FDA approves expanded use of Gardasil 9 to include individuals 27 through 45 years old

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a supplemental application for Gardasil 9 (Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant) expanding the approved use of the vaccine to include women and men aged 27 through 45 years. Gardasil 9 prevents certain cancers and diseases caused by the nine HPV types covered by the vaccine.

“Today’s approval represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that HPV vaccination prior to becoming infected with the HPV types covered by the vaccine has the potential to prevent more than 90 percent of these cancers, or 31,200 cases every year, from ever developing.”

According to the CDC, every year about 14 million Americans become infected with HPV; about 12,000 women are diagnosed with and about 4,000 women die from cervical cancer caused by certain HPV viruses. Additionally, HPV viruses are associated with several other forms of cancer affecting men and women.

Gardasil, a vaccine approved by the FDA in 2006 to prevent certain cancers and diseases caused by four HPV types, is no longer distributed in the U.S. In 2014, the FDA approved Gardasil 9, which covers the same four HPV types as Gardasil, as well as an additional five HPV types. Gardasil 9 was approved for use in males and females aged 9 through 26 years.

The effectiveness of Gardasil is relevant to Gardasil 9 since the vaccines are manufactured similarly and cover four of the same HPV types. In a study in approximately 3,200 women 27 through 45 years of age, followed for an average of 3.5 years, Gardasil was 88 percent effective in the prevention of a combined endpoint of persistent infection, genital warts, vulvar and vaginal precancerous lesions, cervical precancerous lesions, and cervical cancer related to HPV types covered by the vaccine. The FDA’s approval of Gardasil 9 in women 27 through 45 years of age is based on these results and new data on long term follow-up from this study.

Effectiveness of Gardasil 9 in men 27 through 45 years of age is inferred from the data described above in women 27 through 45 years of age, as well as efficacy data from Gardasil in younger men (16 through 26 years of age) and immunogenicity data from a clinical trial in which 150 men, 27 through 45 years of age, received a 3-dose regimen of Gardasil over 6 months.

The safety of Gardasil 9 was evaluated in about a total of 13,000 males and females. The most commonly reported adverse reactions were injection site pain, swelling, redness and headaches.

The FDA granted the Gardasil 9 application priority review status. This program facilitates and expedites the review of medical products that address a serious or life-threatening condition.

The FDA granted approval of this supplement to the Gardasil 9 Biologics License Application to Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp. a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.

CPSC’s Pool Safely And The Michael Phelps Foundation Honor A Decade Of Water Safety

Safety, Sports

The Organizations Co-Host Community Event to Teach Children to Swim and Reinforce Water Safety

 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Pool Safely campaign and the Michael Phelps Foundation today honored the 10th anniversary of the Michael Phelps Foundation and the 10 years since the passage of the Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB) Pool & Spa Safety Act with an event promoting water safety.

At today’s event, CPSC’s Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle and Michael Phelps delivered remarks about each organization’s decade milestone and the continued importance of water safety.

“As a result of the landmark VGB legislation, there have been zero drain entrapment-related deaths involving children in public pools and spas over the past decade,” said Acting Chairman Buerkle. “I’m honored to recognize this achievement, along with the achievements of the Michael Phelps Foundation and all our partners in the water safety community over the past 10 years. By working together, we will combat the public health crisis of fatal child drownings.”

“The progress our Foundation has made over the past decade is remarkable, but far too many children are drowning each year,” said Michael Phelps, President of the Michael Phelps Foundation. “We are proud to come together with Chairman Buerkle, Pool Safely, and other partner organizations to make a difference in the lives of children, helping them to learn how to have fun while being safer in and around the water.”

City of Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat, along with Melissa Sutton, President of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, also gave remarks during the press conference lauding local and national water safety efforts while reinforcing the urgency of the issue.

Following the press conference, the organizations convened a water safety event that included a swimming lesson with children from the City of Peoria and a swim stroke clinic with participants in the Special Olympics of Arizona. Michael Phelps, joined by Cathy Bennett, Program Director for the Michael Phelps Foundation and the instructor who first taught Michael how to swim, and World Champion Swimmer and Michael Phelps Foundation Advisory Council Member Allison Schmitt, led in-water activities that highlighted the elements of the Foundation’s signature IM program.

After the in-water activities, participants joined more than 200 young swimmers from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix and Colorado River for a community water safety event featuring water safety activity stations. To kick off the community event, Michael Phelps led children in taking the Pool Safely Pledge, which asks children to affirm that they will: ask parents for swimming lessons, never swim alone, and always stay away from drains in pools and hot tubs. In addition to Pool Safely, Michael Phelps Foundation, and the City of Peoria, other water safety organizations at the community event included: CPR Party, Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, JCMF Children’s Charities, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, ZAC Foundation, City of Peoria Fire-Medical Department and Peoria Firefighters Charities.

Drowning remains the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four years old. An average of more than 350 children under the age of 15 die each year in drowning incidents. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to follow Pool Safely’s simple steps, which save lives around swimming pools and spas:

Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas.
Designate an adult Water Watcher to supervise children at all times around the water.
Learn how to swim, and teach children how to swim.
Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
Teach children to stay away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
Ensure every pool or spa has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards.
To learn more about Pool Safely, or to Take the Pool Safely Pledge, please visit: www.poolsafely.gov

New York-based food processors agree to stop food preparation operations due to food safety violations

Food, Safety

Two New York-based food processing companies have agreed to stop preparing food products, which include a variety of ready-to-eat foods and certain salt-cured and pickled fish, because the facility’s food preparation areas were contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono), until the companies can comply with federal food safety laws and regulations.

On July 16, 2018, U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan for the Eastern District of New York entered a consent decree of permanent injunction between the U.S. and Euroline Foods, LLC, Royal Seafood Baza, Inc.; the companies’ co-owners Eduard Shnayder, Syoma Shnayder and Albert Niyazov; and a manager, Oleg Polischouk.

Euroline Foods, LLC and Royal Seafood Baza jointly own a food processing facility, and the consent decree prohibits the defendants from receiving, preparing, processing, packing, holding, labeling and/or distributing foods at this facility, or any other facility that receives, prepares, processes, packs, labels, holds and/or distributes food that presents a L. mono hazard, in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) until the defendants meet certain requirements. The consent decree does not, however, prevent defendants from receiving, holding and distributing food that remains completely sealed and enclosed by a container, and is in compliance with the FD&C Act, or from operating retail food establishments (i.e., grocery stores).

“FDA investigators found widespread L. mono contamination at the Euroline and Royal Seafood facility,” FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Melinda K. Plaisier said. “With this agreement, the company will not be able to bring any contaminated products or potentially contaminated products to market. Conditions where their products were being produced were unacceptable, and the FDA took action to protect Americans.”

According to the complaint, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA inspected the defendants’ facility in 2015, 2016 and 2017. These inspections revealed that the defendants failed to comply with the FD&C Act and its implementing regulations, including the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (“HACCP”) regulations and Current Good Manufacturing Practice (“CGMP”) regulations.

In 2015, the FDA issued a warning letter to Royal Seafood Baza after a facility inspection identified violations of HACCP and CGMP regulation requirements. During the 2016 inspections, the FDA’s investigators conducted environmental sampling and found L. mono from the seafood and vegetable processing environments, as well as continuing inadequate sanitation practices by the company’s employees. L. mono is a pathogenic bacterium that can cause listeriosis, a rare but potentially life-threatening illness. People with compromised immune systems, the elderly, pregnant women and developing fetuses are particularly susceptible to listeriosis. While the company subsequently conducted a voluntary, nationwide recall of its ready-to-eat herring products for L. mono concerns and defendants made assurances that they were correcting its violations, the FDA’s subsequent inspections revealed that the company had not implemented adequate corrective actions.

The consent decree requires defendants, among other things, to retain an independent laboratory to collect and analyze environmental and finished food samples for the presence of L. mono, retain a qualified independent expert to assist the company in developing a program to control L. mono and ensure compliance with CGMP requirements, and take other corrective actions if they wish to resume food preparation operations at the facility or any other facility that receives, prepares, processes, packs, labels, holds and/or distributes food that presents a L. mono hazard.

Should the defendants be permitted to resume or permit food preparation operations at its current facility in the future, the FDA maintains oversight over such operations under the consent decree and may order the defendants to take corrective actions if the agency discovers further food safety violations.

Individuals who have eaten products purchased from the company should contact a health care professional if they experience any symptoms of listeriosis. In addition, consumers are encouraged to contact the FDA to report problems with FDA-regulated products.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines, and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Stayfree India Equips Commercial Sex Workers With Essential Life Skills Through Project Free Period

Health, Safety, Society

The unique vocational training program, organised by Johnson & Johnson India, helps women sustain themselves outside the sex trade

Stayfree India’s Project Free Period – a vocational training program for commercial sex workers – is empowering women to hone their skills and cultivate their own ‘Dreams of Progress’.

Launched in partnership with DDB Mudra Group and NGO Prerana, Project Free Period stems from the idea that while several women often dread their period days, for those in the sex trade, it earmarks the time of the month that they get for themselves. Thus, this initiative is aimed at converting the days of their period into days of vital learning.

Project Free Period entails multiple workshops condensed into three-day training modules where the women are taught a range of skills that include candle-making, embroidery, henna art and a basic beauticians’ course. The first edition of this programme, launched in the red light district of Mumbai, has witnessed the participation of over 30 women till date.

Commenting on the campaign, Dimple Sidhar, Vice President – Marketing, Consumer Products Division, at Johnson & Johnson India, said, “While the 21st century India is making great strides in the areas of education and economic independence amongst women, we continue to fight against the long-standing prejudices around tabooed subjects like prostitution. Thus, we at Stayfree want to economically empower women from all backgrounds while also ‘normalizing periods’.”

Further remarking on the campaign, Rahul Mathew, National Creative Director, DDB Mudra Group said, “To go from normalizing periods in the lives of women to using periods to normalize the lives of women in the sex trade; is a great example of the kind of power and influence brands can wield. Project Free Period turns the period from a pause to an opportunity, for these women to sustain a life outside of the trade.”

Through recruitment drives on social media, the initiative has also put together a database of volunteers to keep scaling up this project. Stayfree India and DDB Mudra Group are now looking to partner with other non-profit organizations to replicate this model and access a wider database of students and volunteers going forward.

Mugdha Dandekar, Project Manager, Prerana said, “This project brings a chance for the women in the red-light areas to step out of the exploitative lifecycle. Uneducated and with no income security, such an opportunity to learn an alternative vocation is crucial. The women have chosen the days they would like to come for the training, so that it doesn’t disrupt their lives. The change has to be gradual, not on weekly or monthly basis, and this project understands that. Therefore, we see a strong commitment from our women to hold on to this opportunity and give change a chance.”

Watch the full video here:

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EverCompliant Secures Strategic Investment From American Express Ventures to Help Fight Electronic Money Laundering  

Business, Safety, Society, Technology, Telecom & Internet

Investment supports EverCompliantcontinued growth as it defendagainst online merchant fraud

EverCompliant, the pioneer of Electronic Money Laundering Detection and Prevention (also known as Transaction Laundering), announced a strategic investment from American Express Ventures, which joins existing investors Arbor Ventures, Carmel Ventures, StarFarm Ventures and Nyca Partners. EverCompliant will use the funds to ramp up its team and continue to optimize and develop new technology.

Transaction Laundering occurs when a fraudster uses a legitimate online merchant account to funnel illegal transactions through a merchant processor, online marketplace or other merchant service provider. The continued growth of online commerce has created more opportunities for illicit players to use legitimate online storefronts to mask their identities, leading to an increase in Transaction Laundering.

EverCompliant’s automated detection capabilities enable merchant service providers to identify and eliminate unknown and fraudulent merchants. Continual monitoring and verification of third-party identities helps merchant service providers prevent the processing of fraudulent transactions, reducing the risk of chargebacks, financial losses and damage to their reputation. EverCompliant’s research shows that, on average, there are 6%-10% additional unknown and unregistered merchants over the size of a merchant service provider’s known portfolio, who are illegally committing Transaction Laundering. This phenomenon amounts to nearly $500 billion a year worldwide. These transactions may involve illegal goods sold by unregistered merchants, demonstrating that Transaction Laundering fraud is a growing issue for the payments industry.

“We are thrilled that American Express has decided to invest in our company,” said Ron Teicher, CEO of EverCompliant. “Their investment shines a spotlight on a growing problem in the payments industry. Having a strong relationship with this global payments network, paired with our continuous merchant risk management capabilities, will equip the industry with what they need to combat this new form of money laundering.”

“EverCompliant’s technology is helping merchant acquirers, payment aggregators and other service providers prevent bad actors from infiltrating their systems and ensure only legitimate transactions get processed,” said Harshul Sanghi, Managing Partner of American Express Ventures, the strategic investment group of American Express. “As more commerce shifts online, the need for advanced solutions that can help payment service providers fight fraudulent transactions will continue to grow. We look forward to helping EverCompliant as it addresses increased demand for its technology.”

EverCompliant’s customers currently include some of the largest institutions across North AmericaEurope, and Asia, who collectively monitor millions of merchants within their platform. The company’s proprietary and highly-effective method for uncovering Transaction Laundering has fueled a growing demand among merchant service providers and yielded a 300%+ increase in company growth in 2017.

About American Express Ventures

As the strategic investment group within American Express, Amex Ventures seeks to invest in innovative startups in order to enhance our company’s core capabilities and accelerate our efforts in consumer commerce and B2B services. Across the globe, we strive to foster meaningful relationships with startups in our portfolio and beyond. Visit http://www.amexventures.com for more information.

About EverCompliant

EverCompliant is the pioneer and industry leader in Electronic Money Laundering Detection and Prevention (also known as Transaction Laundering.) The company’s flagship product, MerchantView™, is the first and only dedicated solution on the market designed from its core to detect and prevent Transaction Laundering. MerchantView applies proprietary, cyber intelligence technology to identify unknown and hidden merchants funneling transactions through seemingly legitimate storefront websites. EverCompliant’s technology has been adopted by large-scale financial institutions and payment service providers in AsiaEurope, U.S. and the Middle East. EverCompliant is headquartered in New York City with offices in San FranciscoShanghai and Tel Aviv.

Don’t let skiing and snowboarding injuries take you downhill

Safety

Preseason conditioning and other tips to help winter sport athletes prevent bone and joint injuries

Skiing and snowboarding are fun winter sports. As the popularity of these winter sports continue to rise, according to a review article published in the January 1, 2018, issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the number of skier and snowboarder injuries also continues to rise.

“Skiing and snowboarding are associated with a large number of injuries, with specific patterns and anatomic areas affected,” says Brett D. Owens, MD, lead review article author, an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine as well as complex shoulder and knee surgeries and who is a professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than 140,000 people were treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms in 2015 for skiing and snowboarding-related injuries (88,210 and 61,668 injuries, respectively). According to the review article:

  • Snowboarders were three times more likely than skiers to sustain injury.
  • In 1989, snowboarding injuries accounted for four percent of all snow sport-related injuries. By 1999, it made up to 56 percent of all snow sport-related injuries.

“While some injuries are unavoidable, many are caused by skiers and snowboarders exceeding their comfort zone in either speed or technical challenges on the mountain. It is critical to stay in control and be prepared to slow and stop to avoid contact with another person on the slope,” says Dr. Owens.

The most common skiing and snowboarding injuries are to the spine, pelvis, shoulder, wrist, hands, knees, and foot and ankle. Skiers are more likely to experience lower extremity injuries, especially to their knees, “due to the rotational forces on the knee despite effective binding releases.” Snowboarders are more likely to experience upper extremity injuries “due to falls onto their hands.”

“Snow sport athletes can best prepare for their sport with a general preseason conditioning program as well as familiarity and maintenance of equipment,” says Dr. Owens, who offers the following injury prevention tips:

  • Be prepared for the season with well-conditioned muscles and a body that is adequately hydrated.
  • Be knowledgeable about how to use your equipment appropriately, and ensure everything is in optimal working condition.
    • Check that the ski bindings can release from your boots when appropriate, and that boots fit appropriately.
    • Check that the edges of your skis and/or snowboard are flat and sharp for maximum performance to minimize injuries.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Avoid alcohol or drug use.
  • Be sure you have the ability to slow down and stop on busy days when many other athletes also are on the mountain.
  • Use extreme caution when weather conditions are not optimal.
  • Always follow signs and ski patrol instructions. Never ski or snowboard “out-of-bounds.”

The Truth About Holiday Spirits: How to Celebrate Safely This Season

Safety, Society

We all want to celebrate during the holidays, and more people are likely to drink beyond their limits during this season than at other times of the year. Some will suffer adverse consequences that range from fights to falls to traffic crashes. Sadly, we often put ourselves and others at risk because we don’t understand how alcohol affects us during an evening of celebratory drinking.

Myths Persist

Despite the potential dangers, myths about drinking persist, which—for some—can prove fatal. Scientific studies supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provide important information that challenges these widespread, yet incorrect, beliefs about how quickly alcohol affects the body and how long the effects of drinking last.

Alcohol’s Effects Begin Quickly

Holiday revelers may not recognize that critical decision-making abilities and driving-related skills are already diminished long before a person shows physical signs of intoxication.

Initially, alcohol acts as a stimulant, so people who drink may feel upbeat and excited. But don’t be fooled. Alcohol soon decreases inhibitions and judgment, and can lead to reckless decisions. As we consume more alcohol, reaction time suffers and behavior becomes poorly controlled and sometimes even aggressive—leading to fights and other types of violence. Continued drinking causes the slurred speech and loss of balance that we typically associate with being drunk. At higher levels, alcohol acts as a depressant, which causes the drinker to become sleepy and in some cases pass out. At these levels, alcohol can also cause blackouts—which are when a person does not remember what happened while he or she was intoxicated. At even higher levels, drinkers face the danger of life-threatening alcohol overdose due to the suppression of vital life functions.

Even When Drinking Stops—Alcohol’s Effects Do Not

During an evening of drinking, it’s also easy to misjudge how long alcohol’s effects last. For example, many people believe that they will begin to sober up—and be able to drive safely—once they stop drinking and have a cup of coffee. The truth is that alcohol continues to affect the brain and body long after the last drink has been finished. Even after someone stops drinking, alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream, impairing judgment and coordination for hours.

Before You Celebrate—Plan Ahead

Of course, we don’t intend to harm anyone when we celebrate during the holiday season. Yet, violence and traffic fatalities persist, and myths about drinking live on—even though scientific studies have documented how alcohol affects the brain and body.

Because individuals are so different, it is difficult to give specific advice about drinking. But certain facts are clear—there’s no way to sober up faster and no way to make good decisions when you are drinking too much, too fast.

So, this holiday season, do not underestimate the effects of alcohol. Don’t believe you can beat them, or they may beat you.

Here are some tips to keep in mind if you host a holiday gathering:

  • Offer a variety of nonalcoholic drinks—water, juices, sparkling sodas. Nonalcoholic drinks help counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Also, the other fluids may slow the rate of alcohol absorption into the body and reduce the peak alcohol concentration in the blood.
  • Provide a variety of healthy foods and snacks. Food can slow the absorption of alcohol and reduce the peak level of alcohol in the body by about one-third. It can also minimize stomach irritation and gastrointestinal distress the following day.
  • Help your guests get home safely—use designated drivers and taxis. Anyone getting behind the wheel of a car should not have any alcohol.
  • If you are a parent, understand the underage drinking laws—and set a good example.

Sobering Up––Myths and Facts

Myth: You can drive as long as you are not slurring your words or acting erratically.

Fact: The coordination needed for driving is compromised long before you show signs of intoxication and your reaction time is slowed. Plus, the sedative effects of alcohol increase your risk of nodding off or losing attention behind the wheel.

Myth: Drink coffee. Caffeine will sober you up.

Fact: Caffeine may help with drowsiness but not with the effects of alcohol on decision-making or coordination. The body needs time to metabolize (break down) alcohol and then to return to normal. Also, when caffeine wears off, your body will need to deal with post-caffeine sleepiness. There are no quick cures—only time will help.

Myth: The warm feeling you get from drinking alcohol insulates you from the cold of winter. When you’re drinking, there’s no need to wear a coat when it’s cold outside.

Fact: Alcohol widens the tiny blood vessels right under the skin, so they quickly fill with warm blood. This makes you feel warm or hot, and can cause your skin to flush and perspire. But your body temperature is actually dropping, because while alcohol is pulling warmth from your core to the skin surface, it is also depressing the area of your brain that controls temperature regulation. In cold environments, this can lead to hypothermia. So, wear a coat when it’s cold outside, particularly if you are drinking alcohol.

Have a safe holiday season!

For more information on celebrating your holidays safely and tips for cutting back, visit https://www.RethinkingDrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.

Cyber harassment touches too many teens

Safety, Society, Telecom & Internet

In December 2016, Statistics Canada published the results of a new study indicating that 17 percent of Internet users aged 15 to 29 had experienced cyberbullying or cyber harassment in the previous five years, which represents about 1.1 million young Canadians.

Cyber harassment touches too many teens (CNW Group/Fondation Jasmin Roy)

To raise awareness about cyber harassment among young people and parents, Fondation Jasmin Roy partnered with Ogilvy Montréal, an agency that develops integrated ad campaigns and communication tools for Quebec and Canadian brands. Ogilvy Montreal’s creative team developed an advertising campaign for Fondation Jasmin Roy free of charge in support of the Foundation’s mission and to encourage parents to talk to their kids this holiday season about the growing problem of cyber harassment.

The ads feature two teenage victims of cyber harassment who are worried about the nature of the messages they’ve received on their smartphones. The shadow of the hand in which they hold their phone represents cyber harassment’s looming shadow and become a symbol that appears somewhere on their body.

It should be noted that 95.7% of high school students indicate that they have unattended access to the Internet at home and 52.7% have unrestricted access to it at school (SEVEQ 2015).

“These figures are worrisome and are proof that much more effort is needed to properly regulate young people’s Internet use and educate them about savvy social media practices,” says Jasmin Roy.

We invite the public to share these social media ads so that they can reach the largest possible number of young people, parents and teachers. The holiday season is a great time to discuss these important issues with teenagers and is the perfect time to review Internet use practices as a family.

 

Cyber harassment touches too many teens (CNW Group/Fondation Jasmin Roy)

Logo: Fondation Jasmin Roy (CNW Group/Fondation Jasmin Roy)

Government of Canada Invests in Research and Development to Ensure Marine Safety

Earth, Safety

Canada NewsWire

ST. JOHN’SDec. 8, 2017 /CNW/ – Canada is investing in research and development in our natural resource sectors to support our economy and protect our environment for future generations.

Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, Jim Carr, today announced an investment of $1.39 million for two projects to enhance marine incident prevention and responsiveness in Canada’s oceans. The Honourable Siobhan Coady, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, also announced provincial funding.

Through its Oil Spill Response Science (OSRS) program, the Government of Canada provided $991,500to C-CORE, a St. John’s–based research and development company, to increase the efficiency of existing mechanical oil recovery systems for heavy oil products in harsh, cold environments. Minister Coady announced a provincial government investment of $428,500 to the project. MP Whalen also announced $400,000 for a University of Toronto project that will develop a foam filtration system for use in oil spills.

The OSRS is a four-year, $5-million program aimed at improving the technologies and processes for recovering or removing heavy oil products from marine environments, in the unlikely event of a spill.

Our government recognizes the importance of environmental stewardship and will continue to invest in clean technology and drive clean growth.

Quotes

“Environmental responsibility is a condition of Canada’s economic success. It is essential we protect our oceans while we develop our resources. As Canada transitions to a low-carbon future, investments in clean technology are building a stronger economy, creating new, middle-class jobs and driving sustainable prosperity.”

Nick Whalen
Member of Parliament for St. John’s East

Our government is proud to support C-CORE in this valuable research, and I commend them on putting together the strong research team they have assembled for this important work. This project has economic benefit and relevance to the Newfoundland and Labrador marine and offshore energy industry and aims to provide an effective and practical solution for an oil spill incident.”

Siobhan Coady
Minister of Natural Resources
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

“This project leverages C-CORE’s expertise in analytical modelling, computer simulation and large-scale physical tests to assess and optimize technology performance in harsh environments. We’re very grateful to have the support of our federal and provincial governments for R&D that will help protect our pristine and valuable oceans and coastlines.”

Mark MacLeod
President and CEO, C-CORE

“Through the Institute for Water Innovation (IWI), our professors and students are addressing the world’s most pressing challenges and commercializing their research. Our forthcoming Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship, in which IWI will be housed, will further enable this work by providing a multidisciplinary, collaborative environment that will set a new standard for engineering research and education.”

Ramin Farnood
Vice-Dean, Research, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, University of Toronto

Related Links

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/funding/icg/19774
https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/oceans-protection-plan.html

Red Cross Provides Shelter and Comfort as 7 Large Wildfires Burn in Southern California

Earth, Safety

People Urged to Listen to Local Officials and Heed Evacuation Orders

More wildfires broke out overnight in Southern California, pushing the number of people forced to leave their homes to nearly 200,000. In the midst of the devastation, the American Red Cross is making sure those affected have a safe place to stay, food to eat and a shoulder to lean on.

Overnight about 615 people took refuge from the fires in 13 Red Cross and community shelters. People coming to Red Cross shelters can expect hot meals, comfort and the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and get information. Red Cross disaster workers are also providing health services such as replacing lost medications and eyeglasses, emotional support and spiritual care to people whose lives have been turned upside down by these wildfires.

“The situation is rapidly evolving with new fires starting and new evacuation orders seemingly every hour. And the threat isn’t over. The region faces extreme fire danger for the next several days. It’s our objective to be fully prepared to help where needed,” explained Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “Right now, Red Cross volunteers are working alongside partners to ensure everyone gets the best possible help during this challenging time.”

The Governor of California has declared a State of Emergency. The fires have already destroyed an estimated 430 homes and are threatening as many as 25,000 additional homes. With seven large fires now burning, more than 140,000 acres have been destroyed. Local power, water, transportation and communication infrastructures are being threatened by the seven fires and impacting four counties with a total population of more than 14 million people.

HOW TO FIND A SHELTER The Red Cross urges everyone to follow evacuation orders from local law enforcement and to have an emergency kit ready to go. If someone needs to find a shelter or other help, they should follow their local media or go to redcross.org and check the shelter map. People can also find a shelter by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App, which also puts wildfire safety tips at their fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Everyone is welcome at Red Cross shelters. The Red Cross delivers help to whoever needs it regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or citizenship status. The Red Cross is a charity, not a government agency, and people who have disaster-caused needs do not need to be American citizens to access Red Cross services. The Red Cross is working with partners to provide care for evacuated pets. Anyone who needs a safe place to stay should come to an evacuation shelter, and suitable accommodations will be found for household pets. Service animals and therapy pets are welcome at Red Cross shelters.

WILDFIRE SAFETY People should listen to their local media for updates on the fire and be ready to leave quickly. Other wildfire safety steps include:

  • Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing your direction of escape.
  • Keep your pets in one room so you can find them quickly if you have to evacuate.
  • Arrange for a temporary place to stay outside the threatened area.
  • Keep your indoor air clean – close windows and doors to prevent the smoke outside from getting in your home.
  • Use the recycle mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you don’t have air conditioning and it’s too hot to be inside, seek shelter somewhere else.
  • If smoke levels are high, don’t use anything that burns and adds to air pollution inside such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves.

STAY CONNECTED WITH LOVED ONES Visit the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org/safeandwell to reconnect with loved ones. The site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876.

You can also use the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App to let loved ones know your status.

HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters big and small, like wildfires and countless other crises, by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.