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Clark Seif Clark

Environmental Newsletter

www.csceng.com 800.807.1118 May 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.
Mitigating Coronavirus Exposure Risks to Keep Essential Businesses Open and to Support the Reopening of Temporarily Closed Buildings
Across the United States, countless non-essential businesses and institutions have been temporarily closed. Others, deemed essential, have faced a myriad of challenges keeping their doors open and ensuring their employees and customers are safe. This has all been the result of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
 
For those businesses and institutions that have remained open, worksite safety, infection control, indoor environmental hygiene and response preparedness have become paramount. These all play key roles in employee, customer and building occupant safety during these unprecedented times.
 
As parts of the country prepare to reopen non-essential businesses and institutions in the near future, there are unique challenges ahead for many building owners and operators. This is due to the fact that m any buildings were vacated on short notice, without enough time for the proper decommissioning of the building systems. A large number have also had minimal ongoing maintenance.
 
Because of this, buildings across the nation now have indoor environmental quality (IEQ) issues that should be addressed before people return. These include the possible presence of Legionella in building water systems that were stagnant for weeks, sewer gas and sewer pests that have infiltrated the structure as water evaporated out of p-traps and floor drains, mold and moisture due to HVAC system failures or systems that were programmed to operate under occupied conditions, and water damage due to plumbing failures or weather-related events that went unnoticed during vacancy to name just a few.
 
" COVID-19's impact on businesses and institutions has created so many challenges that few could have envisioned just a few months ago," said Derrick A. Denis, Vice President of Indoor Environmental Quality for Clark Seif Clark (CSC). "At CSC we have always helped customers and strategic partners prepare for, prevent and respond to disease outbreaks from Legionellosis, to MRSA, to Clostridium difficile. COVID19 is just the newest item on a long list. Our infection control and industrial hygiene experts provide education, personal protective equipment training, emergency response planning, 3rd party verification of cleaning and disinfection protocols, environmental testing and more. These and other services are keeping essential businesses and institutions open and will allow others to get back to business soon."
 
CSC also recently sponsored an educational video about reopening buildings after coronavirus that can be seen here:  

Reopening Buildings after Coronavirus or Other Emergencies
Reopening Buildings after Coronavirus or Other Emergencies

To learn more about this or other building science, infection control, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety services,  please visit  www.csceng.com , email csc@csceng.com or call (800) 807-1118.
Common Sources of Formaldehyde in the Home and Ways to Prevent Exposure Risks
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has listed formaldehyde as known to be a human carcinogen. The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that studies of workers exposed to high levels of formaldehyde, such as industrial workers and embalmers, have found that formaldehyde causes myeloid leukemia and rare cancers, including cancers of the paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity and nasopharynx.
 
Unfortunately, the widespread use of formaldehyde also means that people may be exposed to this chemical in their own homes due to its use in so many products found in the typical home. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), while there are small amounts of formaldehyde in nearly all homes, levels are higher in:
  • Homes with smokers. Tobacco smoke contains formaldehyde. If someone in the home smokes tobacco products, the smoke may be the greatest source of formaldehyde in the home.
  • Homes with new products or new construction. Formaldehyde levels are higher in various new manufactured wood products.
New products listed by ATSDR that often contain high levels of formaldehyde include:
  • Some manufactured wood products such as cabinets, furniture, plywood, particleboard and laminate flooring.
  • Permanent press fabrics (like those used for curtains and drapes or on furniture).
  • Household products such as glues, paints, caulks, pesticides, cosmetics and detergents.
It is important to limit exposure to formaldehyde and other pollutants in the indoor environment . In addition to the long-term risk of cancer, the health effects of overexposure to formaldehyde can include nose, throat and eye irritation as well as labored breathing and wheezing. Sensitive individuals may also experience fatigue, headache or nausea. Formaldehyde can even trigger asthma symptoms in some asthmatics. The professionals at CSC offer consulting services and air testing for formaldehyde off-gassing from products and materials, or from other sources. If an issue is found, their experts provide guidance for eliminating or mitigating these risks.
 
CSC has also recently sponsored an educational video about formaldehyde in the home that can be seen here:

Formaldehyde in Your Home: What You Need to Know
Formaldehyde in Your Home: What You Need to Know

To learn more about this or other building science, environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, 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
Mitigating Coronavirus Exposure Risks to Keep Essential Businesses Open and to Support the Reopening of Temporarily Closed Buildings
Common Sources of Formaldehyde in the Home and Ways to Prevent Exposure Risks
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