1. What is asbestos?
It is the general name given to a number of naturally occurring hydrated mineral silicates, each of which possess a specific crystalline structure, is incombustible in air, and is separable into fibers. Asbestos includes the asbestiform varieties of Chrysotile (serpentine), Crocidolite (riebeckite), Amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), Anthophyllite, and Actinolite.
Asbestos-Containing Material (ACM) ‑ may be defined, as by the EPA, as any friable material or product containing greater than one percent asbestos or, by convention, as any material or product which contains >1% asbestos.
2. Where is asbestos commonly found?
Asbestos can be found virtually in every building material, water, soil……..It has been extensively used in the manufacture of building materials due to its fire retardant properties. They are also used in ships and brake linings.
3. What are the health effects of asbestos exposure?
Long term exposure to asbestos can pose health risks such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the parenchyma tissue of the lungs. It is the scarring of lung tissue resulting from the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Symptom is the slow onset of shortness of breath on exertion and over time, leads to respiratory failure. Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that is can be caused when asbestos (even just a fibril) lodges in the lining of the lungs.
4. What tests are used to determine asbestos presence?
- Polarized Light Microscopy
- Phase Contrast Microscopy
- Transmission Electron Microscopy
- Scanning Electron Microscopy
1. What is lead?
Lead is an element with a scientific symbol of Pb (publum). It has an atomic weight of 82, considered the highest of all stable heavy metals. It is usually found in ore with zinc, silver and copper. Like other heavy metals such as mercury, it is a neurotoxin and accumulates in the tissues and bones over a period of time. It is a poor conductor, highly resistant to corrosion and extremely toxic.
2. What are the uses of lead?
Because of its highly malleable property, it was extensively used in building materials. It is also used in bullets, lead-acid batteries, pewter and fusible alloys.
3. What are the health effects of lead exposure?
In children: learning disabilities, impaired motor skills, slow growth, hyperactivity and anemia
In adults: cancer, damage to internal organs (such as: brain, liver, kidneys), reproductive and nervous system, hypertension, causes premature birth, low birth weight,
4. How much sample does lead analysis require?
|Paint: ||a half palm full of paint is adequate |
|Soil:||approximately 5-10 tablespoons |
|Tiles:||a full 4x4 tile or half of a larger tile |
|Plaster: ||a small block |
5. How much sample does lead waste profiling analysis require?
This test stream requires up to a ½ pound of material or more to be properly characterized and still have material left over for further QC analysis. We cannot accept extremely large samples or samples with excessive amounts of material due to storage issues.
6. Where are my STLC or TCLP Results?
Waste profiling can be a long and tedious process. STLC and TCLP require a minimum of 48 hours and 18 hours, respectively, just to rotate in preparatory solution. There are also required procedures for preparation prior to tumbling and analysis. Therefore, (depending on sample quantity, availability and sample composition) we ask for a minimum of 52 hours for STLC and 22 hours for TCLP
7. What do my results mean?
Depending on the results generated, you may be concerned with necessary abatement services. The following are some common symbols and acronyms, that you may encounter on a laboratory report.
RL- Reporting Limit. Defines the limit that the laboratory will suggest as the lowest reportable concentration of analyte that is positive but may resemble typical MDL ranges.
MDL/LoD: Method Detection Limit/Limit of Detection. The lowest reportable limit identifying a result that is positive (greater than zero). This is defined by both in-house studies and published methods. Due to many factors involved in producing results, many laboratories choose a practical limit of detection, or a reporting limit, to define what is considered positive or negative under in-house test conditions.
mg/Kg: Milligrams per Kilogram. The amount of analyte (ex: lead in a sample) that is found per kilogram of the sample of concern (ex: tile, paint, wood, etc.). A sample theoretically composed of 100% lead would have a result of 1 million milligrams per kilogram, or 1 million parts per million (ppm).
ppm: Parts per Million. Mathematically equivalent term for mg/kg, or ug/g. There are 1 million parts (mg) per kilogram to make a 100% pure sample.
ppb: Parts per Billion. Mathematically equivalent term for ug/Kg. More sensitive techniques and instruments are required for detection this low. There are 1 billion parts (ug) per kilogram to make a 100% pure sample.
mg/L: Milligrams per Liter. A measurement of the weight of the analyte of concern per volume of liquid/air containing the analyte.
ug/m3: Micrograms per cubic meter. A measurement of the weight of analyte of concern per cubic meter of airspace containing the analyte.
ug/ft2: Micrograms per square feet. A measurement of the weight of analyte of concern per square foot of surface area.
% Lead vs. PPM (or mg/kg). To calculate % lead from your PPM result : Divide result by 1 million. Multiply that by 100 to obtain result by percentage.
1. What is fungi?
Kingdom of eukaryotic organisms that are, in general, consumers of decaying carbon sources.
2. What is mold?
A subgrouping of organisms in the Kingdom Fungi. Primarily produces filaments as a basis for establishing growth.
3. What causes mold growth?
Mold growth can be caused by water intrusion due to water leaks from broken pipes, or moisture entering the building from cracks or improperly sealed windows. Mold requires food, air, a surface to grown on, suitable temperature and moisture in order to grow.
4. What are the health effects associated with mold exposure?
Depending on the type of mold, exposure to them have been found to potentially cause allergy symptoms, respiratory problems, skin irritations….
5. How is mold tested?
The typical instrument used to test for mold in the laboratory is an Phase Contrast Optical Microscope. There are two type of analysis for mold samples. One is called the Direct Exam and the other is Culturable. In direct exam, air samples are collected and analyzed in the laboratory using an optical microscope with no viability testing or unnecessary manipulation. Spores found in the samples are identified to Genus level and physically counted “directly” after the samples are prepared. The total number of spores is calculated to determine the concentration of mold spores found in the air. The spore identification informs the client as to what type of spores are in the air at the time of sampling. This aids the client in determining whether these are toxic mold or harmless ones. For culturable analysis, mold is allowed to grow in nutrient agar under controlled conditions. This normally takes anywhere from 5-10 days. This type of testing has its limitations. It is a useful tool for viability testing but may not be effective in showing the presence of fungi that are slow or difficult to culture in normal laboratory conditions. Competition is inherent in biological systems, therefore, some fungi that are better adapted at growing under lab conditions may prevent others from growing.