Thursday, April 26, 2012

NYSDOH ELAP Decision Trees

In our previous blog post on the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York's (PACNY's) 16th Annual Environmental Conference, we mentioned that Dr. Stephanie Ostrowski, of the New York State Department of Health's Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP), was one of the presenters.  Dr. Ostrowski's presentation, as we mentioned in our blog, included lengthy discussions on vermiculite and ceiling tiles.
 
The discussion regarding ceiling tiles included reviewing the decision trees she provided us to help explain the analysis process for regular bulk samples and samples required to undergo gravimetric reduction.  Analysis of friable bulk sample (material) must use analysis method 198.1, while non-friable, organically bound (NOB) bulk material must use analysis method 198.6/198.4.  Visit my website under Resources for the copy of the decision trees she provided us.  Her explainations were excellent and the decision trees did make it easier to understand. 

There was also some discussion regarding whether this meant that ceiling tiles were considered NOBs and hence could be removed under the In-plant regulations of New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) Industrial Code Rule 56 (ICR56).  Mr. Chris Alonge of NYSDOL came to the microphone and immediately put that issue to rest, saying that ceiling tiles are not considered non-friable, so as such cannot be removed under the In-plant operations section of the regulation.  This year's conference was as informative as usual, a great job was done by PACNY, Deborah Johnson of Aramsco, Darren Yehl of LeChase Construction Services and Kevin Hutton of Cornerstone Training Institute.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Dangers Related To Toxic Dusts

In our current newsletter (find it at www.futureenv.com), we discuss the hazards of toxic dust at demolition and disaster sites. Three new studies from California seem to support my points regarding the dangers of the dust. Indoor Environment Connections in the February 2012 issue discusses the findings of these studies linking exposure to fine-particulate matter to heart disease.

These study defined particulate matter as a complex blend of substances ranging from dry solid fragments, solid-core fragments with liquid coatings and small droplets of liquid. These particles vary in shape, size and chemical composition, and can contain metals, soot, nitrates, sulfates, and very fine dust. One source of particulate matter, including PM2.5 or fine-particulate matter is exhaust from vehicles, especially diesel engines (which are used frequently on demolition and disaster sites). PM2.5 is particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter (making this particulate matter a respirable dust or dust that can enter into the deep lungs).
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) released three new studies, that indicate exposure to airborne fine-particulate matter significantly elevates the risk of premature deaths from heart disease among older adults and elevates incidence of strokes among post-menopausal women. The third study examined platelets of mice exposed to PM2.5. This study found that the exposed mice showed platelet activation which could promote clotting and lead to stroke and heart attacks. These studies add to the existing scienctific evidence that respirable airborne particulates pose a threat to public health. If these particles pose a threat to public health, what about the threat to workers who are exposed to PM2.5 at their worksites?
These studies further support my call, for the requirement that workers wear respirators on all demolition and disaster sites.
Enhanced by Zemanta