Archive for the 'Health and Safety' Category

The carpenter’s daughter with elevated blood-lead levels

The other day, a little girl’s doctor told her parents their child’s blood-lead level was elevated. It wasn’t yet at the 10 micrograms per deciliter that is considered dangerous. But at 6 micrograms per deciliter, it was moving in that direction. And her dad freaked out. Why? See how lead blood levels are tested The [...]

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Bill Robinson on his RRP lead-safe training video

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New video training program teaches RRP lead-safe practices to jobsite workers

The moment remodeling contractors, company owners and others get certified under the EPA’s new Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (also known as RRP), a new problem arises: How do they teach on-the-job workers to handle lead-tainted dust in the manner they just learned about in an intensive 8-hour class? A new video training program by [...]

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1.5 million dishwashers recalled

Name of Product: Maytag Dishwashers Units: About 1.7 million in the United States Manufacturer: Maytag Corp. of Newton, Iowa or Maytag Corp. of Benton Harbor, Mich. Hazard: An electrical failure in the dishwasher’s heating element can pose a serious fire hazard. Incidents/Injuries: Maytag has received 12 reports of dishwasher heating element failures that resulted in fires and dishwasher damage, including one [...]

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New: A non-toxic primer from Kilz

 Q: What’s even better than blocking stains with KILZ primer-sealer? A: Doing so without poisoning yourself. I’ve been a fan of KILZ stain-blocking primer for years. It’s one of those rare products that lives up to its hype. And now it come in a formulation with no volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. That word “organic” [...]

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Aerial hedge trimming

Here’s a photo from the quirky former website Burbia.com. This fellow found a unique solution to that pesky hedge-trimming job. This beats the heck out of standing on a tall ladder and leaning over with a hedge trimmer in your hands. Hey, if this is safe and you’ve got the right equipment, why not?

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Owners of pre-1978 homes may soon have a better pool of contractors to choose from

Own an older home? Beginning April 22, only contractors who have been trained in safe handling of lead-contaminated paint dust can legally work on your home. And that’s a good thing for you. If you’ve been keeping up with contractor-type news, you know that contractors are not happy at all with a soon-to-be enforced EPA [...]

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Contractors lagging behind in new lead training law

Planning to remodel? Unless your home is fairly new, only renovators certified to handle lead will soon be legally allowed to do the work.  The problem: Many are not yet ready. The EPA is slated to enact a rule April 22 that will require remodelers who work on homes built before 1978, when lead paint [...]

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Is climate change threatening home foundations?

From the New York Times: Steven Derse, the owner of a corporate travel business in Nashville, cannot feel his house move, but he can hear it. “It’s an eerie creaking sound,” he said, and it echoes throughout his two-story Georgian-style house. It started two years ago when a severe drought contracted the soil beneath the [...]

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Such a cute lamp from Discovery Kids; too bad it might catch fire

The latest recall from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: Name of Product: Discovery Kids™ Animated Marine and Safari Lamps Units: About 360,000 Importer: Innovage LLC, of Foothill Ranch, Calif. Hazard: A defect in the lamp’s printed circuit board can cause an electrical short, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers. Incidents/Injuries: Innovage has [...]

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10 ways to love your Valentine during a home remodel

In the middle of a home remodel this Valentine’s Day? No doubt it can be stressful. But instead of bickering and lashing out at the one you love, how about making this a time of sweetness? Here are some ideas to ensure a romantic weekend, despite all the dust and rubble: 1. If the kitchen [...]

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Ask an Expert: How can pregnant homeowner avoid remodeling hazards?

From the Contra Costa Times: Q I’m pregnant and will be remodeling my home soon. Is there anything I should be aware of (off-gassing, asbestos, glues, etc.) that could hurt my unborn baby or me? A There are two points during a remodeling project that are critical times at which to consider the impact of [...]

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Unhappy Hipsters — What about the child?

It occurred to her that in choosing the repurposed airplane ramp as a staircase, she hadn’t considered the child.   (Photo: Bryce Duffy; Dwell, April 2007) See more, much more, at Unhappy Hipsters. Bravo mystery blogger, whoever you are!

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The disaster-proof house panels: lightweight, waterproof, nonflammable, mold-resistant and termite-proof

From Builder Magazine: Who will rebuild Haiti and provide permanent shelter for the ravaged country’s now estimated one million homeless people? InnoVida, a Miami-based building materials manufacturer, says it can–just not with the standard residential combination of steel, concrete, and wood. Instead, the company is donating houses made with a product it debuted at last month’s [...]

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Tired of heating and air conditioning your attic space?

The video below shows the hands-on basics of sealing your ducts. I like the part where this HVAC expert uses toilet paper to find leaks in the system. Then, he shows you how to seal them up. This is not just theory or book learning, folks. This is the real thing. So will you spend [...]

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Coach Sean Payton wants to know: Does your house contain tainted drywall?

By Kathy Price-Robinson for DIY Life: Lately, when Louisiana residents like myself see New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton on TV, it’s usually not in reference to the Saints’ first-ever trip to the Super Bowl February 7. Rather, in numerous ad spots, Payton can be seen discussing tainted drywall from China that was used in [...]

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Yoga for builders

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?  See the whole story at Fine Homebuilding.  

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Remodeling with allergies in mind

 Photo: Remodeled house in Southern California. For allergy sufferers, hardwood floor are the way to go. From the Indianapolis Star: Question: How can I make sure the materials I use in my remodeling project are safe for a family member with allergies? Answer: The best place to start is by talking with an allergist. Details [...]

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Haiti earthquake revealed the terrible cost of poor building design

From architect Roger K. Lewis in the Washington Post: The sight of thousands of collapsed structures in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, may lead you to wonder whether a strong earthquake could cause equally widespread, catastrophic building collapse in an American city. Fortunately, diligent engineering, up-to-date building codes and sound construction techniques ensure that many structures in America [...]

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Nearly 1 million home improvement books recalled due to faulty wiring instructions; shock or fire hazard to consumers

How did it take the the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission up to 35 years to figure out nearly 1 million books had faulty wiring instructions? I'd love to know the story behind this: Name of Product: Home Improvement Books Units: About 951,000 Publisher: Oxmoor House, Inc., of Birmingham, Ala. Hazard: The books contain errors [...]

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