Newsletter – May 2013

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QuanTEM Laboratories
QuanTEM Chronicle
An Informative Newsletter for Environmental Professionals
May, 2013
In This Issue
Asbestos Exposure, Asbestosis, and Smoking Combined Greatly Increase Lung Cancer Risk
GOP Is Still Skeptical Of More Mold Regulation
Hospital Tells Patients about Possible Asbestos Exposure
Lead poisoning ‘epidemic’ plagues California condors
Asbestos still an issue at Nunavut gold mine
Toxic Black Mold Has Experts Calling Homeowners to Action
Barbara’s Corner
Barbara Holder, Customer Service Manager
Barbara Holder,
Customer Relations Mgr.
Awww Summer…

Hot days…

16 hr workdays …seven days a week….hundreds of bulk samples….your client needs results before you even have a chance to collect them or we can receive them… Don’t you just love summer?

I know everyone, including us, are gearing up for the summer workload.  I know I will talk to some of you more in the next 4 months than I have all year. Remember to take a deep breath and know that we are here to help you in any way we can.

So come on summer…..we are ready!

Mold of the Month


Species of this genus contain both plant pathogens and food spoilage agents. Other species contain enzymes that are biological control agents. Some members of the genus can invade homes and are a sign of moisture because the mold requires water to thrive. They can cause plant diseases or hay fever and more serious infections in immuno-suppressed individuals. Read More

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John’s Rant
John Barnett, President
John Barnett,

Hi everyone,

It’s enjoyable to discuss important issues with you each month but now and then you just have to take a vacation and look at the other side. A while back a friend sent me a list compiled by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. It’s their list of most ridiculous lawsuits in 2012. You’re going to love some of these.

  1. A woman is suing Justin Bieber because she claims he incited the crowd into a frenzy of screams during one of his concerts which permanently damaged her hearing.
  2. Michigan woman files $5 million suit for the leftover gas in her repossessed car.
  3. 13 year old Little Leaguer sued by spectator who got hit with baseball.
  4. A South Dakota Senior Accountant sued her employer because her workload was too demanding and caused her stress.
  5. Anheuser Busch sued for longneck bottle used as weapon in bar fight.
  6. National Football League fan sues Dallas Cowboys over hot bench.
  7. California restaurateur sued for disabilities act violations in parking lot he doesn’t own.
  8. The Mill Haven neighborhood Homeowner’s Association sued one of their members because the playhouse she had built for her granddaughter was “too pink.”
  9. $1.7 billion suit claims City of Santa Monica wireless parking meters causing health problems.
  10. Bay Area parents sue school after their son was kicked out of honors class for cheating.

Now I can’t vouch for all of these but I did follow up on a couple which turned out to be legit. What can I say; it’s amazing what people will try to do.

Have a great day,

John Barnett


QuanTEM Laboratories

Think you don’t need to test for mold? Think again
Jeff Mlekush, Chief Operating Officer
Jeff Mlekush, Vice President

You slowly wend your way through the dark corridors of the castle. Making your way through the eerie stone-walled interiors covered with decades old depicting bloody battle scenes, mythological creatures and the family’s somewhat disturbing history. It was easy gaining entry to the castle, the guards were no match for your superior intellect – they simply stepped aside in awe of your large cranium.

Finding your way into the bowels of the abode proved to be of no consequence – you simply followed your nose.

You enter the damp, dark, dingy dungeon. You nearly wretch from the smell of pungent, sickly, musty air. In the torchlight you see the splotchy, dark leprosy you’ve been seeking. The black toxic leprosy covers the walls and floors.

“Oh,” you say to yourself, “look at all that mold. No lab tests needed here. Let me go forth to the lord of the manor and recommend an exorcism of this deadly menace.”

Exit stage-right. Fade to black. Play the scary music. Cut. Whatever….

Okay, now that I have your attention. I know you don’t really think like this when you’re doing a mold inspection in someone’s building but I think the point needs to be made that even though you can see mold growing, and you don’t think samples are necessary to prove mold is there. You could be wrong.

Most of the time, you should collect samples and document what you are seeing on-site. Here’s why:


Remember, if it’s not written down – it didn’t happen. Document! Document!! Document!!! Prove your case. Even in those instances where you think it is so obvious you don’t need to.

If you ever have to justify to someone why you made the decision you made – it’s better to have some objective evidence rather than none at all. If you don’t have the lab report and photographic evidence for the site, it becomes your word against theirs.

So, make your case a slam dunk, not a last second Hail Mary – Collect those tape lifts, collect those spore traps, take those pictures.

EPA Losing a Bundle on RRP Program
-By Lauren Hunter,

Get ready to pay more for RRP certification and enforcement.

According to a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the EPA is losing money on its lead-based paint program. Based on the agency’s estimates since the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule went into effect in 2010, the total loss will amount to $16.4 million by 2014. Fiscal year 2010 actually turned a profit of $8.9 million, but costs are exceeding fee collections by $25.3 million for 2011 through 2014.

According to the report, three issues are contributing to the EPA’s unrecovered costs. The agency has not conducted recommended biennial cost reviews to ensure that fees are in line with costs, and the fee structure also does not take into account all the indirect costs needed to recover the cost of administering the lead-based paint program. More importantly, the agency notes that RRP firm participation is lower than projected. Read More

Asbestos Exposure, Asbestosis, and Smoking Combined Greatly Increase Lung Cancer Risk
By The American Thoracic Society (ATS) via ScienceDailyThe chances of developing lung cancer associated with asbestos exposure, asbestosis and smoking are dramatically increased when these three risk factors are combined, and quitting smoking significantly reduces the risk of developing lung cancer after long-term asbestos exposure, according to a new study. Read More

Even After FDA Found Mold At Pharmaceutical Facilities, GOP Is Still Skeptical Of More Regulation
Tainted compounded drugs that led to a deadly meningitis outbreak By Sy Mukherjee, http://thinkprogress.orgIn the wake of last year’s horrific meningitis outbreak stemming from unsanitary practices at a Massachusetts-area compounding pharmacy – facilities where certain drug batches are mixed and prepared – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a comprehensive investigation into compounders in 18 states. These facilities are largely out of the purview of federal oversight, which is why FDA director Margaret Hamburg has begged Congress to give her agency more power and clearer guidance to regulate them. But even though the FDA revealed last Thursday that its investigation had found unsafe practices at nearly every facility it audited, House Republicans aren’t sold on Hamburg’s request, and question whether stronger FDA oversight of compounders is warranted.

During a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, Republican lawmakers expressed skepticism that giving more power to the FDA would accomplish much. GOP committee members pointed out the FDA’s past failure to avert crises such as the meningitis outbreak that killed over 50 Americans. “Ten years of warning signs, alarm bells and flashing red lights were deliberately ignored. Ultimately, the FDA knew [the compounding facility] was breaking the law but chose to do nothing,” said subcommittee chairman Rep. Tom Murphy (R-PA). Read More

Hospital Tells Patients about Possible Asbestos Exposure
By Pat Guth,

Officials at Strong Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, prompted by a story aired on a local TV station, made the decision to inform recent patients that they may have been exposed to asbestos during demolition work at the facility’s rehabilitation unit.A news story outlining the situation first appeared on Your News Now Rochester late last week. Prior to that, the hospital had pretty much kept the situation quiet. But after the story explained how asbestos materials were disturbed during demolition inside the former Blood and Bone Marrow Wing, now a rehab area, the hospital decided they needed to disclose the details to those who could have been exposed to the toxic dust during their stay. Read More

Lead poisoning ‘epidemic’ plagues California condors
By Agence France-Presse,

The endangered California condor faces an “epidemic” of lead poisoning from scavenging carcasses contaminated by lead bullets despite years of costly conservation efforts, scientists said Monday.
The rare birds were reduced to a population of just 22 in 1982, and have since recovered to number about 400, with half of those still in captivity, said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
About $5 million are spent per year on programs to boost the birds’ population through captive breeding and release programs. But if those efforts were to cease, the birds would likely die off again, said the study.
Lead poisoning remains a critical danger, and efforts to limit the use of lead bullets by hunters in California in the past few years have not cut down on the number of chronic poisoning cases, said researchers. Read More

Asbestos still an issue at Nunavut gold mine: Agnico-Eagle
Amosite By Samantha Dawson, http://www.nunatsiaqonline.caMore than a year after Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. first detected naturally-occurring asbestos found at its Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, the company continues to deal with asbestos at the mine site.

Asbestos is often associated with gold-rich rocks.

The problem is that asbestos is also linked to a variety of lung ailments and cancers, mainly affecting those who have worked or used asbestos in their everyday jobs for many years, according to the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center. Read More

Toxic Black Mold Has Experts Calling Homeowners to Action
Via PRWEB.COM NewswireSuper storms, changing climates and consistent flooding have recently brought the topic of toxic black mold growth back into the forefront of the minds of home and business owners across America. Toxic black mold, scientifically known as Strachybotrys atra or Strachybotrys chartarum, is a sticky, green or black fungus that festers in dark, humid indoor areas. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, its spores are constantly airborne, embedding themselves on any type of porous organic compound they can find. Wood, paper, and fabrics are all susceptible hosts for toxic black mold.

According to a recent black mold removal report filed by mold experts SI Restoration, toxic black mold can actually be deadly, depending on a person’s health situation. “People with allergies to mold can suffer serious symptoms like shortness of breath or high fevers,” explains Jeff Cohn, owner of SI Restoration. “Patients with chronic lung disease or immune deficiencies are at even greater risk when being exposed to black mold.” Because of black mold’s adaptable reproduction method and widespread distribution, its spores are difficult to avoid. 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.

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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