OSHA Focusing on Microwave Popcorn Hazards

Poor Orville Redinbocker......

Three months after announcing it would do so, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration July 27 published policies and procedures for implementing a national emphasis program focused on microwave popcorn manufacturing.

The directive is effective for one year upon publication.

OSHA announced April 24 that it planned to initiate an emphasis program to address hazards in the microwave popcorn industry associated with butter flavorings containing diacetyl, which has been associated with bronchiolitis obliterans, a potentially fatal lung condition (37 OSHR 365, 4/26/07 a0b4h7e8v2).

The emphasis program will include targeted inspections, direction on how to control chemical hazards, and extensive compliance assistance, the directive says.

All workplaces under federal jurisdiction where butter flavored microwave popcorn is manufactured will be inspected, according to the directive. OSHA previously had said this will mean inspections at some 40 work sites under the emphasis program (37 OSHR 574, 6/28/07 a0b4r8e2h9).

While the program's inspections will be limited to butter-flavoring chemical hazards under the directive, OSHA inspectors may expand the scope of the inspection if other safety and health hazards or violations are observed. Additionally, the agency said, if the facility also has potential exposures to other flavoring chemicals containing diacetyl--such as cheddar cheese or almond flavorings--the inspection will be expanded to address these related exposures as well.

Inspection Focus

During the inspections, OSHA staff will specifically look for compliance with the hazard assessment and equipment selection sections of its personal protective equipment standards, the hazard determination sections of its hazard communication standard, and evaluations conducted under its respiratory protection standard, according to the directive.

Because studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have demonstrated a link between inhalation of butter flavorings and occupational lung disease, OSHA said, "employers in the microwave popcorn manufacturing industries that use butter flavoring ingredients must conduct the evaluation required by ... the Respiratory Protection standard."

During the inspections, OSHA added, material safety data sheets for flavoring chemicals will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure compliance.

OSHA inspectors will also review employer injury and illness records to identify employees with illnesses or symptoms associated with diacetyl or other flavorings exposure. Because bronchiolitis obliterans is a rare disease that can be misdiagnosed, inspectors will investigate all log entries on asthma, respiratory abnormalities, toxic effects, and other similar notations.

OSHA inspectors will interview all employees whose names are recorded on the logs, as well as employees working in areas where exposure to flavoring chemicals might occur.


Top Quality Vinyl For Sale

More antiquated polymers being liquidated at INSANE BLOW OUT PRICING!!!
Act now as this is limited time offer (people are learning about externalities).    


PVC Free Companies

With the PVC chew toy gifts our children may receive around their teething ages in mind, I bring you the list of lists. I call it PVC Free on PVC FREE. Aka PVCFree X2


LB's of Worms, Gloves off, In the Secret Rooftop Greenhouse

Its about a thousand worms folks. They might just plow down a pound a week of your organic food waste. Just do not feed them orange peels. This is a shot of how the students were separating out the two piles of ten thousand worms into single thousand worm tubs. This is the measure we seeded bins with to achieve our desired throughput. Thanks again to Josh Prohibition for the most righteous digi video camera work.

Hands On Experiential Learning - Rhodes 2 Vermicycling (R2V)

At this stage, the twenty or so thousand worms were being divided up into one pound tubs for 'seeding' into the twenty + bins or vermi-composter units by twenty or so students!
Viva The Verm


Snippits of video from the Rhodes 2 Vermicycling Project

Here is a snippet of video after the kids have unloaded the worms, prepped bedding, and stocked bins with worms and food! Happy Worms!

For Rhodes to Vermicycling (R2V) kick off party photos click here

Thanks again to the team who supported this collaboration..


Wal-Mart Announces Initial Results of Packaging Scorecard; Scorecard Evaluates Suppliers on the Sustainability of Their Packaging

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.)


BENTONVILLE, Ark., March 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today at the
second annual Sustainable Packaging Exposition, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
(NYSE: WMT) released the initial results of its Packaging Scorecard. The
scorecard, which was officially unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative
in September 2006 and launched on February 1, 2007, evaluates Wal-Mart and
Sam's Club suppliers on the sustainability of their packaging and offers
suggestions for improvement. The results from the first month of operation
show active use of the scorecard and a strong interest from product
suppliers to make their packaging more sustainable. The scorecard
implementation is Wal-Mart's next step in moving toward achieving a five
percent reduction in packaging by 2013.

"Wal-Mart has made a commitment to reducing waste in packaging in order
to sustain our resources and environment and to reduce total system costs,"
said Matt Kistler, senior vice president of marketing, research, and
insights for Sam's Club and captain of Wal-Mart's Packaging Sustainability
Network. "We are in a unique position to drive positive change in the area
of sustainability by working with our suppliers. The packaging scorecard
helps everyone make better decisions that are good for business, our
customers and the environment."

In the first month, 2,268 vendors have logged on to the site and 117
products have been entered into the system, and Wal-Mart expects these
numbers to dramatically increase in the coming year. The scorecard
evaluates the sustainability of product packaging based on greenhouse gas
emissions related to production, material value, product to packaging
ratio, cube utilization, recycled content usage, innovation, the amount of
renewable energy used to manufacture the packaging, the recovery value of
the raw materials and emissions related to transportation of the packaging
materials. These criteria are valuable tools for suppliers to determine how
their packaging innovations, environmental standards, energy efficiencies
and use of materials compare to their peers. Suppliers will receive a score
per package relative to their peers in each category.

Full Official WalMart Press Release here!!


Brown City Dead Lake Volume 1

From the city that brought a burning river (Cuyahoga) to your history books!

Sims Park in Euclid, Ohio is home to a pier that is designed to camouflage a sewer outfall. On this day my daughter and I find it to be billowing out water visibly laden with sediment. My daughter knows this is our communities source of drinking water.

A near by dead fish is an ominous sign, and the source of her first question. She asks "are there still some of those fish around". I tell her "The sheephead, yes, its not extinct, if thats what you mean". Only I have not the heart to tell her about the unknown disease wiping them out in our lakes western basin.

Her next observation is "its a good think Lake Erie does not have this", referring to the pollution before her 4 year old eyes. The only problem of course is that this is our great Lake Erie we are looking at. =-(


2007 Cleveland Home and Garden Show - Green in more ways than one?

Above you see Erica W's REpower Solutions booth. Apparently she got a great deal of interest. She talked her way to loosing her voice on Saturday at the show. Unfortunately for the "green area" there were many empty tables, and few staff around at the non-profits tables. Of course some famous former manufacturers of lead paint had a token banner and info at the green building area as well (see below for the photo of the logo with the paint spill 'covering the earth')
One of the 'model homes' had solar from dovetail on the roof, and my fav, marmoleum linoleum on the floor in the 'bonus' room. The home had passive solar design, and a rain garden. Beyond that i bet the home theater inside burned more juice than the PV could crank out on a good Cleveland summer day! Rightsized, uh-huh.

There were no shortage of folks hawking 'energy star' environmentally preferable insulated concrete form (ICF) building products either. I counted at least 5
You would think they could drum up local staff to 'man' this table of theirs at the 'Green' area.

Max Hays High Science Fair - Jan 31, 2007 Cleveland, Ohio

This past week I had the opportunity to judge a science fair at Max Hayes High School.

Other judges were present from NASA, Swagelok, and a variety of other locations. Quite the learning experience. Entries were from 9-12 graders.

Global warming I must say was getting more attention from the 10th graders than the Executive Branch of our legislature!

Hypothesis: Garbage is overfilling our landfills!
Root Cause: It is not going away fast enough

I heart the logic train on this one! ALL ABOARD!

Who needs mulitmillion dollar turbines as drivers of economic development when you can make them out of styrofoam cups, and McDonalds straws. This cat's project talked of how he stayed up all night counting the rotations to see if wind really does blow harder in the later hours.

Hell you should have seen all the "green" homes built out of Dow foam products at the Home Show!

This entry involved taking an aquarium of water and heating it up. yeah! Along the lines of our current administrations
'cutting edge' climate research!

Ahhh the timeless mantra:


I was hoping to see this here.

You dont need any notes on these... its just a reflection of what is in the hearts and minds of 9-12th graders in our city.

What is the effect of acid rain?
What local businesses cause most of it?
What local businesses externalize those costs?
What local businesses are losing ground?

Great Lakes Bioneers Cleveland - Planning Retreat a Success!

An exciting day it was for the steering committee of Great Lakes Bioneers Cleveland. Most of the members were on hand for the initial planning retreat. It was facilitated by Gloria Rivera and Paula Cathcart, the organizers from the Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit location. Planning is in gear!

Great Lakes Bioneers Cleveland recently received approval to host a beaming site. CSU will host the event via live satellite uplink from the primary conference site in San Raphael, CA. More soon.. www.bioneers.org