Mountaineous Landscape

ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING

House with Lawn

RADON

 

WHAT IS RADON?

As defined by the EPA “Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally when uranium, thorium, or radium, which are radioactive metals break down in rocks, soil and groundwater. People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes through cracks and gaps in buildings and homes. Because radon comes naturally from the earth, people are always exposed to it.

What Are Radon Levels? 

When you hear the term radon levels, this refers to the amount of radon present in a given area (generally your home). These levels are measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). There is no safe level of radiation/radon exposure. It's recommended to have the lowest levels possible to reduce the risks of lung cancer.

  • A picocurie per liter measures how many picocuries of radon can be found in one liter of air.

  • A curie is a measurement of radioactivity.

  • Each picocurie is a trillionth of one curie.

As small as that amount might sound, when dealing with radiation even a few picocuries can translate into serious health risks.

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Professional Radon Test - In Three Easy Steps

Step 1. Schedule Your Test, Contact Us Today or click the chat button below.

Step 2. We will explain closed-house conditions, how the affect the testing, then deploy a Continuous Radon Monitor(CRM) to begin the test. The test will remain in the house for a minimum of 48 hrs.

Step 3. We will produce the results on-site when retrieving the monitor, so you have immediate information regarding the levels in the house.

Asbestos Workers

ASBESTOS

 

WHAT IS ASBESTOS?

Asbestos refers to a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals. Asbestos has six primary sub-classifications: chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite. Among these, chrysotile asbestos is the most common.

Although asbestos fibers are microscopic in nature, they are extremely durable and resistant to fire and most chemical reactions and breakdowns. These were the characteristics that led to its use for many years in a number of different commercial and industrial capacities. The strength of asbestos, combined with its resistance to heat, allowed it to become the material of choice in a variety of products, including, but not limited to, roofing shingles, floor tiles, ceiling materials, cement compounds, textile products, and automotive parts. Asbestos is now strictly regulated as exposure to this toxic mineral can now be directly and scientifically linked to a number of lung and respiratory health conditions.

Is Asbestos Hazardous?

Asbestos usage declined in the late 1970’s, when it became evident that asbestos posed a hazard to human health and safety. Today, asbestos is classified as a known human carcinogen. The property of durability—which made asbestos so desirable to manufacturers—is that which makes asbestos hazardous. Asbestos fibers are microscopic (roughly .02 the diameter of a human hair), and therefore, are easily inhaled. Once inhaled, the fibers cling to the respiratory system, including the lining of the lungs and inner cavity tissue. Asbestos fibers are typically quite rigid, and they become lodged in the soft tissue of the respiratory system and are not easily expelled or broken-down by the body.

Hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to asbestos in some capacity as a result of the mineral’s extensive use in domestic, commercial, and industrial products. There is no safe type of asbestos and no safe level of exposure. Nearly all those with exposure history are potentially at risk of serious respiratory health complications.

What Health Conditions are Associated with Asbestos Exposure?

There are three major lung conditions traced directly to asbestos exposure. These are lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Lung cancer risk, typically associated with tobacco use, is known to be exacerbated by exposure to asbestos. Symptoms include coughing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer of the lung and inner body’s cavity lining- a thin membrane known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is typically recognized as the most clearly attributable disease resulting from asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma originates in three locations. Pleural mesothelioma forms in the lining of the lungs and is the most common form of the disease. Peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma are less common and form in the lining of the abdominal cavity and lining of the heart, respectively.

Asbestosis is a degenerative and progressive non-malignant long-term respiratory condition. Asbestosis results from the formation of scar tissue plaques on the visceral surface of the pleura. Asbestosis can represent a pre-cursor to the onset of mesothelioma.

 

When Should I Get An Inspection?

If your near future plans include projects such as knocking out a wall, putting on an addition, tearing down part of a building, or any large scale remodeling project, it is wise to have a professional perform an asbestos test before beginning.

Make the responsible choice and schedule a professional inspection to identify if there is asbestos in your home, where it is located and whether it requires removal before getting started with your remodeling project.

 

 What is asbestos testing?

Testing is a tricky subject, because it can be either visual or physical, meaning as a qualified building inspector we can go and take a look at an area suspected to contain asbestos and only do a visual inspection. A visual inspection will identify which materials are homogeneous and potentially contain asbestos. A physical inspection involves removing small pieces of material from suspect areas, then sending them to an accredited NVLAP laboratory where analysis is conducted. A report is then provided by the laboratory giving us a report on the amount of asbestos, if any, on a percentage basis, in the materials. 

Image by Sandy Millar

MOLD

 

WHAT IS MOLD?

Why is mold growing in my home?

Molds are a part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play an important part in the ecosystem by breaking down dead organic matter such as leaves and grass clippings. Indoors, however, we want to avoid mold growths as well as abnormally high spore activity. Mold growth indoors is most commonly a direct result of water damage to building materials such as drywall or wood. There are many different types of mold, and as many different side effects.

Can mold cause health problems?

Many different types of molds have the potential to  cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses  include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny  nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions  to mold are common and can be immediate or delayed.  Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma  who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold 2 allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than  the allergic and irritant types are not commonly  reported as a result of inhaling mold.  Research on mold and health effects is ongoing in the medical industry.

How do I get rid of mold?

It is impossible to get rid of  all mold and mold spores indoors; most mold spores will be found floating through the air or in-house dust.  However, mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present, so indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, it is due to an underlying moisture issue that should be corrected prior to, or during, and mold remediation. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then most likely the mold problem will return. Mold remediation is best left to the professionals however, as performing the work incorrectly can actually spread or increase the problem!

Water Purifier & Glass

WELL INSPECTIONS

 

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A WELL INSPECTION?

Common Types of Repairs That Well Inspections Identify

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We will visually inspect the well equipment, including the condition of the wellhead, pressure tank, electronic controls, and gauges.  We will also do a visual check on all pipes, filters, and valves. During the inspection we will keep watch for common problems that can cause health issues, such as a rusted pressure tank or cloudy water in the pipes.

 

A flow test will also be performed to determine the well system output. We will test the water pressures before, during, and after pumping, average delivery rate (gallons per minute), pump motor performance (check amperage, grounding, and line voltage), pressure tank delivery, and pressure switch contacts.

 

Our thorough well inspection will ensure your water supply will meet the demands you need it to, or help recommend ways to make improvements to the system. 

Abstract Water

WATER QUALITY TESTING

 

WHAT IS WATER QUALITY TESTING?

Water Quality Testing determines levels of bacteria, such as Coliform or E.coli, or other contaminants such as Nitrates, Nitrites, Lead, and more, in water supplied to homes by private well systems. While it is generally assumed that water entering our indoor environments have low levels of bacteria, only testing determines whether your water quality conforms to guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. 

What are the Testing Options? 

There are three types of testing that are most commonly requested, but we can test for any potential contaminants. For specific requests, please Contact Us directly. The three most common tests are:

1. Bacteria In Water – This test is the basic Bacteria test, including testing for E.coli and Coliform Bacteria.

2. Full Suite Water Test – This test includes the Bacteria in Water Test, plus tests for Nitrates, Nitrites, and Lead.

3. Annual Water Quality Test – This test is the minimum annual testing, recommended by the EPA, with analysis for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels.

Who Does the Analysis?

We have an established relationship with several of the nations leading laboratories, giving us the ability to provide results on water testing quicker than most local labs. 

What Does Treatment Mean?

If a contaminant is found to exceed health standards in your sample, contact the local public health department for steps to follow. Some problems can be handled quickly by adding disinfection to a well, such as: chlorine, ozone, ultra-violet light, and electronic radiation. More information can be found in the Center for Disease Control's guide to drinking water treatments for household use