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Clark Seif Clark

Environmental Newsletter 800.807.1118 March 2020 
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.
OSHA Publishes New National Emphasis Program Instructions for Respirable Crystalline Silica
Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published instructions for implementing a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to identify and reduce or eliminate worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in general industry, maritime and construction.
The new instructions apply OSHA-wide and because it describes a federal program change, State Plan adoption is required for those states with their own programs. The following list provided by OSHA highlights some of the differences between this replacement NEP and the former NEP that was cancelled in October of 2017:
  • This replacement NEP addresses enforcement of OSHA's standards for RCS, promulgated in 2016. One standard covers general industry and maritime, and the other covers construction. Both standards set a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for RCS of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA). The former TWA PELs for respirable quartz silica were calculated based on silica content and were approximately equivalent to 100 µg/m3 for general industry and 250 µg/m3 for construction and shipyards (81 FR at 16294, March 25, 2016).
  • The NEP contains an updated list of target industries, listed by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes.
  • For inspection procedures, this NEP refers compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) to current enforcement guidance for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standards.
  • Area and Regional Offices shall comply with this NEP, but they are not required to develop and implement corresponding Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) or Regional Emphasis Programs (REPs).
"This is good news for workers as occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and kidney disease," said Zahid Iqbal, MPH, CIH and Technical Director at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). "At CSC we are dedicated to helping companies and institutions comply with OSHA regulations and our industrial hygiene professionals are available to enact and assist with compliance strategies. These services include air testing, monitoring, engineering controls, record keeping, personal protective equipment fit testing and employee hazard communication training."
To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, air quality, health and safety services, 
please visit , email or call (800) 807-1118.
Detecting PCBs in Building Materials to Protect the Public, Workers and the Environment
In the United States, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were manufactured from 1929 until production was banned in 1979. Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point and electrical insulating properties, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications. Unfortunately, PCBs have also been identified as probable human carcinogens and may also cause a variety of non-cancer health effects.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes PCBs as belonging to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons.PCBs have a range of toxicity and vary in consistency from thin, light-colored liquids to yellow or black waxy solids.
The agency goes on to declare that although PCBs are no longer commercially produced in the United States, they may be present in products and materials produced before the ban. It has stated concerns about the potential widespread use of PCB-containing building materials in schools and other buildings constructed or renovated between about 1950 and 1979. Research results posted by the EPA about PCBs in school buildings, include the following:  
  • Caulk put in place between 1950 and 1979 may contain as much as 40% PCBs and can emit PCBs into the surrounding air. PCBs from caulk may also contaminate adjacent materials such as masonry or wood.
  • Fluorescent lighting fixtures that still contain their original PCB-containing light ballasts have exceeded their designed lifespan and the chance for rupture and emitting PCBs is significant.
  • Some building materials (e.g., paint and masonry walls) and indoor dust can absorb PCB emissions and become potential secondary sources for the chemicals. When the primary PCB-emitting sources are removed, the secondary sources often emit PCBs.
" Building materials suspected of containing PCBs should be tested directly for their presence and be properly removed if renovations are planned in a building according to the EPA ," said Jeff Bannon, Vice President of Environmental Services at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). "At CSC, we offer PCB consulting, testing and monitoring services. This is essential for protecting workers, building occupants, the environment and to ensure companies comply with existing regulations for the proper handling and disposal of PCB-containing materials."
CSC also recently sponsored an educational video about PCBs in building materials that can be seen here: 

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Building Materials
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Building Materials

To learn more about PCBs or other building science, occupational, air quality, environmental, health and safety testing services,  please visit , email 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
OSHA Publishes New National Emphasis Program Instructions for Respirable Crystalline Silica
Detecting PCBs in Building Materials to Protect the Public, Workers and the Environment
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