Monthly Archives: September 2013
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- Colorado flood cleanup advice: Be safe, be patient, keep records (denverpost.com)
By Seaborn Larson, http://www.thewesternnews.com
Before Judy Lundstrom finally agreed to let the Environmental Protection Agency remove asbestos from her property, she wanted to know what her yard would look like after cleanup workers dug up the soil and removed the contaminated material.
Lundstrom, 72, said she was told by an EPA official that her yard, pasture, flower beds and garden would be “put back the same way, if not better.”
Three years later, after countless visits by EPA officials and contractors, Lundstrom said she has had enough. The asbestos has been removed, but she fears her property will never look as good as it once did.
“After they first did my lawn in 2010, I told them ‘This isn’t right. It shouldn’t be this way,'” Lundstrom said. “I’ve been going through this with (the EPA) for three years now. As far as I’m concerned they haven’t done anything right. It’s been a nightmare.” Read More
- People near Superfund site say cleanup is too slow (kansascity.com)
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has expressed concern that asbestos-like fibers could be released from iron ore mining or sampling in far northern Wisconsin.
The focus is on a naturally occurring mineral called grunerite. DNR hydrogeologist Larry Lynch said grunerite is common in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Minnesota’s Iron Range and northern Wisconsin’s Penokee Range.
“It’s important because it can occur in a crystal form that is fibrous,” Lynch said. “It’s one of the minerals that’s referred to as asbestos or asbestos-form minerals.”
In most cases, grunerite is not fibrous, which means it wouldn’t take the shape of asbestos fibers. But Lynch said they need to find out if that’s the case at Gogebic Taconite’s proposed mining site near Mellen. Lynch said there could even be a problem with small-scale bulk-
sampling work, but he said he thinks steps proposed by Gogebic Taconite would make the process safe. Read More
- Thunder on the Mountain (theraptorlab.wordpress.com)
By Dr. Maria Simbra, http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com
It’s not spring pollen season. It’s not fall ragweed season. If you’re sneezing and stuffy right now, it could be mold allergies.
“I would say it’s one of the top. It’s up there,” says Dr. James Deangelo, of Allergy and Immunology Associates.
Outdoors, mold is in hay, straw, grass and leaves. But it’s indoors, too.
“You can see it growing, for example on a tree bark, or perhaps see it indoors growing on the walls. It will be black, green, different colors,” Dr. Deangelo points out.
The allergy is from what you can’t see – the mold spores. So small you can’t see them, but you inhale them.
“If you have a very hot rainy day, and right after the rain you feel that nasal congestion,” he describes. Read More
By John Larrabee, http://www.bizjournals.com
More children will likely be tested for lead poisoning, thanks to a new clinical testing system recently developed by Magellan Diagnostics Inc., a life science company based in Billerica, Mass.
The company announced Monday they have received FDA approval to market the new device, dubbed LeadCare Ultra. According to company president Amy Winslow, it will make testing easier and less expensive, and could be in hospital laboratories as early as next month, she added.
“We believe there are a lot of children who should be lead tested, but aren’t,” Winslow said. “This will help people get the testing they need.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, over half a million children in the U.S. have elevated blood lead levels, which can impair cognition, reduce IQ, and cause attention-deficit disorder. A blood test is the only way to identify an exposed child.
Magellan Diagnostics first developed the testing technology in the ’90s, for use in a portable device they also manufacture. The new LeadCare Ultra Systems makes laboratory testing more efficient. Until now, technicians tested samples one at a time; with the new device they can test six at a time, and up to 90 in an hour.
“It’s based on an electro-chemical technique we’ve used with our portable system since the 2005,” Winslow said. “It’s called anodic stripping voltammetry. A testing strip with a gold cathodic is inserted into an analyzer. By using an electric impulse, lead is collected on the gold. By rapidly switching the current from negative to positive, you can collect and measure the lead.” Read More
By Bianca Fortis, http://www.timesledger.com
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) is working to pass a bill that addresses dangerous mold conditions in properties as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Should the bill pass, the city Department of Health will have the authority to inspect abandoned and vacant properties for mold growth. If mold is present, the department can issue notices of violation. If the property owner does not comply and address the problem, the DOH will do the remediation and then bill the property owner.
“These homes are a public nuisance and blight on our communities,” Ulrich said in a statement. “You don’t have to be a scientist or medical doctor to know how dangerous and unhealthy mold can be. I am optimistic that this legislation will force the banks and absentee landlords to take responsibility for these properties once and for all.” Read More