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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America’s workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime.

OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The Final Rule is projected to provide net benefits of about $7.7 billion, annually.

About 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including 2 million construction workers who drill, cut, crush, or grind silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in general industry operations such as brick manufacturing, foundries, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Responsible employers have been protecting workers from harmful exposure to respirable crystalline silica for years, using widely-available equipment that controls dust with water or a vacuum system.

Key Provisions

  • Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.
  • Requires employers to: use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan, offer medical exams to highly exposed workers, and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.
  • Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.
  • Provides flexibility to help employers — especially small businesses — protect workers from silica exposure.

One of the first considerations is how the flooding happened. Flooding can occur in storm periods or near bodies of water from the outside environment near the residence. Flood damage is a common problem after a fire, due to the fact that what is necessary to extinguish the fire affects several areas in the house. However, flooding can also come from inside the home, from broken or malfunctioning plumbing or pipe work. When you find the source of excess water, you can determine the type of water causing damage in your house.

There are three main classifications of water: clean, gray, and black. Clean water has very few harmful substances in it, for example, when water supply lines are broken, spilling forth clean, fresh water. It can certainly still cause water damage, but there is little chance of bacteria or chemicals causing illness following the flooding. When sinks or tubs spillover, the water is also usually considered clean. Gray water, formally referred to as category 2 water, can cause sicknesses and physical problems because the amount of pollutants in the water is considerable. These impurities may be chemical, biological, and/or physical. Gray water will have micro-organisms present as well. Some good examples of water damage with category 2 implications are sump pump breakdowns, flows from dishwashers, defective washing machines, or leaking toilets(containing urine but not feces). Black water, or category 3 water, has a serious level of toxins and is very unsanitary. This water is highly disposed to induce physical issues, illness, or discomfort. Black water has microorganisms, fungi, chemical pollutants, and other dangerous materials. Category 3 water damage may emerge from lakes, streams, rivers, seawater, ground surface water, sewage leaks, overrunning toilets with fecal material, and stationary water that stands for 48-72 hours after a category 1 or 2 flood problem. The standing of the water increases its dangerous contaminants. Black water clean-up requires the use of protective gear and specific gear to prevent disease or wellness problems as well as safeguard the structure. Trusting clean up and restoration to experts can assist you get your house back rapidly and safely.


From the dawn of time mold has been on this planet. It comes in a variety of forms and colors and is caused by fungus growth. The spores of mold can cause the spread of this organism and certain factors can spur its growth. Mold needs a source of food, dampness, humidity and the spores themselves to be able to evolve.

Mold is present outdoors as well as inside. Typical places that mold grows are ceilings, wallpaper, wood, painted areas and carpets. It is quite normal to find it in places such as the basement or the bathroom. A few types of mold can be toxic and therefore dangerous to human health; this is the best reason to eradicate the problem. People can develop allergies to mold and many of the symptoms of suffering from the effects of mold include a runny nose, sneezing, itchy and red eyes as well as headaches.

There are easy ways in which you can rid your property of mold. In fact something as common and ordinary as vinegar can be used to get rid of mold. You can use a bottle to spray the vinegar directly onto the affected areas like grout in tiles, shower cubicles and the seals on faucets. Mold can grow anywhere in the home so remember to check all areas thoroughly- that unused kitchen cabinet with its food remnants and dampness will be a perfect place for mold to form.

A portable air conditioner is a handy utensil to have. During the hot and humid weather it will help to stop mold growing in your home. The humidity of your property should be kept at approximately 30%-50% to be productive.

In the winter months when it is colder, a dehumidifier is a great asset in the fight against the formation of mold in the home. Again, the humidity level should be maintained around the 30%-50% mark, but should still be at a pleasant level for your room temperature.

One of the commonest places to find mold is in the carpet. If you find that mold has settled on your carpet there are basically two options; you can replace the carpet with wooden flooring, or treat the carpet with baking soda. Leave the baking soda to sit on the carpet for a few hours and then vacuum off.

If the influx of mold is serious, then it may be best to consider calling the professionals to deal with the problem. An assessor can visit your home and identify the type of mold growing. Then a team will use tools such as wet vacuums, dry wipe materials and HEPA vacuums to eradicate the problem. There is a slight possibility that any lingering mold spores in the air may cause it to return, in which case a second treatment may be needed.

There is a serious element to mold being in your home and it should be considered an immediate problem, due to the possible risks to your health. As soon as you spot that mold forming tackle the problem quickly and head on.

Bleach For Mold Remediation - Good Or Bad Decision?

There is now a lot of evidence to connect black mold with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and miscarriage. The death of an infant can be devastating for a family so can losing a baby due to miscarriage. It is vital that any steps needed to prevent these awful events should be taken.

It is not just the fact that black mold is toxic that means that it is dangerous to infants. One way that it is believed to work is that black mold spores end up in baby's mattress and they releases harmful chemicals from the mattress into the air and the baby breathes this lethal gas. This process is believed to be responsible for many cases of SIDS.

Black mold has also been associated with miscarriage. It seems that exposure to mold toxin could be the cause of many women losing their baby during pregnancy. Not all mold is toxic, but it is almost impossible to tell this by just looking. The usual way to determine toxicity is by sending the mold to be tested in a laboratory. This is why it is probably a good idea that pregnant women treat all mold as if it were toxic and keeping well away from it.

The best way to stop black mold from becoming an issue for infants and those who are pregnant is to prevent it occurring in your home, and if you do have it to quickly eliminate the problem. This can be a difficult issue for those who are living in rented accommodation and have a landlord who just won't do anything about your mold problem. The advice here is to find somewhere else to stay either permanently or until the problem is fixed.

The real danger comes when black mold is growing and you are not even aware of it. Mold likes damp places that are poorly ventilated so make sure you check your attic and basement and any other cubby holes. Of course, if you are pregnant you will want someone else to conduct this search for you. In most instances eradicating the mold will be fairly straight forward so long as you discover it all. Pregnant women should not be involved in any part of the cleaning up process, but be kept well away from the area in case toxic spores are released into the air. When the mold is completely removed you will then need to take measures to make sure it doesn't back again.