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Friday, July 22, 2016

PACNY's Annual Pro/Am Fishing Tournament Was A Whale of a Good Time!

As we write this post, we are snacking on some of the salmon we caught and cured during this year's fishing derby.  It is absolutely delicious!  Creamy & buttery with a little hint of peat.  Love eating it plain, it doesn't need any garnish or bread.  Oops!  Sorry we're getting carried away.  The third annual (really the fourth annual, last year the weather was too rough to go fishing) Professional Abatement Contractors of New York's (PACNY's) Pro/Am Fishing Tournament (you say tournament, we still like derby) was a success.  There was 18 boats that went out of Point Breeze at Oak Orchard Creek to brave the Lake Ontario waters and see what we could catch this year.  A big THANK YOU to PACNY for again sponsoring this Tournament, giving us more opportunities to get together and network.  Here was this year's lineup of PACNY members and the boat they were on:

Lining Up for the Shotgun Start

Abscope on the Chrysalis
Cornerstone Training Institute on the Sunrise II
Cornerstone Training Institute 2 (NRC) on the Legacy
Paradigm Environmental on the Free Spirit
Future Environment Designs on the Catchin Hell
Aramsco on the Runnin Rebel
LeChase on the U-Betcha
Rochester Environmental on the Irish Thunder
Envoy on the Rusty Lure
Environmental Contracting and Construction on the Reflection
AAC Contracting Inc on the Troutman
AmVets courtesy Sullivan Contracting on the Intimidator
United Rentals Rochester on the Screaming Reels
Dival Safety on the Reel Excitement
Dival Safety #2 on the Just Eleven
ECG on the Richmond 4
Greenleaf/Watts on the Rally Killer
AAC Contracting Inc #2 on the Shotgun

The day started out beautifully with a nice sunrise over Lake Ontario.  We started loading the boats around 5:50 in the morning.  PACNY's Darren Yehl organized the event again and was as efficient as the attendees allowed.  Everybody was ready for the shotgun start at or about 6:30.  As our usual we took the luck of the draw and this year our boat was named "Catchin Hell", with Captain Tom and first mate Mike.
Sunrise over Lake Ontario
It was a beautiful day out on the lake.  The sun was hot but there was a nice breeze.  We caught three king salmon, two steelhead trout and one rainbow trout.  Veronica Garcia caught the big fish this year and the one that got away "coulda been a contender!"  After the weigh-in, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Black North Inn, while being serenaded by Acoustically Sound.  This year's prizes and the winners were:

Big Box of Three Fish:  1st: $350  2nd: $200  3rd: $100
Biggest Fish:  1st: $350  2nd: $200  3rd: $100
The final weigh-in numbers!
Though this year we didn't finish in the money, we still had a great time and we brought home a lot of fish.  This year we tried a new recipe for salt/sugar curing the salmon.  We even created our own version of the cure by adding Islay Scotch Whiskey to the cure.  Needless to say we're in-love with our recipe.  For the original recipe visit  Plans are already being set in motion for next year's fishing derby (tournament).  We would like to host our own boat next year.  If you think you would be interested send us an email so we can start making plans.  The Tournament is always on a Wednesday and usually the second or third one in July.  We're already looking forward to the adventure!
Veronica Garcia, Capt. Tom , & the Big Fish! 
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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Asbestos Dust Sampling in New York State

In our recent asbestos inspector/designer classes we have been informing them about the New York State (NYS) requirements for dust/surface sampling.  Under NYS Department of Labor (NYSDOL) Industrial Code Rule 56, dust and debris are listed as suspect miscellaneous asbestos containing materials (ACM).  Meaning that if the building was built pre-1974, this debris and dust that is visually assessed by the inspector shall be treated and handled as ACM and shall be assumed ACM, until bulk sampling is done.  Well the question comes how do you bulk sample debris and dust?

Asbestos Inspector Initial Course
The best way is to collect the debris and dust by scraping it into a asbestos sample bag using a knife or a scraper.  This material could then be analyzed using NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) method 198.1.  NYSDOH ELAP method 198.1 is the standard polarized light microscope method utilizing dispersion staining and point counting.  

Another popular method for collecting debris and dust samples is the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard "D5755 - Microvaccum Sampling and Indirect Analysis of Dust by Transmission Electron Microscopy for Asbestos Structure Number Concentrations"  The D5755 method requires vacuuming a known surface area (100 squared centimeters is mentioned in the standard but it could be larger or smaller).  The vacuuming is done with a standard 25 or 37-millimeter air sampling cassette (the air sampling cassette should have a mixed cellulose ester (MCE) or polycarbonate (PC) filter membrane with a pore size less than or equal to 0.8 micron) and an air sampling pump.  A plastic tube should be attached to the inlet orifice to act as a nozzle and should be cut at a 45 degree angle.  The air sampling pump should be calibrated to run at 2 liters per minute.  The D5755 method incorporates a method of analysis for the sample, however, in NYS that method cannot be used.  According to the NYSDOH ELAP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) number 8, "all bulk samples collected must be analyzed by ELAP approved methodology at an ELAP accredited laboratory.  ASTM method D5755 ....... are not certified as ELAP approved methods of analysis."  The method of analysis that shall be used, especially if you want transmission electron microscope analysis, is NYSDOH ELAP method 198.4.  

SKC Catalog Photo
ASTM standard "D6480 - Standard Test Method for Wipe Sampling of Surfaces, Indirect Preparation, and Analysis for Asbestos Structure Number Concentration by Transmission Electron Microscopy" is another method for collecting debris and dust samples.  This method involves wiping a surface of a known area (100 squared centimeters is mentioned in the standard but it could be larger or smaller) with a wipe material (particle free, sealed edge, continuous filament cloth sampling medium such as a clean room wiper) to collect a sample.  See the video below by IAQTV for visual instructions on collecting this type of sample:


The D6480 method also incorporates a method of analysis for the sample, however, again in NYS that method cannot be used.  According to the NYSDOH ELAP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) number 8, "all bulk samples collected must be analyzed by ELAP approved methodology at an ELAP accredited laboratory.  ASTM method......and D6480 are not certified as ELAP approved methods of analysis."  The method of analysis that shall be used is NYSDOH ELAP method 198.4

The interesting part about this is, NYS ELAP approved laboratories should be advising asbestos inspectors they cannot use the ASTM methods of analysis.  However, we've heard of several times when this has not occurred.  According to the above information, an inspector should be getting results for the samples collected in percent by weight (%), which they can then use to compare with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) definition that an asbestos containing material contains greater than 1% of asbestos by weight.  If they use the ASTM methods they will get results of structures per square centimeter.  There is no government standard to compare these results to and be able to give a determination is the material asbestos containing or not.  However, that has not prevented individuals from determining that areas are contaminated, or that debris or dust is ACM.  This has cost owners thousands and millions of dollars to cleanup areas based on this analysis.  It is even more interesting to note that ASTM in the "Significance and Use" section states:
  • This test method does not describe procedures or techniques required for the evaluation of the safety or habitability of buildings with asbestos-containing materials, or compliance with federal, state, or local regulations or statutes.....
  • At present, a single direct relationship between asbestos sampled from a surface and potential human exposure does not exist.....
When using the two ASTM methods, an inspector must be very careful in collecting the samples and interpreting the data that you get from these methods.  Experience and knowledge are key.

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...