Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs, once virtually eradicated in the United States, are making a comeback, thanks EPA!.

EPA to Blame for Bedbug Problems?

How long until we see a bedbugs horror movie on the big screen? With the nasty critters invading everything from movie theaters in Times Square to lingerie stores and hotels, there’s a damn near panic brewing over the tiny blood-suckers.

With bedbug infestations up 71 percent since 2001 at hotels and cases popping up across the country, people are starting to wonder: just how did this happen? Considering that the bugs have come back in part because of their increased resistance to available pesticides and a general cluelessness on how to effectively get rid of them because of their long absence, it’s hard to say.

But one target of the welt-covered masses is an unlikely suspect: the Environmental Protection Agency. It seems that some scientists and victims believe that after eradicating the nasty critters between World War II and the mid-1990s, bedbugs have staged a huge comeback after the Clinton-era Congress passed a major new pesticides law in 1996 that banned a number of chemicals that had been reliable bed bug killers.

Though the long-banned DDT is not a culprit – since the bugs had already developed a tolerance for that nasty chemical – the banning of such pesticides as Malathion and Propoxur may have contributed to the new wave of infestations. Now, leaders such as Ohio governor Ted Strickland are trying to get a waiver from the EPA to use the compounds to combat one of the country’s worst outbreaks in cities such as Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.

See also:
Why Is an Epidemic of Blood-Sucking Bed Bugs Sweeping the Nation?
US grapples with bedbugs, misuse of pesticides
Bedbugs staging dramatic comeback in the United States
Bedbugs Bite Their Way Across the Country
Battling bedbugs
Terminix Releases List of Top 15 Cities Favored by Bedbugs
Minneapolis Makes the List of Most Bedbug-Infested Cities
Twin Cities Bed Bug Problem Reaches Motel Rooms
Bedbug

Oh boy, Minneapolis is 15th on the infestation list.

/I’m glad there’s a river between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, I hope the little blood suckers can’t swim

Two Months Later And Still Waiting . . .

Hop in my Chrysler, it’s as big as a whale and it’s about to set sail!

Testing? We don’t need no stinkin’ testing, either the damn thing works or it doesn’t, get on with it!

‘A Whale’ mega-skimmer arrives in Gulf of Mexico, testing begins

The modified ship is being hailed as the “world’s largest skimming vessel” and is being tested in waters north of the oil spill to see if it can safely skim 21M gallons of oil per day.

The 1,100-foot long tanker, called “A Whale,” was designed to carry iron ore and crude oil. However, according to ABC News, after hearing about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, “the owner of the ship, mysterious Taiwanese billionaire Nobu Su, ordered his engineers to cut vents in the bow and redesign the tanks inside, creating the largest skimming vessel in the world.”

The offer by Nobu Su and his company, TMT Shipping, was accepted by U.S. government officials on the condition that tests be conducted to see if the modified ship will work for skimming purposes. As mentioned in the video above, “this type of retrofitting has not been done before.”

According to ABC News, Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander, said, “We’re anxious to find out how effective it will be. But it is a very large ship that’s been converted to be able to recover oil, and we’ll see how it goes.”

CNN reports that the A Whale arrived in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday and testing took place Saturday and Sunday. Initial test results are expected on July 5.

See also:
Gulf oil spill update: A Whale skimmer test continues, oil pushes into Louisiana marshes (pictures)
World’s largest skimmer finally arrives in Gulf, but still needs federal approval
Largest skimmer in the world must be deemed ‘effective’ by the federal government before it’s allowed to help with oil clean-up
‘A Whale’ skimmer enters gulf oil spill cleanup
EPA Administrator “Would Not Go Into the Water Today” as Oil Skimmer Attempts to Clean Oil from the Gulf
BP Oil Spill Live Updates: A Whale Skimmer Launched to Solve Problems
A Whale continues skimming operations
‘A Whale’ Supertanker Oil Skimmer Offers Hope for Gulf Spill
Today Makes Tomorrow (TMT)

So let me see if I understand this correctly. We have a giant oil skimmer that can theoretically clean up the Gulf in a week, but the EPA is withholding permission for it to operate because the EPA is worried that the oil laden water that the A Whale scoops up might somehow magically come out on the other end less environmentally friendly, is that it? GOOD GOD, HOW CAN THE A WHALE MAKE THE WATER ANY WORSE THAN IT IS NOW? WHAT KIND OF OBAMA ABOMINATION OPERATION ARE WE RUNNING HERE ANYWAY?

/hello, are there any sane adults in charge here?

Something’s Happening Here, What It Is Ain’t Exactly Clear

Wal-Mart’s glow-in-the-dark mystery

It began in late 2007 as a routine audit. Retail giant Wal-Mart noticed that some exit signs at the company’s stores and warehouses had gone missing.

As the audit spread across Wal-Mart’s U.S. operations, the mystery thickened. Stores from Arkansas to Washington began reporting missing signs. They numbered in the hundreds at first, then the thousands. Last month Wal-Mart disclosed that about 15,800 of its exit signs – a stunning 20 per cent of its total inventory – are lost, missing, or otherwise unaccounted for at 4,500 facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Poor housekeeping, certainly, but what’s the big deal?

In a word: radiation.

The signs contain tritium gas, a radioactive form of hydrogen. Tritium glows when it interacts with phosphor particles, a phenomenon that has led to the creation of glow-in-the-dark emergency exit signs.

. . .

And what about exposure from thousands of signs dumped near a source of drinking water, or packed with explosives in the back of a truck that has been driven into a crowded building?

“I’m sure thousands of them would create a credible dirty bomb,” says Norm Rubin, director of nuclear research at Energy Probe in Toronto. “Most experts think the main purpose of a dirty bomb is to cause panic, disruption and expensive cleanup rather than lots of dead bodies. A bunch of tritium, especially if oxidized in an explosion, would probably do that job fine.”

ENVIRONMENT: Wal-Mart’s Mysterious Missing Exit Signs: A Tritium Health Risk?

What do Home Depot, the Mormon Church, and the U.S. Coast Guard have in common?

Answer: Radioactivity.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the construction retailer, the church denomination, and the guardians of our coastline own hundreds of fluorescent exit signs containing the radioactive gas tritium. So, in fact, do various school districts, retail stores, and federal and state agencies. And if the signs are handled and disposed of improperly, tritium could make its way into our drinking water. The NRC was prompted to step in following Wal-Mart’s recent disclosure that 15,000 tritium exit signs have mysteriously disappeared from its stores nationwide.

On January 16, the NRC sent notices to 61 organizations that own 500 or more tritium signs to check the signs against their records and report any lost or missing signs to the agency. The recipients of the “demand for information” letter include the Department of the Navy, the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Postal Service, and the West Point Military Academy, as well as several pharmaceutical, defense, and aviation companies nationwide.

In all, more than two million tritium exit signs are estimated to be in use in the United States. The signs are popular because they do not require electricity and provide emergency light and direction during evacuations.

From 2001 to 2007, Wal-Mart bought 70,000 tritium exit signs to install in its stores and warehouses, according to the NRC. In 2007, after discovering that some signs had disappeared, the company started a nationwide audit of its facilities. The result: a staggering 15,000 signs were lost, missing, or otherwise unaccounted for.

An NRC advisory states that the tritium signs pose “little or no threat to the public health and safety and do not constitute a security risk.” Others are not so sure. “Fifteen thousand missing tritium exit signs at 20 trillion picocuries each means that 300 quadrillion picocuries of tritium could be making its way into people’s drinking water,” warns David Lochbaum, director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Or, nearly four million gallons of water could be contaminated above the EPA’s drinking water standards. And what if 15,000 missing tritium exit signs is a low estimate?”

/certainly nothing good can come of this