LRRP), which was developed to prevent lead exposure for workers and the general public. Contractors and trade groups have complained that the LRRP increases costs and unnecessarily applies to groups that are not as susceptible…

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Mold Problems after Sandy (Audio)

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A look at mold problems after Hurricane Sandy from WNYC: Michael Reilly, Director of the Division of Planning and Response at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and Assistant Professor of Clinical Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public, talks about the threat of mold in buildings after Hurricane Sandy, and what it could mean for public health during the ongoing recovery. Listen below: Do you have questions about…

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Mold, Asbestos Disclosure not Required in La. Home Sales

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Buyer beware: The Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors Standards and Practice doesn’t require home inspectors to disclose hazardous materials in homes–including asbestos, mold, and even harmful toxic drywall. Check out the story below (link): Law shows home inspectors not required to tell buyers about mold, asbestos on.wdsu.com/WICKV9 — wdsu (@wdsu) February 18, 2013 The reason the for this? Home inspectors are not accredited inspectors for asbestos, mold, and toxic…

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Lead in NOLA Soil Linked to Violent Behavior

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There have been reports coming out for a while now about lead paint being linked to violent behavior. However, the following story takes a look at the past use of leaded gasoline winding up in soil. Sometimes even the best of ideas can have the worst of consequences. See the link below. Eyewitness Investigation: Researcher links lead contamination in soil with violent crime in N.O. bit.ly/ZvTt2k from @mrodriguezwwl — WWL-TV(@WWLTV)…

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New Silica Exposure Rules Gaining Traction

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are coming under increasing pressure to address what some call hazardous working conditions in exposure to silica. NPR has an interesting piece detailing both sides of the debate for new silica exposure limits. Silica exposure can cause a fatal lung disease called Silicosis. Some experts estimate hundreds of workers die each year from Silicosis, although…

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LIUNA Calls on Members, Public to Sign White House Petition Limiting Silica Exposure

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Experts estimate 280 workers die from silicosis each year Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has proven controversial to some who believe the process is environmentally hazardous to groundwater, air quality, and those who live around fracking sites. Now, OSHA has pointed out a lesser known hazard, and one group is working to protect not only workers, but the public at large. LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – calls on its half-million…

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If You Audit Your Jobsite, You Might Be Sorry…

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…But you might be sorrier if you don’t. I got a call last week to visit a project site where the Owner is renovating a gym built in the ’30s and turning it into a library. The Contractor has gutted the building, and as it turns out, there was felt paper and granular material beneath the hardwood floor (treated with creosote) that acted as a damp proofing layer for the gym floor….

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EPA Cracking Down on Residential Lead-Paint Violations

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Know Your Regs The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced 16 enforcement actions for the month of November 2012 for infractions of the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP), which was finalized in 2008 and took effect in 2010. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and other groups affected by the rule continue to lobby Congress to repeal or alter the RRP as the new session begins. Cythia Giles,…

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NIOSH Alert: Preventing Respiratory Illness from Moisture in Buildings

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has issued a helpful guide for buildings owners and occupants to identify and prevent moisture issues that can lead to mold growth and respiratory issues. Fill out the form below and download it at no cost. Stay dry, my friends. Chris White, P.E., LEED AP has been helping clients solve problems for 20 years. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisWhitePE.

Tiny but Deadly: Legionella

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Sometimes it’s the smallest organisms that are deadly. Last month we wrote about the deadly meningitis outbreak caused by mold contamination in a compound medicine facility. Now more preventable deaths are being caused by small organisms. You may have heard about recent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease at a Chicago JW Marriot and two VA Hospitals in Pittsburgh, Pa.  and Oakland, Ca. Potentially fatal Legionnaires’ Disease got its name when an…

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