Newsletter – August 2013

QuanTEM Laboratories
August 2013
QuanTEM Chronicle
An Informative Newsletter for Environmental Professionals
In This Issue
Short-term asbestos exposure triggers mesothelioma
Home mold problems up in wake of wet summer
Magellan gets U.S. approval for lead poisoning test
Ulrich holding landlords responsible for unsafe mold conditions
DNR asking questions about possible asbestos-like minerals
Landowners blast EPA cleanup
Barbara’s Corner Barbara Holder, Customer Service Manager

QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC has been in business since 1990.We have all gone through many changes during this time.

In order to better serve your current needs with speed and accuracy, QuanTEM will be sending out information update forms in the coming months. Please take a moment to fill out the forms with your current details and return them to us by mail, email or fax.

We thank you for your time and for continuing to use QuanTEM Laboratories for your analytical needs.


Mold of the Month

A genus of polypore mushrooms which grow on wood, and include about 80 species, many from tropical regions. Because of their extensive use in traditional Asian medicines, and their potential in bioremediation, they are a very important genus economically. Ganoderma can be differentiated from other polypores because they have a double walled basidiospore. They are popularly referred to as shelf mushrooms or bracket fungi.

Several species of Ganoderma contain many bioactive compounds (~400), such as triterpenoids and polysaccharides.

Collectively, the Ganoderma species are being investigated for a variety of potential therapeutic benefits. Read More


Top Stories from our Facebook Page!
Mold Controlled Robot is the stuff of Science Fiction and Nightmares

Slime mould controls robot's face
Slime mould controls robot’s face

The wet summer months have seen a marked increase in mold throughout the country. Last month we shared a story about something called slime mold which was proving itself a nuisance to homeowners as it took over their yards.


At a recent Living Machines conference in London, researchers at the University of the West of England in Bristol shared a robotic face they had programmed to respond to electronic signals emitted by the spongy yellow blobs.


When the mold moves towards a food source, the robotic face registers a positive expression. When light is introduced and the mold recoils the face looks upset.


“The robot aspect was incorporated as a technology showcase, essentially to show that we can take data from biology and link it to robots,” the university’s Dr. Ella Gale said in a Huffington Post article . “We found that we could pick up and differentiate what the slime mold was doing in response to stimuli, such as light.”


Check out the video to see the robot respond to different stimuli, and possibly fuel a few of your upcoming nightmares.


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Any publication included in this Newsletter 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.

John’s Rant

John Barnett, President
John Barnett, President



If we look at the number of restaurants around that specialize in hamburgers I think we can safely assume that the hamburger is one of, if not the most, popular food items in our society. My question today isn’t why the hamburger is so popular, but why one restaurant’s hamburgers sell better than another. Are McDonalds hamburgers any better than Wendy’s? What makes one small hamburger joint busier than another down the street? What makes the difference?


When it comes to the big fast food chains there is no denying that advertising may be the deciding factor. For smaller establishments that don’t have the luxury of a massive marketing budget the quality of product and service provided by the staff play a much larger role.


I have been frequenting a small restaurant which specializes in hamburgers with the onions fried in and they are really good, but not great. A few weeks ago while passing through Chickasha, Oklahoma I was directed to another local hamburger place named Papa’s. It has been owned by the same family for 3 generations and it was packed with customers. Why was this? The restaurant itself wasn’t anything special to look at and the ambiance left a lot to be desired, but the service was right on and the food was amazing. Again we’re talking hamburgers with the onions fried in, but the flavor was completely different from what I received at my usual place. My determination was that the difference was in the ingredients they used to produce a superior product. The meat was of a better grade and had much more flavor.


So what does this have to do with our businesses? Well, maybe if we only use the best ingredients (experience) and provide the very best product (service) we can, our customers will think of us the next time they are hungry for a hamburger.


Have a great day


John Barnett


QuanTEM Laboratories

Short-term asbestos exposure triggers mesothelioma
Reported by

The recent death of a British man from mesothelioma is evidence of the destructive power of asbestos – even when exposure is short.

A British newspaper reports that Welwyn resident Roger Beale first began experiencing a classic symptom of mesothelioma, shortness of breath, nearly 4 years ago. Beale first noticed the problem while walking up stairs. After a chest X-ray, Beale’s symptoms were attributed to a chest infection.

But when his symptoms continued to worsen, Beale sought medical care again in January, 2010 and was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, an intractable cancer of the lung lining that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. By November of 2010, Beale’s shortness of breath had gotten worse, despite regular monitoring and treatment and he died at the age of 67.

Although mesothelioma is alarmingly common in the UK, the region with the world’s highest per capita rate of the cancer, Beale’s case was unique. To his knowledge, his only known exposure to the asbestos dust that triggered his mesothelioma occurred in 1967 for only two to three days. It was during that time that Beale worked in a factory where he was required to cut asbestos with a circular saw. Without protection, Beale likely inhaled a substantial amount of the deadly asbestos dust that is the primary cause of mesothelioma. Read More

Home mold problems up in wake of wet summer
By Sabian Warren,

With record rainfall in the mountains this spring and summer, experts say it’s a good idea to check your home’s basement or crawl space for an unwelcome and stealthy intruder – mold.

Area home repair companies that tackle mold problems report a sharp increase in the number of cases, which are usually caused by water that seeps underneath homes and – in some cases – goes undetected by the occupants for some time.


“We’ve seen a 100 percent increase in the last month,” Sharon Green, owner of Paul Davis Restoration in Fletcher, said of her July calls for service related to water damage and mold. “It’s something that, unfortunately, people don’t look at a lot. Most people don’t go in their crawl space.”


Experts say indoor mold can cause respiratory problems for people who are in close proximity, and the dampness that mold needs to thrive, if left unchecked, can lead to structural damage in a home. 

Read More

Magellan gets U.S. approval for lead poisoning test
By John Larrabee,

Magellan Diagnostic Lead TestMore children will likely be tested for lead poisoning, thanks to a new clinical testing system recently developed by Magellan Diagnostics Inc., a life science company based in Billerica, Mass.


The company announced Monday they have received FDA approval to market the new device, dubbed LeadCare Ultra. According to company president Amy Winslow, it will make testing easier and less expensive, and could be in hospital laboratories as early as next month, she added.


“We believe there are a lot of children who should be lead tested, but aren’t,” Winslow said. “This will help people get the testing they need.”


According to the Centers for Disease Control, over half a million children in the U.S. have elevated blood lead levels, which can impair cognition, reduce IQ, and cause attention-deficit disorder. A blood test is the only way to identify an exposed child.


Magellan Diagnostics first developed the testing technology in the ’90s, for use in a portable device they also manufacture. The new LeadCare Ultra Systems makes laboratory testing more efficient. Until now, technicians tested samples one at a time; with the new device they can test six at a time, and up to 90 in an hour.


“It’s based on an electro-chemical technique we’ve used with our portable system since the 2005,” Winslow said. “It’s called anodic stripping voltammetry. A testing strip with a gold cathodic is inserted into an analyzer. By using an electric impulse, lead is collected on the gold. By rapidly switching the current from negative to positive, you can collect and measure the lead.” Read More

Ulrich holding landlords responsible for unsafe mold conditions
By Bianca Fortis,

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) is working to pass a bill that addresses dangerous mold conditions in properties as a result of Hurricane Sandy.


Should the bill pass, the city Department of Health will have the authority to inspect abandoned and vacant properties for mold growth. If mold is present, the department can issue notices of violation. If the property owner does not comply and address the problem, the DOH will do the remediation and then bill the property owner.


“These homes are a public nuisance and blight on our communities,” Ulrich said in a statement. “You don’t have to be a scientist or medical doctor to know how dangerous and unhealthy mold can be. I am optimistic that this legislation will force the banks and absentee landlords to take responsibility for these properties once and for all.” Read More

DNR asking questions about possible asbestos-like minerals in Penokees
By Mike Simonson ,

GrueneriteThe Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has expressed concern that asbestos-like fibers could be released from iron ore mining or sampling in far northern Wisconsin.


The focus is on a naturally occurring mineral called grunerite. DNR hydrogeologist Larry Lynch said grunerite is common in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Minnesota’s Iron Range and northern Wisconsin’s Penokee Range.


“It’s important because it can occur in a crystal form that is fibrous,” Lynch said. “It’s one of the minerals that’s referred to as asbestos or asbestos-form minerals.”


In most cases, grunerite is not fibrous, which means it wouldn’t take the shape of asbestos fibers. But Lynch said they need to find out if that’s the case at Gogebic Taconite’s proposed mining site near Mellen. Lynch said there could even be a problem with small-scale bulk-

sampling work, but he said he thinks steps proposed by Gogebic Taconite would make the process safe. Read More

Landowners blast EPA cleanup
By Seaborn Larson,

Before Judy Lundstrom finally agreed to let the Environmental Protection Agency remove asbestos from her property, she wanted to know what her yard would look like after cleanup workers dug up the soil and removed the contaminated material.


Lundstrom, 72, said she was told by an EPA official that her yard, pasture, flower beds and garden would be “put back the same way, if not better.”


Three years later, after countless visits by EPA officials and contractors, Lundstrom said she has had enough. The asbestos has been removed, but she fears her property will never look as good as it once did.


“After they first did my lawn in 2010, I told them ‘This isn’t right. It shouldn’t be this way,'” Lundstrom said. “I’ve been going through this with (the EPA) for three years now. As far as I’m concerned they haven’t done anything right. It’s been a nightmare.” Read More 

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

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MIT Banner Fall 2013


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