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saco-indonesia.com, Sebuah bocoran terbaru dari orang dalam sekaligus pengembang software Winamp telah menyatakan jika Winamp akan segera terjual dalam waktu yang dekat.

sumber yang tidak ingin diketahui namanya ini telah menyebutkan jika saat ini pihak AOL sedang serius untuk membicarakan opsi penjualan Winamp ke beberapa perusahaan yang telah menunjukkan ketertarikannya pada aplikasi multimedia player Winamp ini.

Dirinya telah menyebutkan jika Winamp akan segera mengumumkan hasil proses pembelian yang sedang berlangsung ini melalui akun Twitter resmi Winamp jika kesepakatan sudah tercapai.

Namun masih belum bisa dipastikan perusahaan mana yang akan menjadi pemilik baru Winamp nantinya.

Akan tetapi, rumor sebelumnya telah menyebutkan jika Microsoft menjadi salah satu perusahaan yang berpeluang besar untuk menjadi pemilik baru Winamp nantinya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

WINAMP AKAN SEGERA TERJUAL

Garut adalah salah satu penghasil jaket kulit terbaik di Indonesia. Produk jaket kulit di Garut dihasilkan dari pusat peternakan domba yang tersebar di seluruh Kabupaten Garut - Jawa Barat, jika tertarik dengan jaket kulit ini, datang saja ke sentra kerajinan jaket kulit Garut. Sentra kerajinan jaket kulit ini sudah cukup terkenal, bahkan sampai ke mancanegara. Ini bisa dilihat dari banyaknya produk jaket kulit Garut yang diekspor ke luar negeri. Desain dan motif yang digunakan pada jaket kulit Garut sangat beragam dan modern. Tidak monoton itu-itu saja, jadi selalu menarik untuk dilihat dan dibeli. Saat memasuki kawasan sentra kerajinan jaket kulit Garut, Anda akan melihat ada banyak jejeran toko yang menjual jaket kulit. Mulai jaket laki-laki, perempuan, dewasa dan anak kecil ada di sini. Model yang ditawarkan pun bervariasi. Pasti membuat pengunjung bingung untuk memilih karena banyak macamnya dari jaket kulit berbahan dasar kulit domba, kambing ataupun sapi, masuklah ke dalam toko dan Anda pun bisa melihat aneka barang dari kulit yang dijual. 

Ternyata, disentra kerajinan jaket kulit Garut tidak hanya menjual jaket kulit, tetapi juga barang lain seperti tas kulit, sarung tangan untuk bikers. Juga barang-barang yang menggunakan bahan dari kulit. Aneka produk buatan sentra kerajinan jaket kulit Garut baik jaket atau pun aksesoris lainnya memang 100 persen kulit asli, soal harga tergantung jenis barang, ketebalan, dan modelnya. Sebagai contoh, untuk aksesoris seperti tas dari kulit dikenai harga mulai dari Rp 80.000. Untuk jaket, banyak pilihannya ada pilihan unik yang bisa dicoba dari harga mulai Rp 650.000. Beda ketebalan,Beda kwalitas, beda model beda juga harga tentunya. Untuk jaket yang tebal dan menutup seluruh tubuh, bisa dikenai harga Rp 700.000-2.000.000. Ya, harganya memang bervariasi, tergantung dari model, ketebalan jaket, kwalitas dan tentu saja kemampuan menawar Anda. Selain toko yang menjual kerajinan jaket kulit, Anda juga bisa melihat langsung proses pembuatan jaket kulit. Mulai dari kulit yang baru dikuliti, hingga proses penjahitan bisa pengunjung saksikan. Ya, Anda memang bisa melihat pembuatan secara langsung karena industri jaket kulit di sini merupakan industri rumahan. Kemampuan produksi rata-rata tiap produsen mencapai 2.000 jaket per bulan. Anda Bisa lebih puas lagi memilih bahan sendiri, diukur badan agar lebih pas dan langsung dijahit.
JAKET KULIT ASGAR (ASLI GARUT)

saco-indonesia.com, Banjir yang mulai surut telah dimanfaatkan maling untuk dapat melancarkan aksinya di rumah kosong saat penghuni mengungsi

Apes, aksinya di Jalan J 6 Perintis RT 08/10, Kel. Kebon Baru, Kec. Tebet, Jakarta Selatan, Jumat (31/1) malam, telah dipergoki warga.

Tak pelak, A. Aziz, 18, telah diamuk dan diarak warga . Dia telah kepergok mencuri teve  flat 32 inch milik Zakaria yang berusia 53 tahun , karyawan swasta saat ia beserta keluarga mengungsi karena rumah usai terendam banjir.

Kapolsek Tebet, Kompol I Ketut Sudarma, juga mengatakan, saat banjir mulai surut dan rumah yang terkena banjir terkena lumpur pelaku beraksi masuk ke rumah korban dan menggasak teve milik korban.

Namun saat pelaku telah memasuki rumah korban, kepergok warga. “Pelaku langsung diarak massa,” kata Kapolsek. Kejadian tersebut telah terjadi sekitar pukul. 21:00 malam.

Massa yang kena musibah banjir kontan geram dan sempat melancarkan kemarahannya pada pelaku hingga babak belur.

Petugas Polsek Tebet yang mendapatkan informasi langsung mengamankan polisi ke Mapolsek beserta barang bukti.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

BANJIR MULAI SURUT, MALING BERAKSI DI TEBET

Salah satu

yang sangat berbahaya bagi penyanyi ialah sakit tenggorokan. Lantunan suara nan merdu otomatis juga jadi kurang sedap didengar bila tenggorokan terkapar. Coba sembuhkan penyakit ini lewat sejumlah cara ini. Cairan Menjaga agar tubuh tidak dehidrasi saat sedang tidak fit juga sangat penting. Minumlah cukup cairan yang banyak. Indikasi tubuh tidak dapatgadehidrasi adalah ketika warna urine kuning muda atau bening. Cairan yang telah mencukup menjaga membran lembab hingga membuat tubuh kita sanggup untuk melawan penyebab sakit. Cairan yang paling baik, tentunya air putih. Air Garam Terkadang pengobatan ala rumahan telah menjadi obat yang dibutuhkan untuk sakit tenggorokan akibat virus. Salah satunya adalah berkumur dengan larutan air garam. Larutan ini juga dipercaya dapat mengurangi pembengkakan dan memberi rasa nyaman bagi tenggorokan. Berkumurlah dengan larutan satu gelas air yang telah diberi setengah sendok teh garam. Larutan air gram membantu menghilangkah bakteri penyebab iritasi tenggorokan. Sup Ayam Ini dia ramuan kuno bagi demam, flu, termasuk sakit tenggorokan. Sodium atau garam yang terkandung dalam kaldu di sup ayam telah memiliki fungsi anti-inflamasi, telah membuat tubuh mudah merasa enak. Menyantap semangkuk sup ayam juga memudahkan proses makan kala sakit. Tenggorokan yang susah menelan akan lebih mudah menerima makanan yang lembut dan hangat. Nutrisi dari sayuran dalam sup juga dapat membantu menutrisi tubuh. Istirahat Solusi yang satu ini tidak selalu memberi dampak instan bagi tubuh. Menurut situs health.com, beristirahat yang cukup namun telah menjadi solusi terbaik bagi tubuh. Sakit tenggorokan umumnya disebabkan oleh virus demam. Dan, tidak ada yang bisa dilakukan untuk melawannya selain dengan memberikan kesempatan pada tubuh untuk membangun proses pertahanan hingga akhirnya sanggup melawan penyakit.

SAKIT TENGGOROKAN

Saco-Indonesia.com - Para peneliti dari University of Cambridge mengungkapkan hasil penelitian yang mengejutkan. Mereka mengungkapkan bahwa seseorang yang pernah mengalami pukulan secara berulang-ulang di kepala mereka beresiko besar terkena alzheimer.

Penelitian yang dilansir dari dailymail.co.uk ini telah mengembangkan penelitian yang lebih rinci tentang penyakit ini serta apa saja yang menjadi pemicunya. Para peneliti menggunakan sinar laser untuk mengidentifikasi protein dan kerusakan saraf otak akibat cedera yang pernah dialami oleh olahragawan.

"Hasil dari penelitian ini adalah ditemukannya kelompok protein tau yang rusak di dalam otak. Kelompok protein ini mengganggu cara kerja sel-sel otak yang sehat sehingga sel-sel otak tidak mampu bekerja dengan baik dan dapat meningkatkan resiko penyakit alzheimer," jelas Dr. Simon Ridley, kepala penelitian di Alzheimer Research, Inggris. "Dan mereka yang pernah berulang kali mengalami pukulan atau benturan di kepala akan sangat rentan terkena penyakit ini".

Alzheimer merupakan penyakit yang menyebabkan penurunan fungsi otak dan apabila dibiarkan akan bertambah parah dan kemudian menyerang seluruh fungsi tubuh.

Editor : Liwon Maulana

Hati-hati, pemain sepakbola dan petinju rentan terkena alzheimer!

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

The career criminals in genre novels don’t have money problems. If they need some, they just go out and steal it. But such financial transactions can backfire, which is what happened back in 2004 when the Texas gang in Michael

Take the Money and Run

A former member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Smedvig helped found the wide-ranging Empire Brass quintet.

Rolf Smedvig, Trumpeter in the Empire Brass, Dies at 62

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

Hockey is not exactly known as a city game, but played on roller skates, it once held sway as the sport of choice in many New York neighborhoods.

“City kids had no rinks, no ice, but they would do anything to play hockey,” said Edward Moffett, former director of the Long Island City Y.M.C.A. Roller Hockey League, in Queens, whose games were played in city playgrounds going back to the 1940s.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the league had more than 60 teams, he said. Players included the Mullen brothers of Hell’s Kitchen and Dan Dorion of Astoria, Queens, who would later play on ice for the National Hockey League.

One street legend from the heyday of New York roller hockey was Craig Allen, who lived in the Woodside Houses projects and became one of the city’s hardest hitters and top scorers.

“Craig was a warrior, one of the best roller hockey players in the city in the ’70s,” said Dave Garmendia, 60, a retired New York police officer who grew up playing with Mr. Allen. “His teammates loved him and his opponents feared him.”

Young Craig took up hockey on the streets of Queens in the 1960s, playing pickup games between sewer covers, wearing steel-wheeled skates clamped onto school shoes and using a roll of electrical tape as the puck.

His skill and ferocity drew attention, Mr. Garmendia said, but so did his skin color. He was black, in a sport made up almost entirely by white players.

“Roller hockey was a white kid’s game, plain and simple, but Craig broke the color barrier,” Mr. Garmendia said. “We used to say Craig did more for race relations than the N.A.A.C.P.”

Mr. Allen went on to coach and referee roller hockey in New York before moving several years ago to South Carolina. But he continued to organize an annual alumni game at Dutch Kills Playground in Long Island City, the same site that held the local championship games.

The reunion this year was on Saturday, but Mr. Allen never made it. On April 26, just before boarding the bus to New York, he died of an asthma attack at age 61.

Word of his death spread rapidly among hundreds of his old hockey colleagues who resolved to continue with the event, now renamed the Craig Allen Memorial Roller Hockey Reunion.

The turnout on Saturday was the largest ever, with players pulling on their old equipment, choosing sides and taking once again to the rink of cracked blacktop with faded lines and circles. They wore no helmets, although one player wore a fedora.

Another, Vinnie Juliano, 77, of Long Island City, wore his hearing aids, along with his 50-year-old taped-up quads, or four-wheeled skates with a leather boot. Many players here never converted to in-line skates, and neither did Mr. Allen, whose photograph appeared on a poster hanging behind the players’ bench.

“I’m seeing people walking by wondering why all these rusty, grizzly old guys are here playing hockey,” one player, Tommy Dominguez, said. “We’re here for Craig, and let me tell you, these old guys still play hard.”

Everyone seemed to have a Craig Allen story, from his earliest teams at Public School 151 to the Bryant Rangers, the Woodside Wings, the Woodside Blues and more.

Mr. Allen, who became a yellow-cab driver, was always recruiting new talent. He gained the nickname Cabby for his habit of stopping at playgrounds all over the city to scout players.

Teams were organized around neighborhoods and churches, and often sponsored by local bars. Mr. Allen, for one, played for bars, including Garry Owen’s and on the Fiddler’s Green Jokers team in Inwood, Manhattan.

Play was tough and fights were frequent.

“We were basically street gangs on skates,” said Steve Rogg, 56, a mail clerk who grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and who on Saturday wore his Riedell Classic quads from 1972. “If another team caught up with you the night before a game, they tossed you a beating so you couldn’t play the next day.”

Mr. Garmendia said Mr. Allen’s skin color provoked many fights.

“When we’d go to some ignorant neighborhoods, a lot of players would use slurs,” Mr. Garmendia said, recalling a game in Ozone Park, Queens, where local fans parked motorcycles in a lineup next to the blacktop and taunted Mr. Allen. Mr. Garmendia said he checked a player into the motorcycles, “and the bikes went down like dominoes, which started a serious brawl.”

A group of fans at a game in Brooklyn once stuck a pole through the rink fence as Mr. Allen skated by and broke his jaw, Mr. Garmendia said, adding that carloads of reinforcements soon arrived to defend Mr. Allen.

And at another racially incited brawl, the police responded with six patrol cars and a helicopter.

Before play began on Saturday, the players gathered at center rink to honor Mr. Allen. Billy Barnwell, 59, of Woodside, recalled once how an all-white, all-star squad snubbed Mr. Allen by playing him third string. He scored seven goals in the first game and made first string immediately.

“He’d always hear racial stuff before the game, and I’d ask him, ‘How do you put up with that?’” Mr. Barnwell recalled. “Craig would say, ‘We’ll take care of it,’ and by the end of the game, he’d win guys over. They’d say, ‘This guy’s good.’”

Tribute for a Roller Hockey Warrior

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

Ms. Meadows was the older sister of Audrey Meadows, who played Alice Kramden on “The Honeymooners.”

Jayne Meadows, Actress and Steve Allen’s Wife and Co-Star, Dies at 95

Mr. Pfaff was an international affairs columnist and author who found Washington’s intervention in world affairs often misguided.

William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86

Mr. Goldberg was a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist who was married to Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook.

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

Dave Goldberg, Head of Web Survey Company and Half of a Silicon Valley Power Couple, Dies at 47

A 214-pound Queens housewife struggled with a lifelong addiction to food until she shed 72 pounds and became the public face of the worldwide weight-control empire Weight Watchers.

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born

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

Since a white police officer, Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in a confrontation last August in Ferguson, Mo., there have been many other cases in which the police have shot and killed suspects, some of them unarmed. Mr. Brown's death set off protests throughout the country, pushing law enforcement into the spotlight and sparking a public debate on police tactics. Here is a selection of police shootings that have been reported by news organizations since Mr. Brown's death. In some cases, investigations are continuing.

Photo
 
 
The apartment complex northeast of Atlanta where Anthony Hill, 27, was fatally shot by a DeKalb County police officer. Credit Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chamblee, Ga.
Fatal Police Shootings: Accounts Since Ferguson

Ms. Rendell was a prolific writer of intricately plotted mystery novels that combined psychological insight, social conscience and teeth-chattering terror.

Ruth Rendell, Novelist Who Thrilled and Educated, 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

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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