Newsletter – April 2013

QuanTEM Laboratories
QuanTEM Chronicle
An Informative Newsletter for Environmental Professionals
April, 2013
In This Issue
U.S. asbestos imports condemned by health experts, activists
Bacterial breakthrough could lead to better biological batteries
Lead paint, other toxic products banned in U.S. still exported to unsuspecting customers abroad
Quebec’s asbestos promotion policy may be ending
Linking mold to respiratory problems
Asbestos-contaminated tarantula ‘could be on the loose’ in Cardiff
EPA fails to revise key lead-poisoning hazard standards

Barbara’s Corner
Barbara Holder, Customer Service Manager At QuanTEM Laboratories we have monitored our TAT for several years now.

During high volume times, I will communicate with clients to try and make sure that the priority projects are reported out in a timely manner.

I am happy to announce that our average for the 1st quarter of 2013 is 99.3% of all reports on time!

If you have large volume projects coming to us, please call (1800-822-1650) or email me and let me know  so we can plan our workload accordingly.

Mold of the Month


Acremonium species are usually slow growing and are initially compact and moist. Acremonium hyphae are fine and hyaline and produce mostly simple phialides. Their conidia are usually one-celled (i.e. ameroconidia), hyaline or pigmented, globose to cylindrical, and mostly aggregated in slimy heads at the apex of each phialide. Acremonium is a genus of Fungi in the Hypocreaceae family; it was previously known as “Cephalosporium”.
Read More
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John’s Rant
John Barnett, President
John Barnett,
The first half of April has been crazy. We hosted our spring Mold Investigator Training course while preparing for both our AIHA and NVLAP in-house inspections later this month. The MIT course enjoyed 18 students from three states and the lab has been shined and polished in preparation for the influx of students and inspectors who have been visiting. All the while, the day to day work has continued uninterrupted, so far, so good.

Joanna Mueller, Social Media Director We have made one change which I hope you will appreciate; Joanna Mueller has taken over as our new Social Media Director.  We are excited about this change as Joanna brings loads of talent in writing and editing along with the desire to continue the growth of this newsletter in quality, content, and value to you, the reader.


Should you have any comments or suggestions please let Joanna know. We will also be creating a blog to allow for discussions on subjects which are of interest to all of us in the environmental industry Please jump in and let us know what you’re thinking.


Thank you,

John Barnett

Ask the Analyst
Jeff Mlekush, Chief Operating Officer
Jeff Mlekush, Vice President

It’s the time of year when a young man’s heart turns to…asbestos sampling. You thought I was going somewhere else with this? Nope. Before the summer rush sets in and you’re running six ways from Sunday, I think a reminder is called for. I want to remind everyone of the AHERA sampling protocol and the difference between the AHERA Method and the NIOSH 7402 Method.


First, which way to go – AHERA or NIOSH? Well, why are you sampling?




The AHERA TEM Air clearance monitoring requires thirteen samples to be collected. Five samples should be collected inside the contained area. Five samples should be collected outside the contained area. Two field blanks should be opened for 30 seconds (one inside containment and one outside containment). One unopened lab blank should be submitted.

Even though thirteen samples are required to be collected and submitted to the TEM laboratory, AHERA allows for a “screening” in which only the five inside samples are analyzed – but you have to collect at least 1200 liters of air for each sample. If you collect less than 1200 liters of air, you are required to have all thirteen samples analyzed. (See 40CFR763, Subpart E, Section IV, Mandatory Interpretation of TEM Results To Determine Completion of Response Action, A. Introduction – if you don’t believe me.)


So, I hope this brief discussion helps. If you have any questions regarding TEM air sampling or other asbestos, lead, or mold sampling give me a call. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find the person for you to talk to.



U.S. asbestos imports condemned by health experts, activists
By Jim Morris,

More than 50 countries have banned asbestos, a toxic mineral used in building materials, insulation, automobile brakes and other products.


The United States isn’t one of them. Last year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, 1,060 metric tons – more than 2.3 million pounds – came into the country, all of it from Brazil. “Based on current trends,” the USGS says, “U.S. asbestos consumption is likely to remain near the 1,000-ton level …”


Public health experts and anti-asbestos activists find this distressing. Read More

Bacterial breakthrough could lead to better biological batteries
Shewanella oneidensis bacteria
Image: Alice Dohnalkova

By Jennifer Welsh,

New research into electricity-conducting bacteria could lead to environmentally friendly “bio-batteries” that could create energy, be used as factories for biological products, or clean out heavy metals from contaminated soils.

These bacteria live off iron and heavy metals, similar to how we live off of oxygen. They use it to make energy the way we use oxygen and food to make the energy that runs our bodies. Read More

Lead paint, other toxic products banned in U.S. still exported to unsuspecting customers abroad
By Lynne Peeples,

Not until Perry Gottesfeld pulled up to the front gates of Seigneurie in Cameroon did he realize the African country’s leading paint manufacturer was owned by a U.S.-based corporation.

“A big sign read PPG,” Gottesfeld, executive director of the nonprofit Occupational Knowledge International, recalled from his March 2011 visit to the factory. “We were shocked.”

The reason for the surprise: His research team had just discovered that more than 40 percent of Seigneurie house paints on the market in Cameroon contained high levels of lead, with the neurotoxic heavy metal accounting for up to half the weight of some paints. Read More

AIHce2013 booth #822

Quebec’s asbestos promotion policy may be ending
By CBC News,

Quebec’s government appears to be on the verge of officially turning its back on the asbestos industry, according to comments made by the province’s natural resource minister.


The ministry wants to end an 11-year-old policy of encouraging the use of asbestos in Quebec construction projects and is publicly questioning the implications of exporting chrysotile asbestos.


“If even in Quebec, with all the monitoring bodies, we can’t see any case for which there is a safe use of asbestos, how can we ensure that it is used safely when we export it?” Natural Resources Minister Martine Ouellet said. Read More

Linking mold to respiratory problems
By Carl Bennett,

Molds are rather harmless little fungi, present in every single environment, all-year round. But when they find warm and humid conditions, they tend to turn into that matter-decomposing eye sore we all know and dread. Their aspect however is probably the least important characteristic we should worry about; molds can be the cause of many health issues, ranging from itchy eyes and a runny nose to serious respiratory infections. Read More

Asbestos-contaminated tarantula ‘could be on the loose’ in Cardiff
A Chilean Rose Tarantula

By Simon Gaskell,

A web of intrigue surrounds a gruesome discovery in a 19th century attic – where a large tarantula skin, potentially contaminated with asbestos, has been found.

The shock find was made during a routine survey by Cardiff asbestos specialists Kusten Vorland.


After three days in the empty house, on The Parade, in Roath, surveyor Katie Parsons-Young led her team into a pitch-black attic at 4.30pm on Tuesday. In a scene reminiscent of horror flick Arachnophobia, Katie – no fan of creepy crawlies – got the shock of her life when lifting up one of the floorboards and spotting a large, hairy leg. Read More

EPA fails to revise key lead-poisoning hazard standards
By Alison Young, USA TODAY

The Environmental Protection Agency has no current plans to revise key hazard standards that protect children from lead poisoning, despite calls for action from the agency’s scientific advisers.


The result is that children will continue to be exposed to lead particles in house dust and yards at levels that can cause reduced intelligence, attention disorders and other health problems because the EPA’s standards – set in 2001 – give a false sense of safety, scientists and child health advocates said.


QuanTEM Chronicle Newsletter
Produced & Edited by
Joanna Mueller, Social Media Director

Did you find this newsletter helpful? Have any suggestions or comments?
Email me here.

Any publication included in this News Letter and/or opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the views of QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC but remain solely those of the author(s). Such publications have been included only for ease of reference and academic purposes.

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