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‘Poor Bomi Needs Savior of Experience’

first_imgLiberia’s former Chief Justice, Cllr. Frances Johnson Morris-Allison, has declared that she has ample experience to liberate and serve the people of Bomi and take the county to a better and more acceptable level.The Bomi County Senatorial aspirant said the county needs a change of leadership engendered by the election of its brightest daughter to develop the county and champion the welfare of the youths, women and men who are aggrieved in the various concession areas.Cllr. Morris-Allison, who spoke with the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview Wednesday, won the senatorial space unopposed on the ticket of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) for Bomi County on June 30, 2014.The daughter of a former Bomi County Clan Chief, Cllr. Morris-Allison outlined the 7-pillars of her campaign, with transparency and accountability at the top, followed by education, youth unemployment, women empowerment, restoring the dignity of the county’s traditions and protecting the rights of Bomi workers.Cllr. Morris-Allison has held the positions of justice advocate, National Director for the Catholic Justice for Peace Commission (JPC); Chief Justice during the Transitional era and Justice Minister as well as Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Commerce Minister and Executive Director for the Liberia Anti- Corruption Commission (LACC).Candidate Morris-Allison, who is joining party politics for the first time, said, “I’m so pleased and excited that I have reached this stage in my political sojourn and have gone through the primary and come out successfully in my first political move.”She says she decided to go into party politics because she believes that the governance of Liberia needs the best skills and talents, the best qualities and best characters that are available.  “I think I have something to contribute to the governance of my county,” she averred.“The people of Bomi can be assured that when elected, I  will not  compromise their interests or that of the Liberian people by taking ‘brown envelopes’, she vowed.Cllr. Morris-Allison asserts that in terms of good leadership she is the best alternative for the people of Bomi.  “I’m saying to the people of Bomi that they should give me the chance because I represent the best alternative for them in terms of good leadership; I’m the best option and I’m telling them to put their trust in me because I am their rescuer,” petitioned Cllr. Allison.There are ten candidates aspiring for the senatorial seat in Bomi County—three females and seven males. Senator Lahai Lassanna currently occupies the position.  He is seeking reelection.Counselor Allison is one of the two main challengers whom Senator Lassanna faces.  The other is Attorney Morris Saytoma, former Deputy Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.The Senatorial aspirant vowed to use the “Jehovah’s Witness” campaign style to win the election although other aspirants (who she did not name) would use money or rice.  But the people of Bomi County will vote her into the Senate, she said with confidence.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Trading positions

first_imgNIKOLAI, Alaska – Lance Mackey snatched back the lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, speeding through Ophir on Wednesday as other teams rested. Four-time champions Martin Buser and Jeff King had breezed through the Nikolai checkpoint and cruised to the front while Mackey slept. The two were resting their teams Wednesday in Ophir, near the halfway point of the 1,100-mile race, along with Zack Steer, 33, of Sheep Mountain. Steer has run the race twice with a best finish of 14th place. King, the 2006 champion, took a 41/2-hour rest in Nikolai before making a nearly 100-mile push to Ophir through the checkpoints of McGrath and Takotna. Buser, 48, running in his 24th Iditarod, spent just three minutes in Nikolai on the Kuskokwim River, about 770 miles from the finish line at Nome. He took a 51/2-hour rest in McGrath. Mackey, 36, chased the three other leaders out of Takotna on Wednesday, setting out before dawn for the cabin at Ophir. Mackey is trying to win the 1,100-mile race and follow in the footsteps of his father, Dick, and brother, Rick, who won the race in 1978 and 1983, respectively. “Things are looking good,” Mackey said when he arrived at Nikolai. Mackey, who had not slept since the start of the race in Willow on Sunday, took about seven hours in Nikolai to rest himself and his team. Mackey said his chances of winning had just improved with two top mushers out of the race after getting injured in what is proving to be one of the roughest Iditarods in years. Eleven mushers had dropped out of the race by Wednesday morning, including two top veterans. center_img Four-time champion Doug Swingley, 53, of Lincoln, Mont., was scratched on Monday after taking a spill and getting injured in a stretch of icy trail a few miles before Rainy Pass. Aliy Zirkle, 37, of Two Rivers, who pulled into Nikolai at about the same time as Steer, 33, of Sheep Mountain, said the trail is treacherous this year. “I was lucky. That is the only thing I can say,” she said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Lampard refuses to rule out possibility of extending Man City loan spell

first_img Frank Lampard 1 Frank Lampard is refusing to rule out the possibility of staying at Manchester City beyond the end of his current loan deal.The 36-year-old is due to stay at the Etihad Stadium until January 1, 2015, before joining up with City’s sister club New York City in the MLS, and there has already been talk of extending that by at least a month until the start of February.And although the former Chelsea midfield star claims he has not given the situation much thought, when asked about staying for longer, he did not dismiss the idea.He  said: “The temptation is to not get ahead of myself in my career. I am here until January 1, basically, so I will focus on that and see what happens then.“There has been a lot said about when the season starts [in the USA], but the only thing that can decide my future is how well I am playing. They will be kicking me out in January if I don’t play very well!“I am just looking game to game and trying to play as well as I can.“I have scored a few goals and I hope they can see my desire. I haven’t come here just to train and make up numbers in the squad.“People might have thought that was the case, but it’s not. I want to perform – I have always done it throughout my career, and if people see that I am giving my all the fans will get behind me.”last_img read more

LAKERS NOTEBOOK Mihm hopes to keep pain on ice

first_imgBy Elliott Teaford STAFF WRITER Chris Mihm wakes up on some mornings and feels no pain. On other days, he awakes to a painful reminder of the two surgeries on his right ankle. On those days, he knows he will spend more time dunking his foot in a bucket of ice than dunking a basketball through a hoop. Mihm started against the Bobcats after scoring 11 points in a reserve role against the Seattle SuperSonics on Thursday in Bakersfield. He had six points and five rebounds in 11 minutes in Saturday’s game. Lakers beat Bobcats The Lakers’ victory over Charlotte was overshadowed by a left knee injury suffered by Bobcats forward Adam Morrison midway through the third quarter. Morrison was running out at the Lakers’ Luke Walton, who had the ball on the left wing and began to drive to the basket. Morrison suddenly collapsed in a heap, screaming in pain and clutching his knee. He had to be helped to the locker room. A Bobcats spokesman said Morrison suffered a sprain. An MRI exam was scheduled for today. Vladimir Radmanovic scored 14 points and Derek Fisher and Maurice Evans added 13 apiece to lead the Lakers, who improved to 2-2 in exhibition play. Kobe Bryant had six points and four assists in 21 minutes and did not play in the fourth quarter. Luke Walton had 10 assists. The Lakers face the Clippers tonight at 7:30 at Staples Center. News from Dallas Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told a reporter on Friday that he wouldn’t trade Dirk Nowitzki to get Kobe Bryant. Cuban also said he hasn’t spoken to Lakers owner Jerry Buss, adding, “So until that happens, nothing can happen.” “If and when I talk to Jerry, I’ll make it clear that we’re not going to trade Dirk,” Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. “And we’re not going to dismantle our team. Kobe’s one of the top players in the league. But without the right team around him, he’s in the same position he was in, in Los Angeles. “So you don’t want to just shuffle the deck chairs. Either you’re making an improvement to your team or you don’t do it. And with a team that won 67 games last year, it’s tough to improve significantly.” The Mavericks and Chicago Bulls reportedly are Bryant’s top two destinations should the Lakers pull the trigger on a deal. Bryant asked to be dealt in May and Buss said more than a week ago that he would listen to offers for the superstar guard. Bryant has four seasons and a little more than $88 million remaining on his contract, but he can terminate the deal after two seasons. elliott.teaford@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“It’s something I’ve got to adjust to,” Mihm said before the Lakers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 113-93, in an exhibition game Saturday night at Staples Center. “It’s something I’ve never had to deal with in the past.” Getting loose and staying loose is perhaps the most difficult challenge for Mihm at this point in the preseason. His timing, or lack thereof, after sitting out all of the 2006-07 season was his chief concern going into training camp. That’s no longer the case for Mihm, a 7-foot center who underwent ankle surgeries July 26, 2006 and Nov. 14, 2006. “I’ve had a good camp,” he said. “The foot has reacted well to everything I’ve put it through. I fully expected to have some ups and downs, but so far so good. I’m starting to get my timing back. I’m starting to get the flow again. “The game is slowing down after the first couple of games I played and everything seemed to move pretty quickly. Only through the game-time situations can you get that feel for how fast the game moves.” last_img read more

West Brom 0-1 Chelsea: Michy Batshuayi hits late winner to seal title glory

first_img Antonio Conte’s men sealed their sixth league title at the Hawthorns 1 Chelsea are Premier League champions after Michy Batshuayi scored late to secure Friday night’s 1-0 victory over West Brom.Second-placed Tottenham’s loss at West Ham last Friday and Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat of Middlesbrough on Monday meant the Blues needed three points from three games to clinch the championship.Conte wanted to secure the trophy at the earliest opportunity and Batshuayi was an unlikely hero after 82 minutes at The Hawthorns.Batshuayi was not even among the substitutes on Monday and is still to make a Premier League start.The Belgium striker, a £33million signing from Marseille last summer, made his 18th Premier League appearance off the bench and finally showed his poacher’s instinct, seven minutes later, with his second league goal to send Chelsea and Antonio Conte delirious.Chelsea had dominated possession, but the quality of their patient build-up was not matched by the final ball. And Albion caused the visitors some anxiety on the break.Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster made a fine save to deny Victor Moses early in the second half before Batshuayi’s decisive intervention.The win saw Chelsea take an unassailable 10-point lead over Spurs with two games to spare and clinched the Blues’ fifth Premier League title in 13 seasons.And they will seek to complete a double in Conte’s first season by winning the FA Cup final against Arsenal on May 27.Chelsea had won once in five prior games here, in August 2015, and were defeated 3-0 two years ago after becoming champions in 2014-15 under Jose Mourinho.The Blues imploded as seven months later Mourinho was sacked for a second time, before a 10th-placed finish behind Leicester last term.Despite leading the rejuvenation, Conte’s future remains far from certain, with Inter Milan coveting the former Juventus and Italy boss. He now has four consecutive domestic titles after three with Juve.The 47-year-old appears likely to be offered an improved contract, 12 months into the three-year deal he signed on joining last July, but on Thursday he suggested he wanted his “real value” to be recognised.N’Golo Kante has been a key figure in Chelsea’s resurgence, but the midfielder had to settle for a place on the bench after recovering from a thigh problem as Chelsea were unchanged following Monday’s 3-0 defeat of Middlesbrough.Kante was unused here, but he is the first player since Eric Cantona in 1992 and 1993 to win successive titles with different clubs.John Terry was also not required, but the 36-year-old club captain will leave Chelsea this summer as a five-time Premier League champion.Conte had warned Chelsea not to be complacent. And if they needed a further reminder it came in the opening seconds when Thibaut Courtois had to be alert to tip over a header from Salomon Rondon.After Gary Cahill fired wide, Diego Costa had an effort blocked and Pedro shot over, James McClean led a Baggies counter attack.Pressure from a back-tracking Eden Hazard forced McClean to relinquish possession.Deflected efforts from Pedro and Cesar Azpilicueta forced a succession of corners before McClean burst down the right again. Chelsea dealt with the danger again.Cesc Fabregas was pulling the strings, as he had against Boro. He fired narrowly wide across goal while Pedro turned on the edge of the area and curled wide soon afterwards.And next Costa turned Jonny Evans before lifting the ball over. Evans also escaped censure for a bizarre handball when holding off Fabregas.David Luiz intercepted McClean’s cross intended for Chris Brunt as the half ended goalless.Foster saved well to turn Moses’ effort away for a corner and Fabregas shot wide as Chelsea resumed on the attack.A Hazard cross was diverted towards his own goal by Craig Dawson, but substitute Claudio Yacob blocked.Costa pirouetted into Yacob after turning to avoid Gareth McAuley, but his appeals for a penalty were ignored by referee Michael Oliver.Another Albion counter was snuffed out as Azpilicueta pressurised Rondon.There was a better opportunity soon afterwards for Nacer Chadli, once of Tottenham, but the substitute missed the target.Hazard and Pedro were replaced by Willian and Batshuayi as Chelsea sought a different threat with 15 minutes to go.And Batshuayi pounced when Cahill’s sliced shot was centred by Azpilicueta to spark celebrations which had to wait a few more minutes.Albion sought an equaliser, but Chelsea held on to clinch a deserved title.last_img read more

Judge warns dog owner – “A child can be left with half its face hanging off”

first_imgAn Inishowen man has been ordered to pay €300 to an animal charity after local residents complained to Gardaí about ‘pit bull’ type dogs roaming around a housing estate without muzzles or chains.Martin O’Connor, of 34 Donagh Park, Carndonagh, was charged with having an uncontrolled dog at Donagh Park on September 23, 2018, when he appeared before a special sitting of Buncrana District Court. He was also charged with having no muzzle for the dog, no identification collar and no chain on the dog at the same location.Defence solicitor for Mr. O’Connor, Philip White, said his client accepted the charges, although he claimed it was a case of ‘who let the dogs out’.Garda Conor Mulkerrins told the court that he received a report about two ‘pit bull type dogs’ roaming around the Donagh Park housing estate and causing concern to residents.He said he went to the estate at 12.05pm on September 23, 2018, and there were two dogs loose in the estate. He said he believed they were a Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed.“The bitch was brown and white and the male dog was white,” Gda. Mulkerrins said.“They were unsupervised and had no muzzle on them. Residents informed me this was an ongoing issue within the estate with the dogs and children were afraid to play out in the estate.”Gda. Mulkerrins said he returned the dogs to number 34 Donagh Park after being informed that is where they lived.“The side gate of number 34 was open and there was no one home,” he said.“There was a compound built behind the house for the dogs but it was unlocked.“There did seem to be a lot of money put into building the structure but the gate was a bit flimsy – it could have been opened but also the dogs are big dogs they could have opened it themselves,” Gda. Mulkerrins surmised.He said nature and look of the dogs made people feel understandably uneasy, however he said he had no problems with them.“I used to own big dogs so I would be used to them,” he said.“When I put the dogs back into the house they just followed me. There was no problem with them.”Solicitor White said when Mr. O’Connor and his partner left the home that day the dogs had been locked into the compound. He said there had been complaints from residents about dogs barking.“When he left the dogs were secured and the compound was kept contained,” Mr. white said.“Mr. O’Connor believes someone let them out because of the complaints and then called the gardaí. He has since put a padlock on the compound so only he can let them free.“For us, it is a case of who let the dogs out?”Mr. White said Mr. O’Connor no longer lives at the property and has since moved to Derry, with the dogs. He said he works as roofer and has always kept and cared for animals.“They’re always leashed and muzzled when they are out and in all usual circumstances.”Judge Paul Kelly told Mr. O’Connor that he hopes he had learned from this experience in court.“Dog owners frequently have a different outlook on their dogs than the rest of the world,” said Judge Kelly.“These are potentially very dangerous animals and could be very frightening to other people, especially children.”Mr. O’Connor said he had a child himself and there was no issue with his pets.However Judge Kelly said the dogs could lose control easily.“They might be placid and docile creatures with you and your child but what if someone does the wrong thing in the housing estate, they lose control and the next thing a child is left with half its face falling off,” said Judge Kelly.“We’ve seen it happen too many times.”Judge Kelly ordered Mr. O’Connor to pay €300 to animal charity the ISPCA by November 19. He said he would strike out the charges against Mr. O’Connor on this occasion if the receipt was produced.Judge warns dog owner – “A child can be left with half its face hanging off” was last modified: October 9th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CarndonaghcourtDOGfinedMartin O’Connormuzzlelast_img read more


first_imgMark McHugh knows Kilcar need to win and possibly win well if they’re to have any chance of progressing to the last eight of the Donegal SFC.Kilcar host Bundoran this weekend in Towney, knowing a big victory over Brian McEniff’s side may not be enough to see them advance to the last eight. Glenswilly host St Michaels and if they secure a win, then John McNulty’s side would need to record a huge win over Bundoran to advance on scoring difference.Kilcar currently sit third in the group on two points, Glenswilly sit on second, but have a superior scoring difference after hammering Bundoran by 6-15 to 0-09 last Saturday. Kilcar can only concentrate on themselves on Saturday night, and will look to first secure the win before they start thinking about how much they’re going to win by.But there’s no doubt the Kilcar management will be informed of what’s going in Foxhall and there players will be aware of what’s going on throughout their match.Bundoran have suffered two heavy defeats and it’s hard to see anything other than a Kilcar win.With Kilcar knowing they may need to rack up a huge score against Bundoran, expect to see a ruthless display. With Patrick McBrearty and Ashley Carr in their forward line, Kilcar carry a serious threat inside and it could be a long hour for Brian McEniff’s men on Saturday evening.VERDICT – KILCAR  DONEGAL SFC PREVIEW: KILCAR PRAYING FOR A ST MICHAELS WIN AS THEY HOST BUNDORAN was last modified: October 9th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bundoranDonegal SFCGAAkilcarnewsSportlast_img read more

Football Friday

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Senior linebacker Fernando Castro leads Palmdale with 21 tackles and is a major part of the Falcons’ effort to revamp their struggling defense. “He’s one of those kids who plays three or four positions on defense,” Palmdale coach Jeff Williams said. “He’s the guy we’ve anchored our defense around. He’ll do anything we ask. He’s one of the most unselfish players we’ve ever had here.” TRIVIA QUESTION Who was the quarterback the last time Antelope Valley beat Palmdale? OFFBEAT HE SAID “He took a big hit from both sides on the play. He had a pretty bad headache. When I talked to him, he was acting a little silly. But he’s a tough kid. He wanted to get back in the game, but I definitely don’t think he could’ve done that.” – Antelope Valley coach Jon Fleming, on sophomore QB Ronaiah Tuiasosopo’s injury in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Loyola of Los Angeles. It initially appeared he’d suffered a concussion, but tests were negative. SPOTLIGHT Antelope Valley’s Randy Burton has the size, speed and strength to be a college prospect at receiver or defensive end, and many of the colleges who have expressed interest in the 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior aren’t sure which position he’ll play. Burton says it doesn’t matter. “I’ll play where ever they want me to,” he said. “Just put me on the team.” In high school, Burton has a slight preference. “I like defense and hitting people,” he said. “On offense, I don’t get the ball too much, because (teammate) Andre (Crenshaw) gets most of the carries.” OFF THE CHARTS Palmdale is the only Antelope Valley school that has gained more yards passing than rushing this season. The Falcons have thrown for 427 yards and run for 372 in four games. Some other teams’ numbers: Team Rush Pass Games Highland 1,443 80 5 Lancaster 1,123 434 5 Quartz Hill 652 355 4 Knight 661 280 5 Mojave 586 147 3 TRIVIA ANSWER Johnny Walker. Antelope Valley last beat Palmdale 24-14 in 2001. GAME OF THE WEEK PALMDALE (3-0) at ANTELOPE VALLEY (2-2), 7 p.m. Key stat: 1 – Yards gained by Antelope Valley after sophomore QB Ronaiah Tuiasosopo departed at the start of the fourth quarter of last week’s 44-29 loss to Loyola of Los Angeles with a suspected concussion. Loyola rallied from a 29-23 deficit to win. Outlook: Both teams addressed their early-season flaws last week. Antelope Valley showed more balance on offense when Tuiasosopo began finding talented WRs Randy Burton and D’Andre Goodwin for big plays. Palmdale’s much-maligned defense posted a shutout, holding Knight to just 81 yards total offense. Palmdale has won the past three meetings. Tonight’s winner will be the Golden League title favorite. QUARTZ HILL (2-2) vs. KNIGHT (2-3) at Palmdale High, 7 p.m. Key stat: 7-6 – Combined record of the teams that have beaten Knight. Outlook: Quartz Hill dropped a tough game last week to Lancaster and can’t afford to lost to Knight if it wants to remain in playoff contention. Knight has been outscored 94-0 in successive losses. LANCASTER (4-1) at LITTLEROCK (2-3), 7 p.m. Key stat :4 – Games in which a Lancaster RB has rushed for 100 yards. Josh Gaines and Tony Jackson have two 100-yard games apiece. Outlook: Littlerock has lost two straight after beating Boron and Garey of Pomona in back-to-back games. Lancaster has won four in a row after a season-opening loss to Orange Lutheran. Lancaster, which has moved the ball steadily, has gained 1,123 yards on the ground. Littlerock has been shut out in its past two games. VALLEY CHRISTIAN of Cerritos (3-1) vs. PARACLETE (1-3) at Quartz Hill HS, 7:30 p.m. Outlook: Slumping Paraclete, outscored 112-14 during a three-game skid, faces a difficult challenge in its Olympic League opener. Valley Christian has won three in a row and is coming off a 41-14 romp over Montclair Prep of Panorama City. Valley Christian QB Steven Kruid (23 for 38, 348 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT) leads a balanced offense. Paraclete needs to play its best game to contain the Crusaders. VASQUEZ (5-0) at MAMMOTH of Mammoth Lakes (3-2), 7 p.m. Outlook: Geography and Mammoth’s persistent rushing game figure to be the biggest challenges facing Vasquez, which looks to extend its season-opening winning streak against the team it beat in the first round of the Southern Section Div. XII playoffs the past two years. Led by RB Trevor Barnes (122.3 rushing ypg, 7 TDs), Mammoth has run the ball on 86 percent of its 216 offensive plays. Junior QB Joe Perez (43 for 65, 635 yards, 7 TDs) leads a balanced Vasquez offense. BORON (2-2) at MOJAVE (2-1), 7 p.m. Outlook: Mojave, ranked No. 2 in the Southern Section Div. XII poll, takes on traditional rival Boron, which is brimming with confidence after last week’s 42-6 rout of Desert of Edwards AFB. Mojave features a power running game led by RB Leroy Hill (113 ypg, 3 TDs), and WR Jamal Green (6 receptions, 90 yards, 2 TDs) gives the Mustangs added dimension. Boron is led by RB Brad Kostopoulos (159.8 ypg, 6 TDs).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgVoodoo Venue Letterkenny is the only place to be tonight to celebrate your exam results.Special guest DJ Joel Corry will be spinning the discs with warm up from local DJ Kevin Lennon.Doors open at 11pm, and the normal Tuesday night drink offers apply. Admission €10 with cheap list €7 till 12.30.To get on cheap list use our new GLISTRR system on our Facebook page.See Facebook for more details.STRAIGHT A’S FOR VOODOO FOR TONIGHT’S EXAM ‘CELEBRATIONS’ was last modified: August 13th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DJEntertainmenthome-page featuresLeaving Cert ResultsnewsVoodoo Venuelast_img read more

EPA: More Data Needed to Ensure Spray Foam Safety

first_imgA friend of mine used to be a long-haul truck driver. At one point he even became a trainer working with new drivers.Over dinner recently, I asked what was one key lesson that he would want to impart to any new driver. While he was thinking about it, his wife lit up and offered this advice (which I’m sure is not from the company manual): make sure your seatbelt is removed before you begin a hot swap.In trucking, a hot swap occurs in a truck being driven by a team of two drivers when they are in a real hurry to make a delivery. When one is ready to take a break and turn the wheel over, rather than taking the time to stop, they may decide to trade places while the vehicle is moving down the highway. Hot swapping green building techniquesWhile I’m sure that experienced drivers can “hot swap” quite, um, professionally, it is an inherently unsafe practice. This is underscored by the fact that you have to remove your seatbelt, in a speeding tractor-trailer, before you can even begin!When I heard this, it felt to me a lot like a situation we face with some regularity in green building. We are racing to make our buildings safer, healthier for occupants, less-polluting, and lower carbon. But we are behind in that race. For example, we have been paying serious attention to the health effects of building materials on indoor air quality for only about 20 years. We have been inventing new chemicals that affect our indoor air quality for well over 100 years.Unfortunately for the builder, homeowner, or renter who simply wants some reliable advice on what to worry about from an environmental perspective, and what not to worry about, things sometimes change or crop up unexpectedly. And we’re not usually completely ready with a seamless hot swap. Remember when compact fluorescent bulbs first came out? Remember the first low-flow toilets? Best forget them. Why the fuss now?As Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, put it, “There has been an increase in recent years in promoting the use of foams and sealants by do-it-yourself energy-conscious homeowners, and many people may now be unknowingly exposed to risks from these chemicals.” You can add to that a growing number of complaints about adverse health effects from homeowners and occupants of office buildings where SPF has been applied during energy retrofits. EPA’s SPF action plan for MDI is being developed within its Design for the Environment (DfE) program under jurisdiction from the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which requires U.S. chemical manufacturers, importers, processors, and distributors to report to EPA any information suggesting that one of their chemicals “presents a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment.”While the reported data is technically public information, penetrating it is very difficult, in some measure because manufacturers often claim confidentiality for proprietary components in their chemical formulations. But the cumulative evidence to date has moved EPA to take real action on this issue, mainly to gather reports of adverse health effects from manufacturers, and to consider initial rulemaking for both consumer-applied and professionally applied SPF products.The action plan leaves open questions about how far EPA will go to clamp down on these products, but it’s safe to think of this as a shot across the bow from EPA for the SPF industry. We don’t know much about SPF offgassingIn addition to the presence of MDI in the product, the chemical reaction and curing of SPF can produce other chemicals of concern: excess isocyanates, aldehydes, amine catalysts, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We don’t know much about the nature and quantities of offgassing of these substances, the curing rates of SPF, or how health risks can change with improper environmental conditions or mixing ratios during the SPF process.To that end, there is a new ASTM standard under development. John Sebrowski, a senior associate scientist with Bayer MaterialScience and chair of the task group working on this ASTM standard, is helping develop a standard practice to establish re-occupancy times after onsite SPF application. “We are currently getting ready to conduct research using micro-scale chambers and thermal desorption techniques to measure emissions,” he said. The issue of the day? SPF safetyThe issue of the day is spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation products. Last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new action plan for a key family of chemicals used in SPF. Isocyanates, such as MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), are chemicals that react with polyols to form polyurethane. They can also cause skin, eye, and lung irritation, asthma, and chemical sensitization when absorbed through the skin or inhaled.Polyurethane is in a lot of stuff, from foam mattresses to bowling balls. When it is fully reacted or “cured,” it is stable and its chemistry is not a significant concern. Some products, however, such as adhesives, coatings, and spray foam, react while being applied by builders or homeowners doing insulation retrofits, and continue to react for some hours afterwards, and may contain “uncured” isocyanates to which people may be exposed.This is not news: worker protection protocols and quality assurance programs for SPF installation were developed by the SPF industry decades ago.center_img Safe re-entry timesWhen asked what relationship the current ASTM draft standard and research might have to the existing protocol offered by Bayer MaterialScience (which recommends re-occupancy times of 12 hours and 24 hours for workers and occupants, respectively), Sebrowski responded that the protocol would be used as a starting point, but “we are also investigating other approaches to measuring the emissions.”According to EPA, safe re-entry times put forward by manufacturers vary between 8–24 hours for one-component SPF and 23–72 hours for two-component SPF. But more research and standardized testing is clearly needed. EPA is not working alone on this issue; several other federal agencies — including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission — are part of the team. Each is concerned about protecting workers or consumers from health effects from the increasingly prevalent site-applied SPF. Should we stop using SPF?“I think you have to be careful when you discuss the toxicity of spray foam,” says David Price, environmental scientist in the indoor environment division of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “I have not seen any information at this point that there is any hazard to occupants.” While Price supports EPA’s decision to gather data on possible post-occupancy issues with SPF, he doesn’t want the public to “find the accused guilty before you hear the case.”Price has seen some of the anecdotal evidence as well as some of the scientific findings, and says that no cause-effect relationship has yet been found between SPF installation and post-occupancy illnesses. “It’s appropriate for EPA to look at this stuff; that’s what we do,” Price said. “But I’m very sensitive about tagging a product as ‘of concern’ or ‘may be toxic’” before the data has been gathered and reviewed. Environmental Building News contacted several builders and foam industry professionals, and found that most were unwilling to be quoted on an issue they deemed sensitive and still-unfolding. One leading green remodeler offered this perspective: “I have stopped using SPF in any of my projects at this point. I simply can’t and won’t jeopardize my clients’ health and the reputation of my company by using building materials with the emissions profile of SPF.”Since this news came out, comments on message boards that I have seen have tended toward defense of SPF and annoyance (that’s putting it politely) at EPA. The undercurrent seems to be: Is the whole industry going to get stained because of some untrained DIYers? Let’s hope that the general public doesn’t jump to conclusions too rapidly — that EPA gathers its data and that its process works. And let’s be real: not all SPF insulations jobs are perfect — some have even ended tragically. Recommendations for continued useSPF has unique advantages that can be difficult to replace. If you decide to continue using it while EPA continues its work, here are some recommendations.Make sure that your SPF contractor installs SPF correctly, employing quality control/assurance protocols such as the following the Spray Foam Quality Control – Canadian Installation Requirements, or the ABAA Quality Assurance program.Follow current EPA recommendations on a safe approach to installation, from the publication Quick Safety Tips for SPF Users.If you are a homeowner or building manager or employee in a building in which SPF will be installed, follow EPA’s Steps to Control Exposure.Also, stay tuned; the SPF industry is working on a new class of SPFs — hybrid non-isocyanate polyurethanes (HPINUs) — that may pose much less serious occupant and worker health issues than our current slate of SPF building products.What do you think about the SPF issue? Do you use it, or not? Why? Let us know below.Tristan Roberts is Editorial Director at BuildingGreen, Inc., in Brattleboro, Vermont, which publishes information on green building solutions.Note: Peter Yost, residential program manager at BuildingGreen, and Paula Melton, associate editor, contributed reporting to this column.last_img read more