A.) Asbestos – Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals composed of thin, needle-like fibers. Exposure to asbestos causes several cancers and diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis. Although asbestos strengthens and fireproofs materials, it is banned in many countries.
B.) No amount of asbestos exposure is safe, but asbestos generally has the worst effects when a person is exposed to an intense concentration of it, or they are exposed on a regular basis over a long period of time.
C.) Asbestos accumulates in the body with every exposure, and there is no known way to reverse the damage it causes.
D.) Fibers are easily inhaled once they become airborne. It is important to avoid disturbing products that may contain asbestos. Additionally, people who live near naturally occurring asbestos deposits should avoid disturbing soil that may be contaminated.
Sites with Known Asbestos Exposure: https://www.asbestos.com/states/missouri/
Evaluation and Testing completed by a Registered Asbestos Professional. No one other than a Registered Trained Professional is legally allowed to properly evaluate and sample for Asbestos. Improper testing methods can expose occupants the Asbestos.
Mold and dust can cause year-round allergy symptoms, but even if dust and mold don’t bring on the sniffles for you, trees can cause your allergies to flare at this time of year, depending on where you live. … Tree pollen can cause the same symptoms as most spring allergies — watery eyes, sneezing, and nasal congestion.
Different Months can bring on different outside symptoms:
January – House dust, is a winter allergy trigger.
February – Mold and dust can cause year-round allergy symptoms.
March – Tree pollen remains high on the list of allergens. ( National Allergy Bureau)
April – Pollen from the flowers and the pollen from the grass.
May – Tree pollen.
June – Key grass pollen month.
July – The good news is that by July, grass pollen should subside and you might feel like your spring allergies are finally becoming manageable again. The bad news is that July marks the start of fungus spores and seeds, so if you’re allergic to molds and spores, too, you may feel like your allergies never end. Mold can grow on fallen leaves, compost piles, grasses, and grains.
August – August is a prime month for people with summer allergies to mold spores, which peak during hot, humid weather.
September – Late summer/early fall ragweed is the most common cause of fall allergies. Depending on where you live, ragweed-fueled fall allergies can start in August or September and continue through October and possibly November. Pollen grains are lightweight and spread easily, especially on windy days.
October – Chances that fall allergies will ease by October, however fall allergies include mold or fungi spores.
November – November may be one of the best months for people with outdoor allergies, which allows for enjoying the crisp weather. Then, just in time, indoor allergies to pet dander and indoor molds pick up.
December – Now is the time for Indoor Allergens.
Pets, Household Chemicals, Household Plants, Dust Mites, House Dust, Mold Spores, Fabrics, Off Gassing from building products such as; Furniture, drywall, flooring, paints and sealers and these are just a few as everyone will react with one or most likely a combination of causes.
http://www.aaaai.org/ (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology)
https://www.foodallergy.org/ (Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)
ERMI is an objective, standardized DNA based method of testing that will identify and quantify molds. ERMI uses the analysis of settled dust in homes and buildings to determine the concentrations of the DNA of the different species of molds.
Tests we conduct are:
#1: ERMI Evaluates: “Indoor moldiness” Identifies 36 species of mold (EPA Protocol) 7 day
#2: ERMI + Endotoxin: 7 day average turn-around time.
#3: HERTSMl-2 Mold test, also known as the “Big 5” 7 day Turn-around
#4: Mycotoxins: Environmental samples. High sensitivity LC MS biotoxins and metabolites.
2-3 weeks turn-around.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.
Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products. Fuels are made up of organic chemicals. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.
Short-term exposure to VOCs will cause
Eye, nose and throat irritation
Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.
Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include:
nose and throat discomfort
allergic skin reaction
declines in serum cholinesterase levels
Household products, including:
paints, paint strippers and other solvents
cleansers and disinfectants
moth repellents and air fresheners
stored fuels and automotive products
Other products, including:
building materials and furnishings
office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper
graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions.
We may collect an air sample using a thermal desorption tube with an air pump over the course of a few hours. In occupational settings, we may even use passive diffusion badges over an eight hour period for exposure monitoring. Lab analysis is typically using a method called gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS). This approach is able to identify individual VOCs and their concentrations.
We often combine the use of handheld instruments to cover large areas of the space and collect a few laboratory-based samples to identify the specific VOCs present.
Not all chemicals are VOCs, so we may recommend other types of testing to perform together depending on the severity.
Found in older homes and commercial finishes. Lead-based paint dust, which is created during remodeling. A simple blood test can detect lead poisoning. A small blood sample is taken from a finger prick or from a vein. Lead levels in the blood are measured in micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL).
Test any area of your house you plan to renovate. Pick a spot and carefully scrape away individual layers of paint so you can check every layer. Use of a test strip or a chemical treated swab, which will change color with Lead.
Using dust collection and sending the sample to the lab is more costly, but will give a more professional result of the concentration of lead.
There is no safe blood level of lead!
Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and to produce many household products. It is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent-press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials. In addition, formaldehyde is commonly used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant.
When formaldehyde is present in the air at levels exceeding 0.1 ppm, some individuals may experience adverse effects such as watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)* classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure. Recent studies with human sampling have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with certain types of cancer, myeloid leukemia, hematopoietic and lymphatic cancers and brain tumors, (Hematopoietic or hematologic cancers such as leukemia develop in the blood or bone marrow. Lymphatic cancers develop in the tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infections and other diseases.
Additional Resources can be located here;
The easiest and safest way to test for formaldehyde is to use a Bio Badge. It can be worn at work, office or home, or placed in a specific area or location. There are other methods that can be used for Air sampling but the Bio badge is easy to use and most cost effective.
Soil tests are completed when Real Estate changes hands, major renovations have been completed or New Construction. Testing is generally requested but not always for one of the items listed above due to the possibility that chemicals, waste materials from building products (VOC’s, Formaldehyde Products) as examples. Centuries of the use and accumulation of manmade toxins (from pesticides, paints, batteries, sludge, and more) have led to higher-than-normal concentrations of heavy metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic in most soils.
The excess accumulation of heavy metals in most soil is dangerous to humans and other animals, largely because it is so chronic; these metals don’t leave the bloodstream of the plant or animal that ingests them, and they will remain prevalent in whichever food chain they pollute. Distribution in the environment; raising concerns over their potential effects on human health, their toxicity depends on several factors including the dose, route of exposure, and chemical species, as well as the age, gender, genetics, and nutritional status of exposed individuals. Because of their high degree of toxicity, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury rank among the priority metals that are of public health significance. These metallic elements are considered systemic toxicants that are known to induce multiple organ damage, even at lower levels of exposure.
Steven Wessler Sr.