Newsletter – November 2014

QuanTEM Laboratories
November 2014
QuanTEM Chronicle
An Informative Newsletter for Environmental Professionals
In This Issue
Kilgore College official broke asbestos laws, covered it up
Asthmatics alerted over spores threat
Landlord accused of forging lead paint documents
Mold causes heartache for local family
DIY home renovations and asbestos – a dangerous mix
Vacaville company faces fine over lead paint in Bay Area homes
Turnaround Tracker
QuanTEM’s overall ontime report percentage for October:

Click here for a breakdown by lab
Asbestos Spotlight

Malignant Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body. Mesothelioma is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos.

The duration of exposure to asbestos causing mesothelioma can be short. For example, cases of mesothelioma have been documented with only 1-3 months of exposure. People who work with asbestos wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.


Latency, the time from first exposure to manifestation of disease, is prolonged in the case of mesothelioma. It is virtually never less than fifteen years and peaks at 30-40 years. In a review of occupationally related mesothelioma cases, the median latency was 32 years.


Family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibres, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.
The prognosis for malignant mesothelioma remains disappointing, although there have been some modest improvements in prognosis from newer chemotherapies and multimodality treatments. Treatment of malignant mesothelioma at earlier stages has a better prognosis, but cures are exceedingly rare. Clinical behavior of the malignancy is affected by several factors including the continuous mesothelial surface of the pleural cavity which favors local metastasis via exfoliated cells, invasion to underlying tissue and other organs within the pleural cavity, and the extremely long latency period between asbestos exposure and development of the disease. Read more
Monthly Musing
“People learn little from success, but much from failure.”
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John’s View

John Barnett, President

Hello Everyone,


The holidays are upon us and on behalf of all of our staff I would like take this opportunity to thank our clients for their continuing support of QuanTEM Labs.


QuanTEM has been serving environmental professionals from all 50 states as well as: Canada, Japan, Europe, and South America for 25 years now. I firmly believe that we have the best customers in the business.  We are very thankful for your continued support and we want to wish you the Happiest of Thanksgivings.


This is a time for families and friends to enjoy being together; all we ask is that you save us some of the leftovers.


John Barnett and

the QuanTEM Staff

Kilgore College official broke asbestos laws, covered it up
By Bridget Ortigo,

Photo by Michael Cavazos

In secretly recorded conversations, a Kilgore College official admits to covering up asbestos violations and talks about withholding environmental reports from the public.


Dan Beach, Kilgore College’s director of special projects and liaison to the board of trustees, said in the recordings made by a whistleblower that violations the college committed were “gone” and that no one would get “in trouble.”


The words of reassurance were for Facilities Director Dalton Smith, who secretly recorded the conversations in which he expresses concerns for asbestos-related health issues for him and his staff – and whether he could face legal trouble for his actions.


“People are getting jail time for … what we did,” Smith said, referring to information he’d found about violations at other institutions. Beach replied, “OK, well what we did is … gone.” Read more

Asthmatics alerted over spores threat
By Sarah Cosgrove,

A professional gardener whose lung filed with pus after inhaling a deadly fungus that lurks in bark and mulch has warned others that they should be careful.


People with asthma or a weak immune system are advised to wear masks when moving rotting leaf, plant and tree mulch because of the microscopic dust that this dislodges, which can contain Aspergillus fungal spores.


Karen Hook of Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire said: “I think I know when I got it, in 2008 – I moved some bark chip and got very sick the week after with a bad cough and funny voice.” By 2010 she had deteriorated, becoming very weak with difficulty breathing and “a bad smell” in her throat.


“An X-ray found a cavity in my lungs that they thought was TB and treated me for it, but I got worse and worse. I was X-rayed again and they found a cavity the size of a melon full of pus. They drained it and took part of my lung away in 2011.”

“I’m not going to get better,” she said. “Every day is a battle and at the end of the day I’m absolutely shattered. But I spent seven years studying for my degree and I’m not going to give up. I live and breathe horticulture. People should be aware that there is a possibility they could have a problem if they don’t wear adequate protection.”

Landlord accused of forging lead paint documents
By Anthony Fay,

Springfield property manager Dwayne Johnson has been indicted for allegedly submitting false lead inspection reports so he could receive Section 8 housing payments.
Prosecutors say that Johnson committed the alleged forgery by altering a legitimate lead inspection report, which was issued for a different property. They say that the two properties that Johnson was renting were not compliant with the state’s lead paint regulations, and that he rented one of the properties to a parent living with two young children. Read more


Mold causes heartache for local family
By Niky House for the Daily News

When Brittney Tryon’s mother passed away two years ago of cancer, the loss was profound. But when Tryon, her husband, Kyron, and their 2-year-old daughter, Addison, lost their apartment and their belongings – including her mother’s furniture – it was very difficult to take.
Toward the end of August, Tryon and her family returned to their apartment after visiting some friends. This was not unusual, as they took short trips frequently.
According to Tryon, it had been more humid than usual that week, and when they returned, they found an unwanted surprise.


“There was a gentle white fuzz that appeared on everything in the entire apartment, a dusting,” Tryon said.


This gentle fuzz was mold, the kind of mold that sticks to anything organic, and this mold was everywhere.


After the management had some pictures taken of the apartment and their belongings, Tryon and her family were asked to leave, due to health risks, she said. So they started house jumping, including a two-night stay in their car, with their toddler.


Tryon said the leadership at the complex insisted that all of the items in the apartment, anything that had visual indications of mold, be placed into the dumpster.
Tryon said she felt that the complex did not want to take responsibility for the mold problem, and that there was no restitution of any sort mentioned for having to part with her belongings into the dumpster.


While a complaint to the police allowed her to recover some of her clothing, and a few things that a bleach cleaning could salvage, she said she continued to get no relief. Read more

DIY home renovations and asbestos – a dangerous mix
Posted by

“There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres,” Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia president Barry Robson said.


“In the past, the first wave of people affected by asbestos-related diseases were those exposed to fibres in the mining and manufacturing process and their families. Then came the second wave, which were people exposed to fibres from using products in the workplace.


The foundation is warning of a “third wave” of asbestos-related diseases that will include people renovating homes without the proper precautions.


Mr Robson said one in three Australian homes contained asbestos in some form. In a study reported in Medical Journal Australasia, more the 60 per cent of survey respondents that had conducted renovations reported being exposed to asbestos dust, with 53 per cent of partners and 40 per cent of children exposed.


“Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, and if tradies, handymen and DIYers release dangerous asbestos dust and fibres during renovations or in the demolition of homes containing asbestos, fibres can be inhaled, increasing the risk of developing malignant mesothelioma or lung cancer,” he said. Read more

Vacaville company faces fine over lead paint in Bay Area homes
By Robert Digitale, The Press Democrat

Vacaville-based Blue Mountain Air is facing a $51,000 fine for failing to follow federal rules in the treatment and removal of lead-based paint during its renovation of four Bay Area homes, the U.S. Environmental Protection announced Wednesday.


The company, a subsidiary of Blue Mountain Inc., failed to obtain required EPA certification before the renovations, and also failed to keep required records and to ensure the project’s workers were certified to safely remove lead-based paint, the agency said.


The four homes, all foreclosures, were renovated in 2011 and 2012 in Santa Rosa, Napa and El Sobrante. 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.

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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