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Mixed Messages on Weed Killer Safety Necessitate PPE

Respirators are crucial equipment for chemical landscaping tasks

May 15, 2019

As the spring weed season is in full bloom, CMM reminds landscapers who use weed killers and other chemicals to maintain facility lawns to wear respirators and other personal protective equipment(PPE) to protect themselves from adverse effects of the treatments.

The reminder is timely as a jury earlier this week awarded a California couple an unparalleled US$2.05 billion award after they claimed their cancer was caused by long-term exposure to Monsanto Co.’s weed killer, Roundup, CNN reports. The couple, who were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, used the popular weed killer on their lawn for more than three decades. The verdict awarded them more than $55 million in compensatory damages and $2 billion in punitive damages.

Monsanto has faced several recent losses in court concerning Roundup, and thousands of similar cases are pending in federal and state courts. Bayer AG, the parent company of Monsanto, insists that the key ingredient in Roundup—glyphosate—is safe. In a recent statement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that glyphosate was not a carcinogen and posed no health risk when used as directed. However, a World Health Organization report in 2015 suggested that glyphosate might cause cancer.

Workers can avoid breathing in fumes from weed killers, insecticides and other chemicals by wearing a respirator that covers their nose and mouth. Andrew Sheridan, marketing manager of retail and specialty for Protective Industrial Products, recommends that workers inspect their respirators regularly for holes and cracks and store them in a location protected from the weather and extreme temperature changes. Respirator wearers also need to make sure the seal is not broken because the seal is what keeps PPE tight against the user’s face.

 

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Decontaminate Windows on National Window Cleaning Day

May 15, 2019

In commemoration of National Window Cleaning Day, May 15, window cleaning professionals revealed the four worst health risks contaminating windows, Franchising.com reports:

  • Bird excrement, which is commonly found on windows, can lead to respiratory diseases, yeast infections, and illnesses that affect the lungs and central nervous system.
  • Mold and mildew, which can thrive on windows, can aggravate respiratory allergies as well as chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma.
  • Pollen can accumulate on windowpanes and contribute to the sneezing, eye irritation, and congestion associated with pollen allergies.
  • Dust can accumulate on unwashed windows. Microscopic dust mites which live in the dust leave behind feces that can cause respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

Be sure you’re safe when removing these window contaminants, especially if you’re washing windows on a high-rise building. Follow these safety tips from CMM:

  • Inspect your equipment before you begin cleaning
  • Train your workers on the proper use of the equipment
  • Conduct a site assessment at each location to identify hazards specific to the building and make a plan to avoid them.

 

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Open the Book on School Facility Management

May 15, 2019

If you’re facing the challenges of maintaining school facilities with limited time and resources, a new book—School Work: A Collection of Essays on Improving Facilities Management in K12 Settings—offers tips and best practices.

Poor budgets and aging buildings are often the blame for poor conditions in public school buildings.However, following a simple framework of planning and implementation can help school districts and their facility service deliver superior results despite the roadblocks.

“School Work is a collection of articles designed to help facility departments interested in or striving to provide a clean, safe and healthy learning environment in a consistent and comprehensive manner across all its school buildings,” says Dan Ringo, the book author and president and CEO of Ringo Services, an integrated facilities improvement firm operating in multiple states.

 

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Imperial Dade Buys Mid Continent Paper

May 15, 2019

Imperial Dade,a distributor of paper, packaging, and janitorial products, has acquired Mid Continent Paper & Distributing Co., Inc.

Imperial Dade’s purchase of the St. Louis, MO-based paper and packaging distributor expands the company’s client portfolio and geographical footprint in the Midwest market. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

 

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