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Cashins & Associates Blog


Posted by Zachary Keefe on Tue, Jun, 23, 2020 @ 17:06 PM

Imagine that you suspect that asbestos containing building materials may have been removed inappropriately sometime in the past. Understandably, you may wish to determine whether the settled dust in the building contains elevated levels of asbestos fibers – fibers which could potentially be made airborne if disturbed. Sampling for asbestos in dust in indeed a possibility – there is even an official protocol for the procedure developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and any accredited asbestos laboratory can easily perform the analysis. Unfortunately, the prospect, at least in most situations, is not a possibility.

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Topics: Asbestos

An Introduction to Viruses & Bacteria

Posted by Eileen Watkins on Thu, Jun, 18, 2020 @ 16:06 PM

SARS-Co-V-2, the virus that is responsible for the current Covid-19 pandemic, is one of approximately 1400 infectious agents that can cause human disease. These infectious agents are also called human pathogens. They are responsible for a wide range of illnesses, from the typically innocuous common cold to deadly diseases like Tuberculosis and Ebola. There are 6 types of pathogens: viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, helminths, and prions. This article focuses on viruses and bacteria, the most “popular” pathogens. How are they alike? How do they differ from each other?

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Topics: Coronavirus

Return To Work - Localized General Exhaust Ventilation and COVID-19

Posted by Robert Cashins on Tue, Jun, 09, 2020 @ 13:06 PM

People are concerned about returning to work in an environment that may expose them to the Coronavirus. To minimize their concern, companies are considering a variety of changes that will potentially reduce the spread of the virus. Inhalation of droplets from coughing or sneezing is thought to be the major route of exposure. Social distancing can alleviate the exposure to large droplets (>5 microns) and the inhalation of those large droplets. Cloth masks and surgical masks provide limited if any protection.

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Topics: exhaust ventilation, Coronavirus

Facemasks 101

Posted by Eileen Watkins on Fri, Jun, 05, 2020 @ 13:06 PM

Facemasks are everywhere!  You may wear them because an entity – your state or local government, your employer, or a business that you are patronizing – requires them.  Alternatively, you may wear them because you choose to protect yourself and/or others from exposures to airborne Covid-19 virus particles. 

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Topics: Personal protective equipment

Disinfecting to Prevent the COVID-19 Virus

Posted by Eileen Watkins on Tue, May, 26, 2020 @ 12:05 PM

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted many people to think about ways to reduce their risk – or their company’s risk - of contracting this disease or spreading it to others.  An earlier article on this blog shared that infected individuals expel virus particles when they sneeze, cough, or simply breathe normally.  We become infected when we inhale these airborne virus particles. 

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Topics: Coronavirus


Posted by Robert Cashins on Fri, Apr, 24, 2020 @ 11:04 AM

The airborne transmission of viable small droplets and droplet nuclei well beyond 6’ has not been discussed as much as social distancing and hazards associated with sneezing and coughing. There are frequent reports of Covid 19 cases or clusters of cases where the source was not known. Asymptomatic people breathing/talking are likely one source that must be considered. They unknowingly release fine particles as liquid droplets or dried droplet nuclei. Those particles travel great distances and can cause infection if inhaled.

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Topics: Coronavirus

Coronavirus - Just the Facts!

Posted by Robert Cashins on Thu, Mar, 12, 2020 @ 10:03 AM

The SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 disease has already had a profound impact on how we live our daily lives. What is not clear is how things will progress in the future and what impact it will have on our daily lives. The World Health Organization has designated the outbreak as a pandemic which will likely heighten the general public’s concern.

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Topics: viruses

Choosing the Right PPE for Your Workers

Posted by Eileen Watkins on Wed, Mar, 11, 2020 @ 20:03 PM


Most employers have good intentions when it comes to choosing personal protective equipment (PPE) for their workers. Unfortunately, we often find that they don't give this process enough time or attention - and ultimately fail to comply with OSHA's PPE requirements.

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Topics: PPE

Beryllium in the Workplace:  OSHA Standards, Part 2

Posted by Eileen Watkins on Fri, Feb, 21, 2020 @ 14:02 PM

This article, which is a follow-up to our Part 1 blog, describes additional OSHA requirements for beryllium-exposed workers in the General Industry and Construction sectors.  We'll start with the OSHA requirements that are virtually identical to both sectors:

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Topics: industrial hygiene

Beryllium in the Workplace: OSHA Standards, Part 1

Posted by Eileen Watkins on Tue, Feb, 04, 2020 @ 10:02 AM

This article focuses on OSHA’s Beryllium Standards, in particular the Standards that apply to employers in the General Industry and Construction sectors. They were promulgated because OSHA recognized that its former Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 2 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), was inadequate. In other words, workers exposed to beryllium at the 2 µg/m3 concentration were known to have an increased risk of developing adverse health effects, including allergic skin reactions, Chronic Beryllium Disease and/or lung cancer. This recognition, combined with OSHA’s assertion that employers can reduce beryllium exposures to much lower – and safer – levels using technology that is both available and feasible, prompted these new standards.

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Topics: industrial hygiene, occupational health

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