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From the News

 

Who are you sharing your bed with?

An average mattress doubles in weight over the coarse of 10 years because of Dust Mites and dust mite poop.
The average person spends about eight hours a night in bed whether its sleeping, watching TV or reading a book. But apart from our loved ones, who else are we sharing the bed with? More than likely an insect called the Dust Mite. These harmless creatures are eating your dead skin flakes while comfortably nesting in your bed and pillows.
Dust Mites are the number one allergen in your house and effects everyone with Asthma. With the average person spending about one third of their life in bed this is a concern. A typical mattress contains millions of dust mites and their fecal matter (up to 20 waist droppings a day and each small enough to get lodged in your lungs or Bronchial Tubes) shed exoskeletons that we inhale as we sleep.
This means that after you have owned a pillow for about two years, approximately 10% of that pillows weight will be composed of dead mites and their droppings.
Dust mites are linked and declared to be responsible for some of the many health problems we battle with everyday. The list includes fatigue, hay fever, allergies, eczema, depression, glue ear, rashes, itchy skin and eyes, insomnia, bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory ailments according to the National Asthma Campaign.

 

Asbestos main cause of rising workplace deaths

Eric Beauchesne
The Ottawa Citizen

Nearly five Canadians, on average, died every working day last year from a work-related accident or illness, according to a report that expresses "grave concern" that such deaths are rising, not falling, as they are in most other industrialized countries.

"We have also linked the increase in workplace deaths in Canada to asbestos exposure," says the Centre for the Study of Living Standards report, released today, which is critical of Canada's continued mining, use, and export of a substance many countries have banned.

Canada earlier this year reportedly blocked efforts by other nations to have asbestos placed on an international list of banned substances. Quebec is the only province that still produces asbestos and that output is mostly exported to underdeveloped countries.

Asbestos-related deaths accounted for 62 per cent of those from occupational diseases and 30 per cent of total workplace fatalities in 2004, the most recent year for which there are full figures, the report says.

"The increased fatality rate from asbestos, up from 0.4 per 100,000 workers in 1996 to 1.8 in 2004, accounted for the lion's share of the increased incidence from occupational disease," it says.

It warns that while most of the deaths due to asbestos date back to exposure before the implementation of stricter controls, the number of work-related deaths due to the substance has still not likely peaked.

NDP MP Pat Martin, a former asbestos miner, expressed shock at the increase in workplace deaths and the role of asbestos in that increase, and anger at the Canadian government's support for the asbestos industry.

"Asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever known," said the Manitoba MP, who still undergoes annual tests on his scarred lungs.

"And Canada is in complete denial of the health risks."

The Quebec asbestos mines are mostly located in economically depressed areas.

"We're still the second-largest producer and exporter of asbestos in the world but we won't say 'boo' because all the mines are in Quebec," Mr. Martin said. "It's appalling."

The industry is a money loser but is subsidized by the federal government, a subsidy which Mr. Martin said was just doubled. According to government documents, federal payments to the Asbestos Institute rose to $250,000 this fiscal year from $125,000 last year.

The contribution is to "foster the international implementation of the safe and responsible use of chrysotile asbestos." A call to the office of Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn was not returned yesterday.

The report, meanwhile, notes that 557, or 50.8 per cent of the deaths, were from occupational diseases, and 491 or 44.8 per cent were from accidents.

Information collected by the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada reveals 1,097 workplace fatalities in Canada in 2005, up from 758 in 1993, the report says. The incidence of such work-related deaths has also increased over that period to 6.8 per 100,000 last year from 5.9 in 1993.

"This upward trend is disturbing," it says. "It lies in contrast to a decline in the rate in the 1976-1993 period in Canada and to a fall in almost all other OECD countries over the 1993-2003 period."

"As Canadians work on average 230 days per year, this means that there were nearly five work-related deaths per work day in this country," it said.

The rate is "unacceptably high," it says, adding that "Canada can do much better."

The increase in the incidence of workplace deaths was almost entirely driven by an increase in occupational diseases, although workplace fatalities also rose, which may reflect an increase in the proportion of workers in high-risk industries such as construction, it says.

International figures are not fully comparable because, unlike Canada, some countries don't include occupational deaths, or put time limits on the ones they include, and some don't include traffic accidents while on the job.

"Nevertheless, even if one fully adjusted for definitional differences, it is very unlikely that Canada would emerge as a low workplace fatality country relative to its peers," it says.

If one compares only the workplace fatality rate from accidents, the latest figures suggest the United States, with 4.0 per 100,000, has a higher rate than Canada's 3.0, it says.

"However, a comparison of trends ... shows greater improvement in the United States than Canada," it says, noting the rate in the U.S. has fallen while the rate here has edged up.

And the rate in Canada was well above that in nine other industrial countries, it adds.

Other findings include:

- The most dangerous industry is fishing and trapping with 52 fatalities per 100,000 workers, followed by mining, quarrying and oil rigging at 46.9; logging and forestry at 33.3; and construction at 20.2.

- The least dangerous industry was finance and insurance with only 0.3 fatalities per 100,000.

- The most dangerous occupations are the trades, transport and equipment operators, and related occupations with 21.3 workplace deaths per 100,000 workers, followed by those unique to the primary industries, at 16.9, and those involved in processing, manufacturing, and utilities at 8.2, while all other major group occupations had a fatality rate less than three per 100,000.

- Men, with 12.4 deaths per 100,000 workers, are 30 times more likely to die on the job than women.

- Older workers are also much more likely to experience a workplace-related fatality (114.8 per 100,000 for those aged 65 and over) than younger workers.

- Newfoundland has by far the highest provincial rate of workplace fatalities with 11.7 per 100,000, which is nearly double the national average, and a situation which prevailed throughout the 1993-2005 period. British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta had the next highest rates, while Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, and New Brunswick had the lowest.

© The Ottawa Citizen


 

Most Polluted Metropolitan Areas and Counties

polluted air

Table 1:
People at Risk In 25 U.S. Cities Most Polluted by Short-Term Particle Pollution (24-Hour PM2.5)
Table 2:
People at Risk In 25 U.S. Cities Most Polluted by Year-Round Particle Pollution (Annual PM2.5)
Table 3:
People at Risk In 25 Counties Most Polluted by Short-Term Particle Pollution (24-Hour PM2.5)

Table 4:
People at Risk In 25 Counties Most Polluted by Short-Term Particle Pollution (24-Hour PM2.5)

american lung association

People at Risk In 25 U.S. Cities Most Polluted by Short-Term Particle Pollution (24-Hour PM2.5)

2005 Rank

Metropolitan
Statistical Areas

Total Population

1

Los Angeles
Long Beach
Riverside, CA

17,262,730

2

Fresno-
Madera,CA

850,325

3

Bakersfield,CA

713,087

4

Pittsburgh-
New Castle,PA

2,503,738

5

Eugene-
Springfield,OR

330,527

6

Salt Lake
City-Ogden-
Clearfield,UT

1,536,187

7

Sacramento-
Arden-Arcade-
Truckee, CA-NV

2,115,019

8

Cleveland-
Akron-
Elyria,OH

2,944,276

9

Visalia-
Porterville,CA

390,791

10

Birmingham-
Hoover-Cullman,AL

1,150,916

11

Detroit-
Warren-
Flint,MI

5,415,338

12

Washington-
Baltimore-
Northern
Virginia,DC-
MD-VA-WV

7,910,633

13

Louisville-
Elizabethtown-
Scottsburg,KY-IN

1,323,199

13

Chicago-
Naperville-
Michigan
City,IL-IN-WI

9,549,014

15

Provo-
Orem,UT

406,851

15

Hanford-
Corcoran,CA

138,564

17

Weirton-
Steubenville, WV-OH

128,569

18

Cincinnati-
Middletown-
Wilmington,OH-KY-IN

2,089,089

19

Modesto,CA

492,233

20

Philadelphia-
Camden-
Vineland,PA-
NJ-DE-MD

5,922,253

20

San Diego-
Carlsbad-San
Marcos,CA

2,930,886

22

Allentown-
Bethlehem-
Easton, PA-NJ

768,036

23

San Jose-San
Francisco-
Oakland,CA

7,154,350

24

Harrisburg-
Carlisle-
Lebanon,PA

640,120

25

New York-
Newark-
Bridgeport,NY-
NJ-CT-PA

21,766,731

People at Risk In 25 U.S. Cities Most Polluted by Year-Round Particle Pollution (Annual PM2.5)

2005 Rank

Metropolitan
Statistical Areas

Total Population

1

Los Angeles-
Long Beach-
Riverside,CA

17,262,730

2

Bakersfield,CA

713,087

3

Visalia-
Porterville,CA

390,791

4

Pittsburgh-New
Castle,PA

2,503,738

5

Fresno-
Madera,CA

850,325

6

Detroit-Warren-
Flint,MI

5,415,338

7

Hanford-
Corcoran,CA

138,564

8

Cleveland-Akron-
Elyria,OH

2,944,276

9

Atlanta-Sandy
Springs-
Gainesville,GA

4,929,880

10

Weirton-
Steubenville,
WV-OH

128,569

10

Cincinnati-
Middletown-
Wilmington,
OH-KY-IN

2,089,089

12

New York-
Newark-
Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA

21,766,731

12

Chicago-
Naperville-
Michigan City,IL-IN-WI

9,549,014

14

St. Louis-St.
Charles-
Farmington,MO-IL

2,793,856

15

Canton-
Massillon,OH

407,118

15

Birmingham-
Hoover-Cullman,AL

1,150,916

17

Charleston,WV

306,836

18

York-Hanover-
Gettysburg,PA

491,375

18

Merced,CA

231,574

18

Lancaster,PA

482,775

21

Louisville-
Elizabethtown-
Scottsburg,KY-IN

1,323,199

22

Indianapolis-
Anderson-
Columbus,IN

1,912,560

22

Columbus-
Marion-
Chillicothe,OH

1,900,497

24

Washington-
Baltimore-
Northern
Virginia,DC-MD-VA-WV

7,910,633

24

Huntington-
Ashland,WV-KY-OH

286,517

People at Risk In 25 Counties Most Polluted by Short-Term Particle Pollution (24-Hour PM2.5)

2005 Rank

County

State

Total Population

1

Riverside

CA

1,782,650

2

Fresno

CA

850,325

3

Kern

CA

713,087

4

Los Angeles

CA

9,871,506

5

Allegheny

PA

1,261,303

6

San Bernardino

CA

1,859,678

7

Lane

OR

330,527

8

Orange

CA

2,957,766

9

Salt Lake

UT

924,247

10

Sacramento

CA

1,330,711

11

Cuyahoga

OH

1,363,888

12

Tulare

CA

390,791

13

Jefferson

AL

658,141

14

Klamath

OR

64,769

15

Wayne

MI

2,028,778

16

Baltimore City

MD

628,670

17

Lake

IN

487,476

17

Jefferson

KY

699,017

19

Kings

CA

138,564

19

Utah

UT

398,059

21

Jefferson

OH

71,888

21

Cook

IL

5,351,552

23

Hamilton

OH

823,472

24

Stanislaus

CA

492,233

25

Philadelphia

PA

1,479,339

25

San Diego

CA

2,930,886

People at Risk In 25 Counties Most Polluted by Long-Term Particle Pollution (Annual PM2.5)

2005 Rank

County

ST

Total Population

1

Riverside

CA

1,782,650

2

San Bernardino

CA

1,859,678

3

Los Angeles

CA

9,871,506

4

Kern

CA

713,087

5

Tulare

CA

390,791

6

Allegheny

PA

1,261,303

7

Fresno

CA

850,325

8

Wayne

MI

2,028,778

9

Orange

CA

2,957,766

10

Kings

CA

138,564

11

Cuyahoga

OH

1,363,888

12

Fulton

GA

818,322

13

Hamilton

OH

823,472

13

Jefferson

OH

71,888

15

Lake

IN

487,476

15

New York

NY

1,564,798

17

Madison

IL

261,689

18

Hancock

WV

31,742

19

Cook

IL

5,351,552

19

Jefferson

AL

658,141

19

Stark

OH

377,519

22

Scioto

OH

77,453

23

Kanawha

WV

195,413

24

Merced

CA

231,574

24

Lancaster

PA

482,775

24

York

PA

394,919

 

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