October 28th, 2004


(no subject)

Yesterday I got one of those "you have something waiting for you at the post office" cards in the mailbox. The card said that the item was from "The Hartford". I was thoroughly puzzled.

Today the misses picked up said something ... it turned out to be a registered letter from the insurer The Hartford. My wondering got even deeper as I started tearing into the envelope. What does The Hartford want with me that warrants a registered letter?

Finally I had the letter in hand, unfolded, and oriented right-side-up. Oh, *that*. Three years ago -- August 21, 2003 to be precise -- I and a room full of other people got exposed to a very toxic spray-on lead paint remover. I was at a construction job meeting in the building where the Hartford Public Schools is located, and the lead abatement contractor's crew started spraying this stuff in the room next door. They had on respirators and full Tyvek suits with gloves and booties. I think I was wearing a polo shirt. The next morning, after hustling up four flights of stairs in the building, I collapsed. Five minutes later I got to experience the joy of having a bunch of concerned looking firemen peering down at me.

A lot of Oxygen and a brief trip to the ER later I was fine. The contractor wasn't so fine, as HFD called in OSHA who found a raft of violations. HFD's own testing turned up dangerous Carbon monoxide levels in the construction office. Oh, and one of the ingredients in the paint remover -- some nasty chlorine compound -- produces CO when it decays in the body. Neat. The MSDS for this stuff was like the manifest for Love Canal -- Propane, Toluene, Acetone, you name it.

So, the letter was from the building owner's insurer telling me that they were closing out their files, and would I please let them know within 60 days if I had any intentions of suing them or their client. The fact that I'm not suing is probably just more proof of how far outside the American mainstream I really am.
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