Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
“LEADERSHIP IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN”
The goal of the workshop is to familiarize the attendees with the US Green Building Council and how to attain the various LEED Professional Accreditations. The workshop will be held at the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, & Airmen’s Club at 283 Lexington Avenue (between 36th and 37th streets) in New York City from 8AM to 12 Noon. A continental breakfast will be served and there will be plenty of time for networking and talking with speakers. The cost for IAQA members is $40.00 and $60.00 for non-members. Attendees will be awarded 4 RC’s from the AIAQC.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
We visited Harpoon Brewery's Windsor Vermont Facility and observed the brew making process at this $5 million dollar facility (built in 1998). This facility was upgraded in the winter of 2005 to increase it's capacity to 55,000 barrels. This facility also features a Brewery Store and the Harpoon Beer Garden, a lunchtime restaurant. Harpoon Brewery was founded in 1986 (Boston, MA) and makes several beers that we were able to taste during our visit. We tasted Harpoon's IPA, UFO Hefeweizen, Brown Session Ale, Harpoon Munich Dark, and 100 Barrel Series Glacier Harvest (which was sold out and only available at the facility). Harpoon is a very good brewer and all the beers we tasted were excellant. I prefered the Brown Session Ale, and the Glacier Harvest. But the one I chose to have with my lunch (The Vermonter - a hot grilled panini sandwich with smoked turkey breast & smoked bacon, Granny Smith Apple, red onion, cabot sharp cheddar & spicy mustard on Homemade Hearty Tuscan White Bread) was the Munich Dark. The Munich Dark is a Munchen Dunkel style which had a rich malt and chocolate taste though slightly bitter. Harpoon has several festivals which would make excellant times to visit either the Windsor Facility or the Boston Facility. We enjoyed our visit, and had a great lunch and a beer.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
- Industrial Code Rule 56 was edited and resubmitted for review. The current version is now available at http://www.labor.state.ny.us/workerprotection/safetyhealth/PDFs/Asbestos/Code%20Rule%2056-final-version-corrected.pdf and is dated March 21, 2007. The changes that were made are marked in red so you can see what was changed.
- Two new variances are being released. You can find these two new variances at http://www.labor.state.ny.us/workerprotection/safetyhealth/DOSH_CODE_RULE_56_TRANSITION.shtm.
- NYSDOL has produced an Asbestos Variance Fact Sheet to help designers understand the different types of variances. This fact sheet can be found at the same link as above.
- However the Guidance Document (FAQ) that is online has not been updated yet. Unfortunately this document will not be updated as much as they originally intended.
- In addition, Mr. Alonge made a statement regarding non-friable asbestos waste disposal which caused a little bit of stir. Mr. Alonge indicated that NYS DEC was not in compliance with EPA requirements for non-friable asbestos waste disposal. That non-friable asbestos cannot go to construction waste landfills but must go to landfills approved to accept asbestos waste. Unfortunately, it was not clear exactly how to interpet his comments.
- Mr. Germano is no longer in charge of the Asbestos Control Bureau. The new sheriff in town is Robert Perez. If his name sounds familar, it should, because Mr. Perez was the first head of the Asbestos Control Bureau when the regulations first came out back in 1988.
We thank Mr. Alonge for making himself available for these presentations. It will be interesting to see how all these changes play out with a new State administration (Governor) but also a new Asbestos Control Bureau administration.
Monday, May 14, 2007
OSHA found that Parkway employees entered into crawlspaces known to contain asbestos or presumed ACM. OSHA found that Parkway did not perform personal air monitoring to determine the employee's exposure leve when entering the crawl space. Parkway also did not inform the workers of the presence, location, and quantities of asbestos; did not institute a training program; and did not label the materials as asbestos containing materials. Fo the above violations, OSHA issued Parkway four willful citations carrying a proposed fine of $112,000.
In addition, OSHA also found five serious violations and fined Parkway an additional $5,000 for failing to provide appropriate hand, eye, and face protection; respirator safety deficiencies; a lack of quick-drenching eyewashes; the absence of a hazard communication program; and failing to properly label and dispose of asbestos-contaminated material.
Friday, April 27, 2007
According to Stephanie London, M.D., the lead investigator for the NIEHS study, "even a small reduction in lung function may indicate some harm to the lungs" and "the best way to protect yourself, especially children who may have asthma or other respiratory illnesses, is to reduce the use of products and materials that contain these compounds."
Isn't it interesting how people looking for better smelling air (better air quality?) end up making their air worse (harmful?) by choosing products that try to simulate nature but don't quite smell right. There are plenty of books and information out there on creating natural deodorants for the home, but probably the best will be to open a window and let the fresh air in (assuming you don't live in a city with air quality problems).
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
- required monitoring of employees' exposure to asbestos was not conducted on several occasions even though monitoring records alleged that it had been done (OSHA issued a willful citation with a proposed fine of $42,000).
- short term (excursion limit) sampling was not done.
- the contractor did not keep accurate exposure monitoring records.
- employees were not notified of sampling results.
- employees were not trained to properly establish an asbestos containment system.
- contractor did not prevent asbestos contaminated water from leaking from an enclosed work area.
For the last five violations, OSHA issued serious citations totaling $15,000. The willful citation is issued when OSHA determines that the employer commits a violation with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. A serious violation is issued when OSHA determines death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Preventing these types of violations requires the development and adherence to a personal air sampling plan. The air sampling plan should properly document all segments of personal air sampling. The plan should include the number of people you will sample, calibration of equipment, documentation of who is sampled and the work tasks performed, documentation of the laboraotry accreditations, procedures for collecting samples and ensuring the samples are individually numbered, ensuring the chain of custody is completed correctly, and maintaining these records for 30 years from date of creation. The information from this plan then assists with documenting the proper respiratory protection used by the workers and assists with the respiratory protection plan and the exposure assessment for the project and future projects.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Sent via BlackBerry from Cingular Wireless
Monday, April 16, 2007
A study published in the 2003 issue of “Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene” magazine titled “Asbestos Release During Removal of Resilient Floor Covering Materials” by Marion Glenn Williams, Jr. and Robert N. Crossman, Jr. of the University of Texas Health Center indicated that worker's exposure to asbestos during vinyl asbestos floor tile (VAT) removal may be under reported. Because we work in New York (NYS), we are very familiar with the limitations of polarized light microscopy (PLM) analysis on VATs or for that matter on any nonfriable organically bound (NOB) material. Under NYS Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) requirements materials that are considered NOBs must go through a multiple step process for analysis. This process ends with analysis by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) for samples that are negative for asbestos. This method is required for VATs because the type of asbestos typically used was Grade 7 asbestos known as Shorts & Floats. Grade 7 asbestos is no longer sold and was the cheapest asbestos material sold. The dimensions of this grade of asbestos was ultra-fine. With fiber dimensions approaching the less than 5 micron range. This study was done to determine if there was fiber release at the less than 5 micron level that was not being analyzed by the Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM). PCM is used for air sample analysis and only analyzes greater than 5 micron fibers with a 3:1 or greater length to width ratio. The study found the following issues:
- When removing a non-asbestos sheet vinyl flooring with an asbestos felt backing the PCM method only reported 5-7% of the fibers counted by the TEM method.
- When removing an asbestos containing 12x12 VAT with asbestos containing mastic the PCM method only reported 2-2.5% of the fibers counted by TEM.
- When removing an asbestos 9x9 VAT with an asbestos mastic the PCM method reported 0-2.5% of the fibers counted by TEM.
- When removing mastic using a mastic remover (TEM levels were between 1.319-1.749 structures/cubic centimeter (s/cc)) versus amended water (TEM levels were between 0.094-0.184 s/cc).
This study shows that air sample results are significantly underreported using the PCM method of analysis. When performing VAT removals asbestos air monitors and project monitors should be using TEM analysis for clearance (at the very least) and they should be running a few TEM samples during the actual removal of the VATs. These would give us a better understanding of what is happening during VAT removals and ensure that the asbestos abatement was thoroughly completed.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The last month or two of 2006 was determined to be as busy as the summer was slow. But we are very thankful for all the training and consulting that came through the door. My family and I went into Manhattan to see the Christmas Tree and ate dinner at our favorite restaurant Nicola Paeone's (photo of the lobby) which is located at 207 East 34th Street Between 3rd & Lexington. We always look forward to eating dinner here and like usual this Italian restaurant did not disappoint us. I always get a veal dish because Nicola Paeone's makes the best veal in NYC. We also usually go to see FAO Schwartz, a remenant from the days when we did the asbestos consulting for the building. As usual NYC is very beautiful for the holidays between the Christmas Tree at Rockerfeller Center, the Windows on Fifth Avenue, and red and green lights on the Empire State Building, it is one of the best times to go and see the City. Hope your Holidays were peaceful and merry and may your New Year be a great one!