Huntington Beach, CA, July 11th, 2019
Earlier this month California Governor Gavin Newsom activated the state emergency operation center to its highest level following several powerful earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks. The major earthquakes, measuring 7.1 and 6.4, were the strongest to hit Southern California in two decades.
People from as far away as Los Angeles and Las Vegas felt the shaking from the quakes that came from the Mohave Desert. While there were only minor injuries reported, the temblors did cause damage to a number of properties and there were even fires that were caused by broken gas lines and downed utilities.
Property owners, landlords and tenants are being cautioned to be wary of more aftershocks and the potential for indoor environmental quality (IEQ) issues and hazards that may now be present in damaged homes, businesses and schools. Some of the properties contain materials made out of asbestos. When an earthquake strikes, these materials can become damaged and release asbestos fibers into the air that will eventually settle as dust. It can also be a hazard during demolition, cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Some of the more common asbestos-containing materials include:
- Attic and wall insulation containing vermiculite
- Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and other adhesives
- Roofing and siding shingles
- Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
- Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard or cement sheets
- Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
“Lead-based paints are another concern as workers and building occupants could be at risk of exposure during demolition and repair activities,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Broken water or sewer lines also present a concern as any water damage could contain bacteria, mold and other contaminants. Most building materials and furnishing, left wet for more than a short period of time, will quickly support the growth of mold even from clean water.”
With multiple laboratories across Southern California, LA Testing provides comprehensive analytical services, test kits and sampling supplies to identify asbestos, lead, mold, bacteria and other indoor environmental hazards that may be present in earthquake damaged properties. To learn more about this or other property damage, environmental, health and safety issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access 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.