Friday, January 30, 2009

Keeping Your Family Safe Program - Talks about IAQ And Mold Certifications

Monday, January 26, 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Charles Wiles, the executive director of the American Indoor Air Quality Council for our internet radio program “Keeping Your Family Safe” (find it at http://www.voiceamerica.com/ on the Green Talk Network). In our program, we discussed the certification in the indoor air quality and mold industry. We covered the following points:

  • Someone who is looking for a professional in the indoor air quality and mold industry should ensure the individual is licensed by federal, state, or local regulations. Since there are only a few states requiring licensing or certification (ie, MD, FL, TX), the individual you hire should have a voluntary certification.
  • If the individual voluntarily certifies, the individual’s certification should be an industry certification versus a curriculum-based certification.
  • An industry certification that meets the highest standards and qualifications must be issued by an industry organization that is accredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards, follow the International Standards Organization standard 17024, and is independent from the training providers.
  • The American Indoor Air Quality Council has a number of certifications that meet these requirements visit there website at http://www.iaqcouncil.org/

This Monday, February 2, 2009, we will be interviewing Mr. Chris D’Andrea, a Certified Industrial Hygienist who oversees the Office of Environmental Investigations with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, regarding revisions to the City’s current guidelines on mold assessment and remediation.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Keeping Your Family Safe Program - Talks about Mold Sampling


Monday, January 19, 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Harriet Burge, formerly from Harvard’s School of Public Health and the current Director of Aerobiology at Environmental Microbiology Laboratories for our internet radio program “Keeping Your Family Safe” (find it at http://www.voiceamerica.com/ on the Green Talk Network). In our program, we discussed the mold (microbial) sampling. We covered the following points:

  • General discussion on fungi and molds.
  • The most common health effect of molds is an allergic reaction.
  • Other health effects include infections and fungal sinusitis. Health effects of mycotoxins are controversial.
  • Fungi need water and food to grow. When fungi grow in places we do not want them we call them molds. Fungi and molds spread by spores.
  • Three types of sampling (bulk, surface, and air).
  • There are no standards.
  • Each method has advantages, but air is the only way to document exposure.
  • Viable (culturable) versus nonviable (particulate).
  • Culturable sampling are strongly biased.
  • Particulate sampling can be a very powerful tool.
  • There are new methods but not commonly used yet.
  • A number of samples are needed to get representative results and document exposure

This Monday, January 26, 2009, we will be interviewing Mr. Charles Wiles the executive director of the American Indoor Air Quality Council regarding certification in the indoor air quality and mold industry.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Keeping Your Family Safe Program - Talks about Asbestos


Monday, Jan. 12, 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Reinstein, the Executive Director and co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization for our internet radio program “Keeping Your Family Safe" (see below for the website information). In our program, we discussed the dangers of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials. We covered the following points:

  • More than 10,000 Americans die of asbestos caused diseases every year.
  • India has the highest exposure to asbestos and is the second largest importer of asbestos.
  • Worker exposure also affects family members at home.
  • Asbestos – there is no ban, and has been listed as a human carcinogen for over 30 years.
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the World Health Organization, and the International Labor Organization, all believe that there is no safe exposure level to asbestos and that asbestos kills.
  • Asbestos has a long legacy because it is virtually indestructible.
  • Friable is a measure of asbestos’ ability to become airborne. Though an asbestos-containing building material may not be friable, that material can still release asbestos if homeowners work on it.
  • Over 3,000 products contain asbestos.
  • Once asbestos enters the body, especially the lungs, it is difficult to get the asbestos out of the body.
  • Health effects – non-malignant and malignant diseases. Asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung, gastro-intestinal, and kidney cancers, pleural thickening, and pleural plaques all are life threatening. All reduce the ability to breathe.
  • Construction and building trades are typically exposed to asbestos.

For more information download the podcast at http://www.voiceamerica.com/ click on the Green Talk Network and find the Keeping Your Family Safe host page. There you can download the podcast of the show and listen to it at your leisure.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) (visit there website at http://www.adao.us/) is an all volunteer organization dedicated to offering education, resources, and support to asbestos awareness. The ADAO is working hard on establishing a ban on asbestos (visit the following website to join the ban or for more information http://www.banasbestos.us/). In addition, the ADAO is sponsoring the 5th Annual Asbestos Awareness Day Conference on March 27-29, 2009 at the Manhattan Beach Marriott, California (visit the following website for more information http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/). This Monday, January 19, 2009, we will be interviewing Dr. Harriet Burge of the Harvard School of Public Health regarding microbial sampling.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Keeping Your Family Safe Program - Talks about Lead Paint

Happy New Year everyone. On Monday, January 5, 2009 I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Eileen Franko, the Director of the Bureau of Occupational Health within the New York State Department of Health on my radio program "Keeping Your Family Safe." The interview was on lead paint hazards and we discussed the use of lead in paint, the health effects, the laws and regulations, and proper procedures for working with lead paint hazards.
During our interview Dr. Franko and I discussed:

  • In 1978, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reduced the amount of allowable lead in homeowner, interior, exterior, furniture, and toy paints and varnishes to less than 0.06%.
  • However, prior to 1978 paints and varnishes had lead added to them while paints and varnishes prior to 1950s could be up to 50% lead.
  • Intact lead paint is not a hazard.
  • Any activity that generates particles, dust, or debris can cause lead exposure.
  • Lead exposure typically happens by ingesting (through contaminating food or drinks, and hand to mouth exposure primarily for children) or inhalation (breathing in the dust or particles).
  • Lead exposure health effects for children include brain damage,nerve damage, reduced intelligence (IQ), learning problems, hearing problems, behavorial issues, and death. 2002 was the last death of a child from lead poisoning.
  • Lead exposure health effects foradults include infertility, high blood pressure, teratogen effects, and lead can cross the placenta causing poisoning of the unborn child.
  • Any blood lead is too much lead and the only way to determine the amount of lead in the body is through a blood test. Over 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood is considered elevated for kids and adults. For workers working with lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a construction industry standard of 50 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), OSHA, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have regulations on handling lead based coatings.
  • Before performing work on buildings built prior to 1978, owners, occupants, and tenants should consider lead paint. Those considerations should include:
    - minimizing dust utilizing wet methods and practices to limit the creation of dust.
    - dust collection with vacuums with HEPA filtering.
    - the use of protective equipment such as respirators with HEPA filters, disposable suits and gloves.
    - use plastic to protect areas where dust is unwanted or to limit dust into areas where work is being performed.
    - remove furniture and other items to limit what is contaminated with lead dust.

Our next program will be Monday, February 12, 2009 at 2 PM eastern time. We will be interviewing Mrs. Linda Reinstein, the Executive Director of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, discussing the asbestos hazard. We hope you will join us.