Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Next Rain for Houston/Worried about Smoothie King Workers/Smoke from Mexico

Trough over the western US is keeping the cool air locked over that part of the country. Just talked to my sister today (she lives in the Lake Tahoe area of California) and they had 8 inches of snow yesterday (on May 10th!) On Wednesday the chilliest air will be over the Rockies and northern Plains into the Great Lakes into the northeast with highs in the 40s and 50s. In the southeast, highs will be in the 80s and 90s. The west coast will be pleasantly mild with highs in the 60s and 70s.

A hot and windy day in Houston this Tuesday...high at Bush Airport was 91. The weather will continue warm and windy for the next several days with some showers possible as early as Saturday with some showers and thunderstorms possible on Sunday. The weather will continue very warm into the coming week.

Let's do smoke or humo, pronounced OO-moh. Humo from Mexico can cause air quality problems in Texas. See the AND MORE section to learn more.

Almost time for summer break--have your tools in place--be ready to educated and entertain the youngsters at the same time. Order my award winning DVDs, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco. They are on the shelf (in the education section) at Barnes & Noble stores or you can order them from http://www.frankandpaco.com, http://www.amazon.com, http://www.bn.com, http://www.bestbuy.com, or http://www.ebay.com/. Our ESL (English as a Second Language) version can be found at http://www.frankypaco.com.

So, it was hot and Sarah and I went to Smoothie King. Usually I go through the driveup but there was a super long line. So we parked and went inside. There is no seating inside...just a small area where you can stand and wait. I immediately noticed the excrutiangly loud noise coming from 3 working blenders. My first thought was that I couldn't wait to get Sarah and me out of there--so loud. My second thought was to feel sorry for the three employees working there. I noticed that the blenders had shields (I would assume for noise minimization). But maybe those shields are just for keeping splatters to a minimum because when one employee lowered one down, I could detect absolutely no reduction in the noise level. I asked the workers if the noise hurt their ears or if they thought it was hurting their hearing. The supervisor said that they were doing just fine. The other thing was I just don't know how they could hear to take the orders from the people in the driveup. I know I wouldn't be able to.

So, I did some looking around on the Net and the decibel levels for blenders were listed as either 90 or 100. 90 is supposed to be a level which causes hearing damage if in an eight hour work period. 100 was enough to cause serious damage for an eight hour work day. http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/teachers_guide/DDB_TRG_Appendices_3.pdf
This table was taken from an education section of the web site dangerousdecibels.org which is funded by an award from the National Center for Research Resources.
And here is that web site:

So OSHA has some standards for which hearing protection is warranted at 90 to 100 db if work place modifications aren't protecting enough...these include hearing protection. I realize that those blenders aren't going 8 hours straight. But, if my child worked there, I would want them putting in those ear plugs like they give you at the chemical plants. You just roll them into a narrow cylinder and insert them in your ear, letting them expand into place. I don't know what the solution would be for the person at the driveup...guess they would have to rotate through that position.

Once your ears are damaged by loud noise, there is no healing process that gets the hearing back.

In other news, May is the month when agricultural fires are burned in Mexico. When the winds come out of the south, Texas can get a lot of smoke. So, I checked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's web site to see the forecast and it is either good or moderate air quality for particulates for this week. Here is the link:

Here's to healthy air.

Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman