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.

California Cities Among Nation’s Most Polluted

 

A recent study of air pollution and overall air quality ranked the Los Angeles metropolitan areas along with Long Beach as the worst in the United States. Once again, the west coast and in particular California ranks higher in terms of overall air quality compared to the east coast.

The recent study comes as no surprise since Los Angeles and Long Beach have held the number one spot in 23 out of the past 24 annual rankings. The report, which was released by the American Lung Association, does point out that there has been some improvement over the past year, but that wasn’t enough to lower the ranking.

California’s Air Quality Issues

The Lung Association report cites that 98% of California residents live in have poor grades for ozone air pollution quality along with unhealthy air quality overall. For the pollutants, over 40% of California residents are exposed to such conditions daily.

It is true that both local and state efforts have managed to curb and even reduce the pollutants present in the air, but there is still work to be done. For ozone pollution, California had six out of the top ten communities which include the following.

  • Los Angeles & Long Beach
  • Bakersfield
  • Fresno-Madera-Hanford
  • Sacramento- Roseville
  • San Diego-Chula Vista, Carlsbad
  • Visalia

In addition, the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area ranked 11th, just outside the top 10. Overall, of the top 25 regions only Chicag, Hartford and Connecticut were the non-Western states listed.

Causes of Air Pollution & Poor Air Quality

There are several factors that contribute to the poor air quality of the Western states and California in particular. The ongoing climate change, mostly sunny skies, and air stagnation have led to such conditions. For the Los Angeles area, the mountains to the east trap much of the air over the urban areas which only help to build the amount of pollutants.

Improvements in Air Quality

Despite the bad news, ozone pollution has been reduced nationwide, which includes California. In the American Lung Association report, almost 20 million fewer people live in areas of unhealthy levels of ozone. This means that smog production is down and that leads to cleaner air conditions. 

However, not all communities are seeing improvement and there are still roughly 120 million people who live in places where the air pollution is too much and overall air quality too low.

For residents of California, the air pollution and overall lower air quality continues to be a nagging issue. However, steps have been taken to help clean the air and reduce the amount of pollutants that are present. With continued efforts, it may be sooner than later when communities like Los Angeles and Long Beach are no longer at the top of the poor air quality list.

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 include 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.

Earth Day 2024

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd in the US. Around the world, it is often recognized as the day of the spring equinox.

The day was inspired by the growing environmental movement of the 1960s. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, along with Denis Hayes who was a graduate student at Harvard, created the first Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970.

Earth Day was a big hit on that day, over 20 million people attended events around the US. The result was the bolstering of existing legislation to protect the environment, such as updating the Clean Air Act in 1973 and creating the Endangered Species Act in 1973.

By 1990, a global Earth Day was created with over 200 million people participating in over 140 countries. Earth Day is now a true international event designed to raise awareness of environmental issues which include renewable energy and global warming. 

How You Can Celebrate Earth Day

There are several ways that you can celebrate Earth Day. While attending events and participating in parades that take place in your community is one way, there are plenty of other activities that you and your family can do.

Plant a Tree: Perhaps the most common and symbolic means of participation is to plant a tree. Trees not only provide shade from the sun, but they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. 

Use Alternative Transportation: Choose a day to walk, ride your bike, or take alternate transportation to your destination. Take the day to appreciate the beauty around you. Plus, you can save on gasoline and reduce carbon emissions by using alternatives to your gas-powered vehicle.

Reduce Water Usage: One way to celebrate Earth Day every day is by looking at ways to conserve the usage of water. It can be as simple as repairing a leaky toilet, bath, or pipe. Below are other ways to conserve water.

  • Put in a Water-Saving Shower Head
  • Only Run the Dishwasher When It is Full
  • Purchase Plants and Trees that Require Little in the Way of Water
  • Turning Off the Water When Brushing Your Teeth

Another way to conserve water and reduce waste is by using reusable bags, refillable water bottles, and shopping locally for produce.

Make your plans to celebrate Earth Day and continue to keep it in your heart year round. Earth Day is more than a celebration, it is an acknowledgement of our relationship with nature. We must protect and preserve our environment so that future generations can enjoy the splendor of our 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 include 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.