Asbestos Exposure and Coronavirus

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause great concern, especially among the elderly and immunocompromised to catching the virus, many residents who have experienced exposure to asbestos may feel even more at risk.

The advent of COVID-19 only made a vulnerable population even more susceptible and combining asbestos exposure with it only makes things worse.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is noted for being fire-resistant. For many decades, asbestos was used in many buildings, factories, plants, and even housing units for its fire-resistant properties. It’s even been used in products containing talc, such as baby and body powders. 

While the first indications of the dangers associated with asbestos arose in the 1920s, it was not until the 1970s that the mineral was banned across the US. Today, there are still many buildings that were built in the 1970s or earlier that contain asbestos.  

Asbestos and Coronavirus

People who have been exposed to asbestos, even if they have not developed mesothelioma or other lung-related issues, are vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. This is because asbestos in the lungs damages the tissues, making viruses that cause respiratory problems more of a threat. For anyone who may have been exposed to asbestos, it raises the risk of complications caused by COVID-19.  

That makes it even more imperative to hire a professional company to inspect and remove any asbestos in your home or business. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect that your home or business contains asbestos, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. Armed with the knowledge, experience, and tools to identify and remove asbestos, Brickley Environmental offers its professional services to businesses and homeowners. 

Call today and the staff at Brickley Environmental will listen to your needs, explain our services, and conduct a proper inspection of your facility, building, or home at your request. Given the dangers of asbestos, it is best to act as soon as possible to protect those who live or work inside. 

For more information on asbestos, click here to visit the EPA website.

What You Need to Know About Omicron BA-5

Although it is fair to say that the COVID-19 pandemic is not anywhere close to what it was in 2020, that doesn’t mean the threat is over. In fact, the latest variant is causing an uprise in infections around the world.  

The latest is a variant of Omicron. Its spread started off quietly, but now it has gained more prominence as it has reached around the world. The World Health Organization has classified it as a “variant of concern”. And while so far it seemingly does not present the same level of danger compared to the original COVID-19 virus of 2020, it is starting to alarm health officials around the world. 

What is the Omicron BA-5 Subvariant? 

BA-5 along with BA-4 are subvariants of Omicron that first emerged from South Africa over a year ago. While BA-4 has made some progress, BA-5 has become far more prolific. And while the infection rate in South Africa has declined, this variant has been on the rise in Europe, most notably in Portugal. 

Of the different subvariants of Omicron, BA-5 seems to be the most transmissible. However, like Omicron itself the severity of the infections are considerably milder compared to the Delta variant and the original COVID outbreak of 2020. 

Hospitalizations & Death Caused by Omicron BA-5

The good news about the BA-5 variant is that while the number of people infected is growing daily, the number of those being hospitalized and dying from the virus is considerably smaller compared to previous variants.

This is the natural course of most viruses which start off in their most deadly forms. And once vaccines and immunization shots are delivered, change into less deadly, but more transmissible forms. This does not mean that people should lower their guard. BA-5 may still cause unforeseen complications in those who are unprotected.

Are Boosters Effective? 

Boosters for the COVID-19 virus are effective because they lower the severity of the symptoms that are experienced. However, they do not prevent a person from becoming infected. It should be noted that no vaccine prevents infection. What it does do is allow the body’s own immune system to react quickly to stop the infection right away thus minimizing the symptoms. 

We do not understand the long-term consequences for those infected by Omicron BA-5. But what is known is that for the most part, the symptoms appear to be mild for most, and in rare cases, there is a more serious reaction. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

Protecting those from the latest omicron variant and identifying and removing hazardous materials means hiring the right professionals. At Brickley Environmental, we have the knowledge, experience, skills, equipment, and products to ensure that dangers present in your place of work can be properly addressed.  

Call today and talk to our experts in the field. We will explain our services and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about using our services. Let Brickley Environmental help you protect those on your property today.  

For more information on Omicron BA-5, click here to visit the CDC website.

How to Clean Your Home After a Flood 

Flooding in your home or business can really disrupt your life. Once you have been cleared to go back into the building or residence by the authorities, it becomes a race against time to properly clean the property. It’s not just the water and dirt that causes damage, it is the bacteria, viruses, and potential for mold that can really do damage. 

The first step should be to file a claim with your flood insurance. Be sure to follow the proper steps when filing your claim. But that is only the first step in the recovery process. 

Inspection of Flooding

A flood can often bring with it more damage than you might initially see. This means downed power lines, breaks in gas mains, and other damage that will need to be addressed. Walk both inside and around the outside of your home to fully assess all damage to your home. You’ll want to shut off the gas, power, or water if you detect any leaks in that regard. 

Protection from Flooding

You do not want to conduct your inspection or start the cleaning process until you have properly protected yourself. This not only means wearing gloves, but also eye protection, masks, and even putting on a respirator to filter out the viruses, bacteria, and mold spores that may be present. It is also possible that the flood has brought in unwanted chemicals that may also be dangerous. So, be sure to protect your lungs with the proper equipment. 

Dry, Clean, & Remove

You’ll need to dry out your property as soon as possible. This will not only limit the damage, but also the spread of viruses, bacteria, and mold. Use wet vacs to suck up all the water and fans to dry out the interior. 

As the interior is being dried, clean out all the debris. This means everything that has come into the home or building. Plus, remove all furniture, carpet, and other items that have gotten wet from flood water. These items will need to be cleaned separately. 

Replace Items Damaged from Flooding

Remove any drywall and wooden structural material that has been damaged by the flood. You will need to have this replaced to fully restore the property to its original condition. 

Cleaning up after a flood can be a considerable task. That is why most people call a reputable, professional company that specializes in cleaning up after a flood. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you need to clean your home after a flood, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. They have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to fully clean your home. Floods can bring with them more than just dirt and debris. Brickley Environmental can also clean away the viruses and bacteria associated with flood water. 

If your home or business has recently experienced a flood, call Brickley Environmental and talk to one of our friendly, courteous staff. We will listen to your needs and arrive quickly to address the situation. Let us help you get your life back to normal. Call today and find out more about our flood cleaning services. 

For more information on how to clean your home after a flood, click here to visit the CDC website.

Should You Test for Lead Paint Before Buying an Old House?

Many older homes have a charm and beauty that is no longer present in modern construction. Unfortunately, many houses that were constructed before 1978 may also have traces of lead-based paint.

For many decades, lead was put into common house paint to provide strength and durability. The harmful effects that lead has on the mental and physical health of both children and adults were not fully understood until it was finally banned in 1978. 

This means that while homes built after 1978 are most likely free of any lead-based paint, it is possible that homes built before that year still have lead-based paint inside. 

Why Lead-Based Paint is Dangerous?

Although the ingestion of lead is quite harmful to adults, it has a devastating effect on children. Particularly those who are 6 years old or younger as it inhibits their mental and physical development. 

Signs of lead poisoning include milder symptoms such as sluggishness, fatigue, abdominal pain, and constipation. While more serious symptoms include delays in development, learning difficulties, seizures, and unexplained weight loss combined with a loss of appetite. 

While the devastating effects of lead were partially understood many decades ago, it was not until 1960 that New York banned its use for residential properties. It still took another 18 years before it was banned across the US. 

Should You Test for Lead-Based Paint Before Buying an Older Home?

The answer is yes! You should always test for lead-based paint in homes built before 1978. Keep in mind that even if you have signed a contract, the seller is responsible for scheduling and paying for an inspection of the home.

While the use of lead paint has long since ended, it is still possible that testing performed several years ago may not have fully discovered all the lead-based paint that is present. This is because older paints may still be underneath newer layers of paint. Even while lead-based paint is under newer paint, it still presents a potential danger. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are considering buying a home that was built before 1978, you should call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. Our experts have the knowledge, experience, and tools to detect lead in houses even if it is under previous layers. Over the years, Brickley Environmental has worked with businesses and homeowners to detect and remove contaminants from properties. 

Call Brickley Environmental today and find out more about how we can detect and remove it from your residence, business, or structure. Our friendly, professional staff will explain our services, answer your questions, and provide a thorough inspection of your home to ensure that if any lead is present, it will be detected and removed safely and efficiently. 

For more information on testing lead-based paint, click here to visit the EPA website.

 

Sustainable Management of C&D Materials

Construction and demolition materials, often known as C&D materials, consist of the basic products used to create residences, buildings, and structures. These materials are used during the construction process, which subsequently means they will have to be broken apart during the demolition phase. 

The result is that such materials will need to be properly disposed of. Quite often during the construction process, materials will be leftover and not used. Such materials include but are not limited to:

  • Asphalt, concrete and bricks or masonry
  • Wood, gypsum, and glass
  • Metal, plastics, and other components

Other components often consist of items salvaged from other projects, such as doors, plumbing, and the like. There are also natural materials that are removed from the property for the purposes of construction, such as soil, trees, stumps, and rocks. 

Amount of C&D Material Debris

In the US alone, the amount of C&D material either created by demolition or leftover from construction is estimated to be 600 million tons each year. This is more than twice the amount of municipal solid waste that is generated. 

It is true that demolition is responsible for around 90% of the C&D material produced. Roughly 455 million tons were reused in some manner with the remaining being sent to landfills. 

Benefits of Reducing C&D Material Disposal

While a considerable amount of C&D material is being reused or repurposed, there are still nearly 145 million tons that are not. The advantages of reducing the amount of material generated are considerable. These include:

  • Fewer disposal facilities
  • Reduce building & demolition expenses
  • Offset environmental impact
  • Reduce use of landfill space 

Creating less overall waste is also beneficial because certain types of waste materials simply cannot be repurposed. By reducing the amount that is generated, more can be repurposed or recycled. This also helps the environment. 

In addition to the cleaner air, land, and waterways, the reduction of C&D materials provides benefits across the board. By focusing on how much C&D materials are used, the construction process can become more efficient and waste less material. For demolition practices, finding ways to properly reuse or repurpose materials leads to greater efficiency, less waste, and more jobs as companies form.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

For those who are interested in the proper disposal of construction and demolition materials, Brickley Environmental has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to do the job. Over the years, Brickley Environmental has helped many home and business owners dispose of unwanted materials, including those used in construction and demolition. 

Call today and find out more about how Brickley Environmental can help you clean up a construction or demolition site. Contact us today and discover what Brickley Environmental can offer you. 

For more information on sustainable management of construction and demolition materials, click here to visit the EPA website.