Friday, December 31, 2010

Paul Mancuso of Utica New York Ordered to Pay $17,972 to EPA

HVAC ducts insulated with chrysotile asbestos.
We have discussed this case in our asbestos refresher classes and slowly but surely it is getting resolved.  Paul Mancuso of Utica, New York was ordered to pay back $17,972.68 it cost the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up toxic piles of asbestos that were illegally dumped in a rural Herkimer County field.  On Tuesday, December 28, the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Benedict, said it is satisfying to know that Paul Mancuso will have to pay some financial penalty for what he has done.  “We’re pleased that the judge has found Paul Mancuso responsible for repaying the taxpayers of the United States for money expended to clean up the asbestos that was illegally dumped as a result of the Mancusos’ criminal activities,” Benedict said.


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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Freeport

Carbon Monoxide detector connected to a North ...Image via WikipediaCarbon monoxide that seeped out from a faulty heating system at La Mar Plastic Packaging on Tuesday December 28, 2010 sent dozens of people to the hospital - two with serious injuries - Nassau County fire and village officials said.  La Mar Plastic Packaging located at 216 N. Main St. in Freeport, called Freeport Firefighters about 10:30 a.m., and rescuers evacuated dozens of people complaining of headaches, dizziness and nausea from the structure, said Vincent McManus, a district supervisor for the Nassau fire marshal's office.
After a preliminary investigation, fire officials, members of the Freeport Building Department and the county's hazardous materials team determined that the deadly gas came from hanging gas-fired heaters in the building, McManus said.
Mark Stuparich, an assistant chief for the Freeport Fire Department, said it was unlikely the building was equipped with a carbon-monoxide detector. "The thing would have been going off all morning," he said.  Assistant Chief Stuparich said readings of indoor air showed upward of 500 parts per million (ppm) of carbon monoxide.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), normal indoor levels are 5 ppm or less.  According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the permissible exposure limit is 50 parts per million or less in an eight-hour period.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Licensed Lead and Asbestos Inspector Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison

Preet BhararaImage via WikipediaOn December 21, 2010, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, aanounced that Saverio Todaro was sentenced to 63 months in prison for falsifying lead and asbestos inspection and testing reports for residences and other locations throughout the New York City area.  In addition, he was ordered to forfeit $304,395 and to pay $107,194 in restitution to the victims of his crimes and a fine of $45,000.  Mr. Todaro pled guility on March 6, 2010 to an 11-count indictment charging him with five counts of false statements, three counts of mail fraud, and three counts of violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act.  The sentences was imposed by U. S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood.
As we have discussed in our classes, this case has focused a bad light on the asbestos and lead consulting field.  This case will bring scrutiny and focus on the work of asbestos and lead inspectors throughout New York State and New York City.  In imposing the senence, Judge Wood stated that Todaro's crimes were "monumental."  Judge Wood noted that the health of New York City children and adults "heavily depends on inspectors" such as Todaro, and that the public "needs to be able to trust" them.  She stated that the sentence needed to send a message to all New York City inspectors that they are guardians of the public trust and that dishonesty in inspections will be punished.
There is no question that the acts of this individual were so outrageous it is not typical of the industry.  Realize this like Roslyn School District has changed the way things are done in schools.  This case may have similar impacts on our industry.  Asbestos and lead inspectors should be very carefull going forward in ensuring your inspections are performed in accordance with the regulations and standards for asbestos and lead.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

AIHA Survey Indicates Issues That Concern Industrial Hygiene Profession

Globally Harmonized System of Classification a...Image via WikipediaThe American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) conducts a biennial public policy survey of its members to determine concerns for the industrial hygiene profession in 2011-2012.  The survey was conducted on-line in October, 2010.  The AIHA uses the survey to list the top public policy issues of concern to AIHA members and the occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) profession over the next two years.  AIHA will review existing white papers and position statements, as well as draft new position statements, to determine the appropriate response to each of the issues.

Overall the Top Issues for 2011-2012 are:

  • Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) – Updating The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) PELs are consensus-based limits that indicate how long an individual can be exposed to a particular substance without experiencing harmful effects. The occupational health and safety profession considers PELs to be one of the most basic tools needed to protect workers. However, many PELs have not been updated since the 1960s and 1970s. Science in this area has matured, but the PELs have not. AIHA continues to work with OSHA, Congress and others to reach a consensus on the best way to update the PELs.
  • Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) - OSHA is developing a rule to require employers to establish and maintain an Injury and Illness Prevention Program. It involves identifying and controlling hazards as well as planning, implementing, evaluating and improving processes and activities that protect employee safety and health. AIHA has been providing leadership in the development of OHS management science and practice since its inception. AIHA supports the need and importance in defining effective occupational health and safety programs and the acceptance in the IH and safety community that hazard assessment and implementation of a written safety and health program are parts of minimum acceptable professional practice on any work site.
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) / Globally Harmonized System (GHS) AIHA supports efforts to improve the accuracy of MSDS and supports efforts to improve hazard communication for employers and employees. Such efforts are also a crucial element in protecting workers and others in case of national emergencies. A major part of improving hazard communication is adoption of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). AIHA supports adoption of the GHS.
  • Professional Recognition/Title Protection - This issue continues to appear in the top public policy issues for AIHA, as it has since 1993. Professional recognition/title protection allows industrial hygienists and others who have met minimum educational and experience requirements (such as certified industrial hygienists and certified safety professionals) to be legally defined and recognized as competent to perform certain work without the need for additional requirements. One area of concern is the continued influx of specific occupational health and safety titles that are awarded by non-accredited bodies and the attempt to recognize these titles in various policy making activities. AIHA continues to educate federal and state policymakers about the importance of recognizing those professionals who have received education and certification from nationally recognized and accredited organizations.
  • OSHA Reform and NIOSH Recognition - Each year Congress introduces and considers legislation to amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This legislation addresses many parts of the OSH Act, including criminal penalties, whistleblower protections, expansion of coverage, and the Voluntary Protection Program. AIHA supports efforts to review and amend the OSH Act if changes provide added protection for workers. AIHA also supports efforts to protect the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) from attempts to diminish the importance of the Institute and its research. AIHA supports appropriations to adequately fund both OSHA and NIOSH.
  • Laboratory Accreditation  - Accredited laboratories are the best way to ensure that test samples of potential workplace hazards are analyzed correctly. AIHA continues working to see that the AIHA laboratory accreditation program is internationally recognized and noted in federal and state legislation and regulation as one of the programs with recognition and acceptance.
For further information regarding AIHA's top policy issues for 2011–2012, please contact Aaron Trippler at atrippler@aiha.org.


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Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Importance of Developing a Marketing Plan

Marketing PlanImage by EmaStudios via FlickrThe above linked article by Cochrane & Associates, LLC, an environmental, mold, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and indoor air quality industries' only dedicated marketing, public relations and business development consulting firm, discusses the importance of developing a marketing plan.  Now is the time to develop your plan for 2011.  The article discusses the important points of a marketing plan these are:
  • Goals
  • Methods
  • Frequency
  • Timeframes
  • Assign Tasks
  • Budget
  • Methods for Evaluating Success
Read the article to find out the details.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

OSHA Orders John Galt Corp. to Compensate Worker Fired After Raising Health and Safety Issues at the Deutsche Bank Building in NYC

Respirators Should Be Fit Tested Before Use
On Thursday, October 14, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor obtained a consent judgment ordering The John Galt Corp. and two of its former managers, Mitchel Alvo and Dorota Lebkowska, to compensate a worker who was fired for raising a health and safety issue during an asbestos removal project the defendants oversaw at the former Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty St. in Manhattan, New York.
According to the press release the worker filed a complaint with the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration in August 2006, alleging that he had been fired after requesting additional respirator filter cartridges for himself and for fellow workers performing asbestos removal at the site.  OSHA's investigation found merit to the complaint.  The department's Regional Office of the Solicitor in New York filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York after the defendants refused to reinstate and compensate the worker.
As a result of that legal action, the defendants have signed a consent judgment that orders them to pay the worker $55,000 in back wages and expunge all references to suspension or dismissal from his personnel file.  The judgment also prohibits the defendants from discriminating against employees who file a complaint with OSHA, participate in an OSHA inspection or otherwise exercise their rights under Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
"Terminating workers who raise legitimate safety and health issues is unacceptable," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.  "Intimidating workers into a dangerous silence can mask hazardous and potentially deadly conditions.  Employers should be aware that we will pursue appropriate legal remedies in such cases."
Section 11(c) of the OSH Act protects employees' rights to file a complaint with OSHA or to bring safety and health issues to the attention of their employers without fear of termination or other reprisal.  OSHA also enforces statutes protecting employees who report violations of various railway, securities, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, public transportation and consumer product safety laws.  Detailed information is available online at: http://www.whistleblowers.gov/.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.  OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.  For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/.

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EPA Reports a Successful Year Enforcing Environmental Law

The headquarters of the United States Environm...Image via WikipediaThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency posted information illustrating its very successful past year in enforcing environmental law.  In the past federal fiscal year, which ran from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010, the Agency took actions that reduced pollution and ensured that environmental laws are being followed.  In the past fiscal year, EPA took enforcement and compliance actions in New York State that require polluters to pay nearly $2 million in penalties and take actions that will result in the reduction of more than 41 million pounds of pollution.

Detailed information about EPA’s enforcement of environmental laws can be viewed using an interactive Web-based tool that includes statistics and highlights on a state-by-state basis. The website also includes a map that provides the public with detailed information about the enforcement actions taken at more than 4,500 facilities throughout the U.S, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Study Indicates Increase in Risk of Childhood Leukemia Based on Living Close to Heavy-Traffic Roads.

I-495 and how much traffic it faces.Image via Wikipedia A recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives called "Road Traffic and Childhood Leukemia: The ESCALE Study (SFCE)" indicated an increased risk of childhood leukemia among children that lived close to heavy-traffic roads.  Published in Environmental Health Perspectives on December 8, 2010, the research used the national registry-based case-control study (ESCALE) carried out in France.  Over the study period, 2003-2004, 763 cases and 1681 controls less than 15 years old were included and the controls were frequency matched with the cases on age and gender.  The study showed acute leukemia was significantly associated with estimates of traffic nitrogen dixode (NO2) concentration at the place of residence greater than 27.7µg/m3 compared to NO2 concentration less than 21.9µg/m3 and with the presence of a heavy-traffic road within 500 meters compared to the absence of a heavy-traffic road in the same area.  The basic conclusion of the study was that it supports the hypothesis that living close to heavy-traffic roads may increase the risk of childhood leukemia.
This study obviously has significant implications for children living near heavy-traffic roads (i.e., the Long Island Expressway) and the indoor air quality where they live.  This puts even more emphasis on reducing the emissions from the vehicles that travel these roads.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Asbestos Victims in India on a Hunger Strike

Chest X-ray in asbestosis shows plaques above ...Image via Wikipedia
Chest X-ray with Asbestosis.
A group of alleged asbestosis victims from Jhadole in Udaipur, Rajasthan are sitting on a hunger strike in front of the sub-divisional magistrate's (SDM) office in Udaipur, in India.  The victims are demanding that the reports of the medical tests done on them by the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Ahmedabad, be made available to them.      NIOH had done a test on about 166 persons from Jhadole and Devigarh to ascertain whether they are affected with asbestosis.  These persons had been working in asbestos mines before the mining of asbestos was banned in India.  But while the doctors who had conducted the tests have published research papers (even included in NIOH newsletters) confirming asbestosis in at least 93 persons, none of them have been personally given the test report even after they had applied for it.  Even the names of those affected have not been made available.  Without this information, the miners are unable to claim any compensation or receive proper treatment.
     NIOH had conducted tests on 163 persons, including 56 females.  While pursuing the difficult task of getting one’s own medical reports 18 persons have already died and we don't know if they were from amongst those who were ascertained to be positive or are from the others.
     We are amazed with this situation because not only would this not happen in the United States, but the Doctors involved with the research would be held liable in the United States for not providing the information to the workers.  We guess the Doctor's code of do no harm does not apply to Doctors in India.  What do these researchers think they are doing the research for?  The researchers themselves should be ostracized.  This is the worst kind of researcher one who is interested in the research with no regard for the subjects of their research.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Riverhead is Soliciting Bids for Asbestos Abatement

Riverhead, New YorkImage by dougtone via FlickrThe Town of Riverhead on Long Island is attempting to rid its town of a long-time eyesore, but has had trouble lining up a contractor to remove asbestos from the property at an affordable price.  According to Riverheadlocal.com and Mesothelioma Resource Center, the town of Riverhead will solicit bids for the third time to award a contract for asbestos abatement at the former Weeping Willow motel.  The town hopes to demolish the structure and develop the land as part of a riverfront greenbelt.
In New York State and many other states asbestos removal is done ahead of demolition to prevent fibers of the hazardous mineral from becoming airborne and causing a health danger to anyone in the vicinity.  Asbestos exposure is linked to lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis and has been the focus of many asbestos settlements and mesothelioma lawsuits.  The West Main Street property was purchased by the town last year for $1.2 million, the community website reported.

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Colorado Man's Home is a Living Laboratory.

Part 2 of the "Killer In The Attic" articles from AOL News discussed the story of 71 year-old William Cawlfield, who has mesothelioma.  Mr. Cawlfield lives in a two-story red-brick farmhouse in Pueblo, Colorado that had been his family's home for more than a century.  When he was 15 years old Mr. Cawlfield helped his father install Zonolite insulation in the attic.  In addition, Mr Cawlfield also said "I used to play up there and kept my toys and a bunch of books because it was like a sand pile where I could hide things,..."  He had no knowledge that the material contained asbestos.
Last month, Cawlfield stood outside his family's home watching a specially trained asbestos-removal experts wearing respirators and dressed head to toe in Tyvek carefully remove the Zonolite insulation from inside. He was paying $15,000 to have them do so.  The reason he was doing this was testing conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Denver regional office found that high levels of the lethal tremolite fibers were released from the Zonolite insulation that was spread between the rafters in its attic.  EPA inspectors concluded that the almost-invisible asbestos-containing dust from the Zonolite sifted though the light fixtures and switches, ceiling fans and the seams of dried-out joint tape.  Copies of the reports from EPA (that AOL News obtained) determined that some of the levels of asbestos recorded in the house exceeded the maximum number of lethal fibers that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says is too dangerous for workers.
Unfortunately, EPA continues to not provide any guidance to the asbestos abatement industry on how to handle this material and continues to rely on its website as the only source of information on this dangerous situation.
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Monday, December 06, 2010

OSHA Proposes $51,000 in Fines Against David H. Koch Theater in New York for Asbestos, Fall and Crushing Hazards

Lincoln Center, New York. June 7, 2007.Image via WikipediaThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the David H. Koch Theater, located at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan, for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace health and safety standards. The theater faces a total of $51,000 in proposed fines, chiefly for asbestos, fall and crushing hazards identified during an OSHA inspection prompted by worker complaints.

OSHA's inspection found that employees of the theater and of outside contractors had not been informed of the presence of asbestos-containing and potentially asbestos-containing materials in the theater's promenade area and in nearby electrical closets. The materials had not been labeled and asbestos warning signs had not been posted.
In addition, an exit door was stuck and unable to be used, and a portable fire extinguisher was not mounted. As these conditions were similar to those cited by OSHA during a 2009 inspection of the theater, they resulted in the agency issuing the theater four repeat citations with $45,000 in proposed fines. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
"The recurrence of these conditions is disturbing," said Kay Gee, OSHA's Manhattan area director. "For the health and safety of its employees as well as outside contractors, the theater must take effective steps to identify and permanently eliminate these and other hazards identified during this latest OSHA inspection."
OSHA also found that, due to a lack of guarding, theater employees were exposed to falls into the orchestra pit when the stage was raised above the pit, and to being struck or crushed by the stage when it descended into the pit. These conditions, plus the use of temporary wiring in place of permanent lighting in the promenade area, resulted in OSHA also issuing the theater three serious citations with $6,000 in proposed fines. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"One means of eliminating hazards such as these is for employers to establish an illness and injury prevention program, in which workers and management jointly work to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions on a continual basis," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
The theater has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office, telephone 212-620-3200. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Review of Northeast Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition

This Friday, December 3, 2010, we went to the 64th Annual Northeast Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel New Brunswick, NJ.  The conference was presented by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), New Jersey Section, Inc. and co-sponsored by the Metro New York and Philadelphia Sections AIHA.  The title of the conference was "Welcome to the Future! Evolving Industrial Hygiene Opportunities."  The conference agenda included presentations in Nanotechnology by Dr. Chuck Geraci from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); Prevention through Design by Ms. Donna Heidel from NIOSH; Managing Risk in the Face of Change by Mr. T.J. Lentz from NIOSH; Industrial Forensics by Mr. Ryan Hall from RJ Lee Group; Bioterrorism Response by Dr. Nancy Connell from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ); Before and After Measurements of Ergonomic Successes from Mr. Dan MacLeod of Dan McLeod LLC; and then the Bedbugs Invasion Panel that included Mr. Jay Taylor from Chubb and Son, Mr. Roy Viola, Esq. from McGiveny & Kluger, Mr. Rick Cooper of Cooper Pest Solutions, and Dr. Howard Sandler of Sandler Occupational Medical Associates.  The exhibition included AJ Abrams Co.; Analytics Corp., Belfor USA, Bomark Instruments,  EMSL, Environmental Reports, Nilfisk, Sandler Occupational Medicine Assoc., Unitech Services Group, and Zefon International to name a few.
The event like usual is great day for networking and catching up with people you haven't seen in a while.  It was great to see you folks, Mrs. Deborah Gul Haffner, Mr. Ed Olmstead, Mr. Stu Mirowitz, Mr. Jack Springston, Mr. Ed Gertz, Mr. Paul DeBiase, Mr. Ken Burns, Mr. Ron Smith, and Mr. Ken Shaw, to name a few.  As with most conferences, we go in hopes of learning something new or possibly meet someone who will help your business.  Well this conference was duo win on that front for us.  The Bedbug Panel provided alot of information that we will discuss in our next newsletter.  The Prevention Through Design presentation was our favorite.  It discussed "Building Industrial Hygiene into the Plan for Safer and Greener Economy."  Discussing the role of industrial hygiene in the green economy, and the need for industrial hygienist to be at the beginning of the design project.  Interesting statistic, from this presentation, was from an Australian Study that determined that design continues to be a significant contibutor to work-related serious injury.  37% of workplace fatalities involved design-related issues and another 14% of fatalities, design-related issues may have played a role.  If that statistic was not enough for us, the case studies presented emphasized how industrial hygienists involved at different stages of the project affected or prevented risk shifting.  The presentation also discussed whether worker safety and health should be included in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system?  A building could be rated platinum but were their any fatalities during construction, are the occupants happy with indoor air quality, or what are costs involved with operations and maintenance? 
Kudos to the New Jersey section for an excellant conference.

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Study suggests that being too clean can make people sick

2D structure of antibacterial / antifungal age...Image via WikipediaA recent study by the University of Michigan School of Public Health suggests that people who are overexposed to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) may suffer more allergies and negative effects to their immune systems.  Study suggests that being too clean can make people sick.  This study indicates that young people who are overexposed to antibacterial soaps containing triclosan may suffer more allergies, and exposure to higher levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) among adults may negatively influence the immune system.  Triclosan is a chemical compound widely used in products such as antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, pens, diaper bags and medical devices.  BPA is found in many plastics and, for example, as a protective lining in food cans.  Both of these chemicals are in a class of environmental toxicants called endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), which are believed to negatively impact human health by mimicking or affecting hormones.  "We found that people over age 18 with higher levels of BPA exposure had higher CMV antibody levels, which suggests their cell-mediated immune system may not be functioning properly," said Erin Rees Clayton, research investigator at the U-M School of Public Health and first author on the paper.  The study also found that people age 18 and under with higher levels of triclosan were more likely to report diagnosis of allergies and hay fever.  There is growing concern among the scientific community and consumer groups that these EDCs are dangerous to humans at lower levels than previously thought.
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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Government Refuses to Act on Cancer-Causing Insulation

Tremolite AsbestosImage via WikipediaWe have discussed this issue in our asbestos initial and refresher classes.  The Zonolite insulation made from vermiculite mineral mined from the Libby, Montana.  The vermiculite from this mine is contaminated with tremolite asbestos.  Mr. Andrew Schneider wrote this excellant article "Government Refuses to Act on Cancer-Causing Insulation".  This is also an important issue for asbestos inspectors because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is specifically saying not to take samples of this material.  This material gives false negative results and EPA recommends that this material be treated and handled as an asbestos containing material.  In addition, vermiculite was not only used as attic insulation, it was also used in sprayed-on fireproofing until late 1980s.  High-rise buildings built between 1980-1989, using sprayed-on fireproofing made by W.R. Grace (monokote made with vermiculite) also is suspect and again it is suggested that you do not sample this material.  This material should be assumed to be asbestos containing.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Revival & Expansion of Canadian Asbestos Mines Causes Uproar

Open Pit Asbestos Mine in Asbestos, Quebec
The recent free trade agreement between India and Canada (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)) will boost the asbestos trade.  This agreement will allow an increase in asbestos exports from Canada to India. This agreement needless to say has caused an uproar among environmental, labour & health groups.  The groups demanded that a ban of the asbestos trade must be deemed a pre-condition for future negotiations on CEPA.
The Quebec government has announced the offer of C$58 million ($57 million) in loan guarantees to convert the Jeffrey mine in Asbestos, Quebec from an open-pit to an underground operation.  The open-pit reserves are almost exhausted but the deeper deposits are among the biggest in the world.  Canada is the world’s fifth-biggest asbestos producer after Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Brazil.  India is one of the biggest consumers of cancer causing asbestos fibers from Quebec, Canada.  Revival and expansion of the mine would boost asbestos production from the 100-year-old mine from an estimated 15,000 tonnes this year to 180,000 tonnes in 2012 and an eventual capacity of 260,000 tonnes, or about 10 per cent of global production.
Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) expresses its support and solidarity with the protest from health and environmental groups against an attempt by Indian and other investors to revive a big Canadian asbestos mine.  Jeffrey and one other remaining mine in the Quebec province of Canada produce chrysotile, or white asbestos, used mainly to reinforce cement used for water pipes and other building materials. Exposure to asbestos fibers causes incurable and fatal lung diseases. In India there is a ban on asbestos mining but trade, manufacture and use of asbestos products is yet to be banned. There is a ban on trade in asbestos waste as well.


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Goldberg & Connolly's Construction Law Update Covers Change Order Crisis at the SCA


BearAcade™ Sticky Poly is now patented–both the product and the method. 
It’s US Patent No. 7,818,941
Hope all of you have a Happy Thanksgiving and may your family and friends make the day beautiful.  As we have discussed in our classes, some of you are doing consulting and contracting work for the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA).  Many of you have complained about the SCA and the way they handle accounts payables (your accounts receivables).  Goldberg & Connolly are construction attorneys and they put out a monthly newsletter (Construction Law Update) discussing various construction issues.  Their latest newsletter is titled "Change Order Crisis at the SCA."  If you do business with the SCA, we strongly recommend you read this update discussing issues with the SCA's policy and the language in the terms and conditions on handling change orders that you submit to the SCA.  The article starts with the following statistic: "It has been estimated that there are 5,000 outstanding, unresolved change orders pending at the New York City School Construction Authority totaling $600-800 million dollars."  That is an amazing amount money to be still on the table waiting for payment and, in this economy, that amount of money is having a significant effect on small businesses.  That effect probably matches the effect of unvailable financing for small businesses.  The article is written well and is very understandable for us non-legal types.
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