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Monday, August 19, 2013

Using Biocides Properly And Safely

… … After all the water damage Tropical Storm Sandy caused, we started getting phone calls on what was the proper procedure for cleaning up moldy surfaces and such.  Inevitably they would ask should they use bleach to clean the surfaces.As we always do we recommend the use of cleaners (i.e., Dawn), water, and lots of elbow grease (scrubbing).  For those of you who need a reference for this recommendation click on this EPA link.  The point of this post is to clear up some of the misconceptions regarding bleach and biocides as a whole.

As the term biocide implies "life killer", it is designed to destroy/kill living organisms.  This is one of the dangers with a biocide, we are a living organism and these chemicals could kill/damage us.  Its important to remember that everything is a poison, what matters is the dose.  So the dosage is very important when working with biocides.  This information also means that there must be a regulation or regulatory agency that regulates biocides, of course.  The regulation that regulates most biocides is called the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the agency that enforces it.  Before EPA can approve an application under FIFRA, "the applicant must show, among other things, that using the pesticide according to specifications "will not generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment."  This act regulates chemicals used to disinfect, sanitize, or kill molds, fungi, bacterias, etc.  One of the key words in the quote above is the word "specification".  What the quote is basically saying, is that the biocide manufacturer must come up with the safe procedures to use when using that manufacturer's biocide.  Another words the label on the biocide has the safe procedures for using the product (the label is the law, if its not on the label you can't use it that way).  Which in some ways makes things easy, follow the instructions on the label and it can be used safely.

Which brings us to what the label on bleach says?

As you can see above, bleach is a corrosive.  This means it could do damage to the skin, eyes, or the respiratory system.  This part of the label tells you what to do if you happen to get this product on your skin or in your eyes.  The next label tells you how to use it safely:

For disinfecting surfaces you use 1/2 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water.  Please note that the label requires that the surface you are disinfecting should be pre-washed/cleaned.  The reason for this is that dirt, or other organic materials can deactivate bleach reducing its disinfecting ability.  In order for bleach to disinfect a surface, the surface must be cleaned first.  Which brings us back to our suggestion at the beginning of this post, the most effective way to get rid of mold is to clean the surface with a detergent and elbow grease.

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Sunday, August 04, 2013

PACNY Fishing Derby Was An Adventure

On July 17, 2013 we attended the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York (PACNY) fishing derby.  We decided to attend the fishing derby because we've never fished for salmon before and going on a fishing trip with the PACNY group sounded like a lot fun!
 Well the day started with a great sunrise (photo above), as we learned which boats we were on.  We were placed on one of the two Cornerstone Training Institute (CTI) boats.  Our boat was named the Irish Thunder with Captain Joe T. & First Mate Charlie. Our team consisted of Heather King of KBH, Chris Miller of LeChase, Kevin Hutton of CTI, and ourselves.

Once we were all on-board our respective boats , we headed out to the shotgun start (see video above).  Which means all the boats line up straight across & when the bell is rung the boats speed out to the fishing areas.  It was a very hot day and sun shone brightly, meaning we were thankful for air movement.  Captain Joe T. & First Mate Charlie, were very experienced in finding fish and it wasn't long before we had our first catch of the day.  Ms. Heather King reeled in the first fish.  All of us took turns reeling in fish, however, Mr. Chris Miller reeled in the first over 20 pound salmon.  Which we all teased him in how long it was taking him to bring the fish in (we would regret that later).  We were thankful to Mr. Kevin Hutton for stocking his cooler with some really good local craft beers (thank you!).

As you can see above, we caught ourselves an over 20 pound king salmon.  Catching a salmon is not an accurate description of what actually took place.  A better description would be is having a tug-of-war with an unknown opponent.  Once you grab a hold of the rod & reel you spend what feels like an eternity (actually 10-20 minutes) of doing forearm curls.  Pull the rod up, then reel in excess line; pull the rod up, reel in the excess line; repeat, repeat, repeat (now regretting teasing Chris about how long it took him to bring the fish in).  Just about the time our arms were saying "we give up", the salmon appeared several yards away from the boat.  Giving us a second wind to bringing the fish on board.  When we were a kid we remember a cartoon that likened fishing to pulling a drain plug from the lake, we now get that cartoon.

Once the derby was over we gathered at the Black North Inn for lunch, weigh-in, & the awarding of the prizes.  The scoreboard above details the scores. Congratulations to team Aramsco for the biggest basket (three largest fish) and the $500 award.  Congratulations to Brian Warren from the Aramsco/Envoy boat for the big fish.  His 30.5 lb king salmon won him $150 cash.

We had a great time and hope to do this again.  Our team was fantastic and entertaining.  Our team won one of the prizes.  We also got to bring some salmon home for smoking & grilling (as you see above).  It was the best salmon we ever ate.

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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...