Avian flu reported in two more Nigerian states

first_imgFeb 9, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Deadly H5N1 avian influenza was reported on farms in two more Nigerian states today as United Nations officials warned that the virus’s emergence in Africa represents a serious crisis.The Nigerian agriculture ministry said the virus had been found in chickens on two farms in Kano state and one in Plateau state, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. Kano borders Kaduna state, site of the first reported outbreak, on the northeast, and Plateau borders it on the southeast.”The outbreak in Kaduna state in northern Nigeria proves that no country is risk-free and that we are facing a serious international crisis,” said Samuel Jutzi, director of the the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Animal Production and Health Division, in a statement yesterday.Lee Jong-wook, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), said today, “The confirmation of H5N1 avian influenza in poultry in Africa is a cause for great concern and demands immediate action.”The deaths of 60,000 poultry in Kano had been reported previously, but officials had said tests for avian flu were negative. It was not clear today how many of the deaths were due to avian flu, according to the AFP report.Tope Ajakaiye, spokesman for the Nigerian agriculture ministry, said the outbreak sites have been quarantined. “The federal government is doing everything to contain the disease within the three centers that have been located,” the Associated Press (AP) quoted him as saying.The AP reported that Junaidu Maina, director of Nigeria’s livestock department, said poultry farms all across northern Nigeria were under quarantine, but he did not say how many of the country’s 36 states were included in the order.Government accused of slow responseAwalu Haruna of the Poultry Farmers’ Association of Kano yesterday accused the government of tardiness in responding to the outbreak, the AP story said. “The government should have quarantined the affected farms to prevent further spread,” he said. “But as I speak this has not been done. There is still movement of humans and birds in and out of these farms.”According to a Reuters report today, workers at the Kaduna farm where the virus was first reported said all the birds had died about a month ago. “They burned them and buried them,” one worker was quoted as saying. “They didn’t tell us what had happened. I heard it on the news.”About 40,000 birds reportedly died on the farm, near Jaji village. Fifteen large concrete hangars used as chicken barns stood empty today, Reuters reported.The story also said agricultural authorities in Kano state had ordered a quarantine of all farms with mass bird deaths, but officials would not destroy the flocks until tests confirm the presence of H5N1. Otherwise, “people might take advantage” of compensation being offered to farmers, one official said.International help expectedThe United States has pledged $25 million to help contain the virus, according to the AP and Reuters reports.Ajaikaye told AFP a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team based in Kenya was expected to come to Nigeria and set up a laboratory. The team is to bring 2,000 protective suits for health and veterinary workers, he said.Experts from the FAO, the WHO, and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) were expected to travel to Nigeria tomorrow to help, the AP quoted the OIE’s Alex Thiermann as saying.The WHO’s Lee said in his statement, “The single most important public health priority at this stage is to warn people about the dangers of close contact with sick or dead birds infected with H5N1.”He said the WHO is offering to help the Nigerian government in a public information campaign, possibly by giving messages about bird flu during a nationwide, house-to-house polio immunization campaign scheduled to begin Feb 11.Lee noted that African health systems are already struggling to cope with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other diseases. “We simply do not know what the impact of exposure to avian influenza will be on the many people who may be already immunocompromised and in a fragile state of health,” he said.Greece reports infected swansIn other developments, three swans found dead in northern Greece tested positive for an H5 virus, possibly signaling H5N1’s arrival in the country, according to an AFP report today.Greece has had no confirmed outbreaks of H5N1 so far. Last October there was a report of an H5 virus in some turkeys on a Greek island, but the findings apparently were never confirmed. At this writing, the OIE Web site showed no reports of H5 avian flu in Greece.Two of the infected swans were found in the northern port city of Salonika, and the third came from the prefecture of Pieria, according to officials quoted by AFP.The Greek agriculture ministry said a European Union–certified laboratory in Salonika had detected H5 viruses in samples from the three swans, which were among 52 birds tested, AFP reported.The samples have been sent to a London lab for to determine whether the virus is H5N1, officials told AFP.Earlier this week, a swan infected with an H5 virus was reported in Bulgaria, which adjoins northeastern Greece.See also:Feb 9 statement by WHO Director-General Lee Jong-wookhttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2006/s03/en/index.htmlFeb 8 FAO statementhttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000226/index.htmllast_img read more

Job-Site Recycling: Gypsum Wallboard

first_imgA recycling model from EuropeAn important collaborator in the Massachusetts program is Gypsum Recycling America , a subsidiary of Gypsum Recycling International. The system developed by GSI was launched in Denmark in 2001 and now operates in seven countries, including the U.S.Wallboard scrap is collected in dedicated 40-yard containers, emptied by specially designed collection trucks and taken to a warehouse. When enough has been collected, a mobile processor is brought in to reduce the waste to gypsum powder and shredded paper. The gypsum goes to a wallboard manufacturer and blended into new material; the paper can be used as animal bedding.The company says it takes only a couple of hours to set up and break down the equipment, so a single processing truck can handle waste at a number of satellite storage areas. (For a look at how the process works, the company has posted You Tube video .The company’s American subsidiary is located in Cambridge, Mass., and currently services New England while hoping to expand to a broader market. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection approached GRI as it worked through details of the drywall landfill ban. GRI agreed to participate in the talks and eventually decided to set up operations in the U.S.Another processor is USA Gypsum, , a Reinholds, PA, company that turns scrap drywall into gypsum powder that can be used in a variety of agricultural and industrial applications. About 90% of its output goes to agricultural end uses, not the manufacture of new wallboard.The company processes between 20,000 and 22,000 tons a year, collecting drywall from an area bounded by Boston, Buffalo, N.Y., Pittsburgh and northern Virginia with three dedicated tractor-trailers and a number of independents. Recycling is “facing some headwinds”While this system can work, it sometimes breaks down. When I spoke with Buzz Surwilo in the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation in early July, he told me G-P Gypsum had “closed the gates” to recycled drywall a few weeks earlier. Surwilo wasn’t sure why, or whether the closure was temporary or permanent. Requests for information from the plant have so far gone unanswered.The upshot of the decision, Surwilo said, was to reduce Vermont’s 10% drywall recycling rate to zero, at least for now. “There a lot of kinks to be worked out,” he said.Weaver points to one possible explanation: a drop in demand for new wallboard because of the housing slump, which in turn lowers the willingness of manufacturers to accept recycled wallboard, and a simultaneous increase in synthetic gypsum produced by scrubbers at coal-fired power plants.In 2009, he said, power plants produced 18 million tons of synthetic gypsum (chemically identical to mined gypsum) but could get rid of only half of it. The result is a huge market surplus. In some cases, Weaver added, wallboard manufacturers have been able to get gypsum by paying only transportation costs, nothing for the actual raw material itself.Also, Weaver said, drywall plants designed to run around the clock have had to cut back production, increasing plant inefficiencies and boosting the amount of waste wallboard they produce themselves. Weaver suspects some plants are now incapable of re-using all their own post-industrial waste, let alone in a position to buy more from the outside. “Recycling is facing some headwinds,” he said. Drywall: Many potential usesGypsum wallboard, the first choice for walls and ceilings in new construction, is almost all (92%) calcium sulfate dihydrate, a natural mineral mined from ancient ocean floors. Paper facings account for another 7%, and impurities and additives the rest.Roughly 15 million tons of new drywall are produced every year in the U.S., of which 12%, or 2.7 million tons (and possibly more), is discarded during installation as pieces are cut to fit. Those numbers may be somewhat lower these days given the health of the building industry; still, it’s a lot. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality estimates that drywall adds up to 26% of all new home construction waste, or 1.5 tons for each 2,000-sq. ft. home.Because the raw materials that go into new drywall are relatively benign (drywall from demolition is another story), it shouldn’t be that hard to find ways of recycling it. On paper, the list of potential uses is long. It can be ground up and used to make new drywall, used as a soil amendment, added to stucco, mixed with sludge as a bulk drying agent, mixed with animal waste to reduce odor, used in the production of cement, combined with wood shavings for animal bedding, and sprinkled on garage floors to soak up grease and oil.The alternative is sending it to a landfill, which is what happens to a lot of it now. Landfill disposal of gypsum wallboard creates a variety of problems, but the one that public officials hear about most often is the smell. “Drywall doesn’t do well in a landfill environment,” says Randy McMullin of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. It produces hydrogen sulfide gas, whose noxious, rotten-egg odor can be detected in minute concentrations by the human nose. In high concentrations, the gas is toxic. The finer the material is ground up, the worse the problem gets. On-site recycling is an optionAnother approach altogether is recycling drywall scraps on the job site, eliminating all transportation and tipping fees. Ground-up gypsum can be spread over the site, or mixed with soil and used for planting lawns and gardens.A Texas company makes several versions of a machine it calls the Gyp Monster designed to turn scraps of clean drywall into a coarse powder that can be spread on site. The trailer-mounted machines, which sell for between $25,000 and $49,000, have a toothed head powered hydraulically by either a gasoline or diesel motor.The company says the Gyp Monster can process between 4,000 and 8,000 lb. of scrap drywall per hour. Scraps are fed into a slot, either 36 in. or 60 in. wide, depending on the model. A built-in vacuum contains dust.Company owner Jerry W. Petermann says the device is intended only for new scrap, not demolition. And while gypsum can be a useful soil amendment, it would be a good idea to check with local code officials to confirm the practice is permitted.The Gyp Monster is small enough to be towed by a pickup to a job site, but companies offering specialized on-site recycling with larger equipment also may be available, depending on where you live. GBA’s technical director, Peter Yost, visited one such company in the Atlanta area and posted this report earlier.The LEED connectionBuilders hoping to win certification for new houses under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program are likely to take advantage of a provision in the Materials Resource section offering up to three points for reducing construction waste.Sarah Buffaloe, a USGBC specialist in this area, says this checkoff is common. She said the council is trying to steer processed wallboard away from landfills, where it has been used as an erosion-preventing cover, and back into the manufacturing stream. That might include not only the making of new wallboard, but a variety of other end uses.That ground gypsum creates hydrogen sulfide gas was one consideration, she said, but not the main motivator. Making new products from processed wallboard is the best use, she said, adding, “Getting it out of landfills is the point.”One factor in developing strong national programs, she adds, is the high cost of trucking C&D waste. That tends to make markets for reprocessed waste such as gypsum very local. Surpluses in some parts of the country may be offset by shortages in another. Recycling can be cheaper for buildersTwo obvious benefits to recycling are extending the life of existing landfills (while reducing the need for new ones) and diverting part of the C&D waste stream into the manufacture of new materials. For builders, a more immediate advantage is lower disposal costs.Tipping fees vary by state, region and even by community, but they can be steep. In New York, for instance, fees for C&D debris range from $14 to $120 per ton, with averages between $40 and $60. In Maine, tipping fees are $65 to $85 per ton.When recycling programs are in place, fees can drop significantly. A 2003 case study published by the Massachusetts DEP, for instance, says the lead contractor in a 2003 public school project trucked clean wallboard scrap to G-P Gypsum in Newington, NH, where it paid $2,559 in disposal costs. That was less than half the $5,450 it would have spent on landfill tipping fees. Overall, the contractor saved nearly $32,000 by recycling all of its construction debris, lowering disposal costs for the job by 75%.USA Gypsum has a range of rates, but charges an average of $23 a ton, well below average C&D tipping fees in the Northeast. “We have to offer a financial incentive for people to sort the material,” says company president Terry Weaver. UPDATED 6/21/2012Everyone knows the environmental benefits of recycling. Turning landfill-clogging debris into useful products is fundamental to green building. Yet recycling construction-site waste is a lot more complicated than recycling household trash.The construction industry produces a lot of waste: 325 million tons every year, according to the Construction Materials Recycling Association, an industry trade group.Residential construction is only a slice of the pie, but even the job site of one single-family home produces plenty of junk: scraps of lumber, vinyl siding, drywall, asphalt shingles, plastic film, PVC pipe, cardboard and paper, and bits of a variety of metals.Recycling construction and demolition (C&D) debris is an appealing alternative to landfill disposal, and it’s promoted heavily in green-building rating systems such as LEED. I wondered how the system really works, how much of the potentially salvageable construction debris actually gets salvaged, and how recycling directly affects a builder’s bottom line. RELATED ARTICLES GBA Encyclopedia: Job-Site RecyclingVideo: Grinding Drywall and WoodJob-Site Recycling: Asphalt Roofing ShinglesAsphalt Shingle Recycling LocatorJob-Site Recycling: PVCSaving Energy by RecyclingCarpet RecyclingTo do so, I made five hypothetical piles of debris at the job site: gypsum wallboard, plastics, metal, wood and asphalt roof shingles. Then I looked at what recycling options are available for each. Here’s the first of those reports. Recycling opportunities vary from state to stateEven though there are many potential uses for recycled drywall, recycling programs appear hit or miss. Some states have actively pushed the idea, others haven’t, and recycling can run into a host of practical and economic obstacles–everything from onerous licensing requirements to unpredictable resale markets.One problem is the spotty availability of established processors. For example, there are 44 drywall pickup sites and/or processors in California, and an interactive web site where builders and consumers can learn more about them.Massachusetts has a very aggressive construction debris recycling effort . Beginning on July 1, the state banned the disposal of drywall in landfills, the only state in the country to do so. There are a number of exemptions to these new rules, but the effect is to divert a high percentage of drywall scraps toward recycling and reprocessing. It took years for Massachusetts officials to work out the details with the construction and demolition industry, but the state says it now has a “sustainable recycling infrastructure” capable of recycling 80,000 tons of drywall waste a year.At the other end of the spectrum, a phone call to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation turned up the name of but one drywall processor in the state.In Maine, the Department of Environmental Protection has a single processor to recommend, and estimates that only 5% to 10% of new drywall scrap is recycled. Vermont, a state without any processing plants of its own, reports about the same level of drywall recycling.What if you worked in Texas? The state’s Natural Resources Conservation Commission assumes that most drywall scraps are taken to landfills. I was told wallboard scrap is not treated as a hazardous waste there and not covered by state regulations.Texas maintains a searchable data base of companies that recycle a variety of construction and demolition waste, but it listed only five that specifically handle drywall. This is in the second largest state in the country with a land area equal to that of Burma.And that seems to sum up this story of extremes, well-established efforts in some states, not much in others. In the end, says CMRA executive director William Turley, “very little” drywall actually gets recycled, mainly because the raw materials have little value in most parts of the country.If you’re wondering what options are in your state, a place to start is with a state-by-state list of contacts maintained by Construction Materials Recycling Association’s companion drywall website. This is a list of people in state environmental offices who can direct you to a processor or a recycling center, should those services exist. Don’t be surprised if they don’t. Demo waste is another problemRecycling clean drywall is a hugely complicated process, involving the intertwined interests of builders, manufacturers, regulators, processors and even power plant operators.But the system essentially doesn’t exist for demolition wallboard.Processors typically won’t take demo wallboard because of potential contamination from asbestos, lead or other toxic materials (Chinese wallboard? Forget it). Even when the wallboard is clean, builders may have to demonstrate it’s safe. For example, Nature’s Way Resources, one of the processing centers in Texas, accepts only new drywall, and only when a builder can produce a Materials Safety Data Sheet proving it contains no hazardous additives.Given the uncertainties of recycling, Surwilo wonders whether the industry should focus on “looking upstream,” trying to reduce waste on the job site rather than find ways of dealing with it after the fact.For now, there are a variety of public and private groups working on ways to improve the rate of drywall recycling. While there are some bright spots, there’s still a huge gulf between the potential and reality, and no clear path for bringing the two closer together.last_img read more

Eze lifts Perpetual to first win; St. Benilde puts game under protest

first_imgLATEST STORIES “We’re lucky that we won the game,” quipped coach Jimwell Gican. “Our defense collapsed and maybe, that’s due to fatigue. But it is what it is, that’s first game jitters and we’re lucky to get the win.”READ: NCAA Season 93 Preview: Altas move on from Akhuetie’s departureThe Blazers had numerous chances to steal the game, but rookie Unique Naboa missed a three and committed a traveling infraction in the final minute, while Matthew Johnson missed a potential game-tying trey from the right corner in the dwindling seconds of the game.St. Benilde, though, put the game under protest after the Altas wore the wrong uniform and played the game in their maroon jerseys.Kendrix Belgica topped the Blazers with 16 points and five rebounds, while Johnson got 10 in the losing effort.ADVERTISEMENT El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Clippers sign guard Milos Teodosic Eze finished the game with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks.READ: NCAA: Perpetual brings wrong set of uniformFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsGab Dagangon paced the Altas with 14 markers, 10 boards, and three assists, while GJ Ylagan had 12 points and three rebounds.Jonathan Yuhico contributed 12 markers and two boards, while Flash Sadiwa got 10 points and six rebounds despite missing five freebies in the last three minutes. China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR The Scores:PERPETUAL 69 – Dagangon 14, Ylagan 12, Yuhico 12, Eze 11, Sadiwa 10, Pido 6, Coronel 4, Lucente 0, Tamayo 0, Clemente 0, Mangalino 0.ST. BENILDE 65 – Belgica 16, Johnson 10, Castor 9, Domingo 9, Young 6, Dixon 5, Sta. Maria 4, Naboa 3, Leutcheu 2, San Juan 1, Bunyi 0.Quarters: 23-13, 39-32, 53-55, 69-65. View comments Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Prince Eze. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netPrince Eze showed that Perpetual is going to be fine after the departure of Bright Akhuetie as it outlasted St. Benilde, 69-65, Tuesday in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Nigerian big man converted two huge putbacks to score the final five points for the Altas in the last 48.3 seconds, fending off a huge fightback from the Blazers.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucenalast_img read more

Temper optimism with caution

first_imgIt may be premature to talk about India doing extremely well in the Commonwealth Games and being placed second in the medals tally. The medals we have won till now from a variety of disciplines like shooting, wrestling and weightlifting were on predictable lines. But the addition to the tally through archery (compound event), swimming (a para athlete) and even gymnastics is the real surprise.If one talks of India at the Commonwealth Games, medals have traditionally come through shooting in a big way since 1994, and the women’s hockey gold in 2002 in Manchester was surprising.Otherwise, if you look at the standard of Indian athletics, it is pitiable and expecting a medal would be unreal, though old timers still remember Milkha Singh’s sole gold medal.If India have to stay in second position, it is certain we need to increase our gold tally. The last time in Melbourne 2006, India ended with 22 gold medals.For a nation which has spent close to Rs 70,000 crore on these Games, predictions were we could end up with a tally of 50 gold medals! A few of us who heard that knew this was like speculating on the bourses.The sentiment is upbeat, though what was tipped as a certain gold medal went out of the window on Thursday when Leander Paes and Sania Mirza crashed out of mixed doubles.Having asked for the inclusion of tennis in the CWG, we hope to get gold medals from men’s singles and doubles and possibly one more medal from the women’s side.advertisementHowever, despite the euphoria over our shooting feats, I still think Ronjan Sodhi has lost two gold medals in double trap. The plusses have been from the women pistol shooters. Gagan Narang has two more events to go and even if he lands two more gold medals out of a possible four, it’s going to add to the gold rush.A gold medal from badminton is not ruled out and one can expect more from the freestyle wrestlers as well. That brings us to boxing, where Vijender Kumar is spoken of as a gold prospect.If we finish with 25 gold medals, it would be a dream come true. Yet, that doesn’t guarantee an overall second place in the medals tally.last_img read more