Category Archives: Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality testing information and practices

NASA: moldy bags delay ISS cargo run

By Brittany A. Roston, http://www.slashgear.com/

A scheduled cargo run to the International Space Station has been delayed,NASA announced yesterday, due to packing bags that have developed black mold. The bags are used to pack food, clothes, and other supplies being sent the ISS, and they’re made of fabric. Of them, two were found to have black mold present, and more possibly could be affected. The black mold’s cause has not been determined at this point, but the space agency is looking into the matter.

The ISS cargo run has been delayed for at least two weeks, according to NASA. Lockheed Martin is also investigating the cause of the black mold, which is no doubt facilitated by the high humidity levels in Florida’s climate. The Orbital Cygnus, a cargo spaceship, will be sent with the cargo, and has already been packed halfway full. Read more

Orlando firefighter training to change after crews exposed to asbestos

Via wftv.com

 

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Air quality — inside as well as outside — can affect your health

By Deanna Duff, Special to The Herald

Patrick Clifford is a lifelong outdoors enthusiast. However, in 2014 he found himself working hard to catch his breath while laboring outside. The retired Everett Public Schools teacher was diagnosed with a serious pulmonary condition that has reduced his lung capacity to a third.

“I didn’t realize how bad air quality can be until I got sick,” Clifford says.

“Unless you’re sick, you often don’t realize how close to being in trouble you are. Because air is invisible, you think it’s not even there.”

Air quality impacts everyone and overall health. According to Dr. David Russian, pulmonologist with Western Washington Medical Group, oxygen is one of the body’s most basic fuels.

“We can’t live without our lungs. If they are diminished, everything else is, too — our ability to exercise, risk for infections and cardiac health,” Russian says. Read more

Former Letcher County teacher files lawsuit claiming asbestos in school caused cancer

By: Angela Reighard,http://www.wkyt.com/

rogerhallRoger and Evelyn Hall are holding onto each other a little tighter these days.

Roger was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Mesothelioma about one year ago.

He taught history at the old Letcher High School from 1976 to 2003.

“If you wanted to have a decent life, you had to become a doctor, a lawyer, school teacher, so on. So, I figured a school teacher is easy enough,” Roger Hall said.

Hall spent a lot of time in the break room at the high school. It’s now an office at Letcher Elementary. He said he ate lunch there.

“You had no thought that you were limiting your life,” Hall said.

When he found out he had Mesothelioma, he did some research. One thing kept coming up: asbestos.

“When I asked several people I worked with is there asbestos in that school? They said it was loaded with it,” Hall said.

Hall filed a lawsuit against various members of the school district saying asbestos exposure caused his cancer.

As of today, the principal of Letcher Elementary says they are dealing with asbestos.

“We always kind of knew it was here. We just assumed it was being taken care of the way it was supposed to be taken care of,” Letcher Elementary Principal Wendy Rutherford said.

Rutherford said in the seven years she’s worked at Letcher Elementary, the custodians have followed protocol. They clean and wax the tile in order to prevent asbestos exposure.

The hallway in the school was recently sealed. However, some classrooms and the cafeteria still have the old tile.

“It is something I do think we need to address just for the safety of our students and staff and to help with fears any people have,” Rutherford said. “I think it’s a wise call for our board to remove the tile.” Read more

This Rocker Has A Heavy Metal Warning For Fellow Parents

By Lynne Peeples, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

JohnfishmanWhen Jon Fishman’s family moved into their 200-year-old Maine farmhouse years ago, they didn’t think to be concerned about lead paint hazards. That all changed this February, a few minutes after a pediatrician pricked their toddler son’s toe. The rapid blood test revealed the presence of lead.

Tiny, largely invisible particles of the poison, they would later confirm, had taken residence in their home — making them one of the at least 4 million households with children that are exposed to deteriorated lead paint and elevated levels of lead dust, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now Fishman, the drummer for the band Phish, wants to share what he’s learned so that other parents have their young children screened for lead. He also wants to ensure people avoid renting, buying, selling or remodeling a home while blind to the threat of the neurotoxic heavy metal.

“I’m just trying to parlay the little celebrity I have to raise awareness,” he said. Fishman recently donated to the completion of “MisLEAD,” a forthcoming film on the lead issue, and will be hosting screenings in Vermont this October.

Homes built in the early to mid-20th century, during the heyday of lead-based paint, are most worrisome. Yet risks may reside in and around any building constructed or painted before 1978, when lead was finally banned from residential paint sold in the U.S.

“Lead is all over the damn place — aging and chipping,” said Fishman, who also discovered lead hazards in a lakeside cottage and a general store his family owns. “It’s an epidemic. And it’s causing serious health problems in lots of kids around the country.”

Of course, the majority of children who suffer from lead poisoning aren’t celebrity kids with multiple residences. Risks are generally highest in low-income communities, where lead paint can often be seen peeling from poorly-maintained properties. But the poison can still find its way onto the hands and into the mouth of any child.

Read more

Grant aims to get rid of lead-hazards in Mid-South homes

By Eryn Taylor and Shay Arthur, http://wreg.com/

hudgrantThe federal government has awarded Memphis with a grant the city said not only helps make the city healthier, but provides jobs.

A $3.7 million grant will be implemented over three years to reduce lead-hazards in homes.

Homes built before 1978 were commonly painted with lead based paint.

Lead can cause permanent brain damage and damage to other organs, especially to children.

The city hopes to remove lead from 240 houses in 12 targeted zip codes.

“I’m very happy about it,” said Janice Taylor.

Taylor has been running Joshua’s Learning Tree, a daycare off Lamar in South Memphis for years.

Soon a sign in front of her building, warning of possible lead will be removed after she coordinated with the city to help rid the building of lead.

“It made us be more involved with the community, with our parents,” explained Taylor. Read more

Asbestos Discovered Post-Demolition In An Ohio Elementary School

By Jillian Duff, http://www.mesothelioma.com/

AmboyschoolA Conneaut, Ohio elementary school was demolished in August and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found evidence of asbestos in the debris. Inspectors arrived at the site a few days after work began to conduct samples, which tested positive.

This demolition at Amboy School occurred without contacting the EPA. Requirements to alert the EPA before construction begins are in place to make sure any possible asbestos is found and removed according to safety regulations.

“Demolition prevented the agency from determining how much material the building might have contained,” said an Ohio EPA spokeswoman Linda Oros. “Trace amounts were found at the Amboy School demolition site.” Read more

Pittsburgh hospital suspends organ transplants after mold infections, deaths

By Holly Yan and Ben Brumfield, CN

UPMCHospitalA Pittsburgh hospital has temporarily stopped organ transplants after three transplant patients contracted a fungal infection and died.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center voluntarily suspended transplants at UMC Presbyterian “until we have completed our investigation and are satisfied that we’ve done all we can do to address the situation,” UPMC Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Dr. Steven D. Shapiro said.

Shapiro said Monday that the suspension could last two or three days. He said the medical center is reaching out to all its patients with scheduled organ transplants and “will do everything we can to make sure patients receive life-saving transplants if they are critically ill.”

Officials have struggled to find the source of the mold that infected patients at UPMC.

The fungus isn’t some kind of killer mold. It’s a household kind — ordinary indoor mold.

It doesn’t threaten the general population, or patients and staff with normal immune systems at the hospital. But UPMC said it believes the mold may have contributed to the deaths of organ transplant patients.

One transplant patient died Thursday at UPMC Montefiore, the medical center said.

Two other patients died in October and in June at UPMC Presbyterian, CNN affiliate WTAE-TV reported.

And UPMC said another patient became deathly ill with the same kind of mold infection. Read more

HUD gives $101M to communities for lead paint, home hazard removal

By Trey Garrison, http://www.housingwire.com/

paintbrushesThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded over $101 million to 32 city, county and state governments.

The grant funding announced will reduce the number of lead-poisoned children and protect families by targeting health hazards in over 6,000 low-income homes with significant lead and/or other home health and safety hazards.

Earlier this week in Baltimore, Maryland, HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced the funding during a news conference with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as part of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Back to School event, promoting healthier housing to improve school outcomes.

The City of Baltimore is one of the grantees.

HUD’s Lead Hazard Control grant programs has a demonstrated history of success, filling critical needs in urban communities where no other resources exist to address substandard housing that threatens the health of the most vulnerable residents.

“Every family deserves to live in a safe and healthy home where they can see their children thrive and excel,” said Castro. “Communities will use these grants to help eliminate home-related hazards in neighborhoods across the country. A healthy home is vital to the American Dream.” Read more

NY Governor Signs Legislation to Protect Workers and Homeowners Involved in Mold Assessment, Remediation and Abatement

By WorkersCompensation.com 

cuomoGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today was honored by the NYS Laborers and the NYS Pipefitters and Plumbers at their respective events in Warren County. The Governor was presented with the “Champion of Organized Labor” award by the Laborers and the “NY Builder” award by the Pipefitters and Plumbers. These awards come on the heels of the Governor’s presentation of a comprehensive vision to transform LaGuardia airport.

Additionally, the Governor also signed legislation to protect workers who are involved in the cleanup of mold from harm. The law modifies and improves upon a new licensing requirement for contractors and workers engaged in the assessment, remediation and abatement of mold. Read more