Blog | The World’s Most Interesting Engineer

This Miracle Spray Will Have You Walking on Water!

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There’s a “miracle” product advertised on TV that is a miracle cure-all for leaks and all sorts of water problems. I’m sure you’ve seen it – the one where the pitch man sprays the product over an open screen door that’s placed in the bottom of a boat. Then we see him paddling around like nothing ever happened. If you haven’t seen it, watch below. It’s pretty entertaining. That’s a…

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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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Got Mold? Cure the Cause Not the Symptoms

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Five Quick Tips for Stopping and Preventing Mold 1) Identify problem areas and stop active leaks and condensation. Too often the owner throws money at indoor air quality problems or remediates mold before identifying and curing the source of the odor or moisture. Get to the source of moisture-and stop it! Then remediate (if necessary). 2) Conduct Preventative Maintenance. We recommend that you seal around all doors, windows, roof and wall penetrations. 3) Control…

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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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Moisture Meters – Useful Tools, or Only Good for Locating Studs?

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Remember the scene in Ghostbusters where the guys get their first job at the hotel? There’s a scene where Egon Spengler (probably the smartest one in the bunch) is walking through the hotel while holding some sort of scanner, and comes across a live guest. He’s staring intently at the readout, and to see if the person is real, reaches out and pokes the guest. But he’s holding a sophisticated…

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