Newsletter – January 2015

January 2015
QuanTEM Chronicle
An Informative Newsletter for Environmental Professionals
In This Issue
Michigan Feds crack down on shoddy asbestos removal
$50M taken from lead poisoning fund to protect NJ kids
Mold Foundation Specialist sued for bilking Ohio customers of nearly $30,000
Mr Fluffy asbestos: Cabinet papers show decade of warning and inaction
Angie’s List investigates Lead poisoning
Turnaround Tracker

QuanTEM’s overall ontime report percentage for December:

99.9%

Click here for a breakdown by lab
QuanTEM’s Mold Investigator Training
April 15th – 17th
Oklahoma City, OK 

Monthly Musing
“Character matters: leadership descends from character.”

Always Tired? Check Your Diet for These Culprits!
By Heather McClees,http://www.onegreenplanet.org/

Mold sensitivity is one of the most overlooked allergies and causes of fatigue that exists. Did you know some healthy foods even contain mold? Peanuts, cashews, dried fruit, black tea, chocolate, and even coffee are all prone to mold exposure during the growth process. Chocolate and coffee are also fermented foods, which may also lead to mold growth if specific cautions from producers aren’t taken. Check your home for mold overgrowth, but also eliminate moldy foods at the same time. Even though these can be healthy for you, some people are especially sensitive and have to eliminate them, even for a short while.
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John’s View

John Barnett, President

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

The first quarter starts a whole new year of industry conferences. Enormous amounts of information are brought together to help all of us find success in our chosen occupation.  Each conference addresses the information transfer in different ways including exhibit halls full of detailed information, all yours for the taking.

QuanTEM will be attending conferences throughout the spring and summer and we hope to see you at one of these. I would like to share a few comments on one conference in particular.  The Environmental Information Association (EIA) is hosting their conference in Atlanta, Georgia; March 22nd through the 25th.

What I like most about the EIA conference is its moderate size (not too large), the quality of industry professionals who attend (as good as you’ll find), and a schedule which allows for plenty of one on one discussions with fellow professionals.  New attendees quickly feel like they are part of the group, egos are at a minimum while comradery and support are maxed out.  The EIA conference concentrates on Indoor Air Quality Issues, including tracks on asbestos, lead, mold, and contractor issues. This is an excellent source of up-to-date information.

If you can fit this meeting into your schedule it is well worth the time and expense.

QuanTEM will have booths at both the IAQA and EIA shows this March. Stop by and say “hi”.

-John Barnett

Michigan Feds crack down on shoddy asbestos removal
By Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press

It was dark and bitterly cold inside the former Utica Trim Automotive Plant in Shelby Township when the crew showed up to remove asbestos from the abandoned factory. There was no running water, no heat, no light. Workers wore disposable suits so thin you could see through them.
Using 25-foot lifts to cut away asbestos insulation covering pipes along the ceiling, they tossed the debris to the floor as their bosses yelled “let it fly” or “let ‘er rip.” By day’s end, they were covered with the cancer-causing dust.

 

Four years after that botched job, the property owner, Indiana Metal LLC of suburban Chicago, agreed this fall to pay the state penalties of $67,500. A second company, Northern Boiler and Mechanical Contractors of Muskegon, has paid the state $30,000. Federal prosecutors, who launched their own investigation, charged four men criminally and one got prison time. Read more

$50M taken from lead poisoning fund to protect NJ kids
By Todd Bates, Asbury Park Press

New Jersey has broken its own laws repeatedly and left countless children exposed to lead poisoning in the past decade by diverting more than $50 million from a health fund to pay routine bills and salaries.

The diversion was done with the approval of Democratic and Republican governors, including Chris Christie, who has provided no funding to the program since fiscal year 2011, an Asbury Park Press investigation has found.

The state also failed to implement a 2008 rental housing inspection law aimed at reducing lead poisoning.

But since 2004, the state has steered at least $53.7 million into its general treasury instead of its Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund, as required by the law that created the fund, according to the Office of Legislative Services, a bipartisan arm of the Legislature. Read more 

Mold Foundation Specialist sued for bilking Ohio customers of nearly $30,000
By Amber Hunt, http://www.cincinnati.com/

A Loveland business accused of bilking customers of more than $28,000 is being sued by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the state office announced Tuesday.

Mold Foundation Specialist LLC and its owner, Scott Stidham, are charged with violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices and Home Solicitation Sales acts. Counts include failure to deliver, performing shoddy work, failing to substantiate claims in advertising and failing to give consumers proper notice of their right to cancel.

Stidham is accused of advertising online using claims such as “EPA Registered – Pet and Child Friendly Solutions,” “Certified Mold Technician” and “Certified Water Specialist.” When DeWine’s office asked him to substantiate those claims, Stidham couldn’t, according to a news release.

“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” DeWine said in a statement. “In this case, consumers paid hundreds or thousands of dollars for work that was incomplete or shoddy. Our goal is to put an end to the unfair business practices and to recover money for consumers.” Read more

Mr Fluffy asbestos: Cabinet papers show decade of warning and inaction
By Craig Allen, http://www.abc.net.au/

Cabinet papers have revealed the Federal Government was warned as far back as 1968 about the risks of loose-fill asbestos insulation, but did nothing to stop it being used in Canberra homes for a decade.

The National Archives of Australia released cabinet submissions and minutes of the third Hawke government, covering 1988 and 1989 – the period when the emerging asbestos crisis was being addressed.

The product known as Mr Fluffy insulation was pumped into the roof spaces of more than 1,000 Canberra homes between 1968 and 1978.

Despite a Commonwealth-funded clean-up program in the 1980s and 1990s, remnant asbestos fibres were still being found in the wall cavities and sub-floors of some properties.

The cabinet papers revealed two government departments were alerted to the potential risks to householders in 1968 – the year the Mr Fluffy company began work on homes in the Canberra region. Read more

Angie’s List investigates Lead poisoning
By Terry McFadden, http://www.wndu.com/

Cheryl Turcotte, a former EPA supervisor, says, “Any amount, even the tiniest, tiniest bit on the tip of our finger will have an impact on a child.”

Dollis Wright, an environmental health risk expert, says, “Especially if you live in a home that’s built before 1978 you probably have older windows so every time you open those windows and close them, you might not see it, but it’s happening inside those little crevices of the window.”

Dangerous amounts of lead dust can also be created when lead-based paint is disturbed during renovation, repair or painting jobs. That’s why federal law requires any contractor who disturbs lead paint to be EPA certified and follow strict work practices to prevent contamination.

Angie Hicks, from Angie’s List, says, “For example they should be using HEPA filters. They should be using plastic sheeting to completely seal off the area. They should also wear protective foot covers, protective clothing. If you see any signs that make you uncomfortable, you should stop the work immediately.”

In a recent sting, Angie’s List called 150 renovation contractors and questioned them about lead-safe practices. Nearly 11-percent offered bad advice and nearly 32-percent admitted they did not have the required EPA lead-safety certification.

Hicks adds, “Angie’s List has been a champion of safe lead practices for many, many years and continues to work to raise awareness about lead paint poisoning. Also we’re denoting on company records, if they’re working on houses before 1978, if they don’t have proper certification.”

 Read more

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.
Disclaimer:
These excerpts were taken from various sources. 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). QuanTEM Laboratories is not responsible for the content or use of the information contained in this education/information service.

 

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