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And just when you thought it was safe to go outside….

And just when you thought it was safe to go outside…


The New York Times reports that Las Vegas may be contaminated from naturally occurring asbestos. Scientists at UNLV have published a study “Naturally Occurring Asbestos: Potential for Human Exposure, Southern Nevada” that warns that fibers from asbestos-bearing mineral deposits could affect millions across the US Southwest. Craps!

The Times also reports that “similar concerns are arising in an unexpectedly wide swath of the United States: Naturally occurring asbestos deposits now have been mapped in locations across the country, from Staten Island to the foothills of the Sierras in California”. The US Geological Survey (USGS) has published a map that demonstrates the natural occurrence of asbestos in 34 of the 48 contiguous states, including New York State. According to the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR), one of New York State’s naturally occurring deposits is located in St Lawrence County near the town of Gouverneur. The other two are located further east near the Vermont state line and are areas in which talc mining operations are carried out.

Lead based paint is also in the news, on a couple fronts; the LA Times reports that a Santa Clara County judge ruled that the ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin Williams created a “public nuisance” by selling lead based paint before 1978 and found them liable for exposing children to a known poison. The court set aside $605 million to pay for lead removal in Los Angeles County. Needless to say, the defendants intend to appeal.

EPA is on schedule to publish another element of the Renovation, Repair & Painting Program (RRP) that affects renovations in public and commercial buildings. The official comment period ended last July, and a proposed “Notice of Proposed Rule Making” is expected in July 2015. The projected effective date would be approximately January 2017. Take a look here for the official EPA presentation.

Expect a lot of resistance from the establishment on both these issues. Courts in Rhode Island and other states have stuck down prior lead paint liability decisions, which makes the California decision a little unusual. The RRP for target housing and child occupied facilities ran into legal quicksand shortly after implementation in 2010, and while still enacted, appears to be largely ignored out in the field. Public health officials, children’s advocates and environmental justice groups would be wise to express their support for the California decision and the EPA’s proposed rulemaking. Stay tuned!

Winter’s a great time to get some certification training! Here’s a list of upcoming sessions:

Asbestos Supervisor Certification, January 27-31, Buffalo
Lead Abatement Supervisor Certification, January 27- 30, Rochester (2 for 1 sale!)
Asbestos Supervisor Refresher, February 4, Rochester
Asbestos Handler Refresher, February 5, Rochester
Asbestos Project Designer Refresher, February 6, Rochester (AIA CES HSW)
OSHA 10 Construction Safety, February 6-7, Buffalo

And finally….

Our winter sale continues!!! Prices for our most popular asbestos and lead classes have been slashed, making EEA the best AND MOST AFFORDABLE trainer in Upstate New York. Our experienced and professional staff is available to assist you with selection of the appropriate class, registration and other certification questions, at no extra charge. Get Smart…

…and be well!