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Hazardous Wastes of Concern Regulations Now Affect Generators

regsSenate Bill 489 was adopted in 2002 in response to security concerns following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The intent was to increase security of Hazardous Wastes of Concern that could be used to harm the public in a terrorist or other criminal act. Original legislation, which became effective July 10, 2003 implemented new requirements for transporters and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities that handle these wastes. Since generators were inadvertently omitted in the permanent emergency regulations, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has revised them.

So what is a hazardous waste of concern (HWC)? Hazardous waste described on the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest with one of the following hazard divisions within the U.S. DOT proper shipping description;

Title 22, California Code of Regulations section 66262.44 (b), requires generators to immediately attempt to locate or otherwise reconcile missing HWC. Missing HWC is defined as lost, stolen, or disappeared. The generator must contact DTSC by phone (1-800-69-TOXIC) within 24 hours of discovering a missing HWC, unless the problem is resolved in that time. The generator is also then required to submit a written report to DTSC within five days after HWC was determined to be missing. The generator should be prepared to provide their name, EPA ID number, the U.S. DOT shipping description, number of containers or total volume, potential locations or transportation routes. When reporting, the generator must also describe efforts taken to locate the missing HWC. DTSC also expects disclosure from generators indicating they handle HWC as part of the existing annual verification process.

Reporting is required when the missing HWC represents either a reportable quantity or a reportable difference in type. Reportable quantities for bulk waste are variations greater than 3 percent in weight or volume. For containerized waste any variation in piece count, such as one drum missing from truckload or accumulation area. Reportable differences in type are obvious differences that can be discovered by observation or inspection of the physical properties, or waste analysis (e.g., solids substituted for liquids or waste solvents rather than oils).

Links to the complete HWC emergency regulations and the list of HWC can be found at www.dtsc.ca.gov

New Disposal Guidelines for Universal Wastes

Universal WasteThe state of California is introducing new disposal guidelines for Universal Wastes Standards will be enforced starting February 8, 2006. Universal Wastes include:

Disposing of these wastes in the garbage can lead to health hazards to human, animals and the environment. Many local agencies have programs designed to properly handle contaminated items. Most businesses are already restricted from disposing of Universal Wastes with regular trash; however, some small businesses and households were exempt for batteries, flourscent tubes/bulbs and electronic devices. until this February. After February 8, 2006 it will be illegal for all businesses and households to put any type of Universal Wastes in your regular trash or recycle containers.

The History of DDT

DDT (dischlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was first produced in 1874 by German chemist Othmar Ziedler, but he did not suggest any actual use for it. Sixty years later, Paul Muller duplicated the procedure and discovered the chemical's insecticidal potential. For this, he received the Nobel Prize in 1948.

DDT MoleculeDDT has been effective in controlling mankind's worst insect pest, including lice, fleas, and mosquitoes. This was of enormous importance for human health because at least 80 percent of the human infectious disease worldwide is arthropod borne. Hundreds of millions have died from malaria, yellow fever, typhus, dengue plague, encephalitis, leishmaniasis, filariasis, and many other diseases. In the 14th century bubonic plague (transmitted by fleas) killed a fourth of the people in Europe and two-thirds of those in the British Isles. Yellow fever killed millions before it was found to be transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. It infected British troops in the Louisiana Territory in 1741, killing 20,000 of the 27,000 soldiers. In 1802, French troops arrived there but departed after 29,000 of the 33,000 soldiers died of yellow fever. More than 100 epidemics of typhus ravaged civilizations in Europe and Asia, with mortality rates as high as 70 percent. But by far the greatest killer has been malaria, transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes.

In 1945 the goal of eradicating this scourge appeared to be achievable, thanks to DDT. By 1959, the U.S., Europe, portions of the Soviet Union, Chile, and several Caribbean islands were nearly malaria free. In 1970 the national Academy of Sciences stated: "To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. In little more than Mosquitotwo decades DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths due to malaria that would have otherwise have been inevitable."

Today, however after the U.S. ban on DDT, there is a global malaria burden of 300 to 500 million cases and 1 to 2.5 million deaths annually, most among young children. Malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds.

Many South American countries suffered more than 90 percent increase in malaria rates after halting DDT use, but Ecuador used DDT again and enjoyed a 61 percent reduction in malaria.