Air Monitoring & Indoor Air Quality
Make sure the people in your building are breathing in clean, safe air! We offer testing for all kinds of airborne hazards including lead, cadmium, asbestos, and mold.
Sick Building Syndrome
We can perform air quality sampling to test for mold in buildings or areas where occupants have raised concerns about odors, allergic reactions, or general discomfort. In more extreme situations, occupants may believe that the air quality within the building is causing health issues (this is often referred to as “Sick Building Syndrome.”
We offer comprehensive indoor air quality testing to diagnose the issue, and our step-by-step approach is designed to contain costs.
Determine if you have an air quality problem
In order to determine whether asbestos may be a problem in any given building, there are different services that may be helpful:
Training & Certification
As an accredited training provider for EPA, OSHA, and HUD certifications, we offer lead safety (RRP) training and certifications, asbestos training, and OSHA and HAZWOPER compliance courses.
Asbestos Monitoring & Project Management
Asbestos containing materials (ACM) are found in thousands of building products making up homes, commercial buildings and industrial work places. Having ACM within a building does not mean that there is an immediate risk. While asbestos can cause a variety of serious health problems, it is only a problem when the fibers become airborne and are breathed into the lungs.
Provides the basic daily level of fibers in the air. Useful for insuring that employee exposures are below regulated levels and that asbestos has not been improperly disturbed within the building.
This sampling is conducted daily while asbestos abatement operations are being conducted. Additionally, ETC verifies that the contractor is complying with the project specifications and all applicable regulatory requirements. This allows the building owner to provide documentation to occupants and/or employees that the asbestos removal operation is not exposing them to asbestos fibers.
For these projects, ETC provides a comprehensive report detailing all on-site activities and sampling results. Daily sampling includes performing clearance sampling.
Clearance (Post Abatement) Air Sampling – This is sampling conducted after asbestos has been removed. These samples taken in the area of removal ensure that the area/building in safe to reoccupy.
Although usually reserved for other types of exposure (lead, cadmium, etc.), some types of asbestos removal operations (of non-friable asbestos only) allow the contractor to perform initial sampling over two (2) days and demonstrate that the removal employee’s exposure is very low. If the results are acceptably low, the contractor may then discontinue monitoring for the duration of the project.
ETC also provides a variety of other types of asbestos monitoring including TEM sampling, SEM sampling, personnel sampling, etc. for unique and special projects.
With more than 30 years of experience and commitment to human health and safety, we know how to find solutions to complex problems.
We pride ourselves on doing everything we can to meet each customer’s unique needs while limiting liability and minimizing cost.
Lead and Cadmium Air Quality
Given the recent increase in lead/cadmium enforcement actions, it is important that contractors, employers, and trade groups have documentation of their compliance with these OSHA requirements including training, sampling, respirator selection, engineering controls, administrative controls, etc.
The three questions asked by a compliance officer are:
Are those surfaces covered with lead or cadmium paint? (Has your company had the paints and coatings you are working on tested?)
Have you given your employees the required awareness training to be working on lead and/or cadmium?
Are your employees being exposed above the action level of PEL?
(Have you conducted monitoring showing that the airborne levels are below the required OSHA action level or PEL?)
Negative Exposure Assessments
ETC is often contacted and requested to conduct a negative exposure assessment for a variety of different possible exposures. Some exposures that are being looked at closely by OSHA currently include mercury, formaldehyde, welding fumes, silica, total particulates, respirable particulates, and many others.
ETC can initially only provide “exposure monitoring”. Only if the documented levels are low enough can this exposure monitoring be converted into a Negative Exposure Assessment. In order for this to work, the contractor has to develop a “worst case” situation.
In general, some of the requirements to try and develop an NEA include:
The NEA is good for 12 months at which point additional monitoring would be required.
Each NEA requires two days of monitoring a full 8-hour shift.
Work activities must represent the “worst case” as compared to work that will be done after NEA is developed. Each different type of work activity must be monitored (i.e. – sandblasting, scrapping, encapsulating, inc.).
The NEA is only valid for workplace conditions “closely resembling” those demonstrated during the NEA development. It the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that the activities that were used during the NEA development are “representative” of the activities to be used for the rest of the project.
Employees who perform work using this NEA must have both equivalent training and experience as those employees who were tested during the NEA development.
Lastly, even if ETC is able to develop an NEA, there are still some activities that will be required on that project for OSHA compliance. Some of these might be (not a complete list):
Workers must still use HEPA equipped vacuum cleaners for all clean-up work.
Workers must still use wet methods for all work to reduce producing contaminated dust and keep the area properly cleaned.
Workers must comply with the OSHA – HAZCOM standard any contaminants in question.
All workers must practice good hygiene by washing their face and hands at the end of each work period.