Monthly Archives: February 2008

Jury awards more than $30 million to family in asbestos death

| AP Business Writer

The award is believed to be the largest in New Jersey for mesothelioma, an aggressive lung cancer, said the lawyer, Moshe Maimon.

The disease killed 50-year-old Mark Buttitta in 2002, although he had only handled auto parts containing asbestos while working summers at giant GM warehouses in New Jersey, Maimon said…..

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Massena School Official Pleads In Asbestos Case

MASSENA—The superintendent of building and grounds for the Massena Central School District has admitted that he lied to federal special agents from the Environmental Protection agency about the removal and disposal of asbestos from district buildings and to falsifying an investigation report on asbestos in Jefferson Elementary School.
Ben G. Gladding, 48, of Norfolk pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Utica before Judge David N. Hurd. He has worked for the school district for nearly 30 years….

For the full story visit North Country Gazette.

Moving beyond the status quo: Hexavalent Chromium, a New Standard

Heather Carter Seal
Metals Analyst
QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Is it just me or does it seems like everyday looking around our world, we are finally taking much needed steps to move beyond our status quo? From the move to organic meat and produce, the way we power our homes or our cars, our attitudes toward tobacco…things, they are a-changing. And yet it seems as though we are moving reluctantly forward. Cigarettes have long been known to cause cancer but only in recent years have actions (read as lawsuits) by individuals and our government taken the necessary steps to move forward: providing incentive plans to those who want to quit, protecting our indoor air quality and thus our national health. In a similar way, with the threat to our economy and national security we are only now seriously and begrudgingly looking forward, beyond petroleum, for a way to power our automobiles. We are many years past the gasoline shortages of 1976, but the fuel economy of our cars and that increasingly common pain in our wallets is finally leading us to drive smaller more fuel efficient and even hybrid vehicles. This too is the story of hexavalent chromium exposure for workers all over our United States.…..

You can download the entire paper in .pdf format from the link below.

Hex Chrome White Paper

Mystery Mold Getting Kids Sick At Daytona Beach School

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Children are starting to get sick from a mysterious mold at a Daytona Beach elementary school. Toxicologists came out to Longstreet Elementary, but they still can’t figure out what’s causing the mold. It’s difficult to track down, too. The classrooms were just rebuilt this winter and a mold expert Friday explained that all it takes is some moisture like Thursday night’s rain to get in during the rebuilding and then one tiny spore in one tiny crack can lead to big problems. Tampa toxicologists and the county health department inspected the row of moldy classrooms Friday at Longstreet Elementary School. They found no obvious mold or environment for mold growth. “It is serious and it is a problem,” said parent Cheryl Martin. Air samples confirmed the mold was there last month and Martin’s experience with her daughter tells her it was a serious amount.”The doctor checked her again for her breathing and he can hear the wheezing inside. And he put her on a breathing machine,” she said….

Read the Full Story at WFTV.com

(Looks like one parent is wanting to file suit against the school district.  Could be messy!)

National Infrastructure Decay Underscores Asbestos Crisis

Aging Structures Highlight Asbestos Complications in Renovation, Repair

Syracuse, New York 2/08/2008 07:52 PM GMT (FINDITT)

Recent reports of national infrastructure problems have illustrated a potential crisis in the coming years as antiquated asbestos fixtures will have to be removed to comply with federal guidelines.

Infrastructure may not be high on the list of perceived threats to our country’s safety and security but attention to the problem is gaining momentum following a slew of accidents in the summer of 2006, including a Manhattan steam pipe rupture and the tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Few people realize however, that these infrastructure maladies are much more widespread and preventing their remedy in many cases is the complications of asbestos. While most asbestos-containing materials were banned nearly three decades ago, they still remain in most buildings that contained them originally. When these materials are left undisturbed and intact, they are generally harmeless. As they age however, they break down slowly, becoming increasingly more dangerous…

Full Story at TransWorldNews

Mold Investigator Training Course to be held in Oklahoma City

QuanTEM Laboratories is holding its twice-yearly Mold Investigator Training Course in Oklahoma City, OK, April 2-4, 2008. Click the image below for more details!

Contractor charged with illegal dumping

A Charleston contractor whose company tears down buildings is facing criminal prosecution for allegedly turning two of his properties into illegal dump sites.

Rodney D. Loftis Sr. is scheduled to go to trial next month on charges that he violated two cease and desist orders from the state Department of Environmental Protection and created open dumps on Woodward Drive and Northfield Road without DEP permission.

Court documents indicate that investigators found chrysotile, a kind of asbestos, at both sites…

Full story at The Charleston Gazette

OSHA Issues Enforcement Procedures Directive for Hex Chrome Standards

OSHA has issued a new compliance directive for occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). The directive, OSHA Instruction CPL 02-02-074, Inspection Procedures for the Chromium (VI) Standards, was effective January 24, 2008.

“This new directive provides guidance for enforcement of the final rule on hexavalent chromium standards,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. “OSHA anticipates these efforts will reduce the risks of exposure to Cr(VI), thereby improving the safety and health of employees affected by this hazard.”

The standards became effective on May 30, 2006. Employers with 20 or more employees were given six months from the effective date to comply with most of the provisions. Employers with less than 20 employees were allowed 12 months from the effective date to come into compliance with most of the provisions. All employers were given four years from the effective date to install feasible engineering controls.

The Cr(VI) standards, which were originally published in the Feb. 28, 2006, Federal Register, are applicable to general industry, construction, and shipyards (Sections 29 CFR 1910.1026, 29 CFR 1926.1126 and 29 CFR 1915.1026, respectively).

Highlights of the new Cr(VI) directive include procedures for reviewing an employer’s air sampling records to determine exposure levels; guidance on how employers can implement effective engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain exposure below approved permissible exposure limits; requirements for employers to provide hygiene areas to minimize employees’ exposure to Cr(VI); guidelines requiring employers to maintain exposure and medical surveillance records; and a requirement that CSHOs evaluate portland cement wherever it is being used.

The standards lower the permissible exposure limit for hexavalent chromium to 5 micrograms of Cr(VI) per cubic meter of air as an 8-hour time-weighted average. Hexavalent chromium compounds are regularly used in the chemical industry in pigments, metal plating and chemical synthesis. Significant health effects associated with exposure to Cr(VI) are lung cancer, nasal septum ulcerations and perforations, skin ulcerations, and allergic and irritant contact dermatitis.

To view a PDF of the directive, Click Here.

Asbestos exposure will kill 300 workers a year: survey

Illness in B.C. from deadly fibres epidemic, union says

Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun

Published: Tuesday, February 05, 2008

About 300 construction workers in B.C. will die of asbestos-related diseases each year for the next five years, according to a survey by the B.C. and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council.

The survey, which among other things concluded that workers in the province’s insulation industry have had heavy exposure to the deadly asbestos fibres, is supported by a Canadian physician involved in mesothelioma research and a professor in the University of B.C.’s school of environmental health.

WorkSafeBC also said Monday that although their claim numbers aren’t as high as those in the survey, asbestos-related deaths are spiking and now represent most of the deaths in B.C. from occupational disease.

For the whole story visit The Vancouver Sun

Iowa Court Decides for Consumers in Moldy Home Case

By Jane Akre
Monday, February 04, 2008 11:40 PM EST

Beverly and Robert Speight knew they had a problem when they could puncture the waterlogged siding on their $250,000 Iowa home with a fingertip. It is the unspeakable word to builders, insurers and home inspectors. “M” for mold or mildew—no one wants to cover it or take responsibility for it.

The owner of a moldy home may discover multiple exclusions in the contract with a home inspector or that their homeowners insurance has dropped or capped mold claims. Homeowners often run into a brick wall they have to remedy with their own bank account.

Just ask Erin Brockovich, of the film by the same name. She had to move out of her California home after mold, found growing in the floor and walls, caused her family’s health problems.

The CDC says there is no such thing as “toxic mold” but mold impacts those with asthma or a compromised immune system. The Institute of Medicine reports allergic and non allergic reactions in humans exposed to spores. All agree it should be removed.

Now the Iowa Supreme Court has issued a ruling that gives homeowners living in moldy conditions some hope. Home builders can be held responsible for poor workmanship that leads to mold and mildew from water seepage, long after the original buyer has moved out.

Full Story HERE