(CNN)San Francisco jurors just ruled that Roundup, the most popular weedkiller in the world, gave a former school groundskeeper terminal cancer.
Workers at Owasso’s Macy’s Fulfillment Center say there’s a bedbug problem that started out small and is getting bigger.
There are concerns for the workers at the distribution center, but also claims that the bedbugs have the possibility of getting shipped out to homes all around the country.
“I’ve confronted management about it and was basically told to keep my mouth shut about it, not to cause panic,” said Macy’s employee Kathy Woodson.
Woodson has worked at the Owasso facility for two years. She admits she will likely get fired for speaking out, but says it’s worth it if something’s done. She says she’s tired of staying silent after nearly a dozen complaints.
“Asking them what we should do if we take them home with us, basically we’re on our own,” said Woodson. “Customers wouldn’t be able to pinpoint that they came from us, just to be hush about it.”
One employee who has worked there for three years and wanted to remain anonymous wrote, “The bugs just became a problem last year. People have found most bedbugs in the packing department and that’s where they pack customers’ orders and send them to shipping to be shipped out.”
Another employee wrote that “[i]t is absolutely a problem because I got them from work. I know the bugs have been spotted in prep, pack, and home dept.”
“Have seen them personally. They are in all departments and have been there for a while,” yet another employee said. “They’ve been taken to the managers and then the VP and still nothing.”
Andrea Schwartz, the Vice President of Media for Macy’s, said she has never heard about the problem at the Owasso distribution center.
Schwartz also said, “It’s a big company. I have the whole country. Again, it’s not my job to be aware of every building.”
“I think they’re just trying to cover up,” stated Woodson. “I would like for them to take care of the problem.”
The company did not confirm or deny the presence of bedbugs but did release a statement, which reads:
“Macy’s is committed to ensuring the safety of our merchandise and packaging for our customers and to maintaining a safe and sanitary working environment for our colleagues. We routinely inspect our distribution facilities and have ongoing preventative measures in place.
“Additionally, we work closely with our vendor partners to ensure the thousands of products coming through our facilities on daily basis meet our standards. If an issue is identified, we take swift action to address the situation.”
“Mosquitoes can transmit viruses when they bite, causing illnesses that range from mild to severe or even fatal.”
Alabama health officials say there are investigations into several reported cases of Zika and West Nile virus.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there have been three confirmed cases of Zika virus in the state since May.
Last week, Shelby County health officials began warning local residents about a confirmed case in Pelham.
“To date in Alabama, the Zika virus has only been identified in individuals known to have traveled to areas where Zika is known to be endemic,” the Alabama Department of Public Health said in a release Monday. “There has been no local transmission.”
An assistant professor in UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases will discuss the state of Zika at a 1:30 p.m. news conference. You can watch it here, on the WVTM 13 Facebook page or in the WVTM 13 News app.
- When going outdoors, use EPA-registered repellents containing 20 percent DEET on skin or permethrin on clothes. Follow label instructions carefully when using any repellent. Repellents should not be used on infants less than 2 months old.
- Wear loose-fitting long sleeves and long pants.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air-conditioning, if available.
- Empty standing water from items outside homes such as flowerpots, buckets, old tires and children’s pools.
- Clean clogged gutters and clear drainage ditches and pipes of debris.
- Joint pain
- Red eyes
- Muscle pain
Symptoms can last for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely to be protected from future infections.
More Zika info:
GREECE, NY (WROC) – Complaints of bed bugs were received by the Monroe County Health Department at the Barnes & Noble in Greece earlier last week.
Barnes & Noble told us the situation has been taken care of, saying in a statement
“It is now safe for customers to shop at this store. We take the health and safety of our customers and booksellers very seriously.”
Bed bugs may often be associated with the home, but often the bug can be found in other settings.
“Bedbugs are always going to be where people spend the majority of their time,” said Exodus Exterminator’s general manager and co-owner Dale Larnder.
In an office setting, chairs can be one of the most common places. Bedbugs can be found just about anywhere at any time of year. They also travel well. “They could actually transport them to their work place, maybe a place they’re visiting, a retail setting, office, clinic, doctor’s office,” said Larnder.
Some blame may go on the workplace, but Larnder says the problem might be the person. “They’re experiencing bites, and they just equate that to, they’re just getting it at the work place.”
Treatment is insecticides over a few weeks, but heat treatments can do it in one day. The most important part it to get a quality inspection by a certified exterminator.
As of Thursday morning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has 60 days to finalize its ban of the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.
This was the ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on August 9. The judges determined that EPA broke the law by allowing continued use of the pesticide despite scientific evidence linking it to harmful impacts on children’s developing brains.
“Children, farmworkers, rural families and science are all huge winners today,” said PAN’s executive director Kristin Schafer in a press statement responding to the court ruling. “Sadly, under this administration it takes judges to force our public agencies to stand up to corporate interests and do their jobs.”
The decision was in response to years-long litigation brought by PAN, NRDC, Earthjustice and other farmworker and environmental health organizations.
Bad for children, farmworkers & families
Chlorpyrifos is a widely used and highly-volatile neurotoxic chemical that study after study has shown is harming the development of children’s brains. When mothers are exposed during pregnancy, their children are at higher risk of having lower IQs, developmental delays and autism.
In fall 2016, EPA’s own scientists published a follow-up assessment of health risks that found that, through their diet, infants were being exposed to the pesticide at levels 140 times what could be considered safe.
In the same assessment, the scientists also found that farmworkers were exposed at unsafe levels in the field — the chemical routinely sickens workers and sends them to the hospital.
A long time coming
EPA scientists put forward a proposal in late 2015 to withdraw all uses of chlorpyrifos on food crops. But in a controversial about-face in March 2017, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt called the science on chlorpyrifos “unresolved,” and said agency experts will continue thinking about it until at least 2022. This announcement came just weeks after meeting with executives from Dow Agrochemical (now Corteva Agriscience), which makes the pesticide.
This win highlights the importance of the courts under an administration that is consistently prioritizing corporate interests over public health. In the months since Pruitt’s reversal of the decision to ban chlorpyrifos, policy momentum at the state-level in the absence of national action has also been encouraging — Hawai’i recently banned the pesticide in the state, and California scientists recently listed it as an air contaminant and developmental toxicant.
EPA, the court has ruled. You have 60 days.
A new invasive tick species described as an “aggressive biter” has been found in a number of U.S. states, sparking concern from agriculture and health officials.
The Haemaphysalis longicornis tick, better known as the longhorned tick, is native to the Asia-Pacific region. Predominant hosts include humans, poultry, livestock, wild rodents, and birds, according to scientists.
The New York Times reports that the longhorned tick is the first new tick species to arrive in America for 50 years.
The tick was found for the first time in the U.S. late last year, when it was identified on a sheep in Hunterdon County, N.J. “Recently, the tick has also been found in Union and Middlesex Counties in New Jersey, as well as from a calf in Albemarle County in Virginia and cattle in Hardy County in West Virginia,” explained the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, in a recent note.
Additionally, the tick has been identified in Warren County, Va., as well as in Arkansas and at multiple locations in Westchester County, N.Y., according to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. The longhorned tick has also been found on an opossum in Polk County, N.C.
“It is a serious pest of livestock in its native regions and the means of introduction into the U.S. is unknown,” explained the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in a recent statement. “Its presence in N.C. signals the need among livestock producers and residents for greater awareness, surveillance, and tick control management. It is an aggressive biter and frequently builds intense infestations on animals causing great stress, reduced growth and production, and blood loss.”
In addition to eastern Asia, the tick is also a threat to livestock in Australia and New Zealand, where it is known as a “bush tick.”
‘While the longhorned tick has not been linked to any human infection in the U.S., the N.C. Division of Public Health is working with NCDA&CS [North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services] to understand its distribution and monitor for diseases it may carry,” officials added.
The New York State Departments of Health and Agriculture and Markets noted that the tick has transmitted disease to humans in other parts of the world, but said that more research is needed to determine whether this can happen in the U.S. “Regardless, New Yorkers should continue to take steps to protect themselves, their children and their pets against ticks and tickborne diseases that are present in New York State,” it said.
Human diseases transmitted by the tick in Asia include spotted fever rickettsiosis, a bacterial infection that ranges from mild to life-threatening. The New York Times reportsthat the biggest threat from the longhorned tick is a phlebovirus that causes Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS), an emerging infectious disease described as a “haemorrhagic fever.”
“The disease has become a substantial risk to public health, not only in China, but also in other parts of the world,” The Lancet reported in 2014.
The CDC provides advice on how best to remove a tick.
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The couple were spending a month in the Celtic Lodge on Talbot Street
What was supposed to be an enjoyable summer holiday turned into a nightmare after two tourists discovered that their hotel room was teeming with bed bugs.
The couple, who are from Finland, were spending a month in the Celtic Lodge on Talbot Street, in Dublin.
They woke up to bites and rashes and were horrified to see bed bugs crawling all over the mattress, the Irish Independent reports.
“I noticed something on my arms and my body but thought it was just an allergy.
“Then we saw insects moving and we thought they might have come from outside,” the tourist said.
The couple didn’t say anything at first, but they turned the mattress upside down and saw something moving on the bedclothes.
When they realised that they were bed bugs, they asked to me moved to another room.
The hotel moved them to another room and exterminators were called. The room and the couple’s luggage was sprayed but the bed bugs were still there when they moved back into the room.
In the end, they were moved three times before they left Dublin.
“We were always checking to see if we had any bites every morning,” the tourist said.
Other guests at the hotel were affected too.
“Then we saw there was a lovely family with a toddler at reception one day and the father was saying the word ‘bedbugs’.
“They said it was their wedding anniversary and they left in the middle of their holiday because they were so disappointed,” the tourist said.
The manager of the hotel said that it was an isolated incident and that the whole room was “gutted and refurbished, fixtures were removed” and had been treated by pest control.
VICENZA, Italy — The Ederle Inn evicted some unwanted guests from a guest room last week when a military family discovered bed bugs in the room they stayed in seven nights previously.
U.S. Army Health Clinic Vicenza, Chief of Environmental Health Capt. Lileshwaran Reddy and an entomologist from U.S. Army Garrison Italy Public Works were called to put their experience to work. The room and guests’ room and luggage were inspected and treated with insecticide to kill the bugs.
“We follow a protocol used by many hotels in the lodging industry and called our garrison experts,” said Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation Director Chris Bradford. “The family was relocated to another room and the affected room will not be made available to another guest until we’re sure all the bugs are dead and gone.”
No other guest reports of bed bugs were made after notification by Ederle Inn management, social media and a distributed memo to guests from the garrison commander.
“This was an isolated incident,” said Reddy. “You can think of bed bugs as expert hitchhikers. They’re stowaways in luggage, purses, boxes, furniture, and other belongings. PCS season increases the likelihood of bed bugs. When families store clothes and luggage for two or three years and then only pull things out again when it comes time to move back stateside, there’s no telling what’s in them. The best defense is knowing what to look for,” said Reddy.
Stopping an infestation dead in its tracks from the onset is critical. A widespread infestation last summer at the Army’s Human Resource Command in Fort Knox shuttered six buildings for several days for fumigation. This incident impacted the entire U.S. Army as thousands of workers were sent home.
Summer weather and PCS season combine to increase the likelihood of bed bugs because high visitor traffic and lots of luggage. Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. Most people do not realize they are transporting them as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel. Since bed bug eggs hatch 4-12 days after they are laid, their presence may not be evident until days after a resident arrives in a room.
Families preparing to PCS can prevent bed bugs from tagging along. The Army Public Health Center recommends keeping luggage on racks or otherwise off the floor. Inspect luggage prior to repacking. Laundering clothing using the highest heat settings for washing and drying for at least 30 minutes goes a long way.
Bed bugs and their eggs can be killed when exposed to temperatures of 115° F (46° C) for 15 minutes. If it’s possible, launder luggage. Otherwise examine it carefully under bright light. If bed bugs are discovered, determine a treatment option appropriate for the size and type of luggage. Proactive measures can go a long way in preventing bed bug infestations.
Housekeeping staff in Army Lodging received additional training this past week to reinforce the importance of being alert for bed bug infestation.
“We took this incident very seriously and we followed our Installation Pest Management Plan. Army Lodging strives to provide the best customer services for our Soldiers, civilians, and their families. It’s a team effort to ensure the Ederle Inn provides the most comfortable and secure temporary home for transitioning personnel,” said USAG Italy Garrison Commander Col. Erik Berdy.
You might have more than concerns about your luggage making it to your destination on time to worry about on your next flight. Believe it or not, bed bugs could be hiding in the nooks and crannies of your very own airplane seat.
While you may regularly inspect your hotel room for bed bugs, learning that these icky pests in your airplane seat might be news to seasoned jet-setters. But it happens more often than you think: A Canadian woman and her seven-year-old daughter ended up covered in bed bug bites after a recent British Airways flight.
Thankfully, you can take precautions to avoid becoming a bed bug’s next meal—starting with a close inspection of your seat cushion. Because bed bugs thrive at night while you sleep, you are more likely to find them on overnight and international flights. Some of the most common clues of a bed bug infestation include fecal stains, eggs, or even full-sized bugs near the cracks and crevices of the seat back cushion. You also might develop “itchy red bumps or a hive-like rash,” according to Jody Green, MD, an urban entomologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Here are more warning signs of bed bugs.
That said, “it may be tricky to identify a bed bug because of the different sizes and coloration based on age and feeding status,” Dr. Green says. As a good rule of thumb, she says most bed bugs are reddish-brown, flat, and oval-shaped. Their sizes can range anywhere between a poppy seed and an apple seed.
Just because you can’t see any bed bugs doesn’t mean they are not there, though. To protect yourself from bites, cover any exposed skin with long pants and closed-toe shoes. Wrapping your carry-on luggage with a plastic bag or another type of sealed case can prevent hitch-hiking critters, too.
If you do manage to make it home with no bed bugs in sight, you are not off the hook quite yet. Beg bugs can’t fly or jump, so they often stow away inside of suitcases and backpacks. Unpack your luggage outside after a flight, inspecting your items one by one for any sign of bed bugs. And to do away with any hidden pests, Dr. Green suggests washing and drying all of your blankets, pillows, and clothes on high heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
Still, don’t let a fear of bed bugs keep you from sitting back and relaxing at 35,000 feet. Frequent fliers can rest assured that it “would be quite rare to have a high-level infestation on an airplane these days due to the sanitation schedules of airlines and the awareness of these blood-feeding hitchhikers,” Dr. Green said. Check out the 16 secrets bed bugs don’t want you to know, but are crucial for keeping them at bay.