Protect Your Family from Exposure to Asbestos

Asbestos is not easy to identify to the untrained eye. Unless it is labeled, it will normally take a trained specialist to identify whether the substance is asbestos. If you believe there has been exposure, it is advisable to call for an inspection of your home to be completely sure. 

A trained and accredited asbestos professional has the knowledge and tools to identify whether a substance is asbestos or not. If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that asbestos is present. Therefore, if you are planning on remodeling your old home or have noticed drywall or insulation that is falling apart, you should consider getting your home inspected for the presence of asbestos. 

Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Over time, exposure to asbestos fibers in the air may cause the development of asbestos-related diseases. The most notable is mesothelioma, a vicious form of cancer that can only be caused by asbestos exposure. 

Asbestosis and lung cancer are two other potential diseases that are caused by asbestos exposure. However, it should be noted that asbestos can also be ingested which may cause issues in the throat, stomach, and even the colon. 

However, such exposure can only occur if the asbestos is compromised. Asbestos that is still tightly wrapped and in good condition poses no risk to anyone living inside the home. Only when this material is exposed to the open air should you be concerned about exposure.

What to Do

A home inspection is a good idea whether you intend on selling, remodeling, or not. Knowing what is in your home will help you make the best-informed decision. 

If you suspect that an area may contain asbestos, the best policy is to leave it alone. If such areas can be sealed off, then do so. Do not dust, sweep, or vacuum such areas as that can potentially increase the asbestos fibers and make them airborne. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that asbestos is present. While the chances of asbestos being in the home are much lower compared to a facility, you should call the experts at Brickley Environmental for further guidance. 

Brickley Environmental has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to properly identify and remove asbestos from your home. If you suspect asbestos is present give us a call today. 

For more info on asbestos, visit the EPA website here.

 

How to Protect Against COVID-19 Omicron Variant

With the first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 confirmed in California in late November 2021, the state is now preparing for the rise in COVID cases that is sure to follow. While gathering information about this new variant, health officials are already urging people in the state to follow current guidelines. 

The best way to deal with the omicron is to avoid it as much as possible. Preventative methods are still the best insurance against the effects of omicron. People are urged to continue wearing masks and maintaining social distancing to minimize the chance of contact. 

Protection from Omicron

If you are not sure what to do to protect yourself against omicron, here are a few simple steps you can take to help: 

  • Get vaccinated & boosted: You should get the vaccination and if you qualify, get the booster. This will not prevent you from getting omicron, but the studies so far demonstrate that in most people, it will lessen the effects of the virus. Current studies show that the effects of omicron are generally minimal for healthy adults under the age of 65. Seniors and those with compromising health conditions can also benefit from becoming fully vaccinated. 
  • Wear a mask indoors: The virus spreads quickly indoors, therefore wear your mask indoors even if you have been vaccinated. By wearing a mask indoors, you can minimize the possibility of transmitting the virus. 
  • Wash hands frequently & maintain social distancing: The most common way that people catch viruses is when they place their hands or fingers near the mouth, nose, and eyes. By sanitizing the hands, it kills viruses that are present. 

Exposure to Omicron

Get tested as soon as you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Stay at home if you test positive and maintain your social distancing even after you feel good enough to go back to work. Remember that the vaccine does not prevent the virus from infecting your body – it limits the symptoms which helps prevent a more serious condition from occurring. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

To assist in the fight against the COVID-19 omicron variant, you can contact the experts at Brickley Environmental. If you run a business, keeping your office or facility clean is paramount to its success. Let the experts at Brickley Environmental help you by giving them a call today. They have the knowledge, experience, and supplies to help lower the risk of dangerous viruses. They can ensure that you maintain a clean working environment. 

For more information surrounding the COVID-19 virus, click here to visit the CDC website.

Lead Poisoning

Lead is a toxic metal that has been in widespread use for thousands of years. The extent to which lead has been used has resulted in considerable environmental contamination and poisoning.

Lead is a soft, durable metal that is highly versatile. Today, it is most commonly found in lead-acid batteries used to run the electrical systems of vehicles. But you can also find lead in a wide variety of products such as the following. 

  • Leaded Paint & Aviation Fuel
  • Ammunition, Jewelry, and Crystal Glassware
  • Ceramic Glazes, Toys, Cosmetics, & Traditional Medicines 

Unfortunately, two of the most common sources of lead contamination are older paint and pipes in the home. Drinking water may contain lead that has slowly seeped into the water supply. The damage lead contamination can cause is considerable. 

The Effects of Lead

The toxic effects of lead are pronounced in adults, but even far worse in children. Lead poisoning negatively affects the growth and development of the brain and nervous system. In adults, exposure to lead increases the risk of high blood pressure and damage to the kidneys. The unborn are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning when pregnant women are exposed.

Once lead enters the body, it can seep into the brain, bones, kidneys, liver, and all other areas of the body. Because it does not exit the body, the lead can build up over time to become a dangerous threat to your health. A woman with lead in her bones presents a danger to her unborn child because it may seep into the fetus. 

Common Areas That Cause Lead Poisoning

Lead exposure can happen in two basic ways; inhalation or ingestion. Lead particles can be inhaled when materials that contain lead are burned. This includes recycling, smelting, stripping away old lead paint, and being in close proximity to aviation fuel. 

Ingestion of lead normally occurs when water or dust from old water pipes is consumed. Another method is from food that has been stored in lead containers. Another possible form of ingestion occurs when a high amount of traditional medicines or cosmetics containing lead have been used. 

There is no amount of acceptable lead exposure. This is because lead stays within the body and can build up over years even if the exposure itself seems only slight. With the cumulative effects of lead exposure being so harmful, it pays to have any lead in your structure identified and removed as quickly as possible. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect your home, office, or facility has lead call the professionals at Brickley Environmental today. They have the knowledge, experience, and training to identify and remove lead contamination from your structure in a safe, effective manner.  

Lead was commonly used in the construction and painting of homes and buildings until the mid-1970s. If you are living or working in an older residence or commercial building, it’s possible that lead may exist. By calling Brickley Environmental today, you can schedule an inspection and find out if there is lead present. 

For more information on lead, click here to visit the CDC website.

Consequences of Flooding

While it may seem that flooding is nothing but catastrophic damage, it is actually more complicated than that. Flooding can destroy lives, properties, and alter the landscape for a long time. With more people living near coastlines, rivers, and flood zones, the increase in damage to properties has escalated over the past century. 

The immediate impact of flooding is apparent, but long-term recovery is something that also needs to be considered. From healing the injured to rebuilding structures, the damage of flooding is considerable. 

Immediate Consequences

The most immediate impact of flooding is the destruction of homes and businesses. While the structures may still be sound, they must be thoroughly dried, cleaned, and sanitized before people can move back in. The type of damage is not going to be limited to the water. There are also contaminants that range from debris to viruses, diseases, toxic chemicals, and in the case of the 2011 tsunami in Japan, radiation from a nuclear power plant. 

While such extreme occurrences with nuclear power are quite rare, the damage caused by flooding averages about $2.4 billion each year. From small floods caused by overflowing streams to massive flooding resulting from dam breaks to snow melting and even earthquakes that change the flow of rivers or signal a tsunami can cause considerable damage. 

Long Term Damage 

Flooding impacts urban areas the most. From the physical damage to the disruption of traffic flow, cities are normally the hardest hit because they have the highest concentration of people. Even rural areas can be heavily damaged by flooding. Although farmland may receive a long-term benefit from the nutrients that many floods bring to the land. 

In addition to the physical damage are the social impacts that flooding has on the community. Families being displaced, the mental trauma of losing loved ones, pets, and property, and the consequences of having to recover from those losses can be considerable. 

Mitigating some of the damage caused by flooding starts with long-term planning by communities and putting guidelines in place. Plus, adding flood control areas to minimize the potential damage. This is something that can also be done by home and business owners.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

Brickley Environmental offers the knowledge, experience, and tools to ensure that your property is cleaned up if you’ve experienced flood damage. Give the experts at Brickley Environmental a call and they can help you make the best-informed decision about what steps to take next in protecting your family or employees from the dangers that floods bring to your property. 

For more information on flooding, click here to visit the NSSL website.

Demolition: Construction in Reverse with Additional Hazards

Demolition

Demolition could be dangerous. The hazards of a construction site are well known with thousands of minor injuries, hundreds of serious injuries, and accidental death being a part of the process. The same is true for demolition; the deconstruction of buildings. 

Although it is easier to demolish than construct, the injuries and fatalities that occur on demolition sites can be greatly reduced with the proper planning, training, protective equipment, and compliance with standards set by OSHA. 

The Hazards of Demolition

Demolition involves the same basic hazards as construction with additional factors that make it, in some ways, even more dangerous. These can include things such as:

  • Hidden Hazardous Materials: Asbestos, Heavy Metals, Lead, and more 
  • Unknown Changes or Modifications to the Building Structure 
  • Weaknesses in Construction Materials
  • Hazards of the Methods Used in Demolition 

To ensure maximum safety for all who are involved in demolition efforts, care must be taken right from the start. Helpful actions that can aid in this include:

  • Planning: This begins with a full survey and inspection of the building about to be demolished by a trained, qualified specialist. 
  • Locating Utilities: All nearby utilities need to be located and accounted for in the demolition process. 
  • Safety Protocols: This includes prevention of fire, having first aid and emergency services close by, and an evacuation plan in case the structure is about to collapse. 

All of this must take place before the demolition work begins. It is this type of preparation that can prevent injuries and save lives. 

Protection

All personnel on the demolition site should wear the proper personal protective equipment or PPE. These include:

  • Head, eyes, face, ears, hands, and feet protection
  • Respiratory Equipment
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems or PFAS
  • Proper Protective Equipment for specialized jobs, such as welding 

Wearing the proper protective gear can help prevent injuries and even save lives. When combined with the right training, this can only improve the safety conditions on-site. 

Of course, accidents can happen even on the safest and most secure demolition sites. So, proper training on how to deal with injuries and having emergency services easily accessible will also help ensure safety. Following OSHA guidelines also assists in protecting employees on the demolition site. This provides guidance in recognizing potentially hazardous conditions and avoiding and removing them from the property. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

Brickley Environmental is the one to call to conduct a safe, secure demolition. With over 30 years of experience in the Southern California area,  Brickley Environmental follows all safety protocols,  OSHA regulations,  and engages in the proper planning to ensure that all areas are covered for your demolition project. Call us today to discuss your needs.

For more information, visit OSHA’s website