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.Read More
Cashins & Associates Blog
If you think your workplaces is making you dumber, you may be onto something.In a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, researcher Joseph G. Allen et al assessed the effect of certain aspects of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) on higher order cognitive function. What they found may make you view your workplace environment in a new light. Read More
Topics: indoor air quality
Over the past decade or so, mold has received a lot of coverage in the media. It seems that you couldn't go a week without hearing of another "toxic black mold" case, or someone's home being demolished because of a fungal infestation. Unfortunately, more information does not always lead to better understanding. Below are ten facts about mold that you might not be aware of:Read More
Many people are unaware of it, but nanoparticles (particles that range from 1 to 100 nanometers) are already all around us, and plans are being made to have them be even more ubiquitous.Read More
Topics: health & safety
Oftentimes when walking down the street, riding my bike, or simply taking out the trash, I find myself walking past the front of homes and being bombarded by strong, almost perfume-like odors. Depending on neighbor activity, temperature, and wind patterns, these odors may come right into my home, and linger for quite some time. Sometimes I will give one of my children's friends a ride home only to discover that the compounds in his clothing are releasing into my car's interior at an alarming rate - so much so that I have to roll down windows in order to breathe clearly. Can a dryer sheet cause an indoor air quality issue?
These odors, peddled with names like "springtime fresh" and "wild orchid", are given off by dryer sheets - that laundry additive found in so many American homes. These scented laundry products may contain up to several hundred chemicals just in the fragrance alone.1 And because of the fact that I seem to be exposed to these odors just about every day, I began wondering exactly what compounds I was inhaling into my body, and what some of the potential toxic effects could be for me and my family.
We are frequently asked questions such as "Is this mold toxic, or just common mold?"
Or, we get calls from worried building owners or occupants saying that they have discovered "toxic black mold."Read More
We hear the term "Relative Humidity" quite often. It is generally viewed as a simple concept - how much moisture is in the air. It turns out that it's a bit more complicated than this (but not by that much).
You may have come across it in between the floor joists of your attic, or in between the studs of your walls - a lightweight, granular material that looks a bit like gravel, but seems almost as light as air.
For much of the 20th century, asbestos was viewed as the "miracle mineral" due to its various desirable properties. It was fire-resistant, non-corrosive, chemical-resistant, and made a great insulator. Further, it could be added to just about anything. Industrialization of the mining process allowed for asbestos fibers to be ground so small that the mineral could be sprinkled into anything from joint compound to cigarette filters.
Topics: industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, occupational health, OSHA, air testing, indoor air quality Issues, IEQ, Indoor Environmental Quality, IAQ, Air Quality, Certified Industrial Hygienist, diesel emissions