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Clark Seif Clark

Environmental Newsletter

www.csceng.com 800.807.1118 March 2019 
  
Every day, Clark Seif Clark professionals are deployed across the nation helping both large and small customers resolve health & safety, industrial hygiene, environmental and indoor air quality issues. 
  
At a moment's notice, Clark Seif Clark can send their experts anywhere they are needed.  No matter if it's in response to a hurricane, wildfire, flood, tornado or other natural disaster, Clark Seif Clark is ready to help and can respond in no time at all.
Building Science Professionals Protect the Public from All Too Common Indoor Pollutants and Exposure Hazards
Most people spend the vast majority of their day indoors. Whether at home, in the office or attending school, many spend upwards of 90% of their time in indoor environments. With so much time inside buildings, the quality of the indoor environment and air people breathe is a key component of their health and safety.
 
All too often, indoor pollutants and contaminants can cause exposure concerns that threaten to degrade the indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Some of the more commonly encountered IEQ exposure issues include the following:
 
Mold - In buildings that have suffered water damage or elevated humidity levels, mold can begin to grow in as short as 48 hours. Mold can cause respiratory issues, allergies, infections, trigger asthma in some people and potentially expose them to mycotoxins.
 
Bacteria - Many types of bacteria can be found on surfaces and even at times in the air people breathe. From E. coli and Legionella, to a growing number of drug-resistant superbugs, such as MRSA and C. diff, many can cause potentially serious issues.
 
Allergens - Everything from pollen and mold spores to latex, rodent, cockroach and dust mite allergens are frequent contributors to indoor air quality (IAQ) and can cause respiratory problems for building occupants.
 
Radon - In many parts of the country, elevated radon levels can be found indoors making it a potential invisible threat. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and is odorless, colorless and tasteless.
 
Carbon Monoxide - This odorless and colorless gas can build up indoors and poison people who breathe it. It is the result of combustion and comes from sources such as fireplaces and stoves, furnaces, generators, water heaters and lanterns powered by fossil fuels.
 
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - Many building materials, furnishing and products used indoors emit volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde. Exposure to elevated levels of a number of different VOCs may have short- and/or long-term adverse effects.
 
Asbestos - This mineral fiber was commonly, and to a lesser extent still is, added to many building materials and products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, sometimes decades after exposure.
 
Lead - Many homes and buildings constructed before 1978 contain lead-based paints. As these materials age and degrade, or during renovation, remodeling and demolition activities, they can become airborne and settle on surfaces as dust. Lead can also be found in the water in some homes and buildings due primarily from it leaching from plumbing materials and fixtures that contain lead.
 
"The presence of measurable concentrations of one or more common indoor pollutants is virtually certain in buildings. The key to protecting health is preventing a change in their condition or quantity from merely detectable to dangerous," said Derrick A. Denis, Vice President of IEQ for Clark Seif Clark (CSC). "For over 30 years, CSC has assessed indoor environmental quality concerns for homeowners, property managers, facility managers, engineers, business owners, healthcare administrators and others to identify and resolve imbalances in their IEQ. Workers, families, students and the general public all deserve acceptable indoor environments, which we define as: compliant with applicable laws, free of hazards at concentrations of concern, and as good or better than outdoors."
 
To provide additional information on this important topic, CSC recently sponsored an educational video about common IEQ exposure risks that can be seen here:

Common Exposure Hazards Lurking Indoors
Common Exposure Hazards Lurking Indoors

To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, occupational, building science, environmental, health and safety services,  please visit  www.csceng.com , email csc@csceng.com or call (800) 807-1118.
Protecting Workers, Communities and the Environment from Hexavalent Chromium and Other Industrial Pollutants
In 2000, the dangers of exposure to hexavalent chromium gained national attention after the release of the Erin Brockovich movie. In the award winning film, the leading actress discovers that hexavalent chromium (Cr+6), a toxic form of the element chromium, has contaminated the groundwater in a small town in California. Leading up to the discovery, the town's residents had experienced a cluster of tumors, cancers and other medical issues.
 
According to the U.S. Health and Human Services' National Toxicology Program (NTP), hexavalent chromium is an established human carcinogen in certain occupational settings as a result of inhalation exposure. The NTP also reports that hexavalent chromium is rare in nature and environmental Cr+6 is usually man-made and associated with industrial sources. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that many industries use hexavalent chromium and the agency considers all Cr+6 compounds to be occupational carcinogens. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that people who live in the vicinity of chromium waste disposal sites or chromium manufacturing and processing plants have a greater probability of elevated exposure than the general population. 
 
"Late last year, a metal-finishing company in Los Angeles was forced to temporarily close its doors due to high emissions of hexavalent chromium downwind of its facility," said Zahid Iqbal, MPH, CIH and Technical Director at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). "This is an example of how even today, industrial sources of Cr+6 can still be an exposure risk to workers, communities and the environment."

To help keep companies stay in regulatory compliance and to protect workers and the public from exposure risks, Clark Seif Clark's experienced industrial hygienists offer sampling and testing services, exhaust ventilation evaluations and conduct personal protective equipment evaluations. CSC can also help write Cr+6 compliance plans, worker training and even assist with written employee notifications.

To learn more about this or other occupational, indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety services, 
please visit www.csceng.com , email csc@csceng.com or call (800) 807-1118.  

About Clark Seif Clark: CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both the public and private sectors address environmental issues.  CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering making them the preferred environmental consultants to healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.

In This Issue
Building Science Professionals Protect the Public from All Too Common Indoor Pollutants and Exposure Hazards
Protecting Workers, Communities and the Environment from Hexavalent Chromium and Other Industrial Pollutants
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