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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Floorings Affect on Indoor Air Quality

Mold growing on wood tacking under carpeting.
When Future Environment Designs performs an indoor air quality assessment we typically look at what's on the floor to see if that is hindering or contributing to the air quality problems.  Carpeting is a problem because the average person cannot clean it properly and if it gets wet you have to make sure you dry it completely to ensure mold (fungi) won't grow on it or in it.  We have seen mold grow even on the wood used for the tacking down the carpet as seen in the photo.  My preference is non-porous materials on the floor.  Researchers are now concerned about certain non-porous floors containing vinyl.  As the above linked article at "Caution: Floor May Be Toxic" discusses vinyl (PVC) and why it should be avoided.  The article says that researchers found that "PVC building materials, namely, vinyl flooring and coated wallpaper, were seven times more likely to contain hazardous additives when compared to nonplastic flooring options."  Vinyl flooring was also found to contain asbestos, cadmium, lead, and flame retardants.  "These substances are linked to asthma, fertility problems, learning disability, hormone-related diseases, and cancer."  It seems we will have to change our typical recommendation of vinyl floor tiles to linoleum, cork, bamboo and/or hardwood floors.  These floors are also approved for points under the Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system.  The next time you are having problems with your flooring or considering remodeling look at linoleum, cork, bamboo and hardwood as better alternatives to vinyl floors or carpeting.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Bedbugs and Lice Make Comeback.

Bedbug (shown on writing paper)Image via WikipediaIt's interesting  how certain news stories can just freak you out a bit.  For some its blood, for others it could be molds.  Well for me its particular very small bugs.  Like bedbugs and lice just really gets me itching.  So when a story like the one in Newsday discussed the current bedbug and louse issue, it was all I could do to prevent myself from scratching like crazy.  Recent news stories have bedbugs present at the Waldorf Astoria (where else would you stay if you visited New York City), at  Lincoln Center (I guess they like ballet) and the Central Islip Library (they also like to read..or maybe they are really bookworms?).  This shows that bedbugs have evolved, additional proof of this is that these bedbugs are
resistant to DDT and malathion, products used in the past to kill them.  The article makes interesting reading and other articles have discussed how to avoid bedbugs while traveling or specifically discussed about bedbugs not being a public health emergency.  The primary reason being that bedbugs are not known to spread disease.  They just want to feed on us (ok, just writing that creeped me out...itch, itch, scratch, scratch).  
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Watertown Daily Times | Asbestos suspected in cellar of plaza

Code enforcement official (CEO) stops illegal asbestos removal work.  This is a good sign that some CEOs are starting to learn the asbestos requirements and bodes well for the asbestos industry.  Maybe we'll see less cheating, which will create more work for the asbestos industry.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Federal jury finds Syracuse company guilty of mail fraud

Structures containing asbestos are markedImage via Wikipedia Federal jury finds Syracuse company guilty of mail fraud

We have discussed this asbestos air monitoring and laboratory consultant case in class. Follow the link which describes the guilty verdict against Certified Environmental Services (CES).  Remember one of the more interesting points of this case was that two individual asbestos air monitors were indicted on their illegal work. Making them individually responsible for aiding and abetting the illegal work of the contractors. It will be interesting if this has an impact on the industry.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Carl Potter's Safety Code of Conduct

Scaffolding improperly installed missing mud sills, etc.
Mr. Carl Potter is a safety speaker and his website is an excellant resource for information regarding occupational safety and health.  We have received many of his articles and writings, and have always found them informative.  To emphasize this point, please click on the title above to read his latest post regarding setting up a Safety Code of Conduct and the reason why employees typically don't follow safety rules.  Our experience and discussions with many of you, has led us to the same conclusions.  We agree with Mr. Potter come up with your own Safety Code of Conduct and decide to be safe when performing your work.  
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Friday, October 08, 2010

EMLab P&K Products Division Blog Features - Proper Maintenance of Sampling Equipment

Anderson N-6 Bioaerosol Sampler.

If you use or own indoor air quality equipment we recommend that you read EMLab P&K Products Division Blog.  Click on the title of this blog post to read EMLAB P&K's blog post on the proper maintenance of air sampling equipment, such as the Anderson or A6 impact bioaerosol samplers, rotary vane high volume pumps, and Wallchek adapters.  In addition, it discusses the importance of proper maintenance to sustain consistent sample collection. The blog reminds us that the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommends calibrating pumps before and after sample collection with variances not to exceed 5 to 10%.  This calibration should be performed using a primary standard such as a bubble meter (1000 cubic centimeter bubble buret) or an electronic device such as the Dry Cal® DC-Lite Calibrator, Gilian® Gilibrator-2, and Bios Defender™.  These primary standard must be traced to a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standard.  It will keep your equipment running at peak condition.
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Thursday, October 07, 2010

NYS Requires Crane Operator Certificate of Competence

With the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation gradually going into effect, one of the more interesting parts of the regulation is the fact that the regulation does not pre-eminent state and local regulations
Crane operators in New York State must realize in addition to complying with the new OSHA regulation, they must also comply with New York State requirements that requires them to get a Certificate of Competence.  This requirement applies to all cranes having a manufacture’s maximum rated capacity exceeding five tons or over forty feet of boom length and to all tower cranes. This applies whether the crane is used for construction, demolition, or excavation work.
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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

ADA Construction Caught Illegally Mining Sand in Melville

Headquarters of the New York State Department ...Image via WikipediaA joint investigation between Huntington Code Enforcement Officials and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) found that ADA Construction Corp. had mined 6,000 cubic yards of raw sand and then dumped 8,000 cubic yards of solid waste to backfill the excavation behind Bagatelle Court in Melville, Long Island
A separate inspection by the NYS DEC of ADA Construction Corp's Solid Waste Management Facility in Inwood found the site had exceeded its authorized storage limit.  The NYS DEC inspection found 23,000 cubic yards of debris and the facility was only allowed to store 5,000 cubic yards (it was over its limit by 18,000 cubic yards).
ADA Construction Corp is owned by Anthony Frank Falcone, president, and his son, Anthony Vincent Falcone, also owner of Varatech Industries Inc., were found to be in violation of multiple state environmental conservation laws.  The Falcones signed a consent order that required them to remove all of the solid waste from the Melville site, restore the illegal excavation with clean fill material, reduce the volume of material at its Inwood facility, and pay a $150,000 penalty.
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Chrysotile Asbestos Banned? More Like Certain Conditions of Use Will Be Eventually Banned!

Many of you, as did I, read about the " Ban of Chrysotile Asbestos " and rejoiced over something long overdue.  However, after rea...