June 2011

QuanTEM Chronicle

An informative Newsletter for Environmental Professionals

Message from John Barnett, President 

John Barnett, President
John Barnett, President.

Hello everyone,

It's the middle of summer and we see parts of our country burning up, between droughts and fires; it's hot.  In other parts, families are being displaced by major flooding and that's before you add in tornados. 

Fortunately we've never lost our house to ether a fire or flood so I can't imagine what it must be like.  I do know that it's up the rest of us to help those in need in any way we can. 


We can't all take the time to physically help but we can support those organizations that do such as the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and many others.  I understand their resources are being taxed to the max. 


We need to help them any way we can.






John Barnett,
President, QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC



EPA: Air Monitoring in Joplin Finds No Health, Asbestos Concerns So Far

Published June 9, 2011 by Mesothelioma News.  Retrieved online June 24, 2011 from HERE

According to a recent release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the organization has been continuously monitoring the air in the Joplin, Mo. tornado impact zone and, so far, results have not indicated any health concerns, such as from asbestos.

When a natural disaster occurs, such as a tornado, asbestos in older buildings may be released into the air and possibly ingested by workers helping with disaster cleanup. When it comes to tornado sites, asbestos is typically not found at levels of health concern, according to the EPA. However, because of the age of many of the buildings in Joplin, asbestos may be present in the debris -more than after the usual tornado. The EPA advises cleanup workers to wear appropriate protection gear, such as respirators, because handling debris may cause asbestos particles to be released into the air, where they may be breathed.

According to the EPA's website, some asbestos-containing products that may be in the debris left by Joplin tornado include: asbestos-cement corrugated sheets, asbestos-cement flat sheets, asbestos pipeline wrap, roofing materials, asbestos-containing floor tiles, asbestos-cement shingles, asbestos-cement pipes and certain types of insulation.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to serious lung diseases, including asbestos cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Interestingly enough, asbestos cancers can take decades to manifest after exposure -but thankfully for the Joplin cleanup crews, these cancers are rare and, since the EPA is aware of this issue, appropriate measures can be taken to protect workers from exposure to the dangerous material.

As the EPA collects additional data, more information will be posted on the Agency's website at http://www.epa.gov/joplin. The site also includes fact sheets, health and safety information, and general information on the EPA's emergency response to the Joplin tornado.  READ MORE.

In This Issue
EPA: Air Monitoring in Joplin Finds No Health, Asbestos Concerns So Far
Bacteria Strain Found to Kill the Mosquito That Spreads Malaria
Asia's Heavy Use of Asbestos Is Expected to Cause Rise in Deaths in Coming Decades
Mississippi Flood Raises Toxic Mold Threat
Response to homeowners' lead dust concerns highlights holes in system

Editors Note

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Bacteria Strain Found to Kill the Mosquito That Spreads Malaria

By: Tim Parsons, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Retreived online June 29, 2011 from HERE.



Wolbachia are bacteria that infect many insects, including mosquitoes, but they do not naturally infect Anopheles mosquitoes, which are the type that spreads malaria to humans. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have now found that artificial infection with different Wolbachia strains can significantly reduce levels of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae.


The investigators also determined that one of the Wolbachia strains rapidly killed the mosquito after it fed on blood. According to the researchers, Wolbachia could potentially be used as part of a strategy to control malaria if stable infections can be established in Anopheles. Their study is published in the May 19 edition of PLoS Pathogens.

"This is the first time anyone has shown that Wolbachia infections can reduce levels of the human malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) in Anopheles mosquitoes," said Jason Rasgon, senior author of the study and an associate professor with the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and the Bloomberg School's W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

For the study, Rasgon and his colleagues infected Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes with two different Wolbachia strains (wMelPop and wAlbB). After infection, Wolbachia disseminated widely in the mosquitoes and infected diverse tissues and organs. Wolbachia also seemed to actively manipulate the mosquito's immune system to facilitate its own replication. Both Wolbachia strains were able to significantly inhibit malaria parasite levels in the mosquito gut.

Although not virulent in sugar-fed mosquitoes, the wMelPop strain killed most mosquitoes within a day after the mosquito was blood-fed. READ MORE.

Asia's Heavy Use of Asbestos Is Expected to Cause Rise in Deaths in Coming Decades

Published: June 20, 2011.  Retreived June 21, 2011 from HERE

Deaths from asbestos-related diseases will surge in Asia over the next 20 years, a recent study has warned.  Asia now accounts for 64 percent of the world's asbestos use, according to the study in Respirology, the journal of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, but for only about 13 percent of the asbestos-related deaths in World Health Organization mortality data.  It takes 30 to 50 years after exposure to develop asbestosis, mesothelioma or a related lung cancer.


Asbestos is a mineral used as fireproofing in construction, and sometimes in cars and ships. In the United States and Europe, most uses have been banned, and workers must wear respirators to keep from inhaling fibers 1,000 times finer than a human hair.


In Asia, asbestos has many uses, from roofing to cement to power plants. Companies in India that make cheap roofing sheets like those pictured above employ 100,000 people, many in badly ventilated factories, according to a recent article in the Indian business press. They import asbestos from Russia and Canada.  India, China and some other large Asian countries do not record asbestos data, so their official death counts are probably artificially low, the study said.

Several countries, including Japan and South Korea, banned the mineral after they saw deaths climb.


Dr. Ken Takahashi, the lead author and director of a W.H.O. occupational health group, warned that Asian governments must brace themselves for an "asbestos tsunami."


Mississippi Flood Raises Toxic Mold Threat
By Robin Enos on May 13, 2011 5:47 AM

Mississippi flood waters take the treat from beating your feet on the Mississippi mud. The toxic mold might give you more than a treat, too.

And when Mississippi tributaries begin to back up, breaching their low levies, the damage will spread. Snakes, molds, water-borne bacteria, and septic tank effluent will spread to form a river of cess as much as 80 miles wide, reports USA Today.

The Army Corps of Engineers, after grim calculations, has begun to relieve pressure on the lower reaches of the Mississippi, by diverting river flow upstream. So the Corps has dynamited a levee near Cairo, Ill., opened a spillway outside of New Orleans and is considering opening another dam near Baton Rouge that hasn't been opened since 1973--all to relieve pressure from the swollen river, reports USA Today.


And above New Orleans, the Corps has announced it has opened hundreds of spillways to divert Mississippi water into Lake Ponchartrain, reports CNN.

The water will come. Eventually the water will recede. Even the snakes will leave.

But the molds will still keep growing. In the drywall, in the walls, in the flooring, in the roof.


The Centers for Disease Control reassures us that all mold is not necessarily toxic, and gives these pointers:

  • Mold is a greater hazard for persons with conditions such as impaired host defenses or mold allergies.
  • To prevent exposure that could result in adverse health effects from disturbed mold, persons should:
  1. avoid areas where mold contamination is obvious;
  2. use environmental controls;
  3. use personal protective equipment; and
  4. keep hands, skin, and clothing clean and free from mold-contaminated dust.

And a final grim thought. Recent flood waters resulting in the growth of toxic molds are not the responsibility of a prior landowner or builder. So you may have nobody to sue for this year's Mississippi floods.



Response to homeowners' lead dust concerns highlights holes in system

Federal Hill mothers directed to multiple agencies before anyone investigated their complaints about renovation project

Published June 28, 2011|By Liz F. Kay and Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun

 Retreived online June 30, 2011 from HERE.


The dust was thick enough that Sally Dworak-Fisher could trace letters in it with her finger.

She feared that particles from rehab work next door were drifting into her Federal Hill home and coating many surfaces - even under the bathroom sink.

But when she and other neighbors of the property contacted federal, state and local authorities about concerns that dust at the Henrietta Street house might contain toxic lead, everyone said some other agency was responsible.

The residents' complaints, made earlier this month, demonstrate a breakdown at every level of government in the enforcement of laws and regulations meant to protect the public from the hazards of lead-based paint.

"It's one of those issues that seems to fall in that gap of enforcement levels in city, state and federal government," said City Councilman William H. Cole IV, who also contacted many agencies on the neighbors' behalf. "Nobody seemed to be able to identify who that right person was."


Barbara Holder, Customer Service Manager



In the past, several of our clients have asked us about our pricing policies concerning the pricing for layers in an asbestos sample. 

QuanTEM normally charges for analyses of each "homogeneous area".  For example, a floor tile with adhesive is considered, by EPA, to be two separate "homogeneous areas".  Therefore, QuanTEM will charge a fee for the analysis of the two layers in the sample.  In our 21 years of asbestos analysis experience, only 20% of asbestos samples have more than one layer.  So, instead of charging you a higher analysis price, we simply charge a per-layer rate, which saves you money in the end. 







100 asbestos samples at $25.00=               $2,500.00

Includes up to 3 layers =                       NO CHARGE

TOTAL                                                       $2,500.00




100 asbestos samples at $15.00=       $1,500.00

20% containing 2 layers=                   $300.00

TOTAL                                                   $1,800.00


QuanTEM just saved you $700.00. 





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

QuanTEM Chronicle Newsletter
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Scott Leavell, Business Development Director 
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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.
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