Huntington Beach, CA, August 29th, 2019
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) announced earlier this year that it had issued serious health and safety citations to a construction company after two of its employees contracted Valley Fever. The workers were exposed to the fungal disease while using hand tools to dig trenches in multiple counties, in areas where the soil is known to contain harmful spores that cause the infection according to the agency.
Valley Fever is a fungal disease that is an endemic in parts of California, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. People become infected by breathing spores from a species of fungi known as Coccidioides, which lives in the soil in parts of the southwestern United States. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Most people who are exposed to the fungus do not develop symptoms, or have very mild flu-like symptoms that go away on their own. Some people may develop a more severe infection, especially those who have a weakened immune system, are of African-American or Filipino descent, or are pregnant in their third trimester.”
“Cal/OSHA reported that their investigation found the construction company had not evaluated the hazard of performing digging work in areas known to contain the Coccidioides fungal spores,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “The company also did not suppress or control harmful dusts and failed to provide employees with respiratory protection. Cal/OSHA issued three citations to the employer with $27,000 in proposed penalties. The agency has cited 12 businesses for work-related Valley Fever issues since 2017.”
LA Testing, the leading provider of microbial testing services in California, offers environmental and industrial hygiene testing services to identify a wide range of fungal, bacterial pathogens and contaminants. They offer all of the sampling supplies needed and carry a number of respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to safeguard workers and help to keep companies in regulatory compliance.
To learn more about environmental and industrial hygiene testing for mold or bacteria, and for access to respirators and other PPE, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
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, San Diego and Ontario.