Thursday, July 21, 2016

online (e-learning) RRP Refresher Lead Safety Training Course - Planning Ahead

Dear Certified Renovators,

Per EPA Renovation Repair & Painting Rule, an US EPA accredited training provider is not allowed to provide the online (e-learning) RRP Refresher Lead Safety Training Course certificate to students whose Certified Renovator certificates have expired.

If planned correctly the online (e-learning) RRP Refresher Lead Safety Training Course without hands-on will save contractor(s) money and time.  However, as several students found out, PHS is not able to issue the Certified Renovator certificates without a current previous RRP Initial or Refresher Lead Safety Training Course with Hands-on.  More information for registration is available on how to register for online (e-learning) RRP Refresher Lead Safety Training Course by clicking here.

We look forward in sharing our wealth of experience and knowledge in the lead safety training in this e-learning RRP Certified Renovator course.

For more information on one of our other asbestos, lead or mold courses click here.

PHS online Lead Safety Training (e-learning Certified Renovator Refresher Course)

Dear Certified Renovators,

Public Health and Safety, Inc. online e-learning Certified Renovator refresher course is available online.  Students may take the course on their time schedule.  Based on the experience of the students that took the class, the lessons learned are summarized on this webpage presented here.

E-Learning EPA Renovator Refresher Course Without Hands-On (Online Lead safety Training)  
You may register for this online CLASS in two ways:
1. VIA our store, once you register you will be added to the  server manually within 24-hours, we will need your birthdate add that in the notes section.  If you register more than one person:  we will need their contact information, including first and last name, address, city, state, zipcode, phone, birthdate, email, etc.  To access the store link click here.

2. Go to the E-LEARNING LINK (Powered by MOODLE):
Register on the site and pay for the class there. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

RRP Reno Website with Links

This is our old website with many forms.  You may reach the RRP Reno website by clicking here.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

OSHA Announces New Silica Rules

OSHA Announces New Silica Rules Permitted exposure levels will drop sharply, affecting many parts of the construction world.  The Department of Labor has released long-awaited revisions to rules on worker exposure to silica dust, cutting permissible exposure for millions of workers and setting new requirements for employers. Allowable exposure to silica dust in the construction industry will drop from 250 micrograms per cubic meter to 50 micrograms, averaged over an eight-hour period — a reduction of 80%.
The final rule comes in two parts: one for the construction industry, which takes effect on June 23, 2017, and another for general and maritime industries, which kicks in the following year. In addition to limiting exposure to dust, employers will also be required to provide medical exams once every three years for some workers, and to keep records of instances in which workers are exposed to silica.
The revisions have been years in the making. Silica dust, which can scar lungs and cause diseases such as silicosis and cancer, is produced in a variety of ways in the construction industry — by workers cutting stone and masonry products, for example, and by those working in some manufacturing jobs that use sand. More than 2 million workers in the U.S. are exposed to silica dust, and Labor Secretary Tom Perez said that scientists have known for decades that rules established in the early 1970s were too lax. "We've known for over 40 years that it needed to be strengthened, and it has taken 40 years to strengthen it," Perez told NPR of the exposure limit. "Many people who are going to work right now and breathing unacceptable levels of silica dust are in for a brighter future."
OSHA says that most employers will be able to limit exposure to dust by using widely available equipment that uses water to prevent dust from becoming airborne or ventilation equipment to capture it. The agency also said that it made a number of revisions in the proposed regulation that lessened the burden on employers. The final rule requires employers to:
Provide engineering controls (such as ventilation or water) and adopt work practices to limit exposure
Provide respiratory protection when controls are not capable of limiting exposures to PEL.
Limit access to areas where exposure to dust is likely to be high.
Train workers and provide medical exams to workers who are exposed to high levels of dust.
OSHA added that "a table of specified controls" is included in the rule to make it easier for construction employers, especially small employers, to comply with the regulations without having to monitor exposures. This information is contained in what OSHA calls Table 1 in the final rule. For example, when the employee is using a stationary masonry saw with an integrated system that continuously feeds water to the blade (such as a wet saw for tile), no required respiratory protection is required.
The rule also spells out requirements for workers using handheld saws to cut fibercement board, walkbehind saws, and a variety of other tools and equipment. OSHA spokesman Brian Hawthorne said that the agency heard employers "loud and clear" when they said that they wanted an uncomplicated means of compliance, so OSHA compiled a list of common tasks and how workers should be protected. That list became Table 1.
Hawthorne also encouraged employers to contact their local OSHA offices, where they would find staffers "briefed and available" to help them be ready when the rule takes effect in June 2017.

Click here to go to Public Health & Safety, Inc. website.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Mesothelioma Resources Page


You may access the link to a Mesothelioma  Resources Page by clicking here.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

February 10, 2016 -- EPA finalized revisions Renovation Repair and Painting Rule

February 10, 2016, per US EPA Renovator Certification may be done on-line without hands-on online.  
The on-line (e-learning) Renovator Certification is for 3 years from the date of course completion.   To qualify to take this class a Renovator has to have either: 8-hour Renovator Initial training certification with hands-on, or 4-hour Renovator Refresher training with hands-on. 

Taking the course without hands-on training is optional but once a renovator takes the course, their next refresher course must include hands-on training and be taken within 3 years of their previous certification. The certification from taking a course with hands-on training will last for 5 years.

You may read about this by clicking here

Public Health & Safety, Inc. is an US EPA accredited e-Learning Renovation Repair and Painting Refresher Course Training provider.  Register for this e-learning Renovator Refresher Course on-line by clicking here

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

City fails to warn Chicagoans about lead risks in tap water

This is just the tip of the ice(lead)berg

City fails to warn Chicagoans about lead risks in tap water

New water mains in Chicago
More than two years after federal researchers found high levels of lead in homes where water mains had been replaced or new meters installed, city officials still do little to caution Chicagoans about potential health risks posed by work that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is speeding up across the city.
In a peer-reviewed study, researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found alarming levels of the brain-damaging metal can flow out of household faucets for years after construction work disrupts service lines that connect buildings to the city's water system. Nearly 80 percent of the properties in Chicago are hooked up to service lines made of lead.
The study also found the city's testing protocols — based on federal rules — are likely to miss high concentrations of lead in drinking water.
Yet when city officials notify homeowners about new water mains being installed, the letters do not mention potential lead hazards. Residents are advised merely to flush all faucets and hose taps for several minutes after the work is completed to remove any "particulates," a solution EPA scientists and independent experts say is grossly inadequate.
While the crisis in Flint, Mich., is drawing worldwide attention to the disastrous consequences of failing to properly maintain a public water system, the Chicago study highlights a broader problem facing scores of U.S. cities that spent more than a century installing lead pipes to deliver drinking water.
Most older cities, including Chicago, add corrosion-fighting chemicals to the water supply that form a protective coating inside pipes. Officials in Flint stopped the treatment in an ill-advised attempt to cut costs. The EPA study and other research shows the anti-corrosion treatment also can be thwarted when street work, plumbing repairs or changes in water chemistry disrupts the coating, causing alarming levels of lead to leach from service lines.
"If you don't disturb the service line, it works pretty well," said Miguel Del Toral, an EPA water expert who led the Chicago study and played a key role in exposing what went wrong in Flint. "We need to do a better job telling people how to protect themselves when it doesn't."
Instead of cautioning Chicagoans they could be exposed to a potent neurotoxin in their drinking water, top city officials have repeatedly assured elected officials and residents there is nothing to worry about, even as Emanuel pushes to overhaul the city's century-old water system.
"I am taking this opportunity to set the record straight," Thomas Powers, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Water Management, wrote in a October 2013 letter to aldermen in response to Del Toral's EPA study. "Chicago water is absolutely safe to drink and meets or exceeds all standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois EPA."
Annual "consumer confidence" reports sent to homeowners also don't mention potential lead hazards. In a note accompanying the reports, Emanuel says it is crucial to replace leaky water mains and improve conservation efforts "to continue our city's reputation for high quality, good-tasting water."
When questioned about water quality, officials say the city complies with the Lead and Copper Rule, a 1991 federal edict that created an elaborate set of procedures to test drinking water for those heavy metals. But the federal rule requires only 50 homes be tested every three years in Chicago, a city of 2.7 million people with more lead service lines than any other U.S. municipality.
Moreover, the rules require utilities to check only the first liter of water drawn in the morning. The EPA study found that although the first liter often is lead-free, high levels of the toxic metal can flow through taps for several minutes afterward, depending in part on the length of the service line between the home and street.
The water doesn't need to look or smell strange, either, as it did in Flint for more than a year.
The Flint crisis has made the hazards of lead pipes a national issue. But the Department of Water Management is doing even less to caution residents than it did a few months ago. Since October, the department has been sending homeowners a two-page handout before water mains are replaced that is missing any reference to lead.
An earlier version referred to "lead particulates" rather than just "particulates." But it was buried in a longer handout, after a plug for Emanuel's Building a New Chicago program and a list of historical events that occurred around the time the original water main was installed.
A department spokesman declined to make officials available for comment. In a statement Friday, the department said, "Chicago water is safe and pure, exceeding standards set by the U.S. EPA, Illinois EPA and the drinking water industry. It would be premature and inappropriate for the city to change its testing guidelines without official federal guidance and instruction."
City officials have repeatedly questioned Del Toral's 2013 study, saying the findings are "far from scientifically established."
Published in a respected scientific journal, the study was intended to influence a long-running debate about the Lead and Copper Rule.
After years of hearings, a group of EPA advisers issued a report in December that concluded the current rule masks widespread but little known threats to public health. In a separate report, a utility trade group said that if cities tested accurately up to 96 million Americans could be drinking lead-contaminated water.
The only way to guarantee the public is protected is to make it a national priority to remove lead service lines altogether, the EPA panel concluded. "Revisions to the (rule) alone are not sufficient to address this critical issue," the panel wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
"The removal of all lead service lines will require significant financial resources and time," the letter to McCarthy said. "During this time it is essential to have in place a robust effort of consumer education and engagement to ensure protection from exposure to lead in drinking water."
Lead generally isn't found in municipal water systems until it flows into service lines from treatment plants and street mains. Long after other cities stopped connecting homes with lead service lines, Chicago kept requiring them under the city's plumbing code. Any home in the city built before 1986, the year lead pipes were banned nationwide, could have one.
The EPA says any household with a lead service line should flush pipes for three to five minutes any time water hasn't been used for several hours — not just one time after street work or plumbing repairs as the city advises in handouts to homeowners.

Chicagoans at risk of exposure to lead

Two simple ways to do that are to take a shower or do a load of laundry. Before drawing water to drink or to prepare baby formula, faucets should be flushed for another 35 to 45 seconds to clear any remaining water sitting in the home's pipes, according to the EPA's recommendations.
For greater protection, EPA officials and other experts suggest purchasing water-filtering pitchers or installing devices on kitchen sinks that are certified to screen out lead. NSF International, a nonprofit standards organization, lists certified productson its website under the heading "Consumer Resources."
Today the only Chicagoans who get that kind of advice from city officials are the few dozen who collect samples of their tap water every three years to help the Department of Water Management comply with the federal testing mandate. More than half of the 103 properties tested since 2003 are owned by department employees or retirees, according to a Tribune review of property tax, deed and employment records.
Most are in neighborhoods on the far Northwest and Southwest Sides, including Norwood Park, Edison Park, Beverly and Mount Greenwood, which see few cases of lead poisoning.
When the department sends letters informing those select homeowners of their results, it includes thorough advice to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water, regardless of whether the tests found anything wrong.
Among the suggested options: "You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter."
Banning lead in paint and phasing it out of gasoline has led to a steady decline in childhood lead poisoning. But a 2015 Tribune investigation revealed it remains a pernicious problem in the same poor, predominantly African-American neighborhoods on the West and South sides that have given Chicago a national reputation for violence and academic failure.
Exposure to even small amounts of lead can permanently damage the developing brains of children, lowering IQ and increasing the risk of learning disabilities, aggression and criminal behavior later in life.
Children typically are poisoned by ingesting the dust of flaking lead paint that remains in thousands of older homes. But given the widespread use of lead pipes, many experts say it is urgent that cities focus on potential threats from drinking water.
"There is a price to be paid for scientific misconduct, and unfortunately it is borne by the poorest amongst us, not by its perpetrators," Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech researcher who has played a major role in the Flint investigation, testified last week before a congressional committee. "We have to get this problem fixed, and fast, so that these agencies can live up to their noble vision and once again be worthy of the public trust."
Chicago Tribune's Jennifer Smith Richards contributed.
Copyright © 2016, Chicago Tribune

End of Article

You can view the Public Health & Safety, Inc. website by clicking here.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Chicago Tribune Lead Poisoning Article

We are enclosing this article that Ran in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, December 31, 2015.

When Lanice Walker moved in 2012 from public housing to a private rental in Chicago's Austin neighborhood, she thought she finally had secured a safe, cozy place for her family to live.
Not only did the Chicago Housing Authority provide a taxpayer-subsidized voucher that paid most of Walker's rent, the agency sent an inspector to ensure the narrow frame house had adequate heat and plumbing, working smoke detectors and no signs of lead paint hazards.
Less than five months later, a nurse practitioner diagnosed her 4-year-old daughter with lead poisoning. Walker knew that exposing young children to crumbling lead paint can permanently damage their developing brains, and she called the CHA to ask for an emergency move from the home on Leamington Avenue.
CHA officials turned her down. The amount of lead in her daughter's bloodstream was 11 micrograms per deciliter, more than two times higher than the standard for medical monitoring and home inspections set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But federal housing regulations don't require taxpayer-subsidized landlords to take action to protect poisoned children unless the level is at least 20.
"They treated me like I was nothing, like my daughter didn't matter," Walker said recently. If she still wanted to move, the CHA told her, she would risk losing her rent voucher to someone on a long waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher program, commonly known as Section 8.
Medical records provided by Walker show that within the next year, while still living in the Austin rental, another daughter and one of her sons were diagnosed with lead poisoning at levels that were higher than the CDC standard but below the "environmental intervention" limit set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and followed by the CHA. The daughter's level was 15, the son's 10.
Find your neighborhood: Lead poisoning trends across Chicago
Lead poisoning is still common among children in some parts of Chicago, though the city's overall rate has plummeted. See how your neighborhood rates.

All nine of her children eventually were found to have elevated lead levels. Yet it took intervention from a nonprofit legal aid clinic before Walker was able to move to new housing.
Her ordeal highlights a hidden problem facing Chicago families seeking a better life through federally subsidized housing. Since 2012, at least 178 other young children in Section 8 homes and apartments have fallen into the same gap Walker's children did, according to city records obtained by the Tribune.
Responding to Tribune questions, a top CHA official said Wednesday the agency will move during the first half of 2016 to crack down on landlords when children in Section 8 housing are found to have lead levels higher than the CDC standard but lower than the limit in HUD regulations. As recently as late November, the CHA had rejected requests to change its policies to match federal health guidelines.
"You're right, these standards should all match not only here but nationally," said Katie Ludwig, acting chief of the CHA's voucher program.
On its website, HUD declares that Section 8 families "have a right to live in housing that is safe and sanitary." Local housing agencies are required to inspect properties before families move in and at least once a year after that.
But when checking homes for lead paint, the CHA relies on visual inspections. Inspectors for most local health departments, including Chicago's, confirm the presence of lead with hand-held testing devices.
Landlords in the voucher program face a 24-hour deadline to fix conditions that HUD and CHA consider life-threatening, such as faulty heating, leaky roofs or missing door locks. Those who fail to comply can lose their taxpayer subsidies and be kicked out of the program altogether. CHA regulations, however, allow landlords to request extensions of indefinite length to fix lead paint hazards while still receiving taxpayer-funded rent checks.
Even when testing shows that a child has been poisoned at levels that exceed the HUD standard, landlords may take up to 30 days to scrape away peeling and chipping paint.
"This is wrong for so many reasons," said Emily Benfer, director of the Health Justice Project at the Loyola University School of Law. "There is no incentive to eliminate hazards that can cause permanent neurological damage, and that means families are forced to continue living in the same homes where children were poisoned."
As scientists have learned more about the dangers posed by lead, federal health officials have periodically tightened their threshold of concern. The CDC now calls for intervention when children are poisoned by just 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, down from 10 during the 1990s and 30 during the 1980s.
The last time HUD updated its regulations was during the Reagan administration. It doesn't require action until a child in subsidized housing has a lead level of 20 or higher, or until two tests at least three months apart find levels between 15 and 19.
Attorneys in Benfer's group started representing Walker in her fight with the CHA after Martha Glynn, the family's primary care provider at Erie Family Health Center, brought her case to their attention. In March 2014, three months after the Loyola lawyers got involved, the CHA secured the family new housing in a North Lawndale two-flat.
Benfer and Glynn also have been urging the housing agency to update its guidelines for all families in the Section 8 program, which Chicago has increasingly relied on to house low-income families after razing many of its dilapidated and dangerous public housing complexes.
In October, representatives from the Loyola/Erie partnership and the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights attended a public hearing on the CHA's 2016 administrative plan for Section 8. They urged housing officials to bring the agency's policies into line with federal health standards and followed up with a letter requesting specific changes.
Ludwig, the CHA official in charge of the voucher program, didn't respond until Dec. 17, a month after the agency approved its new Section 8 plan without making any changes. In an email to Benfer, she asked for a meeting to "get a better understanding what you are proposing."
At the federal level, a HUD spokesman said he could not explain why several attempts to overhaul the agency's lead poisoning standard have failed.
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, passed the House in 2008 but was never called for a vote in the Senate. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sponsored a similar bill that year while serving in the Senate; it also wasn't called for a vote.
As a young community organizer in Chicago, President Barack Obama fought to eradicate lead hazards in the Altgeld Gardens public housing project. HUD staff members have urged his administration to update the agency's lead standard, but such a change isn't included on the most recent list of federal rules planned during the next year.
During the past two decades, as CHA officials shifted low-income Chicagoans from high-rises to subsidized housing, they said the forced migration would make the city more diverse while giving low-income families access to better schools and safer streets. Yet most of the voucher holders live in predominantly African-American neighborhoods on the West and South sides that have given the city a national reputation for extreme poverty, violence and academic failure.
In May, a Tribune investigation found that children in those same neighborhoods continue to be harmed by lead poisoning at rates considerably higher than the city average.
Multiple studies have linked lead exposure in early childhood to struggles in school and criminal behavior later in life, leading social scientists and clinicians to conclude that lead poisoning is an underappreciated contributor to the cycle of deprivation in impoverished neighborhoods.
Chicago still has thousands of homes built before lead paint was banned nationwide in 1978. Scores of children living in older homes that haven't been renovated remain at risk from chips of lead paint and toxic dust released as painted doors and windows are repeatedly opened and closed.
In 2012, the same year Walker's daughter was diagnosed with lead poisoning, 21 other children in their six-block by four-block section of Austin also were found to have elevated levels, according to a Tribune analysis of city data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
"I hear people say lead poisoning is something from the past, but I don't see a downward trend among the families I work with every day," Glynn said. In the past two months alone, Glynn said, she has cared for five young children on the West Side with levels at least four times higher than the CDC standard.
CHA officials said it is unclear how Walker's children were poisoned. They could have been exposed at a relative's home, officials said, or the subsidized house on Leamington might not have been "adequately maintained" during the first five months the family lived there.
"This case absolutely did not fall through the cracks," Ludwig said.
End of Article

You can view the Public Health & Safety, Inc. website by clicking here.