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.

 

The Importance of Lead Exposure & Removal

While lead exposure rates in the US have dropped considerably since the mid-1970s, recent events demonstrate that residents are not totally removed from the issue. Since the 2016 lead contamination and water crisis in Flint, Michigan, it has been discovered that thousands of other communities in the US suffer from lead exposure rates even greater than those documented in Flint.

This new awareness of the presence of lead has caught some off-guard, considering that the substance was banned from products for decades. However, many older structures, such as homes and commercial buildings, still had lead in the paint, plumbing, and other areas.

History of Lead Usage

For many decades, lead was used across a wide range of industries. Its abundance, malleability, inherent strength, low melting point, and low corrosion levels made it perfect for pipes, paints, fuels, cosmetics, and more. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s that the abundance of data from studies that lasted for decades caused lead to be removed from manufactured products.

Although lead has been banned from paints, fuels, and plumbing, many older structures still contain products made from lead. In addition, lead is not easily detectable because it has no taste, unique color, or odor. This means that you may be exposed to lead without knowing of its presence. It takes accurate testing of the water, soil, dust particles, and more to determine if lead is present.

No Safe Levels

Lead has been known as a toxin for a long time. The presence of moderate amounts of lead in the system may have dire health implications that mostly concern brain activity. Lead exposure can cause emotional and behavioral issues along with affecting the intellectual development that stunts the growth of children.

Furthermore, recent studies have shown that the presence of lead may lead to premature death due to cardiovascular issues. As many as 412,000 deaths related to the circulatory system may be attributed to the presence of low levels of lead in the system. For children, the presence of lead is devastating as it stunts the growth of the body, brain, and metabolism.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect that your home, office, or facility has lead or the structure was built before the mid-1970s, please contact Brickley Environmental. We have the right tools to identify and remove sources of lead and other contaminants from the home, office, or facility.

The Effects of Black Mold Exposure

Just like standard mold, black mold can infest residences, commercial buildings, and facilities. This is especially true in damp areas where the mold can attach and grow. Black mold is especially dangerous and identifying it in the early stages may mean the difference in affecting the health of those who live or work inside.

What is Black Mold?

Black mold is a type of mold that appears quite dark, if not fully black in appearance. It gives off a musty, damp odor and spreads quickly once it finds an organic surface, such as wood, to take hold of. You’ll most often find black mold in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas, or any place in the home or building where moisture is in the air.

Black mold is dangerous because it releases spores into the air that can cause allergic reactions. It contains toxins that when breathed in may cause negative effects on your health and wellbeing. Those who have respiratory issues, lung disease, or weak immune systems are most vulnerable to the effects of black mold.

In some cases, too much exposure may lead to black mold poisoning, which results in a further weakening of the immune system. The symptoms of the poisoning are similar to an allergic reaction, such as a runny nose, coughing, red eyes, and itchy throat. When in the latter stages, the symptoms may progress to the following:

  • Headaches
  • Persistent Coughing
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • General Fatigue

Although rare, severe black mold poisoning may lead to mental issues that include loss of memory, an inability to concentrate, unexplained weight gain, nerve issues in the extremities, anxiety, and more.

Identifying Black Mold Poisoning

If you have persistent symptoms of an allergic reaction, it is possible that you are exposed to black mold. It takes a blood test to confirm if the poison has entered the bloodstream. In addition, there are tests to determine if you are allergic to mold, which helps narrow down the cause.

Treatment is a combination of two efforts: the first to rid the symptoms from the body, and the second to remove the black mold from the residence or commercial building. Nasal decongestants, antihistamines, immunotherapy, and steroids are common treatments for black mold exposure.

Unless you find and get rid of the black mold itself, the symptoms will persist. Small patches of black mold on walls or floors can be removed using commercially available products, but an extensive invasion will need a professional company to remove.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are concerned about black mold forming in your residence or business, the experts at Brickley Environmental offers the best in inspection, treatment, and advice. Please call the professionals at Brickley Environmental if you suspect your residence or commercial building may be infected with black mold.

Black Mold vs. Asbestos

Black mold and asbestos are two of the biggest dangers that may be present in your residence, building, or facility. If left unchecked, they may cause considerable damage to the health of those who live or work inside. However, despite the fact that both substances may be deadly, there are considerable differences between black mold and asbestos.

What is Black Mold?

Mold is a common fungus that is found in practically every structure. However, it does not present a threat until it attaches to a surface and starts growing. While most types of mold produce spores that are mildly irritating, black mold has toxic properties that can affect the brain. Exposure to black mold impairs judgment and causes symptoms similar to depression or bipolar disorder.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural substance that was once commonly used in the construction of homes, businesses, and facilities. Its fireproof qualities were so highly prized that blankets made of the material were placed in many buildings as fire protection.

It was discovered, however, that asbestos exposure led to the development of mesothelioma, a highly aggressive form of lung cancer. Thus, asbestos was banned from use in construction. By 2002, it was banned in all products across the US.

Key Differences

Arguably the main difference between black mold and asbestos is how they both impact the body and mind. Understanding how your health is affected is one way to tell the difference between the two substances.

The effects of black mold are similar to heavy metal poisoning. It affects the brain by making cognitive thought more difficult, including a lack of concentration, inability to focus, and feelings of being depressed. Without treatment and removal of black mold from the area, the symptoms will persist.

The fibers from asbestos are inhaled into the lungs where they attach themselves. Over time, the fibers break down and the damage caused creates an aggressive form of cancer, known as mesothelioma. Until the cancer develops, there may be few, if any, symptoms that the fibers are present.

Another important difference is that asbestos is placed into the structure, while mold is present nearly everywhere. It takes the right conditions for the mold to attach itself to a surface and start growing, while asbestos can affect you if the fibers are free to float in the air.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you believe that your property is infested with black mold or has asbestos present, call the experienced professionals at Brickley Environmental. Once identified, Brickley Environmental has the knowledge, experience, and tools to safely remove the black mold or asbestos.

Lead Poisoning Spreading Among California Workers

Of the many issues facing the residents of California, one of the most insidious is the expansion of lead poisoning throughout various businesses and into the surrounding communities. While lead itself is an important metal used in various fields, the side effects of exposure have proven to be quite harmful to adults and children.

The increase in lead poisoning cases results from a combination of poor industrial management and a failure of state agencies to act on the problem, even when informed. Only up until recently has new legislation been introduced, but the damage has already been done.

Cases of Lead Poisoning

In Vernon, California, hundreds of employees at a former Exide battery recycling plant had been exposed to lead poisoning for decades. Unfortunately, state officials knew about this issue but failed to do anything about it. A recent investigation, using data from the California Department of Public Health, revealed that around 80 companies, perhaps more, have exposed their employees to lead poisoning with levels high enough to cause brain disorders, tremors, and birth defects.

Of the different businesses that had issues with lead poisoning, car battery recycling plants were among the worst offenders. In addition to the plants, nearby residential areas have also been contaminated with higher than normal levels of lead in the water system. The Bay Area has experienced a series of issues with lead poisoning, leading to at least 12 cases of employees being exposed during work. In addition, an indoor gun range in Milpitas has experienced at least 25 cases of lead poisoning.

Legislative Action

The Assembly Bill 2963 requires inspections of workplaces where an employee’s level of lead in the bloodstream reaches 25 micrograms per deciliter or higher. The US Centers for Disease Control recommends 10 micrograms per deciliter is enough to cause health issues such as the following;

  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Reduced Fertility

Opposition from industry groups made it tough going, but it did pass the Assembly by one vote. The bill is expected to get through the Senate and become law with the support of Governor Jerry Brown. At the very least, the bill will help state agencies to address the growing issue of lead contamination from various sources and businesses in California.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect lead poisoning in your home, office, or facility, contact the experts at Brickley Environmental. We offer the best in inspection services that identify lead poisoning, among other contaminants, and offer removal services to clear it from your residence or commercial building.