HGTV ‘Good Bones’ Settles US EPA Actions, Accepts $40k Fines for Lead Paint Violations

Haring Indianapolis, IN

EPA said Friday that it had reached a settlement with Two Chicks and a Hammer, Inc. — the company founded by mother-daughter duo Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk. The settlement indicates they allegedly violated a federal lead paint law. Good Bones follows Starsiak Hawk, a real estate agent and mother of two, and her mom, Laine, a lawyer, as they buy dilapidated properties in their hometown of Indianapolis. During each episode, the pair demos a house down to the studs and renovate it into a dazzling family home, while offering a glimpse into their personal lives. 

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EPA Proposes an Asbestos Ban…yes, But Here Are the Details

LinkedIn by Tom Laubenthal

National – With the US EPA’s recently proposed ban on chrysotile, it is helpful to understand a brief history of asbestos ban efforts in the US to understand the context and details. From specific categorical bans in the 70s to failed attempts at total asbestos ban legislation in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, EPA and other agencies have been unsuccessful in their public health missions, to protect people and the environment. The latest activity is the result not of agency action in the interest of public health, but of litigation and the advocacy of nonprofit organizations such as ADAO and EIA. 

For the full text, click here.

EPA Opens 60 Day Comment Period: Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos; Regulation of Certain Conditions of Use Under Section 6(A) of TSCA

Federal Register National

EPA has opened the 60-day comment period for the proposed rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address the unreasonable risk of injury to health it has identified for conditions of use of chrysotile asbestos following completion of the TSCA Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. TSCA requires that EPA address the unreasonable risks of injury to health and environment by rule and to apply requirements to the extent necessary so that chrysotile asbestos no longer presents such risks. Comments must be received on or before June 13, 2022.

For the full text and to submit comment, click here.

EPA To Propose Restrictions On Asbestos

New York Times National

EPA said it intends to ban one form of asbestos, the first time the federal government has moved to significantly restrict the toxic industrial material since 1989. Under the regulation proposed Tuesday, the EPA would prohibit the use, manufacture and import of chrysotile asbestos, a type of asbestos that has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma. It would still be legal to import other types of asbestos but companies are required to notify the E.P.A. before importing any product known to contain asbestos fibers, and the agency has the authority to deny those imports. 

For the full text, click here. 

How Two Industries Stymied Justice for Young Lead Paint Victims

New York Times by Ellen Gabler

National – The U.S. insurance and real estate industries have waged a decades-long campaign to avoid liability in lead cases, helping to prolong an epidemic. The cost for millions of children has been incalculable. Although lead poisoning has decreased substantially since the late 1970s as a result of regulatory actions and public health initiatives, about 500,000 children under 6 have elevated blood lead levels in the United States and are at risk of harm. The issue has only intensified in the era of Covid-19: Rental inspections lagged, exposure increased as people spent more time at home and testing of children fell by 50 percent at times in 2020. 

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CT Legislators Set to Decide On the Acceptable Amount of Mold Found in Marijuana

CT Mirror Ginny Monk

Hartford, CT – Legislators are dealing with an issue that they might not have imagined just a few years ago: The acceptable amount of mold in marijuana. But for some patients who use medical marijuana, the question isn’t a novelty but a serious matter of health. The state Department of Consumer Protection proposed a change that would set the maximum amount of colony-forming mold and yeast units in medical marijuana at 100,000 per gram and would allow no traceable amounts of a breed of mold called Aspergillus that is known to cause a lung infection.

For the full text, click here.

EPA Announces ‘clean Air in Buildings Challenge’ to Help Building Owners and Operators Improve Indoor Air Quality

EPA National

EPA released the “Clean Air in Buildings Challenge,” a call to action and a concise set of guiding principles and actions to assist building owners and operators with reducing risks from airborne viruses and other contaminants indoors. The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge highlights a range of recommendations and resources available to assist with improving ventilation and indoor air quality, which can help to better protect the health of building occupants and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. 

For the full text, click here.

For more information on the challenge, click here.

EPA Proposes to Ban Ongoing Uses of Chrysotile Asbestos, Other Fiber Types Still Under Consideration

Environmental Protection Agency
April 5, 2022

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to protect people from asbestos exposure by releasing a proposed rule to prohibit ongoing uses of Chrysotile asbestos, the only known form of asbestos currently imported into the U.S. This proposed rule is the first-ever risk management rule issued under the new process for evaluating and addressing the safety of existing chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that was enacted in 2016. The proposed rule would ban Chrysotile asbestos, which is found in products like asbestos diaphragms (used in the chlor-alkali industry), sheet gaskets, brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes/linings, other vehicle friction products, and other gaskets also imported into the U.S. 

The chrysotile asbestos ban is “a landmark step forward,” said Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, an EIA partner. In 2006, her husband died of mesothelioma, a cancer tied to asbestos exposure. “The reality is now we have part one,” Reinstein said. “But anything less than a full ban doesn’t protect public health.”

For the full text of this release, click here. To access the pre-publication notice to the Federal Register of the proposed rule, click here.