Newsletter – October 2011

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October 2011

QuanTEM Chronicle

An informative Newsletter for Environmental Professionals

Message from John Barnett, President

John Barnett, President
John Barnett, President.

Halloween is behind us and hopefully all the spooks and goblins have been put away for another year. Just as the calendar continues to tick off the days, QuanTEM is also moving forward – never staying the same for too long.

It’s my great pleasure to announce that Rich Johns of St. Louis, MO has agreed to join the QuanTEM team as a field representative.

Rich is there to answer your questions as well as help determine how QuanTEM can be of support to you and your organization.  He will be joining our training team as we continue to develop our mold training classes.

 

Rich has nineteen years in the IAQ industry from doing asbestos abatement to mold remediation, sampling and report interpretation as well as being a past member of the IAQA Board of Directors.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Rich serves the St. Louis community as the President of Team JMS for a Drug Free Youth, President of Team Autism Midwest and is the Vice President of N AAEM.

Rich gives us the opportunity to provide better service to our customers in the St. Louis and surrounding areas. Don’t hesitate to give him a call; he will work hard to insure your work is handled in the most timely and professional manner.

Rich can be reached at (314) 575-6442 or email him at rich@quantem.com

 

Thanks for your continued support of QuanTEM Laboratories.

John Barnett

President

QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC

(800) 822-1650 voice

jbarnett@quantem.com

Asbestos Removal Blamed for Illness of 17 Post Office Workers
By Charles McMahon and Aaron Davis
news@seacoastonline.com
September 02, 2011 2:00 AM
 

EXETER – The town post office was evacuated Thursday morning after several employees fell ill with symptoms blamed on an asbestos removal project.

Tom Rizzo, northern New England’s spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said 28 employees were evacuated from the facility. Rizzo said 17 were transported to Exeter Hospital for observation and treatment.

 

Assistant Fire Chief Ken Berkenbush said employees of the Front Street post office had symptoms including nausea, light-headedness, dizziness and chest pains. Assisting with the transport of the victims were two ambulances from Exeter, a pair of ambulances from Kingston and one from Epping.

 

“They weren’t in any immediate danger,” Berkenbush said of the employees.

 

As of 3:30 p.m., all the employees were treated and released, according to Exeter Hospital spokeswoman Debra Vasapolli.

Firefighters and paramedics responded to the post office around 9:30 a.m. and found the sick workers outside, behind the facility.

 

Berkenbush said the illnesses were caused by “off-gassing” from a solvent crews used Wednesday night to remove asbestos tiles from inside the building.

 

“They were doing asbestos removal, and the solvents they used to pick up the tiles seeped into the wood flooring and caused a reaction,” said Berkenbush. “It started off-gassing,” or releasing carbon monoxide and other gases, which can be a by-product of volatile organic compounds often found in solvents.

 

Fire Lt. Donald Matheson said a human’s normal threshold for carbon monoxide exposure before suffering symptoms is 9 parts per million.

 

“If someone is in that atmosphere for a prolonged period of time, it can cause some adverse health effects,” Matheson said.

Crews taking readings inside the building found levels as high as 30 parts per million at the source, Berkenbush said.

Employees who fell ill had likely been breathing in the gas since the start of their work day, Matheson said.

“The longer you’re in that atmosphere, the more health problems you’ll have,” he said.

 

READ MORE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asbestos Industry launches campaign to clean image

The Canadian Press

Date: Sunday Sep. 25, 2011 1:39 PM ET

A prominent asbestos merchant is headed to Parliament Hill as part of a broader counter-offensive to salvage the reputation of his beleaguered industry.

Baljit Chadha is fighting back this week after Canada’s asbestos sector has absorbed a public-relations pummelling, both here and abroad, in recent months.

The public-relations battle comes at a critical time.

The Quebec government is considering whether to help Chadha save one of Canada’s last two asbestos mines, in the town of Asbestos, with an Oct. 1 deadline looming on a decision.

Chadha is now determined to dispel what he describes as myths about the contentious mineral, which he argues has been unfairly vilified by a highly organized “anti-asbestos lobby.”

Chadha plans face-to-face meetings Monday with his most vocal critics, including New Democrat MP Pat Martin.

Afterwards, the Montreal businessman will meet with Rideau Institute president Steven Staples and communicate by teleconference with Kathleen Ruff, a human-rights activist and tireless asbestos foe.

These meetings are just the beginning of his pro-asbestos blitz.

He is planning to launch a public-relations campaign that includes a detailed advertisement titled, “What is chrysotile — Asbestos?”

Chadha said he also hopes to meet with the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Cancer Society and editorial boards of major newspapers.

However, the CMA said in an email Sunday that it has no intention of meeting with Chadha.

“The CMA’s position on asbestos is clear: we are opposed to mining, use and export of asbestos,” it added. READ MORE.

In This Issue
Asbestos Removal Blamed for Illness of 17 Post Office Workers
Asbestos Industry launches campaign to clean image
Maryland Court Strikes Down Landlord Protection in Lead Paint Law
Houston getting $3 Million in Lead Paint Campaign
Fall Allergy Season May be Longest, Strongest This Year
$58,000 Fine for Exposing Employees to Combustable Dust Hazards
Drought Brings out the Bugs
BARBARA’S CORNER: HOLIDAY HOURS 2011

QuanTEM Customer Appreciation Days!

 
 Beginning September 15, 2011 and running through December 30, 2011, each week QuanTEM will draw the name of one lucky customer and award a $100.00 account credit to their account!
 
 
For details and rules, please
“like” QuanTEM’s Facebook Page at:

PCIH 2011 Baltimore

November 7-8 2011

   By: Scott Leavell, Business Development, QuanTEM Laboratories 

 

QuanTEM attended this year’s Professional Conference on Industrial Hygiene in Baltimore, MD November 7-8.

 

IT was a great conference! We really value and appreciate meeting new people in the industry and of course, seeing those we already know.

 

The winner of our PCIH prize, a $50.00 Best Buy gift card is

Judson Kenoyer of

Aiken, South Carolina!

 

 

 
 For more information on QuanTEM’s lab services and accreditations, please email me at sleavell@quantem.com or call me at (800) 822-1650!

  

Maryland Court Strikes Down Landlord Protection in Lead Paint Law

Law unconstitutionally keeps children from suing for damages, Court of Appeals rules

October 24, 2011 By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun
Maryland’s highest court struck down Monday a key provision of state law that shielded owners of older rental housing from civil lawsuits – and potentially costly payments to victims – if they took precautions to protect children in their units from lead-paint poisoning.

 

In a 7-0 ruling, the Court of Appeals declared that the 1994 lead-poisoning law violated the state’s Constitution by denying a day in court to victims of the once-widespread environmental health scourge. In doing so, the court struck down what was considered a historic legislative compromise.

The court retained the law’s regulatory provisions, which require landlords to register and reduce the poisonous lead hazards in all rental units built before 1950, when lead-based paint was widely used in Baltimore and the rest of the state. But the appellate judges dismissed as “drastically inadequate” the law’s $17,000 cap on payments to victims of lead poisoning from landlords who comply with the law.

 

Attorneys for lead-poisoned children hailed the ruling, saying it opened the door for their clients to sue for damages. They point out that lasting learning and behavioral problems can be caused by ingesting minute amounts of toxic lead.

 

“It’s really momentous,” said Brian S. Brown, a lawyer in the Baltimore firm of Saul Kerpelman & Associates, which sued in 2002 on behalf of Zi’Tashia Jackson and her mother. “It’s gives kids the right to receive compensation for being brain damaged for life.”

 

But others said they feared the decision could ultimately hurt low-income families across the state by prompting landlords to stop renting out older, less costly units to avoid further liability.

 

“This law has preserved affordable housing in our city,” said Benedict Frederick III, president of the Property Owners Association of Greater Baltimore, who estimated there are 100,000 rental units in the city alone, most of them containing lead paint. He called the 1994 law “ground-breaking” in that it broke a political logjam between landlords and children’s advocates over government action to reduce lead poisoning.

 

Lead poisoning once hit thousands of Maryland children a year, the vast majority in Baltimore City. It has declined by 98 percent since the law was passed, with 531 youngsters statewide testing last year for elevated levels of lead in their blood. The law, along with increased testing of children for lead poisoning, has been widely credited for the dramatic decline.

Children’s advocates and state officials note that those provisions of the law meant to protect youngsters remain in effect.

 

READ MORE.

Houston getting $3 Million in Lead Paint Campaign

Associated PressPublished 11:50 a.m., Thursday, September 15, 2011  

FORT WORTH – More than $11 million has been earmarked for some Texas communities to help protect children from lead-based paint poisoning.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday announced the funding for Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Harris County.

The grants are part of $93 million in HUD funds available nationwide. HUD says the money will help clean lead and other health hazards in privately owned low-income housing units, plus help with safety training.

Austin’s share will be $2.5 million, while San Antonio and Houston will each receive $3 million. Harris County Public Health Services has been awarded $2.7 million.

Lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, but HUD estimates that about 24 million U.S. homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards. READ MORE.

Fall Allergy Season May be Longest, Strongest This Year

 By COURTNEY HUTCHISON, ABC News Medical Unit

Sept. 9, 2011
 
With record pollen counts already on the board for August, this fall is gearing up to be one of the worst, and longest, allergy seasons yet, according to allergy experts.Thanks to a particularly wet summer, ragweed pollen levels are surging and standing water left over from summer flooding and Hurricane Irene has increased the amount of mold, a common year-round allergen, in the air.

 

“We’re going to have an allergy double whammy,” says Dr. Clifford Bassett, Medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.

 

To top it all off, the allergy season is expected to last a few weeks longer than usual this year, according to research published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

While spring allergies usually come from pollen from trees and grass, fall allergies are caused almost exclusively by ragweed pollen. The season usually runs from mid-August until the first frost of the year, around early October, but if the frost is delayed, as is predicted for this year, the allergy season goes on indefinitely until it comes.

With record pollen counts already on the board for August, this fall is gearing up to be one of the worst, and longest, allergy seasons yet, according to allergy experts.

For many years, the allergy seasons have been “getting longer and longer … partly due to global warming,” says Estelle Levetin, chairwoman of the aerobiology committee for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

 

“As we’re seeing warmer and warmer weather, the fall gets warmer and longer and the effect is that there’s no frost to kill the ragweed and end the allergy season,” she says. Rising temperatures have produced a similar lengthening of the spring allergy season, which is now starting about a month earlier than it did decades ago, she says.

Climate change isn’t only affecting the length of the allergy season, it’s affecting the severity.

 

“A single ragweed plant produces a million pollen grains, but if you expose it to greenhouse gases, it produces three to four times that much,” says Bassett. “So you have climate change making for a longer season, more plants and more potent pollen. It’s like a perfect storm,” he says.

 

Bassett says that he’s already seeing a surge in patients coming in with fall allergies, many of whom have never experienced fall allergies before. “The immune system is not always predictable, sometimes there’s a threshold and when the pollen gets bad enough, all of a sudden you have people with allergies who never had them before,” he says. The pollen and mold in the air is also poised to aggravate asthma.

 

READ MORE.

 

$58,000 Fine for Exposing Employees to Combustable Dust Hazards
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Karyall Teleday Co. of Brooklyn, Ohio, for 17 serious safety and health violations.

12 October 2011

Retreived November 8, 2011 from HERE.

 

The company faces $58,800 in proposed fines following an inspection conducted under OSHA’s local emphasis programme on the primary metals industry. Its findings reveal the overexposure of employees to respirable dust and failing to provide them personal protective equipment.

“Failing to provide appropriate personal protective equipment and monitoring workers for exposure to hazards such as respiritable and combustible dust puts them at an unacceptable risk for injury and illness,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Employers have a responsibility to ensure that work environments are healthful and safe.” 

The violations involve overexposure to respiritable dust, exposure to combustible dust, a lack of mandatory respirator training, a lack of fit-testing and medical evaluations for respirator use, various electrical violations, not providing proper guards on various machines to protect employees, failing to develop lockout/tagout procedures for machinery to prevent equipment from becoming energised unintentionally, not providing personal protective equipment, and not providing fork truck training.
READ MORE.

 

Drought Brings out the Bugs

Posted: 9:31 PM Jul 25, 2011, Retreived August 31, 2011
Reporter: Kristen Shanahan
LONE GROVE, OK — These hot and dry weather conditions are bringing in unwanted visitors to homes. Kristen Shanahan shows us who is trying to break in — and why.

 

Varied Carpet Beetle

We aren’t the only ones trying to escape the extreme heat and dry conditions. So are our “pesty” neighbors. Pest Controller Mike Burns says he has done his job for fourteen years but business has really taken off this summer as insects invade homes, seeking cooler temperatures and water.

 

 

“I have seen it the busiest I’ve ever seen it,” Burns said.

 

Burns says they’ve seen problems with spiders, scorpions and hornets, but the most troublesome of all have been the ants.

 

“The ants are extremely bad this year due to the weather. The dryness, they’re going to the sinks,” Burns said.

 

Burns says a lot of outside watering will attract insects to your front door, and that the drought has caused creatures like hornets to resort to things like flower pots to quench

Fire Ant.

their thirst.

 

And he isn’t only seeing the infestation on the job, but at his home too.

 

“My wife watered and I had to treat the fire ants in the backyard.”

 

Burns warns other people to take precautions to avoid these little intruders. He recommends sealing up holes or any openings where bugs can crawl through. And he has a piece of advice to avoid a certain type of sting…

 

“Now the scorpions have been bad, and what I can tell people–don’t throw those pillows in the floor. Because the scorpions, if you have scorpions, can possibly get in the pillow and go back up on the bed. I have seen this situation,” Burns warns.

 

READ MORE.

BARBARA’S CORNER
October 2011

  

                         2011 Holiday Schedule

Barbara Holder, Customer Service Manager

The holidays are fast approaching, so I thought I would let you know our schedule.

 

Please call ahead for any special projects you will have during this time.

 

 

The holiday schedule for QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC will be as follows:

             Thanksgiving:        Closed November 24th & 25th

               Christmas:            Closed December 26, 2011

                                          New Year’s:          Closed January 2, 2012

 

Please email me at HERE or call me at (800) 822-1650.

QuanTEM Chronicle Newsletter

Produced & Edited by
Scott Leavell, Business Development Director

Suggestions or comments?  Email me here.
Disclaimer

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.

 

QuanTEM Labortories, LLC
(405) 755-2058 facimile
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