What is Considered Hazardous Material?

What is Considered Hazardous Material?

According to the Institute of Hazardous Waste Management, A hazardous material is any item or agent (biological, chemical, physical) which has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment, either by itself or through interaction with other factors.

Hazardous materials professionals are responsible for and properly qualified to manage such materials. This includes managing and/or advising other managers on such items at any point in their life-cycle, from process planning and development of new products; through manufacture, distribution and use; to disposal, cleanup and remediation.

How to Find a Hazardous Waste Professional?

Hazardous materials are defined and regulated in the United States primarily by laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Each has its own definition of a “hazardous material.”

Brickley Environmental = Hazardous Waste Professional

Brickley Environmental has the certified personnel and necessary equipment to provide fast, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for the packaging, transportation, and disposal of hazardous waste. As a licensed hauler and handler of hazardous waste with more than 30 years of experience in the environmental remediation field, we have safely removed and transported all kinds of contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, asbestos, mercury, heavy metals, and more. These hazardous materials require specific packaging, manifesting, transportation, and disposal methods, and should be handled by licensed, experienced professionals familiar with all current requirements.

Hazardous waste is defined as waste that is, or may become, detrimental to the health of the public or to the environment. In the environmental remediation industry, hazardous waste is the refuse of hazardous material that has been removed from a building or other site. In other words, it’s the material contaminated with asbestos, lead, mold, or any other contaminant, that was removed in the remediation process and must now be safely disposed of.

At Brickley Environmental, we are fully certified to remove and transport hazardous waste from residential, commercial, and governmental sites. Our operations manager and project managers are certified in Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER), and we follow all applicable laws and regulations governing the packaging, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste.

Contact an expert today by calling 1.800.530.3366 or visit the contact page.

More Information

OSHA’s definition includes any substance or chemical which is a “health hazard” or “physical hazard,” including: chemicals which are carcinogens, toxic agents, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers; agents which act on the hematopoietic system; agents which damage the lungs, skin, eyes, or mucous membranes; chemicals which are combustible, explosive, flammable, oxidizers, pyrophorics, unstable-reactive or water-reactive; and chemicals which in the course of normal handling, use, or storage may produce or release dusts, gases, fumes, vapors, mists or smoke which may have any of the previously mentioned characteristics. (Full definitions can be found at 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.1200.)

EPA incorporates the OSHA definition, and adds any item or chemical which can cause harm to people, plants, or animals when released by spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping or disposing into the environment. (40 CFR 355 contains a list of over 350 hazardous and extremely hazardous substances.)

DOT defines a hazardous material as any item or chemical which, when being transported or moved, is a risk to public safety or the environment, and is regulated as such under the: Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR 100-180); International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code; Dangerous Goods Regulations of the International Air Transport Association; Technical Instructions of the International Civil Aviation Organization; U.S. Air Force Joint Manual, Preparing Hazardous Materials for Military Air Shipments.

The NRC regulates items or chemicals which are “special nuclear source” or by-product materials or radioactive substances. (See 10 CFR 20).

For more information visit: http://www.ihmm.org/

What Are the Hazards of Asbestos?

What is asbestos?

According to the United States Department of Labor, Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals that are resistant to heat and corrosion. Asbestos has been used in products, such as insulation for pipes (steam lines for example), floor tiles, building materials, and in vehicle brakes and clutches. Asbestos includes the mineral fibers chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, actinolite and any of these materials that have been chemically treated or altered.

Heavy exposures tend to occur in the construction industry and in ship repair, particularly during the removal of asbestos materials due to renovation, repairs, or demolition. Workers are also likely to be exposed during the manufacture of asbestos products (such as textiles, friction products, insulation, and other building materials) and during automotive brake and clutch repair work.

What are the hazards of asbestos?

Asbestos is well recognized as a health hazard and its use is now highly regulated by both OSHA and EPA. Asbestos fibers associated with these health risks are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Breathing asbestos fibers can cause a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs called asbestosis and result in loss of lung function that often progresses to disability and death.

Asbestos also causes cancer of the lung and other diseases such as mesothelioma of the pleura which is a fatal malignant tumor of the membrane lining the cavity of the lung or stomach. Epidemiologic evidence has increasingly shown that all asbestos fiber types, including the most commonly used form of asbestos, chrysotile, causes mesothelioma in humans.

How to Remove Asbestos?

In order to properly and safely remove Asbestos it is imperative to contact an expert.

At Brickley Environmental, we have 30 years’ experience providing environmental remediation services in Southern California, and asbestos abatement has been our primary focus.

All of our managers, supervisors and technicians have been trained and certified in asbestos containment and removal at EPA- and state-approved schools. In addition, our company has one of the best safety records in the industry.

Contact an expert today by calling 1.800.530.3366

What can be done to reduce the hazards of asbestos?

Worker exposure to asbestos hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for the construction industry, general industry and shipyard employment sectors. These standards reduce the risk to workers by requiring that employers provide personal exposure monitoring to assess the risk and hazard awareness training for operations where there is any potential exposure to asbestos.

Airborne levels of asbestos are never to exceed legal worker exposure limits. There is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.Asbestos exposures as short in duration as a few days have caused mesothelioma in humans.Every occupational exposure to asbestos can cause injury of disease; every occupational exposure to asbestos contributes to the risk of getting an asbestos related disease.

Where there is exposure, employers are required to further protect workers by establishing regulated areas, controlling certain work practices and instituting engineering controls to reduce the airborne levels. The employer is required to ensure exposure is reduced by using administrative controls and provide for the wearing of personal protective equipment. Medical monitoring of workers is also required when legal limits and exposure times are exceeded.

How can OSHA Help?

OSHA has developed this webpage to provide workers and employers useful, up-to-date information on asbestos. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers’ Rights, Employer Responsibilities and other services OSHA offers, read OSHA’s Workers page.

About Brickley Environmental

Brickley Environmental creates safe-and-sound schools, homes, and buildings by designing and executing safe, cost-effective containment, abatement and removal solutions. We do it right the first time — making your profits predictable while supporting your ethical standards and reputation for excellence — and have served Southern California for over 30 years.

The Effects of Mold Exposure on Your Health

Mold is one of the most invasive and silent killers in the world. It can infiltrate a property in a matter of months, endangering the stability of the building and the lives of the people who live or work on that property, from the very first day. One of the reasons that mold colonies can grow unchecked for months is because they often make their home in the dark and damp places in the building—the basements, inside the walls, and under carpet. While actually seeing the colony is the most definite way to be sure there is a mold problem in a building, there are also a number of other signs to look for.

1. Increased allergies. If you begin to experience increased allergy symptoms, you may actually be reacting to an increased number of mold spores in your environment. According to the CDC, sneezing, congestion, a burning sensation in the eyes, and a chronic runny nose are all symptomatic of mold in the air. In order to determine if these are caused by mold or by some other allergen, make note of how you feel at home, and how you feel when you leave. Do your allergies go away when you leave the house? If so, there is a high likelihood that there is mold growing in your home.

2. Moldy, musty odor. Mold has a very distinct smell, often reminiscent of old houses and damp wood. If you begin to smell something odd around your house, it might because a colony of mold has begun to grow in your walls. If the smell intensifies when you turn on the heater or cooling system, you can be fairly certain you have a problem.

3. Physical colonies. Some people often pass mold colonies off as dirt or even burn marks. The most dangerous kind of mold, commonly called black mold, can often look like a harmless patch of dirt on a basement wall. However, the splotchy, circular colonies should not be ignored.

Mold can take a serious toll on the lives of those living or working in the building. According to allergicliving.com, anyone with a compromised immune system, respiratory problem, or allergies can seriously suffer from the effects of mold growing inside a property. Even if you do not already have one of these problems, mold spores in the air can actually cause them.

Though our lungs are naturally designed to filter out mold spores, when there is a full-blown mold infestation, the concentration of spores may become so high that our bodies can no longer filter them out. When this occurs, the spores will begin to cause infections, respiratory problems, and in some people with weakened immune systems, even death.

If you suspect that you may have mold in your home, do not delay. Mold remediation requires professional experience, so call Brickley Environmental today.

About Brickley Environmental

Brickley Environmental creates safe-and-sound schools, homes, and buildings by designing and executing safe, cost-effective containment, abatement and removal solutions. We do it right the first time — making your profits predictable while supporting your ethical standards and reputation for excellence — and have served Southern California for over 30 years.

The Effects of Long Term Asbestos Exposure

In the past, asbestos was used as a fairly common building material. Not only was it non-flammable, it was also an inexpensive, but extremely effective insulator. It was widely used in commercial and real estate, because of its low cost and safety ratings, that is, until it began to become connected with mesothelioma and other cancers. The National Cancer Institute reports that asbestos exposure is responsible for not only mesothelioma, but also other lung cancers, and many chronic lung diseases.

While asbestos itself is not toxic or inherently dangerous, when a person comes into contact repeatedly with asbestos fibers and breathes them in, this is when asbestos can do serious damage to the body. Because it was so widely used in construction applications, thousands of people were exposed to the fibers, breathed them in, or transported them home in the hair and clothes, where they were breathed in by their family members. As more and more fibers are breathed in, they collect in the lungs, actually causing extreme damage to the lining of the lungs.

A person may breathe in a few fibers one time and not experience any significant health problems because of it. It is under long term exposure that diseases like lung cancer and chronic respiratory problems begin to arise. The asbestos infiltrates the lining of the lung, causing serious inflammation, and developing tumors, which can spread throughout the body. One of the reasons that mesothelioma (the most common disease caused by asbestos exposure, and which is classified by tumors in the lining of different organs) is so deadly, is because of its rapid malignancy.

If asbestos is found in a building, it should be removed as quickly as possible. Even if it is only used as insulation, there is the possibility that fibers may become detached and enter the air system. Once the asbestos has been discovered, the very first step should be to call a professional asbestos removal company that is qualified to take care of this problem.

You may believe that you can simply remove the asbestos yourself, and replace the building material with a safer version. This however, is very dangerous. The fibers that asbestos releases into the air are very small and can easily adhere to clothes and hair, where they can then be breathed in later, even if you are far from the point of origin.

Asbestos should only be removed by a company that is qualified to do so and understands the procedure and the right safety precautions to take. At Brickley Environmental, we know the safest way to remove asbestos from a building and ensure that it is perfectly safe before those who live or work there return. Do not try to undertake this task on your own—let our team of professionals take care of the entire process.

About Brickley Environmental

Brickley Environmental creates safe-and-sound schools, homes, and buildings by designing and executing safe, cost-effective containment, abatement and removal solutions. We do it right the first time — making your profits predictable while supporting your ethical standards and reputation for excellence — and have served Southern California for over 30 years.