Archive for the 'Health and Safety' Category

Window Covering Safety Council recalls to repair all Roman and roll-up blinds due to risk of strangulation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) are announcing today a voluntary recall to repair all Roman shades and roll-up blinds to prevent the risk of strangulation to young children. This recall involves millions of Roman and roll-up blinds. About five million Roman shades and [...]

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New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is lead plaintiff in Chinese drywall suit

Saints coach Sean Payton is the lead plaintiff in a 591-page class action lawsuit against Knauf Plasterboard Tainjin Co. Ltd., a Chinese company that manufactured drywall that is believed to be corroding homes and making people sick. The suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans on behalf of people with this particular [...]

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Uptick in lead poisoning cases related to economy?

State health officials say an increase in childhood lead poisoning cases in Iowa could be tied to the economic downturn. Kevin Officer, with the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Lead Poisoning Prevention, says many people living in older homes are choosing to do their own repairs and they’re not always following lead-safe practices. [...]

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Halloween Horror — Yankee Candle haunted house screen can catch fire

Name of Product: Haunted House Screen Tea Light Holders Units: About 7,800 Distributor: Coyne’s & Company, of Minneapolis, Minn. Hazard: The window panes on the screen can ignite, posing a fire hazard. Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received three reports of the window pane catching fire. No injuries have been reported. Description: This recall involves haunted house screen tea light holders made [...]

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Ensuring healthy indoor air quality during a remodel

Living through a major home remodel can turn anyone’s life topsy-turvy, but when you suffer from asthma, it can become a hazard to your health. That’s why it’s important to hire a contractor who knows how to minimize indoor air pollution during a home remodel, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Dust, [...]

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EPA proposes tightening standards for lead-safe renovation practices and lead paint dust to protect children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 22, 2009 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is marking National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week by announcing several actions the agency proposes to take to prevent lead poisoning. Lead poisoning may cause a variety of adverse health effects, including brain and nervous system disorders, high blood pressure, and hypertension. Children [...]

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Ask an expert: Keeping home, family safe during remodeling

By Michael McCutcheon for the Mercury News Q: How can I keep my home and family safe during a remodel? A: That's a great question. Clients usually dwell on price vs. quality, and the remodeling schedule, but rarely do they seriously consider the safety of their family and home during a remodel. Yet I would argue [...]

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Oops! LP recalls 48 million linear feet of potentially rotted decking

This is a big recall, folks. LP, Louisiana-Pacific, is putting out notice that its decking under the brand names WeatherBest®, ABTCo. and Veranda may rot and you may get hurt falling through the decking.  Already there have been 37 reports of composite decks breaking, resulting in 14 injuries, including a broken wrist, sprained ankle, minor lacerations and [...]

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California firefighter invents ember-blocking attic vent covers

Let's face it, folks, climate change is bringing with it more natural disasters: fires, floods, hurricanes, drought. It seems there's too much water in some places, and no water enough in others. For those dry places where wildfires will become more prevalent, keeping houses safe is critical. You want to keep flying embers from getting [...]

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Lead testing made simple

Whenever I’m told to test my house for lead or radon or mold or asbestos, I get a bad case of the “yeah buts . . . .” As in: Yeah, but . . . who do I call? Yeah, but . . . how do I collect samples? Yeah, but . . . what [...]

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Myths about mold (or: mold is not caused by a deficiency of bleach)

In the photo on the right, you can see mold spots showing through the paint in this closet. What to do? Without mold, our planet would be a very boring place. Were it not for cellulose-hungry mold, the fallen leaves would not compost, the compost would not nurture new growth, and the land would lay [...]

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Last call for free replacement of faulty vent pipes

Back in 1998, in a massive recall, virtually the entire furnace and boiler industry — along with the manufacturers of high-temperature plastic vent pipes and the Consumer Product Safety Commission — joined to correct a problem with 250,000 vent pipes that could crack or separate at the seams and leak deadly carbon monoxide fumes into homes. According [...]

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Ouchy! Metal fragments in these pillows

Somewhere in China, at some point in time, there was a mechanical breakdown in the manufacturing process at a factory, and metal fragments made their way into these good-looking pillows. Then, the pillows were packed up, loaded into freight containers, and shipped to America, where 120,000 of them were sold at various Costco stores between [...]

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My new shower curtain: Should I toss it out?

I was so excited about this new shower curtain, which was a gift for my husband. It was at about 35,000 feet, breathing airliner air, when I saw in a magazine this really neat shower curtain. The clear vinyl on the top would allow our dark and narrow shower stall some needed daylight. And the [...]

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New home-related recalls

Backyard play sets Units: About 11,000Distributor: Backyard Leisure LLC, of Pittsburg, KansasHazard: Hangers holding the chains for the gliders can break, causing a child to fall and suffer injuries.Incidents/injuries: Backyard Leisure has received 114 reports of glider hangers breaking, including three reports of minor injuries to children. Injuries included abrasions and a child being hit [...]

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Recalled: Log swings missing nail

I don’t really know why I’ve become so obsessed with recalled home-related goods. Some kind of personality disorder? A perverse interest in the wrongdoings of others? It’s baffling. But here’s another example of something gone wrong in the manufacturing process. These log swings, made in China, are missing just one nail. But that nail holds [...]

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New home-related recalls

Recalls for these products were announced recently by the Consumer Product Safety Commission: Product: Kenmore wall ovensManufacturer: Frigidaire Canada, a sister company of Electrolux Home Products Inc., Cleveland, OhioNumber recalled: 7,500Problem: During extended broiling, gas can build in the oven cavity and escape when the oven door is opened. This poses a burn and possible [...]

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What blocks your views, poisons your neighbors and is slowly becoming illegal?

It’s your wood-burning fireplace, of course. And they’re slowing going out of style, much to the dismay of fire devotees (and I used to be one). Last weekend, I visited with a couple who took out their fireplace during a remodel. In this photo, you see a Santa Barbara home that also lost its fireplace [...]

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Dad disgusted by son’s Army barrack

The father of a soldier who spent 15 months in Afghanistan and then came back to live in horrid conditions at Fort Bragg didn’t much like the way his hero son was being treated. So the dad posted a YouTube video of the barrack’s mold, rust, peeling lead paint and sewer problems. It worked. According [...]

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Ask a NARI Contractor: Mother in a panic over lead-tainted dust

Jennifer, a mother of three young kids (who is NOT pictured here), is understandably "freaking out" about the possibility of lead-tained dust in her home. For advice, I turned to members of the newly form L.A. chapter of the National Assn. of the Remodeling Industry. Three contractors responded. Read the question and their answers below: [...]

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