Drywall from China may be toxic

Drywall imported from China between 2004 and 2007 has been found so toxic that it’s creating a host of construction and health problems.

Among the construction problems are the fact that it corrodes electrical and plumbing; among the health problems, headaches and respiratory issues. Many people in affected homes complain of lingering nauseous sulfur odors similar to the smell of burnt matches.

This problem is only now beginning to surface and may have incredibly harmful repercussions into the future. Homes that can’t be lived in because of the health risks will go into foreclosure, medical bills related to the fumes will escalate, possible electrical shorts and plumbing leaks due to corroded pipes and wires may result in fires, shorts or floods.

If you have developed unexplained symptoms or if your home smells like sulfur or has a strange odor that you can’t identify and drywall has been installed after 2003, call a licensed contractor who is able to determine if the problem is your drywall.

As to who is going to handle the financial issue of trying to completely retrofit your home, courts will be busy for a long time to come. Already lawsuits are being filed against contractors, distributors, importers and anyone and everyone who might be in any way responsible.

 



MERS Virus Warning

MIDDLE EAST RESPIRATORY SYNDROME (MERS) Virus now in United States

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a Coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. More than 30% of these people died.This virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person. However, there is no evidence of sustained spreading in community settings. As of Friday, 538 cases of MERS have been confirmed in 17 countries, including the United States, according to the World Health Organization. Of those, 145 people have died.

MERS is in the same family of viruses as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome — coronavirus) as well as the common cold. However, unlike SARS, which sickened more than 8,000 people in 2003 and killed 773 worldwide, MERS does not spread easily between humans — at least not yet. On May 2, 2014, the first U.S. case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. The traveler is considered to be fully recovered and has been released from the hospital. Public health officials have contacted healthcare workers, family members, and travelers who had close contact with the patient. At this time, none of these contacts has had evidence of being infected with MERS-CoV.

On May 11, 2014, a second U.S. imported case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler who also came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. This patient is currently hospitalized and doing well. People who had close contact with this patient are being contacted. The two U.S. cases are not linked. CDC and other public health partners continue to investigate and respond to the changing situation to prevent the spread of MERS-CoV in the U.S. These two cases of MERS imported to the U.S. represent a very low risk to the general public in this country.

CDC continues to closely monitor the MERS situation globally and work with partners to better understand the risks of this virus, including the source, how it spreads, and how infections might be prevented. The virus acts like a cold and attacks the respiratory system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. But symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea have also been seen,CDC recognizes the potential for MERS-CoV to spread further and cause more cases globally and in the U.S. We have provided information for travelers and are working with health departments, hospitals, and other partners to prepare for this.

There are no treatments and no vaccine

As of now, doctors can treat symptoms of MERS, such as fever or breathing difficulties. However, there is no vaccine and no specific medicine, such as an antiviral drug, that targets MERS.

New Mexico Department of Health is asking that healthcare providers, infection preventionists and laboratorians be alert for and evaluate patients who meet the following:

  • Developed severe acute lower respiratory illness within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian peninsula (e.g., Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Kuwait); OR
  • Close contacts of a recent traveler from this area who has fever and acute respiratory illness; OR
  • Close contacts of a confirmed case

Clusters of patients with severe acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever and pneumonia requiring hospitalization), without recognized connections to patients with MERS-CoV or to travelers from the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding areas, should be evaluated for common respiratory pathogens.

 

Additional information can be found in the MERS-CoV Risk Assessment document provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Information from the CDC, World Health Organization and NMDOH

 

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

keno@plateautel.com


Free Copy of Electrical Safety Illustrated

From the Electrical Safety Foundation International website…

NESM_Logo_Dark-1

In celebration of Electrical Safety Month 2014, ESFI is excited to announce the launch of Electrical Safety Illustrated. In this magazine ESFI addresses timely electrical safety issues to equip the public with the knowledge to better protect your home, family and communities from electrical hazards

While we touch on a variety of topics, we recognize that we must also go back to the basics to ensure a fundamental understanding surrounding electrical safety. Each section provides only an overview of the issues and we encourage you to visit our website, wwww.esfi.org, to delve deeper into the subjects. We also invite you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to stay abreast of emerging electrical safety concerns and receive reminders about how you can protect yourself.
– See more at: http://www.esfi.org/index.cfm/cdid/13323/pid/10272#sthash.EXCX0Hm6.dpuf

In celebration of Electrical Safety Month 2014, ESFI is excited to announce the launch of Electrical Safety Illustrated. In this magazine ESFI addresses timely electrical safety issues to equip the public with the knowledge to better protect your home, family and communities from electrical hazards

 

While we touch on a variety of topics, we recognize that we must also go back to the basics to ensure a fundamental understanding surrounding electrical safety.  Each section provides only an overview of the issues and we encourage you to visit our website, wwww.esfi.org, to delve deeper into the subjects.  We also invite you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to stay abreast of emerging electrical safety concerns and receive reminders about how you can protect yourself.

– See more at: http://www.esfi.org/index.cfm/cdid/13323/pid/10272#sthash.EXCX0Hm6.dpuf



“The Way We Worked” Photo Exhibit from the National Archives

The National Archives website is hosting an exhibit entitled “The Way We Worked“.

Child_Labor

The exhibit which features 80 photos as well as a 4:15 minute video is broken up into 5 sections as well as an introduction:

  1. Introduction
  2. Where We Worked
  3. What We Wore to Work
  4. How We Worked
  5. Conflict at Work
  6. Dangerous or Unhealthy Work

Most of the photos date from the early 1900s and show work conditions that are hard to conceive of, back before child labor laws, OSHA, MSHA and most of the things that mean we no longer have to choose between health and work.


What is it you need to know to stay safe in your job?

OSHA, NIOSH, ANSI and a number of other agencies to a great job of tracking potential hazards for most major industries. If you work in construction for example, there’s no end of material out on the internet to help you identify and protect against the hazards and dangers that might be present; same if you work in manufacturing. But what about those other jobs, the ones that we don’t necessarily think of as “dangerous”? Where, for example, for you go to find information of the potential hazards of being an artist? Or what about those of a dog trainer, or a printer?

Fortunately there’s a site that has the information you need.

Haz-Map

Head over to http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/hazmap-list?main_category=High+Risk+Jobs&table=tbljobs&alpha=A and dig around alphabetically to find a whole lot of information on topics you might not have thought about.

 

 



World’s Number 1 Herbicide Discovered in U.S. Mothers’ Breast Milk

maambanner-flag

In a new study conducted by Moms Across America plate_1.jpg  and Sustainable Pulsesustainable_pulse.jpg “High levels” of glyphosate herbicides in breast milk from 3 out of 10 women tested. Keep in mind that this is a pesticide that Monsanto assured us is perfectly safe. They were recently quoted as saying that “If ingested, glyphosate is excreted rapidly, does not accumulate in body fat or tissues, and does not undergo metabolism in humans. Rather, it is excreted unchanged in the urine.”

Even more alarming is the fact that the women in this study were all at least somewhat aware of GMOs and pesticides and were trying to avoid them in their diet, many of them for more than 2 years now. In spite of this it was still found to be in their breast milk.

“The glyphosate testing commissioned by Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse, with support from Environmental Arts & Research, also analyzed 35 urine samples and 21 drinking water samples from across the US and found levels in urine that were over 10 times higher than those found in a similar survey done in the EU by Friends of the Earth Europe in 2013.”

There’s a lot more to this study. Read the full article on the Moms Across America website.