New Data Raises Questions About Asbestos Containment Strategy

Chemical and Engineering News National

When dealing with asbestos waste, digging up and removing large amounts of contaminated soil can be risky, as it can send asbestos fibers into the air. So, rather than remove all the contaminated dirt, the EPA often caps a site with more soil. Scientists thought that these soil caps would trap the long, thin fibers and prevent them from escaping. But a new peer-reviewed laboratory study shows a potential escape route for these fibers. The findings, first presented as preliminary data in 2016, demonstrate that the presence of certain organic material in soil can actually enhance the mobility of asbestos fibers. Click here for the full article. 

Citing Howard Protest, DC Council Members Urges City to Keep Up With Mold Inspections

WTOP by Abigail Constantino Washington, DC

One D.C. department has housing violation authority but claims it does not have expertise to conduct mold inspections. Another agency has the expertise but no enforcement authority. So, a member of the District’s council now wants to know how this is being reconciled amid ongoing issues at Howard University dorms. At-Large Council Member Christina Henderson in a letter said she wants an update on pending regulations that would give the Department of Energy and Environment, or DOEE, authority over mold remediation enforcement and fines. 

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Salmonella and Mold Prompt Recall of Marijuana Syrups and Distallates

Food Safety News Arizona

Public health officials in Arizona are reporting a recall of several marijuana products after testing found Salmonella and Aspergillus mold. The Arizona Department of Health Services reports that the recall includes edible products in the forms of honey-like syrup and distillates. Several unidentified dispensaries and other unspecified marijuana-related businesses initiated the recall. Consumers who bought the products listed below are being advised to throw them away. 

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Study to Reduce Children’s Exposure to Lead Dust

MSU Today Michigan State University, MI

Lead exposure from contaminated water has gotten much justifiable attention lately, but another major source lurks in the dust of countless older homes. Researchers at the MSU College of Human Medicine are conducting a study of whether portable air filters can mitigate lead exposure and reduce lead levels in the blood of children who live in older houses. The 3-year study supported by a HUD grant will include 40 families who live in housing built in Ingham County before 1970 and have children under six years of age with blood lead levels above five micrograms per deciliter. 

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CDC Updates Blood Lead Reference Value

CDC Washington, DC

The negative impact of lead exposure on young children and those who become pregnant is well documented but is not well known by those at highest risk from this hazard. Scientific evidence suggests that there is no known safe blood lead level (BLL), because even small amounts of lead can be harmful to a child’s developing brain. During a May 2021 meeting of the LEPAC, the workgroup recommended that the BLRV be updated from 5 µg/dL to 3.5 µg/dL using data derived from the two most recent NHANES cycles (2015–2016 and 2017–2018), and the LEPAC voted unanimously to accept this recommendation. 

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