PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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Emotional Spiritual Quotient (ESQ) adalah kombinasi dari EQ dan SQ, merger antara kecerdasan emosional dan spiritual control. Manfaat yang dapat dicapai adalah keseimbangan antara hubungan horizontal (manusia ke manusia) dan Vertikal (manusia dan Tuhan) .... Selanjutnya

EMOTIONAL SPIRITUAL QUOTIENT (ESQ)

Penerangan cahaya pada malam hari sangat di butuhkan, selain untuk membantu penglihatan agar lebih jelas, bantuan penerangan dari cahaya lampu juga dapat membuat kita bisa terus beraktifitas pada malam hari. Namun sumber energi yang ada mulai terbatas sedangkan jumlah pemakai semakin bertambah, mengakibatkan harga untuk memakai energi listik menjadi mahal.

Untuk dapat megatasinya gunakanlah sebijak mungkin dalam penggunaannya, ada banyak cara diantaranya untuk mengganti lampu pijar dengan lapu hemat energi, yaitu lampu Compack Flourcent Light (CFL), hal ini banyak di gunakan dari mulai pabrik dan rumah tinggal, hal ini dilakukan untuk dapat menekan tagihan listrik tiap bulannya, karena diyakini penggunaan lampu CFL lebih hemat energi jika dibanding dengan lampu pijar atau lampu bohlam.

Cara Tepat Memilih Lampu

Namun berita terbaru penggunaan lampu CFL mengandung resiko terhadap kesehatan tubuh khusunya kulit, dari hasil penelitian Stony Brook University di New York AS bahwa lampu hemat energi tersebut memancarkan radiasi ultraviolet (UV) yang lumayan tinggi, sehingga dikhawatirkan dapat megakibatkan keruskan pada pada sel kulit, dan pada paparan yang sangat tinggi akan menyebabkan kanker. ini telah dibuktikan dengan cara melakukan uji coba pada kulit yang  sama, dengann memaparkan cahaya dari lampu CFL dan lampu pijar, setelah dianalaisa ternyata kuit yang terkena paparan cahaya lampu hemat energi mengalami kerusakan yang sangat signifikan, hasilnya sinar lampu ini benar-benar mampu mengakibatkan kematian sel, sedangkan sel kulit yang terkena lampu pijar tidak mengalami kerusakan yang terlau berarti,  ”Ungkap peneliti Marcia Simon yang juga profesor dermatologi dari Stony Breek University”.

Seperti yang di kutip dari livescience, peneliti telah meyakini bila terjadi keretakan sekecil apapun pada pembungkus lampu CFL, bisa dapat menyebabkan bocornya sinar UV sehingga membahayakan bagi kesehatan kulit, selain itu lampu CFL juga mengandung bahan berbahaya lainnya seperti merkuri yang dipercaya bisa merusak jaringan saraf, bayi yang lahir bisa mengalami kecacatan dan resiko kesehatan lainnya

Namun dari pihak produsen lampu CFL, telah menanggapi bahwa tingkat radiasi yang dipancarkan oleh lampu CFL masih relatif  aman dan rendah sehingga masih bisa  digunakan untuk keperluan sehari-hari.

Kesimpulannya

Dengan adanya penelitian tentang  lampu hemat energei atau CFL, kita sebagai konsumen dituntut lebih bijak dalam menggunakan energi yang mulai terbatas, bijak juga dalam memilih lampu sebagai sumber penerangan yang lebih ramah terhadap kesehatan untuk keluarga tercinta kita, jadi tidak semata-mata demi menghemat dan melakukan efiseinsi energi atau untuk menekan tagihan listrik yang sepertinya memang akan mengalami kenaikan yang tidak lama lagi.

Mudah-mudahan  postingan Cara Tepat Memilih Lampu Hemat Energi ini bisa bermanfaat dan menjadikan kita lebih bijak kala menggunakan energi listrik

 

CARA TEPAT MEMILIH LAMPU HEMAT ENERGI


Masjidil Haram saat ini sedang diperluas. Hal ini dilakukan karena jemaah haji yang selalu meningkat setiap tahunnya. Proyek renovasi meliputi perluasan area tawaf dan pengurangan tiang-tiang penyangga sebanyak 60 persen. Karena proyek perluasan, area tawaf yang awalnya mampu menampung 48 ribu jemaah dalam satu jam, kini hanya dapat menampung 22 ribu jemaah.

Lantai dua dan tiga yang biasa digunakan sebagai tempat tawaf akan diperlebar dari 20 meter menjadi 50 meter.

Namun untuk menambah kapasitas tempat tawaf, terutama saat musim haji, dibuat area tawaf sementara. Area ini dibangun dengan sistem knock down sebanyak dua lantai yang akan dimanfaatkan selama renovasi.

Dengan tambahan area tawaf ini kapasitasnya menjadi 35 ribu jemaah dalam satu jam. Setelah proyek rampung, kapasitas tempat tawaf menjadi 105 ribu jemaah dalam satu jam.

Selain itu, ada proyek ketiga Kerajaan Arab Saudi, yaitu pembangunan Masjid Abdullah yang nantinya akan terhubung dengan area tawaf. Renovasi ini termasuk proyek meratakan jalan, sehingga sudut pandang jemaah ke Kabah lebih fokus.

Akibat proyek ini tak sedikit bangunan yang harus tergusur. Pemondokan yang biasa digunakan untuk jemaah haji Indonesia akan rata dengan tanah.

Tak hanya itu, rumah kelahiran Rasulullah yang menjadi perpustakaan kini tinggal kenangan.

Proyek perluasan yang melibatkan 1.500 Tenaga Kerja Indonesia ini baru dimulai Desember tahun lalu dan  akan rampung tahun 2016 mendatang. Selama itulah kuota jemaah haji dari seluruh dunia dikurangi 20 persen (metronews.com/haji.kemenag.go.id)

Sumber : http://www.maghfirah.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : PRIMA SAIDAH TRAVEL HAJI PLUS

PERLUASAN MASJIDIL HARAM

Tanah dengan luas sekira 7.670 meter persegi di Jalan Panjaitan, Mantrijeron, Kota Yogyakarta disegel KPK. Tanah milik Ponpes Ali-Maksum Krapyak itu telah disinyalir dari hasil Pencucian Uang oleh tersangka Anas Urbaningrum.
 
Papan penyegelan oleh KPK itu bertuliskan, "Tanah dan Bangunan ini Telah Disita Dalam Perkara Tindak Pidana Pencucian Uang Dengan Tersangka Anas Urbaningrum,". Terdapat surat perintah penyitaan nomor: sprin.sita 10/01/02/2014 tanggal 28 Februari 2014 lalu .
 
Papan itu telah berisi larangan bagi siapapun yang tidak berkepentingan untuk memasuki, menduduki, menggunakan, atau merusak segala sesuatu yang ada di atas tanah tersebut tanpa seijin KPK.
 
"Tadi pagi dipasang itu sekitar pukul 10.30 WIB oleh beberapa orang. Ada dua orang mengenakan seragam bertuliskan KPK," kata Sarmidi, warga setempat kepada wartawan.
 
Dia juga mengaku tidak banyak yang mengetahui proses pemasangan. "Mereka cuma sebentar, setelah pasang langsung pergi," jelasnya.
 
Tanah luas itu telah terdapat lapangan bola basket dan lapangan sepakbola. Ada pagar besi yang melingari tanah yang menghadap dua jalan besar tersebut, Jalan Panjaitan dan Jalan Jogkaryan, Mantrijeron, Kota Yogyakarta.

KPK Segel Tanah Anas Urbaningrum di Krapyak

saco-indonesia.com, Banjir yang telah melanda Ibukota selama Januari lalu, telah membuat sejumlah titik jalan raya di seluruh wilayah DKI Jakarta telah mengalami kerusakan, tak terkecuali di wilayah Jakarta Utara. Sebanyak 1.093 jalan berlubang diperbaiki mulai Rabu (29/1) malam.

Kasi Pemeliharaan Sudin PU Jalan dan Jembatan Jakarta Utara Sugoro Sinaga juga mengatakan, pihaknya juga sudah mulai memperbaiki sejumlah ruas jalan di Jakarta Utara. Di antaranya, Jalan Boulevard Raya dan Barat, Kelapa Gading, Perintis Kemerdekaan, Yos Sudarso, Plumpang Raya, Pegangsaan Dua dan Gunung Sahari.

"Kita juga sudah memperbaiki sebanyak 1.093 titik jalan berlubang yang tersebar se-Jakut. Sisanya masih 1.205 titik lagi yang akan kita kerjakan," ujar Sugoro saat dihubungi, Senin (3/2).

Perbaikan tersebut terdiri dari berbagai macam material seperti cor beton ready mix dan CTB adukan kering. Perbaikan tersebut telah diakui oleh Sugoro hanya sebagai antisipasi sementara sebelum dilakukan perbaikan permanen.

Dia juga menyebutkan, perbaikan jalan telah mengalami kendala di beberapa lokasi karena masih ada yang tergenang ditambah masih seringnya hujan turun. Sehingga untuk saat ini pembetonan jalan yang telah dilakukan adalah penanganan darurat. Sugoro juga mengaku tidak bisa memprediksi hingga kapan dapat menyelesaikan pengerjaan sisa titik lubang yang masih ada.

Sedangkan untuk dapat mengantisipasi kecelakaan yang ditimbulkan oleh lubang di jalan, pihaknya telah menyebar sebanyak 180 spanduk yang berisi tulisan 'Hati-hati Jalan Berlubang'.

"Langkah ini (pemasangan spanduk) kami lakukan untuk dapat memberitahukan kepada masyarakat pengguna kendaraan, baik roda empat dan dua untuk tetap meningkatkan kewaspadaan dalam berlalu lintas. Karena di depannya atau sekitar 5 hingga 100 meter lagi ada jalan yang rusak," terangnya.

Sugoro juga berharap agar masyarakat dapat bersabar hingga selesainya dilakukan perbaikan di seluruh lokasi jalan yang berlubang. Selain itu, ia juga mengharapkan masyarakat tetap menjaga kewaspadaan selama berkendara.

Sebelumnya Dinas PU mencatat, jalan rusak di Jakarta Pusat seluas 3.871 m2 atau 0,11 persen dari total luas jalan di wilayah itu, yakni 3,4 juta m2. Wilayah Jakarta Utara telah mengalami kerusakan jalan terluas, yakni 80.557 m2, atau 2,07 persen dari total 3,9 juta m2 di wilayah tersebut.

Di Jakarta Barat, luas jalan rusak 14.625 m2 atau 0,25 persen dari luas total 5,7 juta m2. Adapun kerusakan di Jakarta Selatan seluas 16.585 m2 atau 0,54 persen dari total 9,1 juta m2. Di Jakarta Timur, luas jalan rusak 24.760 m2 atau 0,38 persen dari total 6,5 juta m2.

Menurut Kadis PU DKI Jakarta Manggas Rudi Siahaan, kekuatan ruas jalan di Jakarta juga belum memenuhi standar kekuatan jalan internasional. Apalagi ada genangan serta kendaraan berat yang telah melintasi jalan itu secara berulang-ulang.

Manggas akan memperbaiki jalan rusak selama 24 jam nonstop, dengan cara dibeton agar jalan menjadi lebih kuat ketahanannya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

1.093 TITIK JALAN BERLUBANG DI JAKUT DIPERBAIKI

“It was really nice to play with other women and not have this underlying tone of being at each other’s throats.”

ay 4, 2015 ‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes

The bottle Mr. Sokolin famously broke was a 1787 Château Margaux, which was said to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Sokolin had been hoping to sell it for $519,750.

William Sokolin, Wine Seller Who Broke Famed Bottle, Dies at 85

Mr. Fox, known for his well-honed countrified voice, wrote about things dear to South Carolina and won over Yankee critics.

William Price Fox, Admired Southern Novelist and Humorist, Dies at 89

The magical quality Mr. Lesnie created in shooting the “Babe” films caught the eye of the director Peter Jackson, who chose him to film the fantasy epic.

Andrew Lesnie, Cinematographer of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ Dies at 59

Mr. Paczynski was one of the concentration camp’s longest surviving inmates and served as the personal barber to its Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss.

Jozef Paczynski, Inmate Barber to Auschwitz Commandant, Dies at 95

Mr. Miller, of the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, represented companies including Lehman Brothers, General Motors and American Airlines, and mentored many of the top Chapter 11 practitioners today.

Harvey R. Miller, Renowned Bankruptcy Lawyer, Dies at 82

Hired in 1968, a year before their first season, Mr. Fanning spent 25 years with the team, managing them to their only playoff appearance in Canada.

Jim Fanning, 87, Dies; Lifted Baseball in Canada With Expos

Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64

BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.

Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.

Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.

The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.

Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.

Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.

Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China

A lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.

Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85
Joseph Lechleider

Mr. Lechleider helped invent DSL technology, which enabled phone companies to offer high-speed web access over their infrastructure of copper wires.

Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82

Mr. Mankiewicz, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for “I Want to Live!,” also wrote episodes of television shows such as “Star Trek” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93

From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.

In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.

Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.

The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.

The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.

The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.

It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.

Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.

That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.

Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.

The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.

THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”

The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.

Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.

That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.

Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame

As governor, Mr. Walker alienated Republicans and his fellow Democrats, particularly the Democratic powerhouse Richard J. Daley, the mayor of Chicago.

Dan Walker, 92, Dies; Illinois Governor and Later a U.S. Prisoner

WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.

But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.

The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.

Continue reading the main story
 

Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory ailments like asthma, but the potential of long-term exposure to cause cancers like myeloid leukemia is less well understood.

The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.

“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”

The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.

What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.

Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.

“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.

Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.

Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.

Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”

Continue reading the main story

Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

In laminate flooring, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent in the fiberboard (or other composite wood) core layer and may also be used in glues that bind layers together. Concerns were raised in March when certain laminate flooring imported from China was reported to contain levels of formaldehyde far exceeding the limit permitted by California.

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many industrial and household products as an adhesive, bonding agent or preservative. It is classified as a volatile organic compound. The term volatile means that, at room temperature, formaldehyde will vaporize, or become a gas. Products made with formaldehyde tend to release this gas into the air. If breathed in large quantities, it may cause health problems.

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

In cigarette smoke, or in the fumes from combustion of other materials, including wood, oil and gasoline.

Exposure to formaldehyde in sufficient amounts may cause eye, throat or skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing or asthma.

Long-term exposure to high levels has been associated with cancer in humans and laboratory animals.

Exposure to formaldehyde may affect some people more severely than others.

By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.

Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.

White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.

The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.

As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.

“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”

Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.

“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.

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The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)

But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.

Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.

“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”

Photo
 
Becky Gillette wants strong regulation of formaldehyde. Credit Beth Hall for The New York Times

Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.

Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.

The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.

The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”

Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.

Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”

Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.

While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.

An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.

“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”

An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.

“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.

But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.

“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”

The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde
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