NAPE raises health concerns over creosote exposure

"We're hearing that it will be weeks, and possibly months, before people are aware of whether they are in harm's way or not. The stress level for the staff is very high.”

St. John's (18 Jan. 2013) — The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) is calling on the Eastern Health Authority to relocate employees in one of its buildings in Pleasantville, Newfoundland while it is being tested for creosote vapour. Eastern Health already relocated part of the building services, the addiction recovery centre, to the Waterford hospital after several employees developed rashes.

Some employees are being asked to wear portable air quality monitors around their necks, but Carol Furlong, NAPE President, thinks it would be safer to move everyone to another location until testing is complete.

 "We have concerns and think that in the interests of everyone, Eastern Health should at least move the services until they find out what is going on,”said Furlong.

Employees are being asked to volunteer for testing the air quality levels in the buiding by wearing monitors for eight hours a day. The testing will begin as soon as enough volunteers come forward.

But Furlong doesn't believe employees should be responsible for the testing. "It shouldn't be up to them to be the ones to wear this and to wait for tests to be completed. We're hearing that it will be weeks, and possibly months, before people are aware of whether they are in harm's way or not. The stress level for the staff is very high.”

Eastern health maintains there is no cause for concern since the level of creostoe exposure is below the allowable limit.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

 

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