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Pantai Sawarna

 
Teman-teman travellers sekarang cerita cerita tentang Pantai Sawarna yuk.., Pantai Sawarna yang terletak di Propinsi Banten ternyata telah mempunyai banyak objek wisata pantai yang sangat menarik untuk dapat di kunjungi teman teman travellers, salah satunya adalah Pantai Sawarna. Pantai Sawarna yang terletak di Desa Sawarna, Kecamatan Bayah, Kabupaten Lebak, Propinsi Banten dan teman-teman trevellers menti ketahui Total jarak dari kota Jakarta sekitar 230 kilometer dengan waktu tempuh selama 6 – 7 jam. Dan lagi yang sobat travellers harus ketahui kenapa dinamakan pantai sawarna? Dulu ada seorang laki-laki yang bernama suwarna dwipa adalah bupati lebak pada waktu jaman belanda, kemudian beliau wafat di sungai sawarna, kemudian nama desa sawarna telah di ambil dari nama bupati belanda tersebut yaitu sawarna, yang bersamaan dengan nama sungai tempat dimana beliau wafat.

 
Sahabat trevelles Pantai Sawarna ini telah menyuguhkan pemandangan alam yang sangat indah. Deburan ombak dan pasir putihnya telah membuat liburan sobat travellers akan sangat mengasyikkan. Pantai Sawarna yang dikelilingi oleh persawahan dan perbukitan dengan pepohonan hijau yang lebat, telah menambah suasana menjadi teduh dan asri travellers.

 
Sobat travellers Memang untuk dapat menuju ke pantai cantik ini tidaklah mudah, karena lokasinya yang sangat jauh dari kota dan kontur jalan yang jelek karena banyak bagian jalan yang rusak dan berlubang, apalagi mulai dari Pelabuhan Ratu sampai ke Pantai Sawarna tersebut jalan nya menanjak dan banyak lubang besarmsehingga benar-menbutuhkan kehati-hatian yang ekstra sobat trevellers. Tapi begitu sampai di Desa Sawarna ini bakal terbayar deh rasa lelah capenya sewaktu di perjalanan tadi yang memakan waktu 7 jam.

 
Selain itu juga terdapat beberapa goa di sekitar kawasan pantai ini yang menambah lengkapnya liburan sobat, Salah satunya Goa Lalay teman-teman travelers, namanya aneh ya.. tau gak kenapa dinamakan goa lalay, lalay itu sendiri dalam bahasa sunda yang berarti kalalawar, karena memang benar di dalam gua lalai ini banyak sekali kalalawarnya sahabat travellers. Kalalawar juga sangat senang bersarang di dalam goa ini.

 
Sebenarnya di Desa Sawarna sendiri, bukan hanya Pantai Sawarna / Pantai Ciantir, yang bisa sobat kunjungi. Ada beberapa pantai cantik lainnya yang bisa sobat travellers telusuri. Seperti Pantai Tanjung Layar yang terkenal dengan sepasang batu besar yang berada di tengah pantai yang termasuk icon dari pantai sawarna sendiri, Pantai Lagoon Pari yang telah memiliki air laut yang jernih dan pasir putihnya dan deburan ombaknya yang lebih tenang karna posisinya yang di lidungi oleh karang yang menjorok ke laut, di banding Pantai Ciantir yang arus ombaknya lebih besar sngat cocok bagi para serfing dan sangat tidak disaran kan untuk berenang sahabat travellers. , dan Pantai Karang Taraje dengan hamparan batu karang yang besar berbentuk seperti tembok pelindung dr ombak besar sehingga dapat memberikan kesan seperti air terjun dan ikan-ikan kecil yang berenang kesana kemari di sekitar karang. Indah banget sahabat travellers
 
 
Ketika berada di pantai ini, Sahabat travellers akan dapat melupakan kepenatan dan keletihan yang kamu alami karena memang pantai Sawarna ini sangat indah. Deburan ombak yang khas dan juga pasir putihnya membuat waktu liburan Anda terasa sangat menyenangkan. Selain pantai dan lautnya yang indah, pemandangan lain yang bisa kamu lihat di sana adalah pematang sawah dan juga perbukitan yang ditumbuhi oleh pohon-pohon hijau semakin membuat kamu merasakan keindahan alam yang sebenarnya

Di desa Sawarna ada pantai lain yang tidak kalah menarik dengan pantai Sawarna. Kalau sobat travellers berlibur ke sana, jangan lupa untuk mengunjungi Pantai Tanjung layar yang sangat terkenal dengan sepasanga batu besar yang terletak di tengah pantainya. Selain pantai Tanjung Layar, masih ada juga pantai Lagoon Pari yang terkenal dengan air lautnya yang jerniih dan pasir pantainya yang putih semua destinasi wisata di sekitaran Desa sawarna patut pokonya sahabat travellers kunjungi, haruus haruus…!!!

Sekian dulu sahabat travellers info menarik tentang keindahan pantai Sawarna. Semoga artikel dari team kami ini akan bisa memberikan manfaat buat kalian dan teman-teman sahabat travellers sekalian.. pokonya pantang pulang sebelum hitam.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

PANTAI SAWARNA

Dampak Positif dan Negatif Air Conditioner

Air Conditioner / AC , yang juga merupakan alat yang berguna untuk pendingin ruangan. Terkadang bagi kita segala hal yang sangat sepele tentu sering diabaikan oleh sebagaian orang, akan tetapi jika tidak ditelaah dengan baik akan dapat mengganggu keseharian kita. Berikut Sparepart AC akan dapat memberikan info tentang Dampak Positif dan Negatifnya AC.

Dampak Positifnya :

    AC bisa digunakan untuk mendinginkan serta menyejukkan ruangan
    Bebas penyakit (karena memang disaring dengan filter)
    Mengubah pola tidur, umumnya dapat membuat ngantuk (cepat tidurnya)
    Menambah nafsu makan (udara dingin akan mempengaruhi organ pencernaan manusia)

Dampak Negatifnya :

    Menyebabkan Global Warming / pemanasan global (Freon menyebabkan berlubangnya lapisan ozon, jika berlubang, maka suhu & cuaca menjadi kacau)
    Tagihan listrik naik karena AC akan memakan listrik sebesar 50% dalam penggunaannya baik di rumah dan juga di kantor.
    Pemakai AC juga akan mengalami kerugian antara lain, kulit dan rambut akan menjadi kering karena penggunaan AC / Sparepart AC yang terlalu sering

Pemecahan masalah :

    Untuk pencegahan dampak negative poin 1, ada baiknya sebelum membeli AC yang bahan freonnya menggunakan hidrokarbon, sehingga mengurangi efek global warming
    Untuk pencegahan dampak negative poin 2, ada baiknya sebelum membeli AC  sebaiknya tentukan kapasitas AC (PK), seringkali para konsumen membeli AC dengan (PK) yang tinggi dengan dalil untuk dapat membuat suhu menjadi sangat sejuk, tentu tidak efisien serta boros energi, sehingga tagihan naik terus, pilihlah antara 600 BTU/jam/m2. Jika sudah ada lebih baik atur suhu AC yang paling optimal (tidak lebih dari 25 derajat celcius) dan lebih bagus lagi menggunakan 3-5 derajat celcius lebih rendah dari suhu ruangan. Ingat! setiap pemakaian temperatur 1 derajat celcius dapat menurunkan konsumsi energi sebesar 3-5% (BPPT).
    Untuk pencegahan dampak negative poin 3, ada baiknya dengan menggunakan metoder timmer, saat hendak tidur sebaikanya AC (Air Conditioner) di set otomatis mati sekitar 1-2 jam setelah anda terlelap. Meski AC mati namun suhu ruangan akan tetap sejuk untuk beberapa saat.

 

DAMPAK POSITIF DAN NEGATIFNYA DARI PENGGUNAAN SPAREPART AC

 UMRAH
.
1. Mengisi Formulir Pendaftaran
2. Paspor asli minimal 7 bulan sisa masa berlaku.
3. Nama di paspor 3 (tiga) kata, contoh: Abdullah Saleh Zuhri.
4. Pas foto
a. Ukuran (4×6) enam lembar,
b. Ukuran (3×4) enam lembar.
c. Background foto berwarna putih.
d. Tidak memakai kacamata.
e. Baju tidak berwarna putih.
f.  Muka 80% dari seluruh foto (Zoom 80%).
g.  Wanita harus berjilbab.

5. Suami-Istri menyertakan Buku Nikah asli.
6. Bagi anak-anak menyertakan KK orang tua dan Akte anak.
7. Bagi wanita berusia 45 th ke atas menyertakan FC. KTP.
8. Bagi wanita di bawah usia 45 th menyertakan copy Akte/Ijasah terakhir.
9. Membayar uang pendaftaran / DP sebesar 50 % dari harga paket.

FASILITAS
.
1. Tiket pesawat Jakarta-Jeddah-Jakarta
2. Hotel Madinah & Makkah
3. Makan 3x sehari menu Indonesia
4. Ziarah Makkah-Madinah-Jeddah
5. Transportasi bus full AC
6. Zam-zam 10 liter
7. Guide / muthowif berpengalaman

BIAYA BELUM TERMASUK
.
1. Airport Tax dan Perlengkapan (Rp. 900.000)
2. Kelebihan bagasi
3. Kebutuhan pribadi; laundry, telpon dll.
4.  Suntik Meningitis / Kartu Kuning

PERLENGKAPAN

1. Kopor, Tas Paspor, Tas Sandal, Payung, Kain Ihrom dan Kain Seragam (pria).
2. Kopor, Tas Paspor, Tas Sandal, Payung, Gamis dan Kerudung (wanita).
3. Buku Manasik
4. Buku Panduan Perjalanan

PEMBATALAN

1. Pembatalan satu minggu setelah pendaftaran dikenakan biaya pembatalan 15% dari harga paket.
2. Pembatalan 2 minggu dari hari keberang katan dikenakan biaya sebesar 60 % dari harga paket.
3. Pembatalan satu minggu dari keberangkatan dikenakan biaya sebesar 85 % dari harga paket.

*Program, jadwal, hotel dan harga dapat berubah sewaktu-waktu menyesuaikan situasi dan kondisi serta fluktuasi dollar.

Sumber : http://www.azzahratour-travel.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : MENYEGERAKAN IBADAH HAJI

AZZAHRA TOUR TRAVEL

mobil sedan corolla dx retro sekarang ini sedang booming dan menjadi trend di beberapa kota besar di indonesia, silahkan perhatikan geliat pengguna dan penggemar mobil sedan corolla ini. di jakarta ada CRC ( Corolla Retro Club ), di Bogor ada DX Bogor, di Bandung ada DX Bandoeng. sudah bukan menjadi rahasia lagi bahwa mobil sedan corolla dx adalah sebuah produksi mobil tua, tapi tidak demikian dengan performa dan kualitasnya sebagai mobil legendaris toyota yang tidak lekang oleh waktu. silahkan kunjungi website http://www.bandungtrends.com untuk melihat hasil restorasi dari mobil sedan corolla dx.

MOBIL SEDANG COROLLA DX RETRO

Gagne wrestled professionally from the late 1940s until the 1980s and was a transitional figure between the early 20th century barnstormers and the steroidal sideshows of today

Verne Gagne, Wrestler Who Grappled Through Two Eras, Dies at 89

A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71

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

Public perceptions of race relations in America have grown substantially more negative in the aftermath of the death of a young black man who was injured while in police custody in Baltimore and the subsequent unrest, far eclipsing the sentiment recorded in the wake of turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.

Americans are also increasingly likely to say that the police are more apt to use deadly force against a black person, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.

The poll findings highlight the challenges for local leaders and police officials in trying to maintain order while sustaining faith in the criminal justice system in a racially polarized nation.

Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in this country are generally bad. That figure is up sharply from 44 percent after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed in Ferguson in August, and 43 percent in December. In a CBS News poll just two months ago, 38 percent said race relations were generally bad. Current views are by far the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The negative sentiment is echoed by broad majorities of blacks and whites alike, a stark change from earlier this year, when 58 percent of blacks thought race relations were bad, but just 35 percent of whites agreed. In August, 48 percent of blacks and 41 percent of whites said they felt that way.

Looking ahead, 44 percent of Americans think race relations are worsening, up from 36 percent in December. Forty-one percent of blacks and 46 percent of whites think so. Pessimism among whites has increased 10 points since December.

Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are generally good or generally bad?
60
40
20
0
White
Black
May '14
May '15
Generally bad
Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are getting better, getting worse or staying about the same?
Getting worse
Staying the same
Getting better
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
44%
37
17
46
36
16
41
42
15

The poll finds that profound racial divisions in views of how the police use deadly force remain. Blacks are more than twice as likely to say police in most communities are more apt to use deadly force against a black person — 79 percent of blacks say so compared with 37 percent of whites. A slim majority of whites say race is not a factor in a police officer’s decision to use deadly force.

Overall, 44 percent of Americans say deadly force is more likely to be used against a black person, up from 37 percent in August and 40 percent in December.

Blacks also remain far more likely than whites to say they feel mostly anxious about the police in their community. Forty-two percent say so, while 51 percent feel mostly safe. Among whites, 8 in 10 feel mostly safe.

One proposal to address the matter — having on-duty police officers wear body cameras — receives overwhelming support. More than 9 in 10 whites and blacks alike favor it.

Continue reading the main story
How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious?
Mostly safe
Mostly anxious
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
75%
21
3
81
16
3
51
42
7
Continue reading the main story
In general, do you think the police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person, or more likely to use it against a white person, or don’t you think race affects police use of deadly force?
Police more likely to use deadly force against a black person
Police more likely to use deadly force against a white person
Race DOES NOT affect police use of deadly force
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
44%
37%
79%
2%
2%
1%
46%
53%
16%
9%
8%
4%
Continue reading the main story
Do you favor or oppose on-duty police officers wearing video cameras that would record events and actions as they occur?
Favor
Oppose
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
92%
93%
93%
6%
5%
5%
2%
2%
2%

Asked specifically about the situation in Baltimore, most Americans expressed at least some confidence that the investigation by local authorities would be conducted fairly. But while nearly two-thirds of whites think so, fewer than half of blacks agree. Still, more blacks are confident now than were in August regarding the investigation in Ferguson. On Friday, six members of the police force involved in the arrest of Mr. Gray were charged with serious offenses, including manslaughter. The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday; results from before charges were announced are similar to those from after.

Reaction to the recent turmoil in Baltimore, however, is similar among blacks and whites. Most Americans, 61 percent, say the unrest after Mr. Gray’s death was not justified. That includes 64 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks.

Continue reading the main story
As you may know, a Baltimore man, Freddie Gray, recently died after being in the custody of the Baltimore police. How much confidence do you have that the investigation by local authorities into this matter will be conducted fairly?
A lot
Some
Not much
None at all
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
29%
31
22
14
5
31
33
20
11
5
20
26
30
22
In general, do you think the unrest in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray was justified, or do you think the unrest was not justified?
Justified
Not justified
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
28%
61
11
26
64
11
37
57
6

Negative View of U.S. Race Relations Grows, Poll Finds

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.”

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76

At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Suzman’s signature accomplishment was the central role he played in creating a global network of surveys on aging.

Richard Suzman, 72, Dies; Researcher Influenced Global Surveys on Aging

Pronovost, who played for the Red Wings, was not a prolific scorer, but he was a consummate team player with bruising checks and fearless bursts up the ice that could puncture a defense.

Marcel Pronovost, 84, Dies; Hall of Famer Shared in Five N.H.L. Titles
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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