GHS Infographic – Only the Facts

Sitehawk.com recently published an infographic detailing the pertinent facts relating to the implementation of GHS.  While GHS has historically focused on the international community, with early adoption by the European Union and Japan, the GHS trend is moving west and will definitely be in the spotlight in the U.S. in 2012. GHS has already had and will continue to have profound effects on chemical data management initiatives, both for companies that must author and publish material safety data sheets (M)SDS for their chemical products, as well as those companies that must manage (M)SDS and related chemical data for onsite chemical inventories.  Below is a summary of the highlights.

Source: Sitehawk.com

HUD releases 2012 Guidelines for Evaluation and Control of Lead Paint in Housing

The Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing support HUD’s vision to reduce hazards in housing in a cost-effective manner while protecting the health of children.  TheGuidelines apply to lead hazard evaluation and control in all federally associated housing. This second edition of the Guidelines replaces the 1995 edition, with its lead-based paint inspection chapter revised in 1997.

These Guidelines can be used by those who are required to identify and control lead paint hazards, as well as property owners, landlords, and child-care center operators.  They offer helpful advice on renovations in older housing, lead-based paint inspections and risk assessments, and where to go for help.  The Guidelines also outline what users have to do to meet requirements and recommendations; identify training – and if applicable, certification – required for people who conduct the work; and describe how the work should be done.

The Guidelines complement regulations that have been issued by HUD, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and policies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While compliance with the Guidelines is not required by law, a Federal, State, or local statute, regulation, legal agreement or other document may require that the Guidelines, or certain parts, be followed.

Source: HUD.gov

CPSC & HUD Issue Guidance on Repairing Homes With Chinese Drywall

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today issued interim remediation guidance to help homeowners struggling to rid their properties of problem drywall linked to corrosion of metal in their homes such as electrical components.

Earlier this year, HUD and CPSC issued a protocol to help identify problem drywall in the home. Today’s interim remediation guidance is being released in recognition that many homeowners want to begin remediating their homes and offers a next step to homeowners whose homes have been determined to have problem drywall.

Based on scientific study of the problem to date, HUD and CPSC recommend consumers remove all possible problem drywall from their homes, and replace electrical components and wiring, gas service piping, fire suppression sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Taking these steps should help eliminate both the source of the problem drywall and corrosion-damaged components that might cause a safety problem in the home. To view a full text of the remediation guidance, visit the federal Drywall Information Center website.

This interim remediation protocol is being released before all ongoing scientific studies on problem drywall are completed so that homeowners can begin remediating their homes. CPSC will continue to release its scientific studies as they are completed.

Completed studies show a connection between certain Chinese drywall and corrosion in homes. CPSC is continuing to look at long term health and safety implications.

Source: CPSC, CDC, EPA, HUD Drywall Information Center

New EPA Lead Paint Rules to go into Effect

To protect against the risk of lead in paint, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

Until that time, EPA recommends that anyone performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools follow lead-safe work practices.

Source: EPA.gov

EPA “Green Book” Online: Managing Asbestos in Place

green_bookThe EPA “Green Book” (also known as Managing Asbestos in Place: A Building Owner’s Guide to Operations and Maintenance Programs) is now available on the EPA website.

The “Green Book” is a guide to assist building owners/managers with the development and maintenance of an effective Operations & Maintenance (O&M) plan in their buildings.

Topics contained in the “Green Book”  include:

  • What is an O&M program
  • Setting up an O&M program
  • Elements of an O&M program
  • Training
  • Occupant notification
  • Monitoring asbestos containing materials (ACM)
  • Job-site controls for work involving ACM
  • Safe work practices
  • Recordkeeping
  • Sample O&M forms

Source: EPA.gov

EPA Continues Study on Air Quality Near Schools


The EPA is continuing its study of assessing the outdoor air near schools for toxic contaminants.  This study is based upon several factors, including: results from an EPA computer modeling analysis, the mix of pollution sources near the schools, results from an analysis conducted for a recent newspaper series on air toxics at schools, and information from state and local air pollution agencies (See OHShub.com’s original post on the EPA Study on Outdoor Air Near Schools).

Some of the chemicals that will be monitored, include:

  • Carbonyls
  • Diisocyanates
  • Metals
  • PAH’s
  • VOC’s
  • Hexavalent Chromium, and
  • 4,4-methylenedianiline

Data has started to role in on most of the schools included in the study and can be found HERE

According to the EPA:

  • Monitoring at the schools will be phased in over the next three months. In some states, monitoring equipment is readily available and can be quickly moved to the schools to be monitored. EPA will purchase equipment for others.
  • The monitors will measure two types of pollutants in the outdoor air at the priority schools: pollutants that are in gas form, such as benzene; and pollutants that are in particle form, including metals such as hexavalent chromium, manganese or lead. The pollutants monitored will vary by school. EPA will identify pollutants to measure at each school based on the best available information about the pollution sources in the area. EPA and states also will install equipment to measure wind speed and direction at each school during the monitoring.
  • Monitors will be in place at each school for 60 days to provide a snapshot of monitored toxic pollutants in the outdoor air. The monitors will sample air quality on 10 different days during that time. The samples will be analyzed by the laboratories EPA uses for air quality analysis. To ensure the data is sound, EPA and state air agencies will check monitors to be sure they are operating correctly, inspect the laboratories, and review the data for any anomalies.

Source: EPA

EPA Hosts Webinar on Spray Foam Initiative

spray_foamThe Environmental Protection Agency hosted over 300 spray foam industry professionals and concerned viewers in an online seminar to introduce the agencies’ collective concerns and involvement with the safety practices and health risks associated with the handling, application, and life cycle usage of spray polyurethane foam.

Involvement included:

  • EPA
  • OSHA
  • CPSC
  • The Center for Polyurethanes Industry, and
  • Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) trade associations

The SPFA reports market growth of up to 40% since 2004. The EPA sited a report indicating that over 400 million pounds of polyurethane foam were consumed in North America during 2008.

The presentation several goals of the EPA initiative:

  • Improve Availability of Safety Information
  • Communicate Best Safety Practices
  • Address Inaccurate and False Marketing Claims
  • Exposure Assessment

According to information made by the EPA, another webinar will be held regarding Spray Foam due to demand.  Stay tuned to OHShub.com for more information.

Source: Sprayfoam.com

Mary Cushmac, from the EPA opened up the meeting with comments about the current situation in the industry as it relates to the government agency’s perspective. She indicated that both the A-side product and B-side products contain both primary and intermediate chemicals of concern, especially if they are mis-handled, or applied incorrectly.


CPSC, EPA, HUD, CDC, and ATSDR Release Initial Chinese Drywall Studies


The interagency task force on Chinese drywall is releasing today the initial results of several studies that begin to assemble pieces in the overall Chinese drywall puzzle. The investigation continues and
additional reports will be released in November.

In sum, the three studies released today are:

  • Elemental and Chemical Testing: The study of the elemental and chemical composition of 17 drywall samples shows higher concentrations of elemental sulfur and strontium in Chinese drywall than in non-Chinese drywall.
  • Chamber Studies: Preliminary results of ongoing testing to detect gases emitted from drywall
    in laboratory chambers show higher emissions of total volatile sulfur gases from Chinese than
    from non-Chinese drywall.
  • Indoor Air Studies: Indoor air testing of 10 homes in Florida and Louisiana was conducted to
    identify and measure contaminants and to inform a drywall home indoor air testing protocol.
    This data from a small sample of homes, allows preliminary observations of certain chemicals in
    the indoor air. The tests did not detect the presence or found only very limited or occasional
    indications of sulfur compounds of particular interest – hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide, and
    carbonyl sulfide. Concentrations of two known irritant compounds, acetaldehyde and
    formaldehyde, were detected in both homes with and without Chinese drywall, and at
    concentrations that could exacerbate conditions such as asthma in sensitive populations. The
    levels of formaldehyde were not unusual for new homes, however, and were higher when the
    homes were not air conditioned.


EPA Publishes Guidelines for Methamphetamine Lab Cleanup

epa_methDownload HERE:

  FlammablesPPT.ppt (3.6 MiB, 2,373 hits)

From the EPA’s Website

The Voluntary Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup provide guidance for individuals responsible for methamphetamine (meth) lab cleanup. The Guidelines are based on an extensive review of the best available science and practices and addresses general cleanup activities, identifies best practices for specific items or materials, discusses sampling procedures, and provides additional technical resources.

Guidelines Questions and Answers:

Why is EPA publishing these voluntary guidelines?

The Methamphetamine Remediation Research Act of 2007 required EPA to develop guidelines for remediating former methamphetamine labs. This document provides those guidelines for States and local agencies to improve “our national understanding of identifying the point at which former methamphetamine laboratories become clean enough to inhabit again.” The legislation also required that EPA periodically update the guidelines, as appropriate, to reflect the best available knowledge and research.

Who should use these guidelines?

The guidelines are geared towards state and local government personnel charged with remediating or otherwise addressing former methamphetamine (meth) labs. This document helps disseminate the best available knowledge and research on meth lab remediation and will also prove useful to cleanup contractors and could be a resource for homeowners.

Does this document create new regulations for meth lab cleanup?

EPA prepared this document based on best current practices to provide voluntary cleanup guidelines to state and local governments, cleanup contractors, industrial hygienists, policy makers and others involved in meth lab remediation. It does not set requirements, but rather suggests a way of approaching meth lab remediation. Those using this document should also consult their appropriate municipal, county or state guidance documents, regulations and statutes. This document is not meant to supersede municipal, county or state guidance documents, regulations or statutes (however this document may be useful as they develop and/or review and revise their own guidelines).

Chemical Concentrations Near Schools

Per the USA Today report published in December 2008

EPA modeling and subsequent air monitoring revealed the presence of carcinogens and heavy metals in close proximity to schools around the country.  “It is meant as ‘a screening tool. It isn’t an in-depth analysis,’ says Nick Bouwes, who helped create the model for EPA” and should not be used to estimate risk.  It should be noted that the data represents air quality outside of the schools and only thorough sampling inside the schools can document the indoor air quality.

Read more HERE