California Heat Waves

A heat wave of epic proportions has gripped California, setting new records in terms of temperatures that have only stoked the fears of global warming. 

Palm Springs set a record high of 124 degrees on July 5th. While on the following day, areas in the San Joaquin Valley along with Death Valley reached 128 degrees. Heat so extreme it is blamed for the death of a motorcyclist with another being sent to the hospital.

Growing Heat Waves

According to the state insurance department, this type of extreme heat for a prolonged period has led to more deaths than what wildfires typically create, and the costs may reach billions of dollars over this decade.

An evaluation of the economic impact of heat waves from 2013 to 2022 in California indicates that several hundred people have lost their lives due to excessive heat or heat-related issues. In addition, more than $7.7 billion has been lost in terms of wages, disruptions in agriculture and manufacturing, electrical outages, damage to infrastructure, and more.

Compare that to nearly a century of wildfires which have killed half as many compared to the past decade of heat-related deaths. And likely, the number of deaths related to heat may have been underestimated. The death toll due to heat may have reached into the thousands.

Information on Heat Waves Being Gathered

The gathering of data over the past decade has led to new policies to help communities in different parts of California deal with the damage incurred by new temperature records. The information demonstrates to areas which are quite vulnerable what steps can be taken to help prevent deaths and injuries from occurring along with limiting damage to property.

It’s not surprising that areas of the state which have traditionally been most affected by high temperatures are better prepared, such as in the desert and Death Valley areas. While places in northern California where high temperatures are not as common are less prepared. But across the state, new policies are taking hold to help residents and business owners deal with the heat.

One disturbing fact about heat waves is that there is little to no insurance to cover the effects and damage caused by extreme heat. Unlike fires, floods, and other natural disasters, insurance companies have little to nothing in terms of protecting residents and business owners from damage caused by the heat.

In fact, there is considerable pressure on insurance companies to back out of protecting property damaged by wildfires. Home and commercial property in zones that are vulnerable to wildfires are not having their wildfire insurance renewed because of the high costs. With efforts to make insurance more affordable, insurance companies have stopped issuing policies in high risk areas.

Although the heat wave will abate for now, it is certain that residents of California will see new temperature records in the future. As global warming takes hold, residents are urged to take precautions and prepare themselves for heat waves that are expected to grow in intensity and duration for the foreseeable future.

Contact Brickley Environmental Today

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental includes the following.

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal
  • Demolition
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

A Brief Guide to Mold

Of the many dangers to your home, mold should be at or near the top of the list. From causing health risks to those who live inside to damaging the home itself, mold identification and prevention should be a top priority.

What is Mold?

Mold is a living organism or fungi that exists in almost every part of the world. It has a dust-like appearance and is normally green in color but can be of different colors. The appearance and color of mold is due to its spores, which disperse along the winds.

Outdoors, mold is relatively harmless aside from causing allergies. Because of the wind and changing weather conditions, mold rarely gets a chance to stick to surfaces and grow. But when mold reaches indoor areas that are moist and humid, then the spores can adhere to surfaces such as wood and grow rapidly.

Health Issues Associated with Mold

The health risks associated with mold are primarily three causes: irritation, allergic reactions, and infections. 

Allergic reactions are the most common. Sneezing, red eyes, runny nose, and skin rashes may be associated with exposure to mold. 

Congestion, sore throat, and headaches are caused by mold irritating the lining of the sinus cavity. While in rare cases, mold may cause infections to those with lung conditions or compromised immune systems.

How to Prevent Mold?

The prevention of mold in your home starts with sealing up all openings. Small cracks in the roof, around windows and doors, or the walls themselves may allow mold into areas that are warm and humid.

However, the key is the humidity itself. By keeping your home at a relative humidity of 30% to 50%, you can stop the mold from growing before it gets started. This must include areas of the home near the water heater, hot pipes, and the like. 

Improving air flow can also prevent mold from growing as it lowers humidity levels. Having proper ventilation throughout the home can dry out wet or moist areas which reduces the potential for mold growth.

Be sure to repair all leaks, clean gutters, and eliminate areas of clutter where mold spores can find a foothold.

How to Rid Your Home of Mold?

If you discover mold in your home, getting rid of it starts with the nature of the invasion itself. For mold that is contained, such as what you might find in the kitchen or bathroom, you can use natural products to kill and remove the mold. Just remember to wear rubber gloves and a mask.

  • Vinegar: Undiluted in a spray bottle
  • Bleach: One cup of bleach in one gallon of water
  • Ammonia: 50/50 solution with water

If you discover an extensive invasion of mold, then you will need to call a professional company that has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to rid your home of mold. The longer you wait, the more extensive damage the mold may cause.

The health risks of mold are considerable, but the damage mold can do to your home presents the greater danger. Proper prevention can help save you from the considerable cost of mold removal. By taking the proper steps, you can greatly reduce the chances of mold from forming in your home.

Contact Brickley Environmental Today

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental includes the following.

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal
  • Demolition
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

How You Can Prepare for Wildfires in California

California has seen a sharp rise in the number and intensity of wildfires in recent years. And while the state and federal governments have instituted new mitigation measures, there are still things that you can do to help limit the possible ignition, damage, and threat that wildfires pose to you, your family, and property.

Create Space

The first step is to create space around your home that is free of flammable materials. This means flammable vegetation, especially tall grass and other materials. Remember that tall trees next to your home are not necessarily bad, but the leaves, bark, and other materials that fall to the ground may easily ignite a fire.

The more space you create, the lower the chances that your home will be damaged by a wildfire.

Fire-Resistant Materials

If you live in an area prone to wildfires, harden your home to limit the damage that the fire, smoke, and heat may cause. 

Roofs, porches, decks, and siding need to be made from fire-resistant materials. You can also place metal mesh on vents and windows to prevent the embers from wildfire from entering your home.

Fire Resistant Plants

Cutting the grass to keep it short and watering it regularly will help. Even if the grass catches on fire, it will only burn for a short time if properly cut. Below are other plants you can place around your home for added protection.

  • Yucca
  • Lavender
  • Columbia Lily
  • Lilac
  • Agave

Fire Prevention

When out in areas that are prone to wildfires, do not take action that may cause a fire to start. Tossing a lit cigarette out the car window is still one of the common and preventable means of starting wildfires. If you must start a campfire in the woods, be sure to ring it with stones and fully put it out before leaving.

Know Where to Go

Even the best preventative measures will not stop a wildfire. If your home is threatened, have a plan of action to get you and your family out. This means having an emergency bag complete with food and clothing to last 48 to 72 hours and having a destination if you must evacuate. 

To properly prepare for wildfires in California, you need to know how to limit their damage, how to prevent them from starting, and know where to go in case they do strike. The better you are prepared, the safer it will be.

Contact Brickley Environmental Today

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental includes the following.

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal
  • Demolition
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

Millions of People Will Be Exposed to Health Threatening Heat by 2050

 

 

Over the next quarter century, one of the biggest threats to the health of humans on Earth is predicted to be extreme heat. The ever-growing problem of climate change is only predicted to get worse if the amount of carbon emissions rises over the next 25 years.

Despite alternative power sources increasing, the reliance on fossil fuels, particularly in growing countries around the world sees no abatement soon. The result is that more people will be put in danger because they lack the ability to get out of the extreme heat conditions.

A recent study from the ICC Climate center predicts that at least 25 million people in disadvantaged communities across the US will be exposed to the dangers of extreme heat. This assumes that carbon emissions remain moderate over that time.

However, if the amount of carbon emissions increases considerably, the number could go as high as 53 million people in danger. Currently, there are 8 million people who are exposed, many of whom live in California. Communities that are currently struggling with pollution combined with a lack of proper investment means that their numbers could grow considerably.

Dangers of Rising Heat

While communities that are in hot areas today are at risk, the real danger is that the heat will creep into areas that are considerably cooler. The lack of preparation means that they could suffer to a greater degree if the heat rises.

Because in cooler areas, they lack the proper air conditioning and mental conditioning that people in hotter areas currently experience. In other words, people who are less prepared for rises in temperatures may be in greater danger compared to those who live in even hotter areas today. But there are other risk factors as well.

  • Average Age of Population
  • Pre-existing Health Conditions
  • Lack of Tree Canopies
  • Insufficient Infrastructure

People who are older and suffer from medical conditions are more vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat. This means more medical emergencies and even shorter lifespans in extreme cases

The lack of tree canopies means fewer places to find relief from the heat when outdoors. While many communities do have trees, industrial areas and many disadvantaged communities have fewer trees on average. 

Proper infrastructure is more than just having air conditioners either in the home, at work, or at designated relief centers. It has the electrical capacity and a robust grid that makes it all work. Many communities, especially those in cooler areas today simply do not have the capacity to handle the increased electrical load.

For Californians, this means while those in the southern part of the state may suffer from greater temperatures, the real danger is for those in the northern part where they are not used to the heat and lack proper resources and infrastructure.

The effects of extreme heat are only predicted to grow over time. The sooner that changes can be made, the better prepared people will be when the time comes.

Contact Brickley Environmental Today

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental includes the following.

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal
  • Demolition
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

Asbestos – What It Is, Health Risks, and More

Although mostly banned in the US and many countries, the chance of asbestos exposure is still quite strong. Asbestos was once a commonly used mineral in several different industries, but today it is known for its health threat in the form of mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Understanding the threat starts with knowing what asbestos is, where you are likely to be exposed, the health risks associated with it, and how it can be safely removed.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural mineral that is made of small fibers which are so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye. These fibers are quite strong, resistant to heat, and even fireproof. Because of the abundance of asbestos and its fireproof qualities, it was commonly used in many industries for decades. Perhaps its most common function was in commercial structures where its heat and fire resistance made it well-suited as insulation material.

However, by the late 1970s studies showed that the microscopic fibers in asbestos caused lung cancer along with mesothelioma, a condition that is only caused by the inhalation of asbestos over time. Because of the studies, regulations on the use of asbestos became stricter and asbestos used in structures started to be removed.

While not fully banned in the US, its use is quite limited. However, in many other countries asbestos is still commonly mined and used in a wide variety of industries.

How to Become Exposed to Asbestos?

In its natural form, asbestos is mostly harmless as the fibers are trapped within the material. However, when processed the fibers become loose which makes them dangerous. The most common means of exposure is in the presence of products that use asbestos such as the following.

  • Insulation, Roofing, & Other Construction Materials
  • Cement, Paint, & Drywall
  • Tiles, Sealant, & Plumbing Materials

In most cases, it is when the insulation is falling apart that the fibers are released into the air. That is when they can become inhaled and pose a risk. It is also possible to ingest asbestos, but such cases are quite rare.

What are the Health Risks?

In most instances of mesothelioma, the cause is the inhalation of asbestos fibers over a long period of time. The fibers get stuck in the lungs and cause inflammation and scarring which leads to an aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

There are few noticeable early symptoms of mesothelioma. And what symptoms do exist such as shortness of breath or coughing are often associated with lesser conditions, at least at first. By the time the more serious symptoms are noticed, the cancer becomes difficult to stop.

How to Remove Asbestos?

Only licensed professionals should attempt to remove asbestos, which can still be found in some structures which date back to the 1970s and before. If the asbestos is still wrapped and in good condition, it does not pose an immediate health risk, but it still must be removed. Once identified, it is best to contact a licensed asbestos removal company. 

Asbestos still represents a threat to those living and working in structures that contain the mineral. If you are not sure if asbestos is in your building, contact Brickley Environmental today.

Contact Brickley Environmental Today

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental includes the following.

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal
  • Demolition
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.