Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Mr. Aaron Trippler’s “Washington Buzz” presentation during lunch reinforced what we heard from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) representative at the PDC (see our Wednesday, November 25, 2009 blog). OSHA’s current budget is up 10% leading to hiring of 200 new inspectors for enforcement. Other interesting news was NIOSH’s focus on nanotech, risk management, and aerosol transmissible diseases indicates new research information will be available on these issues in the future.
The vendor exposition hall was very good and we thank 3M for providing us with two pair of safety glasses for our safety classes(one called Lightvision 2-LED Plano Eyewear (debating using this for work around the house) and the other called Nitrous CCS with hearing protection providing a noise reduction rating of 25 decibels, both excellent ideas). We also thank Nilfisk-Advance America Inc. for providing us with a new vacuum cleaner catalog for our asbestos classes.
Though the regional this year was interesting, the lack of a balanced program left individuals with our background in construction safety and indoor air quality with very little to bring back home. Some of you would ask why attend a meeting that had so little to offer, the topics were publicized ahead of time. Well first, Mr. Trippler’s presentation always gives us an idea on the pulse of what is happening in Washington, DC on the environmental safety and health front. Second the vendor exposition hall is always interesting to see what services and products the various companies in the area are offering. Saving the best for last, the most important reason is to network and meet with old friends and acquaintances and meet new people who are in different areas/regions of the industrial hygiene field. It is a lot of fun catching up with people you may only see at this event. It was a pleasure seeing and discussing different issues with Mr. Jack Springsteen, Dr. Jack Caravanos, Ms. Amy Gordon, Mrs. Debra Gul Haffner, and many others. The special treat this year was talking with Mr. Dave Robbins, who was in town from Alaska. Though the regional, this year, did not provide much information for the construction and indoor environment people, the networking opportunities are probably the best reasons to attend the Regional each year.
Monday, December 07, 2009
The Good – the ultimate goal of this dredging operation is to restore the health of the river, to enhance regional tourism and commercial opportunities, and improve commercial and recreational fishing in the Hudson River between Fort Edward and Albany currently prevented by the PCB contamination. The Hudson River dredging plan is based on a previous successful PCB dredging project along Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, NY. The plan includes daily water sampling downstream from the dredging operations, these sampling results must average below 500 parts per trillion of PCBs, which is the same as the drinking water standard, for dredging operations to continue. On August 5, 2009 dredging operations stopped because sampling results exceeded the standard. A review of the operations called for enhanced engineering controls. The enhanced engineering controls allowed dredging operations to resume on August 11, 2009. There have been no reported problems since.
The Bad – transporting the PCB sediment to its eventual resting place in Texas will take a 2,000 mile trip through a number of states. The PCB-sediment will be dewatered in Fort Edward packed onto a 81-car train and tightly wrapped in heavy-duty plastic. EPA deemed rail travel as the safest method of transporting the soil. The national rail traffic will determine the ultimate route of the train and it will take about five days to get to Texas. The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club notes in their release dated February 11, 2009, “that an environmental impact statement has not been prepared for the proposed rail shipment. The shipment poses a potential for serious accident hazards in or near dozens of urban areas and states through which trains would pass. One major rail accident could lead to a catastrophic contamination event if drums were breached and highly concentrated PCBs were released.” According to The Saratogian article “Hudson River PCBs en route to West Texas”; the Federal Railroad Administration’s safety data, 726 accidents involving trains carrying hazardous materials occurred in 2008, more than half of those in the rail yard. Everything from a slight bump in a rail yard to a major derailment qualifies as an “accident” in that report. Examples of the type of derailments covered by the report include, the 2 that occurred within 24-hours of each other on September 26 & 27, 2009 in Montana and Wyoming. These derailments involved minimal spillage and the cars remained erect. While other derailments like the one that occurred on January 22, 2002 that caused a toxic cloud of anhydrous ammonia near the town of Minot in North Dakota, still have an effect on the people who live there, even years later. That derailment required the digging up of 97,000 tons of contaminated soil and 25,000 square feet of river ice and more than 1,000 people affected according to USA Today. An Environmental Impact Statement would at least look at the possible consequences of a derailment and try to anticipate a derailment that would be catastrophic.
The Ugly – the final resting place for the estimated 2.65 million cubic feet of PCB-contaminated sediment is Waste Control Specialists (WCS) in Andrews, Texas. Rural Andrews County, Texas is a desolate desert county just over the New Mexico border and consists of 1500 square miles and a population of about 14,000 people. Andrews, the only incorporated city in the county, has a history more than a decade long of hazardous waste disposal. A study commissioned by the town and performed by the professors at Texas Tech University determined that hazardous waste disposal was a suitable industry for the city and county, because the red-bed clay found there is a natural impermeable liner and the area where WCS located their site does not overlap the Ogallala Aquifer. WCS as an EPA permitted toxic waste facility accepted the first load of PCB sediment on June 28, 2009. Prompting a backlash, from the people in the area, regarding the feasibility of dumping the PCB-contaminated sediment at the WCS facility. The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club wrote a letter to the EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging a halt to the shipping of the PCB wastes to Texas. Is it a case of “not in my backyard” (NIMBYism)? Maybe not, there seems to be a disagreement on whether the WCS facility is over or close enough to the Ogallala Aquifer (a sensitive underground water resource). The claims range from 14 feet to 500 feet to the nearest water table. The Ogallala Aquifer stretches from South Dakota to Texas and is the largest aquifer in North America. It seems that the concerns of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club may be justified. It seems that EPA should have checked to make sure how close this waste facility actually was to the Aquifer.
Like all hazardous material/waste situations, cleaning up the problem brings up many questions some good, some bad, and some downright ugly. However, if we ask the questions and we look at the problems carefully and thoroughly, we can eventually solve these problems to the satisfaction of all concerned and involved.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- Mr. Carlstein Lutchmedial speaking on the revisions to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) asbestos regulations;
- Mr. Chris Alonge speaking on the proposed revisions to the New York State Department of Labor Industrial Code Rule 56 (NYS DOL ICR56);
- Mr. Kevin Malone speaking on the New York State Department of Health’s asbestos training program and their program on performing audits/inspections of schools regarding their compliance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).
- New filing requirement and process for ACP7s (see our Autumn 2009 Newsletter for further information on this process http://futureenvironmentdesigns.com/newsletter.htm );
- The new regulations are aligned with the fire code and specific fire safety requirements;
- There is no grandfathering of the regulation. If you had a project that started before the regulations took effect (November 13, 2009), you must bring your project into compliance with the new regulation;
- Preparation of the work area must be in the order the regulations are written (i.e., occupant notification, posting of floor plan with location of all fire exists, vacate area, shutdown electric, worker decontamination enclosure, erection of barriers);
- Added a section defining unprofessional conduct;
- No longer need a variance for floor tile removals;
- All variances must be designed by a NYS certified Asbestos Project Designer.
- The new regulation will have several references to the current NYS fire and building code. Mr. Alonge views many of changes to ICR56 as already being required by the fire and building code, with a few exceptions (i.e., negative air unit disconnect switch);
- An audience question brought on a discussion regarding the use of dust samples in determining the extent of incidental disturbance. Mr. Alonge’s view was that Asbestos Inspectors should rarely use dust sampling. When dust sampling is necessary then it should follow the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard method D5755 for sampling and the analysis must follow NYS DOH Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) methodology (this methodology provides you with qualititative results of positive or negative for asbestos).
- Expected dates: Draft is currently at Counsel. Once Counsel is completed, anticipate submittal to the Governor’s Office of Rules and Regulation (GORR) around Jan/Feb 2010. Publish for comments April 2010. Final version by July 2010.
- NYS DOH issued 26,000 asbestos certificates in New York State through 72 training providers.
- Mr. Malone’s discussion of NYS DOH’s audit/inspection program for EPA highlighted several areas where schools are not complying with the AHERA regulations. These are:
- No warning labels
- Short term worker notification
- Custodial/Maintenance Staff Training
- Not identifying all ACBM
- Project Designer
- Clearance Sampling
- The last two are significant in that once Mr. Malone discussed what was required, most people in the audience realized in regards of the last two not a single school in NYS is probably doing them. Visit our discussion group at http://groups.google.com/group/fed-forum?hl=en for a copy of the spreadsheets that Mr. Malone provided the attendees on this topic.
- AHERA requires project designs developed by a Certified Asbestos Project Designer for all projects greater than a small scale short duration or minor fiber release (less than or equal to 3 linear feet (LF) or 3 square feet (SF)). Meaning in a school, even a NYS minor asbestos project (less than or equal to 10 SF or 25 LF) would require an asbestos project design written by a certified asbestos project designer.
- Clearance testing for projects greater than 3 LF to less than 260 LF or greater than 3 SF to less than 160 SF require 5 inside air , 5 outside air and 3 blank samples analyzed by phase contrast microscopy. As you can see from the spreadsheet, this is a NYS State Education Department requirement. AHERA on the other hand would require only 5 inside and 2 blanks samples analyzed by PCM.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
At the National Safety Council's annual meeting in Orlando, OSHA unveiled its list of OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations EHS Today reported. They are:
- Scaffolding, General – 9,093 violations
- Fall Protection – 6,771 violations
- Hazard Communication – 6,378 violations
- Respiratory Protection – 3,803 violations
- Lockout/Tagout – 3,321 violations
- Electrical, Wiring – 3,079 violations
- Ladders – 3,072 violations
- Powered Industrial Trucks – 2,993 violations
- Electrical, General – 2,556 violations
- Machine Guarding – 2,364 violations
Friday, October 30, 2009
"An estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders. Sleep disorders and sleep loss have been associated with mental distress, depression, anxiety, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and certain risk behaviors including cigarette smoking, physical inactivity and heavy drinking. A new report from the CDC found that data collected from adults in all 50 United States, DC, and 3 U.S. territories found that 1 in 3 adults (30.7 percent) in 2008, reported no days of not getting enough rest or sleep in the past 30-days. However, 1 in 10 adults (11.1 percent) reported not getting enough rest or sleep everyday during the past month. Females (12.4 percent) were more likely than males (9.9 percent) and non-Hispanic blacks (13.3 percent) were more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to report not getting enough rest or sleep. State estimates of 30 days of insufficient rest or sleep ranged from 7.4 percent in North Dakota to 19.3 percent in West Virginia."
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Construction worker at 270 Park Avenue site dies on eve of court hearing | The Real Deal | New York Real Estate News
Posted using ShareThis
Safety work has more than enough pressure and stress, to make it harder without adding sexual harassment to the mix. Now we may never know what really happened.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
- 1001-A - prohibits smoking on any floor where asbestos abatement activity is taking place. The regulation also prohibits tobacco, lighters, and matches at asbestos abatement work sites.
- 1002 - prohibits smoking at construction sites.
- 1003-A - establishes a permitting requirement for asbestos abatement jobs that pose the greatest risk to the safety of workers, first responders and the general public.
- 1003-A - a. creates a NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) office (Asbestos Technical Review Unit (A-TRU)) to review and permit significant abatement projects.
- 1003-A - b. NYC Fire Department will receive automatic notification for all jobs requiring a permit and will dispatch the local fire company to inspect the site.
- 1003-A - c. authorizes the NYC Fire Department to delegate to the NYC DEP authority to enforce the fire codes at abatement sites, so that NYC DEP inspector can issue violations for dangerous conditions.
- 1005 - requires NYC DEP to promulgate rules giving guidance to contractors on how to maintain safe abatement project sites. NYC DEP, NYC Department of Building (NYC DOB), and Fire Department of NY (FDNY), in collaboration with the Office of Operations, have developed new rules that will soon be promulgated to strengthen safety at abatement jobs.
- 1007 - requires NYC DEP, FDNY, and NYC DOB to establish a procedure to share information regarding violations issued as a result of building inspections that meet agreed-upon criteria.
Friday, July 24, 2009
In addition, realize by May 15, 2008, OSHA also required all employers to provide PPE at no cost to their employees (the employer must pay for the PPE). These requirements addressed many kinds of PPE, such as: hard hats, gloves, goggles, safety shoes, safety glasses, welding helmets and goggles, faceshields, chemical protective equipment, fall protection equipment, and other types of safety equipment. Certain safety equipment were excluded from the provision of employer payment of PPE, these excluded items are certain safety-toe shoes and boots, prescription safety eyewear, and logging boots. OSHA considers these three items personal in nature, are used from jobsite to jobsite (employer to employer), and are typically used off the jobsite.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
- Fix all leaks in the building envelope (i.e., roof leaks, foundation cracks)
- Look for condensation and wet spots, fix the cause and dry these areas quickly
- Prevent condensation by either reducing surface temperature (by insulating or increasing air circulation) or reducing moisture level in air. Reduce moisture levels by either increasing ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry) or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
- Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
- Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours
- Do not let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
- Any water damaged materials that remain wet for more than 48 hours should be disposed of or hire a water restoration expert to handle the situation.
- If you have significant water damage, contact your insurance company immediately.
- Many insurance companies exclude mold growth in their policies. The sooner you notify the insurance company of your claim, excluding your claim becomes less of likely.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Because of these technical issues EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) both recommend that if you find vermiculite insulation that you not test it for asbestos. Instead they recommend you assume the vermiculite insulation is from Libby and assume it contains asbestos. The Libby mine was the source for over 70% of the vermiculite sold in the United States from 1919 to 1990. EPA and ATSDR feel that the technical issues involving vermiculite sampling can complicate testing for the presence of asbestos fibers and interpreting the risk from exposure. This is a significant statement and interesting that it has not been published more.
Based on this, as an asbestos inspector, environmental inspector, home inspector, and/or air quality consultant, you must evaluate vermiculite insulation as containing asbestos (without sampling). In addition, you must inform the owner that sampling the material will not provide a definitive answer. EPA and ATSDR both recommend that professional asbestos abatement contractors handle any disturbance of the vermiculite insulation. The best practice for air monitoring and analysis of these projects, for the protection of the public, is Transmission Electron Microscopy. As these issues are not well known, even in the asbestos industry, it is important for owners to be aware of this potential problem and take the precautions necessary.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
In some of our classes we have watched the documentary film “Dust to Dust” directed by Michael Brown. The film told the story of the town’s experience with exposure to tremolite asbestos that contaminated the vermiculite mine which many of the town’s people worked at. The film documented the effects on the town, hundreds of miners, their family members, and townsfolk have died, and at least 1,200 have been sickened from exposure to the asbestos-containing ore. These health effects also threaten workers, their families, and residents everywhere the ore was shipped and people living in millions of homes nationwide where it was used as insulation. The W. R. Grace trial mentioned above was the result of the government’s investigation into the Libby, Montana situation.
Based on the New York Times article, it appears the government’s case was very difficult to prove and that several errors by federal prosecutors, during the trial, made it even more difficult. It really is a shame that the people of Libby, Montana will suffer from the effects of asbestos exposure and many of them will die from this exposure for many years to come, while it seems prosecutors are unable or incapable of providing justice for them.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
- “Healthcare Workplaces Classified as Very High or High Exposure Risk for Pandemic Influenza” – OSHA designed this fact sheet to assist healthcare workplaces and to protect these workers from exposure to pandemic influenza. Using the Occupational Risk Pyramid (at left) it defines who are very high or high risk and recommends engineering controls, administrative controls, work practices, and PPE to protect these workers.
- “What Employers Can Do to Protect Workers from Pandemic Influenza” – this fact sheet recommends engineering controls, administrative controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
- “Protect Yourself Pandemic Flu Respiratory Protection” – this quick card defines who needs a respirator based exposure risk, defines minimum level of protection as N95 respirator, states that surgical masks are not respirators, and OSHA requirements for a respiratory protection program.
- “How to Protect Yourself in the Workplace during a Pandemic” – this quick card lists suggested precautions and actions workers should take to reduce risk of becoming ill with pandemic influenza.
- “Respiratory Infection Control: Respirators Versus Surgical Masks” – this fact sheet defines the difference between respirators, such as filtering facepiece (used to be known as dust masks) and half mask respirators, and surgical masks, which are a physical barrier to protect users from hazards, such as splashes of large droplets of blood or body fluids. NIOSH certifies all respirators, including filtering facepieces, visit their website for recent warnings for respirator users (www.niosh.gov). NIOSH does not certify surgical masks to prevent inhalation of small airborne contaminants. Only surgical masks cleared by the Food and Drug Administration have been tested for their ability to resist blood and bodily fluids.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The Chinese wallboard problem may affect over 35,000 homes and so far, is in states with high humidity and temperature levels where homes were constructed or renovated between 2004 and 2008. These homes and buildings, because of the shortage of domestic wallboard (also called sheetrock, drywall, and gypsum board), were installing Chinese-imported wallboard (not all Chinese wallboard is a problem). Up until this point, the reports regarding the tests on the drywall, quoting one health department “has not identified data suggesting an imminent or chronic health hazard at this time.” Some reports actually say levels found in the affected homes are not elevated enough to be of concern. One report gave hydrogen sulfide levels of .05 to .07 parts per million (ppm). Another report detected “carbon disulfide levels of approximately 5 parts per billion – all samples were less than 15 parts per billion.” The same report also reported carbonyl sulfide in the same levels. Chamber testing of the Chinese wallboard emitted carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide, while other tests of the wallboard found in addition sulfuric acid and sulfur dioxide. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies all these compounds as toxic compounds. However, the levels found are below many of the standards used for worker exposure. This is the crux of the problem, the limitations of using worker exposure standards to evaluate indoor air quality have been known for a long time and a professional would use them with limitations, typically dividing them by a factor of 10 to 100. For example, the OSHA permissible exposure limit for carbon monoxide is 50 ppm, while the indoor air quality industry uses 5 ppm to 10 ppm as a guide for evaluating air quality in office buildings.
Exposure research is very limited when looking at exposures to multiple chemicals or to long term exposures to low levels of compounds. Since this research is so limited to the point of nonexistent it is hard to say what the impacts of multiple chemical exposures or long term low level exposures would be. The limited knowledge we have points to potential moderate or minimal effects on individuals based on the compounds they are exposed to. Exposure to the multiple sulfur gases for long periods or low levels could be causing the headaches; sore throats; repeated nose bleeds; breathing problems; respiratory infection; wheezing; sinus problems; and various other respiratory ailments that occupants have complained about. Our health departments should be erring on the side of health but too many times they side on convenience.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
- CDC and HUD support Healthy Homes by providing grants to fund research on Healthy Homes
- Increasing amount of scientific evidence linking health outcomes, such as asthma and unintentional injuries, to substandard housing
- CDC has a few cooperative agreements with state or local health departments to take a healthy homes approach
- HUD’s focus is not health research so they rely heavily on reviews, such as the National Academy of Sciences
- HUD recently has funded some research, for example Cuyahoga County Grant – home interventions to address mold/moisture problems resulted in significant improvements in the health of asthmatic children & Seattle Grant – studied new green built public housing units on the health of asthmatic children after they moved into the units (breathe easy homes)
- Discussion on research on allergies & asthma in regards to triggers, unintentional injuries, and poisonings
This was our final show for this period, we hope those of you who listened enjoyed the programs. Remember you can continue to access the podcast of the programs at our host page at http://www.voiceamerica.com/ or on our website http://www.keepingyourfamilysafe.net/ under each topic ticker or http://www.futureenv.com/ under the Training tab in the online training section.
Friday, March 27, 2009
- The Federal government does not regulate residential USTs
- State government may regulate them in specific instances, but generally do not
- Residential USTs are primarily regulated by local Counties, Towns, or Villages
- Home Insurance plays an important role regarding USTs
- Homeowners want to ensure they hire specifically licensed UST installers, and removers
- Individuals that test the tanks for leaks, to avoid conflict of interests, are required to be independent of the installers and removers.
This Monday, March 31, 2009, at 2 PM Eastern Time we will be discussing HUD’s Healthy Homes Program with Dr. Peter Ashley, a senior environmental health scientist with Housing Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control and Dr. Pamela Meyer, of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Sunday, March 22, 2009
- Together Green (http://www.togethergreen.org/) and what it is all about
- Healthy Yard Pledge
- How the Audubon at home program works.
- Eliminating or reducing the use of pesticides
- Conserving water
- Protecting water quality
- Removing exotic plant pests
- Planting native species
This Monday, March 23, 2009, at 2 PM Eastern Time we will be discussing “Underground Storage Tanks” with Lew Wasserman, President, and Larry Graf, Grounds Division General Manager of the Lew Corporation.
Monday, March 16, 2009
On February 26-27, 2009, the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York (PACNY) held their 13th annual Environmental Conference at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona, New York. If you have attended this conference before you already know that PACNY does a great job of inviting individuals to speak on current contractor/consultant issues and/or current regulatory issues. In what has become a tradition for the conference, the focus of the second day was the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) and what was affectionately referred to as the Chris Alonge Road Show.
Over 200 people attended the conference this year, not a bad number considering the condition of the economy. However, this year the absence of downstate contractors/consultants was particularly noticeable. It was too bad, because this year’s conference was one of the best. The Mohawk Room had nearly 30 vendors including Grayling Industries, DiVal Safety, Aramsco, and Fiberlock Technologies. Aramsco‘s booth was showcasing a new piece of equipment, a floor buffer with an attachment for a HEPA vacuum, that could be used under the NYS DOL Applicable Variance A-3. This floor buffer with the attachment for a HEPA vacuum would allow a contractor using it to perform mastic removal work with a remote decontamination facility.
All the presentations were held in the Oneida Room. One of my favorite presentations was a two part presentation between Mr. Dale Lesinski, Vice President of DiVal Safety and Mr. Eric Giguere. Mr. Eric Giguere was buried alive in a construction accident and told us his story of survival and his life since his near-death experience. Before Mr. Giguere’s presentation, Mr. Lesinki set the audience up with a Behavior Based safety presentation that worked well with Mr. Giguere’s presentation. The presentation created a powerful 1-2 punch for worker safety. This presentation was so powerful we saw several audience members, including myself, wiping tears away.
The other presentations included:
- Dr. Bruce Lippy’s, of The Lippy Group, presentation on lessons learned from Ground Zero and Boca Raton Anthrax Cleanup. Interesting points: (1) Hazwoper procedures should be an integral part of disasters; (2) Better management of critical incident stress among workers; (3) Better management of the transitions from Rescue to Recovery to Cleanup; (4) Most fatalities involved with work zone safety; (5) Better understanding of the linear relationship between extended work schedule and worker risk of injury: (a) 18 hours of sustained wakefulness produces a performance impairment = 0.05% of blood alcohol content; (b) 24 hours of sustained wakefulness produces a performance impairment = 0.10% of blood alcohol content.
- Mr. Aaron Hilger’s, of the Rochester Builders Exchange, presentation on the recent changes to Wick’s Law (Nassau/Suffolk –increase to threshold from $50,000 to $1.5 million) and the economic climate for the construction industry. His discussion also included current view of the stimulus bill and impact of health care reform.
- LeChase Construction/Eastman Kodak’s presentation involved four speakers (Raymond LeChase, Jr., Darren Yehl, Jim Gerek, & Edward Slovak) point of view of the Eastman Kodak’s Footprint Reduction Program. The program consisted of the remediation – demolition of 80 structures totaling over six million square feet.
On the second day the Oneida room presentations included:
- IAQ Technologies’ Mr. Bob Krell did a presentation on Indoor Environments and Green Buildings that was primarily a mold presentation.
- Lawyers from NYS DOL & Mr. Chris Alonge then discussed: (1) The “Asbestos Successor Legislation” that went into effect in July 2008; (2) The Guidance Document version 2.0; (3) Proposed changes for the Emergency Rule Making of Industrial Code Rule 56.
- The final presentation was a panel discussion including Mr. Chris Alonge. This panel discussion was a Q&A session for the panelist to discuss directly with Mr. Alonge. Audience participation was restricted until after the panelist finished their questions.
All in all the conference was very informative and well worth the trip. It was a pleasure to get together with old friends, make some new ones, and reacquaint with some friends we had not seen in years (Special hello to Patty Kirkland of EMSL). Bravo to the PACNY organization and the committee that put this year’s conference together, they did a great job. We look forward to next year’s conference and hope to see you there next year.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
- Mold and Bacteria (Differences between black, grey, and clear water)
- Better Building Materials and Dehumidification to help prevent mold growth
This Monday, March 16, 2009, we will be discussing “Audubon at Home” with Aaron Virgin Executive Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
- Municipal water suppliers must test the drinking water to meet Federal, State, and local requirements (State and Local requirements must be as strict or stricter than Federal requirements).
- All municipal water suppliers must test drinking water for a minimum of 150 parameters.
- Treating water contaminated with MTBE is challenging to municipal water suppliers.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has guidance documents for testing drinking water once it gets to our faucets.
- Water suppliers are required to continuously monitor the pH (corrosiveness) of water to ensure that the water does not cause the leaching of metals from the plumbing.
- Most municipal water does not need filtering or treatment at home. Chlorine taste or smell can be eliminated by putting the water in the refrigerator.
This Monday, March 9, 2009, we will be discussing “Dangers in the Basement” with Mr. Bob Krell, President of IAQ Technologies.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
- How do the concepts of universal design come into play with home modifications?
- The role technology is playing in adapting the home environment
- The need for home modification assessments as senior’s abilities change.
- Suggested modifications for different parts of the home
This Monday, March 2, 2009, we will be discussing “Water Safety” with Mr. Rich Humann, P.E. Vice President, and Chief Water Resources Engineer with H2M.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Abatement/Remediation Contractors”. We look forward to going and hope to see some of you there.
- Protective clothing and its proper use.
- Gloves – different types and which type to select
- Respirators – selection issues and proper fit
- HEPA vacuums – proper selection
This Monday, February 23, 2009, we will be discussing “Home Safety – Not Just Ramps and Grab Bars” with Fritzi Gros-Daillon founder of Transitions USA.
Friday, February 13, 2009
- The Greenguard Certification Program allows manufacturers to voluntarily certify their products, with a third party organization, as emitting low levels of various contaminants. Some contaminants cannot be present at all, while others have to meet recognized federal, state, local, or in some cases industry standards.
- There are no regulations requiring products to be tested, or for that matter what contaminants to test for or for the levels to test at.
- In developing an environmental footprint, you can find the best calculators on the internet.
- We discussed the impact that energy efficiency can have on indoor air quality.
- We discussed indoor air quality concerns with phthalates, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, mercury, and multi-chemical exposures.
- Concerns in sustainable homes with bamboo products and compact fluorescents.
This Monday, February 23, 2009, we will be discussing “Home Safety – Not Just Ramps and Grab Bars” with Fritzi Gros-Daillon founder of Transitions USA.
Friday, February 06, 2009
- The differences between the current update and the previous guidelines.
- The importance of the visual inspection.
- The different cleaning methods of soap or detergent, disinfectants, fogging, and anti-microbials.
- Importance of removing the mold.
- Health effects appendix of the standard.
- Importance of removing moisture intrusion and its potential health effects.
- Changing remediation to three sizes versus four.
- Addition of the EPA table as a reference.
This Monday, February 9, 2009, we will be discussing Making a Sustainable Home Healthy with Dr. Marilyn Black founder of Greenguard Environmental Institute that oversees the Greenguard Certification Program.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Charles Wiles, the executive director of the American Indoor Air Quality Council for our internet radio program “Keeping Your Family Safe” (find it at http://www.voiceamerica.com/ on the Green Talk Network). In our program, we discussed the certification in the indoor air quality and mold industry. We covered the following points:
- Someone who is looking for a professional in the indoor air quality and mold industry should ensure the individual is licensed by federal, state, or local regulations. Since there are only a few states requiring licensing or certification (ie, MD, FL, TX), the individual you hire should have a voluntary certification.
- If the individual voluntarily certifies, the individual’s certification should be an industry certification versus a curriculum-based certification.
- An industry certification that meets the highest standards and qualifications must be issued by an industry organization that is accredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards, follow the International Standards Organization standard 17024, and is independent from the training providers.
- The American Indoor Air Quality Council has a number of certifications that meet these requirements visit there website at http://www.iaqcouncil.org/
This Monday, February 2, 2009, we will be interviewing Mr. Chris D’Andrea, a Certified Industrial Hygienist who oversees the Office of Environmental Investigations with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, regarding revisions to the City’s current guidelines on mold assessment and remediation.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
- General discussion on fungi and molds.
- The most common health effect of molds is an allergic reaction.
- Other health effects include infections and fungal sinusitis. Health effects of mycotoxins are controversial.
- Fungi need water and food to grow. When fungi grow in places we do not want them we call them molds. Fungi and molds spread by spores.
- Three types of sampling (bulk, surface, and air).
- There are no standards.
- Each method has advantages, but air is the only way to document exposure.
- Viable (culturable) versus nonviable (particulate).
- Culturable sampling are strongly biased.
- Particulate sampling can be a very powerful tool.
- There are new methods but not commonly used yet.
- A number of samples are needed to get representative results and document exposure
This Monday, January 26, 2009, we will be interviewing Mr. Charles Wiles the executive director of the American Indoor Air Quality Council regarding certification in the indoor air quality and mold industry.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Monday, Jan. 12, 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Reinstein, the Executive Director and co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization for our internet radio program “Keeping Your Family Safe" (see below for the website information). In our program, we discussed the dangers of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials. We covered the following points:
- More than 10,000 Americans die of asbestos caused diseases every year.
- India has the highest exposure to asbestos and is the second largest importer of asbestos.
- Worker exposure also affects family members at home.
- Asbestos – there is no ban, and has been listed as a human carcinogen for over 30 years.
- The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the World Health Organization, and the International Labor Organization, all believe that there is no safe exposure level to asbestos and that asbestos kills.
- Asbestos has a long legacy because it is virtually indestructible.
- Friable is a measure of asbestos’ ability to become airborne. Though an asbestos-containing building material may not be friable, that material can still release asbestos if homeowners work on it.
- Over 3,000 products contain asbestos.
- Once asbestos enters the body, especially the lungs, it is difficult to get the asbestos out of the body.
- Health effects – non-malignant and malignant diseases. Asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung, gastro-intestinal, and kidney cancers, pleural thickening, and pleural plaques all are life threatening. All reduce the ability to breathe.
- Construction and building trades are typically exposed to asbestos.
For more information download the podcast at http://www.voiceamerica.com/ click on the Green Talk Network and find the Keeping Your Family Safe host page. There you can download the podcast of the show and listen to it at your leisure.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) (visit there website at http://www.adao.us/) is an all volunteer organization dedicated to offering education, resources, and support to asbestos awareness. The ADAO is working hard on establishing a ban on asbestos (visit the following website to join the ban or for more information http://www.banasbestos.us/). In addition, the ADAO is sponsoring the 5th Annual Asbestos Awareness Day Conference on March 27-29, 2009 at the Manhattan Beach Marriott, California (visit the following website for more information http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/). This Monday, January 19, 2009, we will be interviewing Dr. Harriet Burge of the Harvard School of Public Health regarding microbial sampling.