Huntington Beach, CA, April 24th, 2018
Earlier this year, the City of San Diego announced that it was moving all of its employees from a leased downtown building due to concerns about the presence of asbestos-containing construction debris. The high-rise building has been undergoing renovation work and a positive test for asbestos from one location caused city officials to move approximately 550 employees to other buildings.
The discovery of asbestos during renovation projects is common since it was used in countless buildings and homes constructed up until the late 1970s. It can still be found in building materials ranging from insulation, roofing and siding to vinyl floor tiles, cement sheets and adhesives to name just a few of the thousands of asbestos-containing materials that were produced in the past.
“The renovation project in San Diego is a reminder that dust and debris from renovation, remodeling and demolition projects can be hazardous and is often subject to health and safety regulations,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “These exposure concerns can also be found in many people’s homes, so even DIY projects can potentially create serious health risks.”
Whether in a high-rise or in a residential building, it is important to minimize exposure to old construction materials by controlling the amount of dust created, isolating the project area from the rest of the structure, and wearing proper personnel protective equipment (PPE) when appropriate. In addition to asbestos concerns, other common contaminants often include:
- Mold - Mold is a concern in any property that has suffered water damage or elevated humidity levels.
- Lead – Many buildings and homes constructed before the late 1970s contain lead-based paints.
- Mercury – The toxic heavy metal can be found in some old thermostats and small amounts in fluorescent light bulbs.
Before, during and after a remodeling project takes place, it is a good idea, if not already required by law, to test for lead and asbestos to protect workers, building occupants and future building occupants. LA Testing has multiple laboratories across California that offer testing services and all of the sampling supplies needed to identify asbestos, lead, mold, mercury, PCBs, formaldehyde and other VOCs, and other substances frequently encountered during renovation projects. LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about indoor environmental hazards commonly faced during renovation and remodeling projects that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/FERW7-hiSEM.
To learn more about indoor environmental quality (IEQ), occupational, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.