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Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complai - 24 Feb 2018 07:56

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The air quality of the indoor environment such as a non-industrial office environment can significantly affect the health, comfort, and productivity of building occupants.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) in the workplace, such an office environment, is the subject of much attention recently, and for good reason. Although serious irreversible health problems related to IAQ in non-industrial office environments are rare, the perception of endangered health is increasingly common among building occupants.

To date, the causes and consequences of poor IAQ are complex and not completely understood, but there are some basic factors that in many cases address IAQ concerns.

IAQ is a problem when the air contains dust and objectionable odours, chemical contaminants, dampness, mould or bacteria.

Poor indoor air quality can lead to a number of physical symptoms and complaints. The most common of these include:

Thermal discomfort: too hot or too cold

Headaches

Fatigue

Shortness of breath (eg. insufficient oxygen related to high carbon dioxide levels)

Sinus congestion

Coughs

Sneezing

Eye, nose, and throat irritation

Skin irritation

Dizziness

Nausea

Skin irritation

These physical symptoms and complaints are often attributed to indoor air quality, however, it is important to note that indoor air quality is not always the cause. Other factors in the indoor environment such as noise, overcrowding, improper lighting, poor ergonomic conditions, and job stress can also lead to these symptoms and complaints. In many situations, a combination of factors is to blame.

An increased likelihood of complaints is usually associated with factors such as the installation of new furnishings, uncontrolled renovation activities, poor air circulation and air flow, persistent moisture and ongoing low relative humidity. Complaints may also increase when there is a stressful work environment, such as impending layoffs, a great deal of overtime, or an ongoing conflict among staff members and management.

A number of factors can affect the indoor air quality of a building or facility, including:

The physical layout of the building

The building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system

The outdoor climate

The people who occupy the building

Contaminants emitted inside and entered from outside the building

Poor indoor air quality and indoor air contaminants affect some people more seriously, including:

People with allergies or asthma

People with respiratory disease

People whose immune system is suppressed as a result of disease or treatment

People who wear contact lenses

Indoor air contaminants can originate within a building or be drawn in from outdoors. These contaminants can lead to indoor air quality problems, even if the HVAC system is well designed, regularly maintained, and functioning to its optimum conditions.

Sources of contaminants inside the building environment may include:

Dust, dirt, or mould in the HVAC system (eg. cooling coils, ducts, registers)

Office equipment such as laser printers and copiers (eg. airborne particulates, ozone)

Personal activities such as smoking or cooking (eg. Volatile organic compounds, nicotine)

Housekeeping activities such as cleaning and dusting

Maintenance activities such as painting (eg. Volatile organic compounds)

Spills of water or other liquids

Special use areas such as print shops and laboratories

Industrial processes such as dry cleaning

Moisture affected building materials (eg. mould and bacteria)

Sources of contaminants from outside the building may include:

Vehicle exhaust

Pollen and dust (eg. long term build up if cleaning regime is inadequate)

Smoke

Unsanitary debris or dumpsters near the outdoor air intake

Depending on the complaint reported by building occupants, an indoor air quality investigation should include the following:

Interview with building occupants to identify potential causes such as identifiable odours, recent changes that may have caused the issue, water intrusion event, increased occupancy, cleaning regime, etc.

Assessment of the ventilation rate (generally when the indoor carbon dioxide levels are over 650 parts per million (ppm) above ambient outdoor levels)

Walkthrough inspection of the building and the ventilation system (filters, cooling coils, condensation trays, air ducts, etc.)

Sampling for airborne contaminants suspected to be present in concentrations associated with the reported complaints.

Documenting the complaint, the investigation, and any actions taken.

Occupant concerns regarding indoor air quality should be taken seriously and responded to as soon as possible. Initial information should be collected, checked and verified, preferably through interviews with occupants and a visual inspection:

Details about the specific complaint

Location(s) of the building where similar concerns about IAQ have been reported

Time of occurrence of the IAQ problem

When and where did it start and what has changed in the building just before the problem was first experienced

People affected and extent of the affected area(s)

Specific details on the health effects or discomfort occupants are experiencing

If the health effects stop soon after leaving the building, or over the weekend

https://www.sesa.com.au/occupational-hygiene-consultants-qualified-occupational-hygienists-sydney-nsw-act.html

If the symptoms have been diagnosed by a medical practitioner

If there are any identifiable practices inside or outside the building occurring at a time coinciding with the reported issues

If the air conditioning contractor or the building engineer evaluated the HVAC system or other conditions and the conclusions reached

Once the information above is gathered and analysed the walkthrough inspection by a specialist indoor air quality consultant should be undertaken to identify potential sources of contamination or unusual conditions. Generally, at this stage the IAQ consultant should be able to narrow the possibilities and developing air sampling strategy if required to confirm potential causes of the IAQ problem and decide on suitable solutions or if further investigation is required.

Generally, most IAQ issues can be resolved by addressing maintenance issues of the HVAC system (eg. air exchange rates, improved ventilation and air flow, filter change and disinfection of the internal surfaces of the air handling unit and the air ducts), HEPA vacuuming of the entire space, building repairs, addressing moisture issues, removing potential sources of contamination, implementing a new cleaning regime).

Under the Work Health & Safety Legislation, it is the duty of the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to provide a work environment that is free from risks to health and safety.

If you require assistance regarding the indoor air quality at your workplace please contact SESA on 02 8786 1808

First posted here https://www.sesa.com.au/14-indoor-air-quality/office-indoor-air-quality-investigating-iaq-complaints.html - Comments: 0

Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complai - 24 Feb 2018 00:03

Tags:

The air quality of the indoor environment such as a non-industrial office environment can significantly affect the health, comfort, and productivity of building occupants.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) in the workplace, such an office environment, is the subject of much attention recently, and for good reason. Although serious irreversible health problems related to IAQ in non-industrial office environments are rare, the perception of endangered health is increasingly common among building occupants.

To date, the causes and consequences of poor IAQ are complex and not completely understood, but there are some basic factors that in many cases address IAQ concerns.

IAQ is a problem when the air contains dust and objectionable odours, chemical contaminants, dampness, mould or bacteria.

Poor indoor air quality can lead to a number of physical symptoms and complaints. The most common of these include:

Thermal discomfort: too hot or too cold

Headaches

Fatigue

Shortness of breath (eg. insufficient oxygen related to high carbon dioxide levels)

Sinus congestion

Coughs

https://www.sesa.com.au/asbestos-testing-and-analysis.html

Sneezing

Eye, nose, and throat irritation

Skin irritation

Dizziness

Nausea

Skin irritation

These physical symptoms and complaints are often attributed to indoor air quality, however, it is important to note that indoor air quality is not always the cause. Other factors in the indoor environment such as noise, overcrowding, improper lighting, poor ergonomic conditions, and job stress can also lead to these symptoms and complaints. In many situations, a combination of factors is to blame.

An increased likelihood of complaints is usually associated with factors such as the installation of new furnishings, uncontrolled renovation activities, poor air circulation and air flow, persistent moisture and ongoing low relative humidity. Complaints may also increase when there is a stressful work environment, such as impending layoffs, a great deal of overtime, or an ongoing conflict among staff members and management.

A number of factors can affect the indoor air quality of a building or facility, including:

The physical layout of the building

The building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system

The outdoor climate

The people who occupy the building

Contaminants emitted inside and entered from outside the building

Poor indoor air quality and indoor air contaminants affect some people more seriously, including:

People with allergies or asthma

People with respiratory disease

People whose immune system is suppressed as a result of disease or treatment

People who wear contact lenses

Indoor air contaminants can originate within a building or be drawn in from outdoors. These contaminants can lead to indoor air quality problems, even if the HVAC system is well designed, regularly maintained, and functioning to its optimum conditions.

Sources of contaminants inside the building environment may include:

Dust, dirt, or mould in the HVAC system (eg. cooling coils, ducts, registers)

Office equipment such as laser printers and copiers (eg. airborne particulates, ozone)

Personal activities such as smoking or cooking (eg. Volatile organic compounds, nicotine)

Housekeeping activities such as cleaning and dusting

Maintenance activities such as painting (eg. Volatile organic compounds)

Spills of water or other liquids

Special use areas such as print shops and laboratories

Industrial processes such as dry cleaning

Moisture affected building materials (eg. mould and bacteria)

Sources of contaminants from outside the building may include:

Vehicle exhaust

Pollen and dust (eg. long term build up if cleaning regime is inadequate)

Smoke

Unsanitary debris or dumpsters near the outdoor air intake

Depending on the complaint reported by building occupants, an indoor air quality investigation should include the following:

Interview with building occupants to identify potential causes such as identifiable odours, recent changes that may have caused the issue, water intrusion event, increased occupancy, cleaning regime, etc.

Assessment of the ventilation rate (generally when the indoor carbon dioxide levels are over 650 parts per million (ppm) above ambient outdoor levels)

Walkthrough inspection of the building and the ventilation system (filters, cooling coils, condensation trays, air ducts, etc.)

Sampling for airborne contaminants suspected to be present in concentrations associated with the reported complaints.

Documenting the complaint, the investigation, and any actions taken.

Occupant concerns regarding indoor air quality should be taken seriously and responded to as soon as possible. Initial information should be collected, checked and verified, preferably through interviews with occupants and a visual inspection:

Details about the specific complaint

Location(s) of the building where similar concerns about IAQ have been reported

Time of occurrence of the IAQ problem

When and where did it start and what has changed in the building just before the problem was first experienced

People affected and extent of the affected area(s)

Specific details on the health effects or discomfort occupants are experiencing

If the health effects stop soon after leaving the building, or over the weekend

If the symptoms have been diagnosed by a medical practitioner

If there are any identifiable practices inside or outside the building occurring at a time coinciding with the reported issues

If the air conditioning contractor or the building engineer evaluated the HVAC system or other conditions and the conclusions reached

Once the information above is gathered and analysed the walkthrough inspection by a specialist indoor air quality consultant should be undertaken to identify potential sources of contamination or unusual conditions. Generally, at this stage the IAQ consultant should be able to narrow the possibilities and developing air sampling strategy if required to confirm potential causes of the IAQ problem and decide on suitable solutions or if further investigation is required.

Generally, most IAQ issues can be resolved by addressing maintenance issues of the HVAC system (eg. air exchange rates, improved ventilation and air flow, filter change and disinfection of the internal surfaces of the air handling unit and the air ducts), HEPA vacuuming of the entire space, building repairs, addressing moisture issues, removing potential sources of contamination, implementing a new cleaning regime).

Under the Work Health & Safety Legislation, it is the duty of the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to provide a work environment that is free from risks to health and safety.

If you require assistance regarding the indoor air quality at your workplace please contact SESA on 02 8786 1808

First posted here https://www.sesa.com.au/14-indoor-air-quality/office-indoor-air-quality-investigating-iaq-complaints.html - Comments: 0

Give Your Backyard Deck A Colorful Makeover - 23 Feb 2018 20:36

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Everyone would like to have their house look nice, and with just a bit of ingenuity and elbow grease, you can do it easily. To make your veranda or outdoor deck look more attractive simply use blocks of bright colors. It may well simply take your imagination to perk up the outdoor living spaces, by purchasing a few accent pieces that will make a bold statement. Even second-hand pieces might look new with a little effort and creativity. The rest of this article is going to teach you even more solutions to pep up your outside deck or patio.

http://5stardecking.com/timber-merbau-decking/

Your outdoor deck's appearance will benefit greatly from a good power clean prior to applying a coat of paint or stain. Use your imagination to create a stylish color design. For example, you could potentially paint the deck borders one color and then use a contrasting color on the uprights. With your creative thinking you can spice it up any way you want. Verandas aren't for anything but looks, so you need to make it look geared up for company. It might seem very stylish if you furnish it with inexpensive chairs and tables in keeping with your color scheme. A vibrant pub cart can look good in one of the corners with some glassware that is bright acrylic.

You might have some staid looking old wicker pieces of furniture that can be easily improved by a new coat of paint. Better still, you can get really creative and try painting a design using acryllic paint that can be top-coated with protective varnish. For your personal touch you can custom paint your own design onto the side of a galvanized bucket oblong or container to use as an ice bucket to chill drinks etc. Be sure your paint is really a food safe grade if you decide to customize your own ice bucket. You can use intriguing patterns and colors, just like seashores, fish, sea shells, beach balls, with pale greens, oranges, or yellow colors. An interesting effect can be achieved if you paint the slats of a slatted table-top with varying shades of one color. The palette of colors is entirely up to you so be free and creative!

Your deck or patio makeover can easily be extended to other things such as garden sheds and window boxes that can also be painted and made colorful. You could add lighting that is exhilarating to light up your patio area. Low hanging trees or beams can be places for strings of lights or colorful lanterns. In case you have plain white vinyl furniture that no longer goes with your new bright colors, you can paint them with special paint. Buy some new cushions and your seating will be exactly like brand new. Be patient when scouting for a color scheme to get it just right and the end result will be harmonious. It may be wild and colorful, or toned down a bit, depending on your likes. You can hunt around for the look you want, and incorporate it into your back yard. - Comments: 0

Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related - 16 Feb 2018 13:18

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Asbestos is a naturally occurring rock forming mineral silicate in fibrous form belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups. It occurs naturally in large deposits on every continent in the world. There are six types of naturally occurring asbestos fibres of which only three have been used commercially in Australia. These included the serpentine: Chrysotile (white asbestos); and the amphiboles: Crocidolite (blue asbestos) and Amosite (brown or grey asbestos). The other three non-commercially used amphiboles included Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophyllite.

Asbestos has been used in the ancient world of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It is believed that as early as 4000 BC, asbestos fibres were used for wicks in lamps and candles. Between 2000-3000 BC, embalmed bodies of Egyptian pharaohs were wrapped in asbestos cloth. The Greeks and Romans documented the harmful effects of asbestos fibres on those who mined the silken material from ancient stone quarries noting a “sickness of the lungs” in slaves who wove asbestos into cloth.

The commercial use of asbestos commenced in the late 1800s in Australia in four main industries including Mining and Milling; Building & Construction (for strengthening cement and plastics, for insulation, fireproofing and sound absorption); Ship Building (eg. insulation of boilers and steampipes) and the Automotive Industry (eg. vehicle brake shoes, gaskets and clutch pads).

There were over 3000 products (Asbestos Containing Materials or ACM) manufactured with asbestos fibres. The ACM fall into two broad categories: friable and non-friable (or bonded).

‘Friable’ is ACM that can be easily reduced to powder when crushed by hand, when dry. These materials can contain higher percentages of asbestos fibres and are easily or more likely to release airborne fibres into the environment with minimal disturbance. As such, they pose a greater risk to health. Friable materials must only be handled and removed by an asbestos removalist with Class A Asbestos Removal Licence. Examples of friable asbestos-containing materials include sprayed on fire retardants, insulation (eg. millboard, pipe insulation), sound proofing, the lining on some old domestic heaters, stoves and hot water systems and associated pipe lagging, the backing of sheet vinyl and linoleum floor coverings, thermal lagging, some vermiculite.

‘Non-friable’, or bonded ACM is used to refer to ACM in which the asbestos is firmly bound in the matrix of the material. These materials are unlikely to release measurable levels of airborne asbestos fibre into the environment if they are undisturbed. Therefore, they generally pose a lower risk to health. However, activities that may abrade the ACM such as drilling, grinding have the potential to release higher concentrations of airborne asbestos fibres into the environment. The non-friable ACM are mainly made up of asbestos fibres together with a bonding compound (such as cement), and typically contain up to 15 per cent asbestos. Non-friable ACM are solid, quite rigid and the asbestos fibres are tightly bound in the material. Non-friable ACM are the most common in domestic houses. They are commonly called ‘fibro’, ‘asbestos cement’ and ‘AC sheeting’. Examples of non-friable ACM include asbestos cement products (flat, profiled and corrugated sheeting used in walls, ceilings and roofs, moulded items such as downpipes) and vinyl floor tiles.

While asbestos is a hazardous material it can only pose a risk to health if the asbestos fibres become airborne in respirable size, are inhaled and lodge deep into the lungs (in the alveoli). Inhalation is the main route of entry to the body. Respirable fibres are fibres that are more likely to reach the small airways and alveolar region of the lung and are defined as having a length of more than five microns, and an aspect ratio (length/width) greater than 3:1.

Occupational hygienist

Asbestos is classified according to the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) as Carcinogenicity Category 1A (May cause cancer).

There are several asbestos related diseases that may result from the exposure to asbestos which depends on factors such as fibre type; size and shape of fibres; concentration of asbestos fibres in the inhaled air and period of time over which the person was exposed. The asbestos related diseases include:

Asbestosis

Pleural plaques

Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum

Lung cancer

Benign asbestos pleural effusion

Progressive pleural fibrosis (diffuse pleural thickening)

Transpulmonary bands (crow’s feet)

Rounded atelectasis

All asbestos related diseases have a latency period that is the period commencing from the time of the exposure to the asbestos fibres first occurred until symptoms of a disease show. This may range from 10 – 50 years for the asbestos related diseases.

Workplace exposures to asbestos fibres first occurred while mining asbestos, manufacturing asbestos containing products or using those products during the construction of buildings. Currently, the main source of exposure to asbestos fibres is during the maintenance, renovation or demolition of old buildings with asbestos containing materials.

Asbestos containing materials are subject to environmental weathering which causes them to breakdown and release asbestos fibres. Low levels of airborne asbestos fibres are encountered in the environment from the breakdown of asbestos products. Environmental weathering of asbestos cement sheets in roofing and wall cladding, disturbance of asbestos from a variety of building materials like insulation and asbestos release to air from clutches and brakes in cars and trucks results in asbestos fibres being dispersed in the environment.

According to Australian Government Department of Health website, we are all exposed to low levels of asbestos in the air we breathe every day. Ambient or background air usually contains between 10 and 200 asbestos fibres in every 1000 litres (or cubic metre) of air (equivalent to 0.01 to 0.20 fibres per litre of air). However, most people do not become ill from this exposure, because the levels of asbestos present in the environment are very low. Most people are also exposed to higher levels of asbestos at some time in their lives; for example, in their workplace, community or home. However, for most people, this kind of infrequent exposure is also unlikely to result in any ill effects.

Safe Work Australia states that “the typical environmental background in outdoor air is 0.0005 fibres/ml and 0.0002 fibres/ml in indoor air. The daily inhalation volume for an average adult is 22 m3 or 22000 litres. This means 5500 fibres are breathed/day by the average person (proportion of time spent indoors = 20 hours/day). Despite this the general population does not contract asbestos related disease in significant numbers. The background rate of mesothelioma is less than one per million per year. By comparison, the annual death rate for a 40 year old male in 2008 was 1.6 per thousand or 1600 per million. However, there is no absolutely safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres.

Most people who develop asbestos related diseases were workers who have worked on jobs where they frequently breathed in large amounts of asbestos fibres. As an example, construction workers using unsafe practices in the past may have frequently encountered asbestos fibre levels significantly higher than those levels found in the background. The current workplace exposure standard (time weighted average (TWA) over an eight-hour period) is 0.1 fibres/millilitre of air (100 fibres per litre which is between 500 and 10,000 times the background levels). In the past, workers in asbestos milling or mining often encountered fibre concentrations a million times higher than background levels. In 2011, 606 deaths were caused by mesothelioma and 125 deaths were caused by asbestosis in Australia.

Family members of exposed workers or those who lived close to active asbestos mines in the past are also at risk. A worker exposed to asbestos fibres or a home renovator can carry asbestos fibres on their clothing, boots, skin, hair and tools. Everyone should be alert to ensure they do not become exposed to these fibres.

A very small number of asbestos-related disease cases occur each year in people who have not worked with asbestos products. The low number of cases makes it difficult to determine the exact cause of the disease or the likely exposure event, but unsafe handling of asbestos materials in the home may have contributed to some of these cases.

The uncontrolled disturbance of asbestos containing materials must be avoided at any time to prevent the release of airborne asbestos and increase the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres. The exposure to airborne asbestos fibres should be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable by managing asbestos containing materials in-situ and adopting safe work practices as required by the Work Health & Safety Regulations and Safe Work Australia Codes of Practice “How to Manage & Control Asbestos In the Workplace”: and “ How to Safely Remove Asbestos”.

If you require assistance in asbestos inspection, asbestos testing or asbestos assessment contact SESA on 02 8786 1808.

First posted here https://www.sesa.com.au/15-asbestos/asbestos-exposure-risk-of-developing-asbestos-related-disease.html - Comments: 0

Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complai - 02 Feb 2018 08:39

Tags:

The air quality of the indoor environment such as a non-industrial office environment can significantly affect the health, comfort, and productivity of building occupants.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) in the workplace, such an office environment, is the subject of much attention recently, and for good reason. Although serious irreversible health problems related to IAQ in non-industrial office environments are rare, the perception of endangered health is increasingly common among building occupants.

To date, the causes and consequences of poor IAQ are complex and not completely understood, but there are some basic factors that in many cases address IAQ concerns.

IAQ is a problem when the air contains dust and objectionable odours, chemical contaminants, dampness, mould or bacteria.

Poor indoor air quality can lead to a number of physical symptoms and complaints. The most common of these include:

Thermal discomfort: too hot or too cold

Headaches

Fatigue

Shortness of breath (eg. insufficient oxygen related to high carbon dioxide levels)

Sinus congestion

Coughs

Sneezing

Eye, nose, and throat irritation

Skin irritation

Dizziness

Nausea

Skin irritation

These physical symptoms and complaints are often attributed to indoor air quality, however, it is important to note that indoor air quality is not always the cause. Other factors in the indoor environment such as noise, overcrowding, improper lighting, poor ergonomic conditions, and job stress can also lead to these symptoms and complaints. In many situations, a combination of factors is to blame.

An increased likelihood of complaints is usually associated with factors such as the installation of new furnishings, uncontrolled renovation activities, poor air circulation and air flow, persistent moisture and ongoing low relative humidity. Complaints may also increase when there is a stressful work environment, such as impending layoffs, a great deal of overtime, or an ongoing conflict among staff members and management.

A number of factors can affect the indoor air quality of a building or facility, including:

The physical layout of the building

https://www.sesa.com.au/lead-paint-dust-fumes-inspections-testing-sampling-assessments.html

The building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system

The outdoor climate

The people who occupy the building

Contaminants emitted inside and entered from outside the building

Poor indoor air quality and indoor air contaminants affect some people more seriously, including:

People with allergies or asthma

People with respiratory disease

People whose immune system is suppressed as a result of disease or treatment

People who wear contact lenses

Indoor air contaminants can originate within a building or be drawn in from outdoors. These contaminants can lead to indoor air quality problems, even if the HVAC system is well designed, regularly maintained, and functioning to its optimum conditions.

Sources of contaminants inside the building environment may include:

Dust, dirt, or mould in the HVAC system (eg. cooling coils, ducts, registers)

Office equipment such as laser printers and copiers (eg. airborne particulates, ozone)

Personal activities such as smoking or cooking (eg. Volatile organic compounds, nicotine)

Housekeeping activities such as cleaning and dusting

Maintenance activities such as painting (eg. Volatile organic compounds)

Spills of water or other liquids

Special use areas such as print shops and laboratories

Industrial processes such as dry cleaning

Moisture affected building materials (eg. mould and bacteria)

Sources of contaminants from outside the building may include:

Vehicle exhaust

Pollen and dust (eg. long term build up if cleaning regime is inadequate)

Smoke

Unsanitary debris or dumpsters near the outdoor air intake

Depending on the complaint reported by building occupants, an indoor air quality investigation should include the following:

Interview with building occupants to identify potential causes such as identifiable odours, recent changes that may have caused the issue, water intrusion event, increased occupancy, cleaning regime, etc.

Assessment of the ventilation rate (generally when the indoor carbon dioxide levels are over 650 parts per million (ppm) above ambient outdoor levels)

Walkthrough inspection of the building and the ventilation system (filters, cooling coils, condensation trays, air ducts, etc.)

Sampling for airborne contaminants suspected to be present in concentrations associated with the reported complaints.

Documenting the complaint, the investigation, and any actions taken.

Occupant concerns regarding indoor air quality should be taken seriously and responded to as soon as possible. Initial information should be collected, checked and verified, preferably through interviews with occupants and a visual inspection:

Details about the specific complaint

Location(s) of the building where similar concerns about IAQ have been reported

Time of occurrence of the IAQ problem

When and where did it start and what has changed in the building just before the problem was first experienced

People affected and extent of the affected area(s)

Specific details on the health effects or discomfort occupants are experiencing

If the health effects stop soon after leaving the building, or over the weekend

If the symptoms have been diagnosed by a medical practitioner

If there are any identifiable practices inside or outside the building occurring at a time coinciding with the reported issues

If the air conditioning contractor or the building engineer evaluated the HVAC system or other conditions and the conclusions reached

Once the information above is gathered and analysed the walkthrough inspection by a specialist indoor air quality consultant should be undertaken to identify potential sources of contamination or unusual conditions. Generally, at this stage the IAQ consultant should be able to narrow the possibilities and developing air sampling strategy if required to confirm potential causes of the IAQ problem and decide on suitable solutions or if further investigation is required.

Generally, most IAQ issues can be resolved by addressing maintenance issues of the HVAC system (eg. air exchange rates, improved ventilation and air flow, filter change and disinfection of the internal surfaces of the air handling unit and the air ducts), HEPA vacuuming of the entire space, building repairs, addressing moisture issues, removing potential sources of contamination, implementing a new cleaning regime).

Under the Work Health & Safety Legislation, it is the duty of the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to provide a work environment that is free from risks to health and safety.

If you require assistance regarding the indoor air quality at your workplace please contact SESA on 02 8786 1808

First posted here https://www.sesa.com.au/14-indoor-air-quality/office-indoor-air-quality-investigating-iaq-complaints.html - Comments: 0

Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related - 02 Feb 2018 01:01

Tags:

Asbestos is a naturally occurring rock forming mineral silicate in fibrous form belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups. It occurs naturally in large deposits on every continent in the world. There are six types of naturally occurring asbestos fibres of which only three have been used commercially in Australia. These included the serpentine: Chrysotile (white asbestos); and the amphiboles: Crocidolite (blue asbestos) and Amosite (brown or grey asbestos). The other three non-commercially used amphiboles included Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophyllite.

Asbestos has been used in the ancient world of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It is believed that as early as 4000 BC, asbestos fibres were used for wicks in lamps and candles. Between 2000-3000 BC, embalmed bodies of Egyptian pharaohs were wrapped in asbestos cloth. The Greeks and Romans documented the harmful effects of asbestos fibres on those who mined the silken material from ancient stone quarries noting a “sickness of the lungs” in slaves who wove asbestos into cloth.

The commercial use of asbestos commenced in the late 1800s in Australia in four main industries including Mining and Milling; Building & Construction (for strengthening cement and plastics, for insulation, fireproofing and sound absorption); Ship Building (eg. insulation of boilers and steampipes) and the Automotive Industry (eg. vehicle brake shoes, gaskets and clutch pads).

There were over 3000 products (Asbestos Containing Materials or ACM) manufactured with asbestos fibres. The ACM fall into two broad categories: friable and non-friable (or bonded).

‘Friable’ is ACM that can be easily reduced to powder when crushed by hand, when dry. These materials can contain higher percentages of asbestos fibres and are easily or more likely to release airborne fibres into the environment with minimal disturbance. As such, they pose a greater risk to health. Friable materials must only be handled and removed by an asbestos removalist with Class A Asbestos Removal Licence. Examples of friable asbestos-containing materials include sprayed on fire retardants, insulation (eg. millboard, pipe insulation), sound proofing, the lining on some old domestic heaters, stoves and hot water systems and associated pipe lagging, the backing of sheet vinyl and linoleum floor coverings, thermal lagging, some vermiculite.

‘Non-friable’, or bonded ACM is used to refer to ACM in which the asbestos is firmly bound in the matrix of the material. These materials are unlikely to release measurable levels of airborne asbestos fibre into the environment if they are undisturbed. Therefore, they generally pose a lower risk to health. However, activities that may abrade the ACM such as drilling, grinding have the potential to release higher concentrations of airborne asbestos fibres into the environment. The non-friable ACM are mainly made up of asbestos fibres together with a bonding compound (such as cement), and typically contain up to 15 per cent asbestos. Non-friable ACM are solid, quite rigid and the asbestos fibres are tightly bound in the material. Non-friable ACM are the most common in domestic houses. They are commonly called ‘fibro’, ‘asbestos cement’ and ‘AC sheeting’. Examples of non-friable ACM include asbestos cement products (flat, profiled and corrugated sheeting used in walls, ceilings and roofs, moulded items such as downpipes) and vinyl floor tiles.

While asbestos is a hazardous material it can only pose a risk to health if the asbestos fibres become airborne in respirable size, are inhaled and lodge deep into the lungs (in the alveoli). Inhalation is the main route of entry to the body. Respirable fibres are fibres that are more likely to reach the small airways and alveolar region of the lung and are defined as having a length of more than five microns, and an aspect ratio (length/width) greater than 3:1.

Asbestos is classified according to the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) as Carcinogenicity Category 1A (May cause cancer).

There are several asbestos related diseases that may result from the exposure to asbestos which depends on factors such as fibre type; size and shape of fibres; concentration of asbestos fibres in the inhaled air and period of time over which the person was exposed. The asbestos related diseases include:

Asbestosis

Pleural plaques

Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum

Lung cancer

Benign asbestos pleural effusion

https://www.sesa.com.au/occupational-health-safety-ohs-consultants-sydney-nsw-act.html

Progressive pleural fibrosis (diffuse pleural thickening)

Transpulmonary bands (crow’s feet)

Rounded atelectasis

All asbestos related diseases have a latency period that is the period commencing from the time of the exposure to the asbestos fibres first occurred until symptoms of a disease show. This may range from 10 – 50 years for the asbestos related diseases.

Workplace exposures to asbestos fibres first occurred while mining asbestos, manufacturing asbestos containing products or using those products during the construction of buildings. Currently, the main source of exposure to asbestos fibres is during the maintenance, renovation or demolition of old buildings with asbestos containing materials.

Asbestos containing materials are subject to environmental weathering which causes them to breakdown and release asbestos fibres. Low levels of airborne asbestos fibres are encountered in the environment from the breakdown of asbestos products. Environmental weathering of asbestos cement sheets in roofing and wall cladding, disturbance of asbestos from a variety of building materials like insulation and asbestos release to air from clutches and brakes in cars and trucks results in asbestos fibres being dispersed in the environment.

According to Australian Government Department of Health website, we are all exposed to low levels of asbestos in the air we breathe every day. Ambient or background air usually contains between 10 and 200 asbestos fibres in every 1000 litres (or cubic metre) of air (equivalent to 0.01 to 0.20 fibres per litre of air). However, most people do not become ill from this exposure, because the levels of asbestos present in the environment are very low. Most people are also exposed to higher levels of asbestos at some time in their lives; for example, in their workplace, community or home. However, for most people, this kind of infrequent exposure is also unlikely to result in any ill effects.

Safe Work Australia states that “the typical environmental background in outdoor air is 0.0005 fibres/ml and 0.0002 fibres/ml in indoor air. The daily inhalation volume for an average adult is 22 m3 or 22000 litres. This means 5500 fibres are breathed/day by the average person (proportion of time spent indoors = 20 hours/day). Despite this the general population does not contract asbestos related disease in significant numbers. The background rate of mesothelioma is less than one per million per year. By comparison, the annual death rate for a 40 year old male in 2008 was 1.6 per thousand or 1600 per million. However, there is no absolutely safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres.

Most people who develop asbestos related diseases were workers who have worked on jobs where they frequently breathed in large amounts of asbestos fibres. As an example, construction workers using unsafe practices in the past may have frequently encountered asbestos fibre levels significantly higher than those levels found in the background. The current workplace exposure standard (time weighted average (TWA) over an eight-hour period) is 0.1 fibres/millilitre of air (100 fibres per litre which is between 500 and 10,000 times the background levels). In the past, workers in asbestos milling or mining often encountered fibre concentrations a million times higher than background levels. In 2011, 606 deaths were caused by mesothelioma and 125 deaths were caused by asbestosis in Australia.

Family members of exposed workers or those who lived close to active asbestos mines in the past are also at risk. A worker exposed to asbestos fibres or a home renovator can carry asbestos fibres on their clothing, boots, skin, hair and tools. Everyone should be alert to ensure they do not become exposed to these fibres.

A very small number of asbestos-related disease cases occur each year in people who have not worked with asbestos products. The low number of cases makes it difficult to determine the exact cause of the disease or the likely exposure event, but unsafe handling of asbestos materials in the home may have contributed to some of these cases.

The uncontrolled disturbance of asbestos containing materials must be avoided at any time to prevent the release of airborne asbestos and increase the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres. The exposure to airborne asbestos fibres should be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable by managing asbestos containing materials in-situ and adopting safe work practices as required by the Work Health & Safety Regulations and Safe Work Australia Codes of Practice “How to Manage & Control Asbestos In the Workplace”: and “ How to Safely Remove Asbestos”.

If you require assistance in asbestos inspection, asbestos testing or asbestos assessment contact SESA on 02 8786 1808.

First posted here https://www.sesa.com.au/15-asbestos/asbestos-exposure-risk-of-developing-asbestos-related-disease.html - Comments: 0

Asbestos In The Home - 01 Feb 2018 17:59

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Asbestos fibres breathed into the lungs may cause a spread of health issues together with lung most cancers and mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma: Cancer within the lining of the chest and abdomen. Symptoms do not appear until the illness is very superior, and it normally takes greater than 20 years from asbestos publicity to analysis, so it is troublesome to treat and impossible to cure. Patients normally only survive 10-12 months after prognosis. About 600 people are diagnosed yearly.
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I worked across the business, particularly with the digital implementation crew, IT mission crew, advertising and marketing, gross sales and customer assist teams to define consumer and enterprise wants for the implementation. A large part of my function is managing stakeholders - significantly senior management, and navigating the business planning requirements.

I cannot comment on an over-the-counter asbestos check package - as truthfully I simply do not know what you had been trying-at. Identification of asbestos dust or fibers in supplies requires two kinds of microscopic examination; if the test equipment is just a container for a sample, together with secure sampling instructions, and that materials is shipped to a certified lab, perhaps that's superb.

In 2009, Safe Work Australia began the development and analysis of the mannequin work health and safety laws for nationwide implementation 2 The mannequin work well being and safety legal guidelines are the premise for harmonised laws throughout Australia. The Commonwealth, states and territories are liable for regulating and enforcing the laws in their jurisdictions. The Model Work Health and Safety Regulations and first stage Model Codes of Practice developed by Safe Work Australia have been implemented by the Federal Government and all State and Territory Governments aside from Victoria and Western Australia.
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This is the second most common health effect of asbestos exposure after malignant mesothelioma. Thought it affects the lungs, asbestoses just isn't a form of cancer. It is a progressive lung disease attributable to inhaling asbestos fibres. After years of these fibres residing within the lungs, scar tissue is fashioned. This causes lung tissue to harden and the lungs are unable to carry out optimally.

A licensed asbestos removalist is an individual conducting a business or undertaking who is licensed beneath the WHS Regulations to hold out Class A (friable) or Class B (non-friable) asbestos elimination work (regulation 5). This contains asbestos removalists who've been granted an asbestos removing licence by a State or Territory Regulator below any of the laws set out in regulation 6A of the Work Health and Safety Regulations (2011) Cth , who will conduct licensed asbestos removing work at any workplace of the Commonwealth, a Commonwealth public authority or a non-Commonwealth licensee.

Asbestos Exposure &amp; Risk of Developing Asbestos Related Disease - Comments: 0

Asbestos And Your Health - 01 Feb 2018 03:34

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We are pleased to announce that Karen Banton by the Bernie Banton Foundation has agreed to John Carter's request that Bernie be Commemorated as the Honourable Patron of AsbestosInfo.

Delivered a brand new on-line strategy, inspecting at the way forward for the WorkSafe on-line presence, to enhance management, governance and delivery of latest on-line services to improve consumer satisfaction and decrease costs of servicing shoppers. I am additionally working on new processes to leverage Social Media. If you require help in this area with regard to your conversations with homeowners, pricing for studies etc, give us a call and we'll enable you via! The polystyrene insulated panels were marked as ASBESTOS FREE however testing revealed the presence of chrysotile (white) asbestos.

Compliance with this code of practice is just not mandatory. Failure to comply with a Compliance Code doesn't give rise to civil or prison liability. However, meeting the necessities of a compliance code means that you have fulfilled your occupational health and safety duties and obligations in relation to the issues coated by the compliance code. Asbestos is classed as a hazardous material, so there are guidelines about how it can be transported and where it may be disposed of. Because of this asbestos cannot be disposed via the Wheelie Bin Collection. Please see under for info on Landfill disposal.
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Fee schedules for the Grantville, Inverloch, Wonthaggi and Cowes define the varieties of waste which might be accepted at each location and the related price. Separated recyclables remain freed from cost. For giant Commercial loads that can only be disposed of at Grantville Landfill please see Grantville Tonnage Fee Schedule (PDF 25kb). The principal intention of this web site is to offer information on asbestos, its threat and to provoke programs to scale back the fourth wave of asbestos diseases which has already begun, and inevitably will turn into more insidious if exposure to asbestos in private and non-private buildings, schools and the surroundings will not be abated.

The&nbsp;National Work Health and Safety&nbsp;Act 2011 requires Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)on the premises&nbsp;of constructions or parts of constructions that are workplaces (if all or a part of the structure was constructed below an approval given by a local authorities earlier than&nbsp;31 December&nbsp;2003), to adjust to the Safe Work Australia (SWA) Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in Workplaces NOHSC: 2018(2005).
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guaranteeing that no particular person is uncovered to airborne asbestos fibres above the asbestos publicity normal; figuring out the publicity degree of staff; and making the results of airborne asbestos monitoring accessible to any affected employee and their health and safety representative. If you may have a complaint regarding the elimination of asbestos by a licensed removalist or asbestos in the workplace you should contact WorkSafe on 1800 136 089 or go to the WorkSafe website. household, friends and work colleagues - which will help us achieve our Goal of one hundred% Asbestos Awareness Nationally by 2010.

From 1 July 2014, this stuff will not be accepted by way of Detox your Home collections and needs to be taken to a Victorian drop-off site, which might be accessed all throughout the year. The collected gadgets are recycled for restoration and diverted from landfill. Modern ceiling merchandise do not comprise asbestos. Using Certainteed for instance, you can obtain an MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheet) for every of the company's merchandise. Safe Work Australia has just lately provided an replace on the rollout of national competency items for working with asbestos.

Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complaints - Comments: 0

Bad Effects Of Asbestos Exposure - 31 Jan 2018 17:41

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Licensed asbestos removalists must notify Comcare in writing at least five days before starting licensed asbestos removal work (see sub regulation 466(1) ). If you're preparing to remove any ceiling tiles or other materials from your own home these materials ought to be presumed to contain asbestos. Further investigations are required to confirm the differing carcinogenicity of the various types of asbestos and related fibers. EPA has generated a list of Victorian landfills licensed to receive asbestos to assist in identifying the closest disposal option. The Wrongs Act of 1958 granted full compensation for loss of income to anyone who was sickened due to exposure to asbestos on the job, but the law did not give the same rights to those individuals who were exposed to asbestos in non-occupational settings.

Woodsreef produced white chrysotile asbestos until the mine was abandoned by its operators in the 1980s, but approximately 25 million tons of asbestos waste remained at the mining site, with asbestos fibers visible. A lung biopsy, which detects microscopic asbestos fibers in pieces of lung tissue removed by surgery , is the most reliable test to confirm the presence of asbestos-related abnormalities. The purpose of the tests is to provide a quantitative analysis of risks involved and to assess whether an area is safe to occupy following a removal.

The risk of contracting these diseases increases with the number of fibers inhaled and the risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibers is also greater if you smoke. As soon as the asbestos has been discovered it should be removed as soon as possible. If the same firm carries out both the inspections and the removal there could possibly be a conflict of interest.

As asbestos fibers are typically quite rigid, they become lodged in the soft internal tissue of the respiratory system and are not easily expelled or broken-down by the body. If you're not sure if asbestos is in your home you can have it inspected by a licenced removalist or a licensed asbestos assessor. There is a national ban on the manufacture, supply, storage, transport, sale, use, reuse, installation and replacement of asbestos. Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos.
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This inspection might perhaps help you eliminate some avoidable removal work which is able to decrease the asbestos elimination cost. Exposure to friable asbestos fibers was common when grinding, chipping, demolishing, or retrofitting asbestos products. In the history of the United States, one of the most expensive and longest mass torts is asbestos litigation. Asbestos ceiling tile was most frequently utilized in ceilings that were suspended from the roof.

It is important to note that these tests cannot determine how much asbestos an individual may have been exposed to or whether disease will develop ( 12 ). Asbestos fibers can also be detected in urine, mucus, or feces, but these tests are not reliable for determining how much asbestos may be in an individual's lungs ( 2 ). Although an x-ray can suggest the presence of lung cancer or mesothelioma, a diagnosis of these asbestos-related illnesses can only be made through a tissue biopsy. Beginning with the industrial revolution in the mid-nineteenth century, asbestos became a popular source of insulation due to its fire retardant properties.

Asbestos Exposure &amp; Risk of Developing Asbestos Related Disease - Comments: 0

SafeWork SA - 31 Jan 2018 17:24

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Safe Work Australia is an Australian Government statutory company established in 2009 below the Safe Work Australia Act 2008. Their major duty is to enhance work well being and security and workers' compensation arrangements across Australia. They symbolize a real partnership between governments, unions and industry, working together in the direction of the aim of decreasing death, damage and disease within the office.

You can arrange asbestos elimination and disposal by means of quite a few commercial organisations listed underneath 'Asbestos Removal and/or Treatment' within the Yellow Pages section of the native phone book. It is simply when asbestos supplies are disturbed - sometimes during demolitions and renovations - that the potential for launch of asbestos fibres will increase. legal exclusive proper of a person in pure virtual property which he can dispose of with its free will. Proper motion should be taken by highly-skilled, skilled asbestos removalists to make sure applicable procedure is performed. We've been connecting Australians with native trade professionals and home companies for over 12 years.

The data contained on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website, or via packages or different sources is meant for general steerage solely. Importers can also import samples of goods to Australia for testing prior to shipping. Any samples lawfully imported into Australia should be from the actual consignment of products to be imported to Australia. The Regulator has additionally suggested that a briefing can be provided to customer support employees on this matter (which no different harmonised State has achieved) to make sure that residential house owners are gaining the correct info.
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All asbestos materials should be disposed of at a landfill or waste disposal site licensed by the Department of Environment regulation. Not all landfill sites settle for asbestos. As the home testing was undertaken with a promise to home house owners to keep their details confidential,&nbsp;a de-recognized summary of the findings was supplied and explained. Loose fibres can change into airborne very simply, and they should only be eliminated and handled by a licensed Perth asbestos removal skilled.
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In addition licensed removalists should appoint one or more supervisors to oversee elimination work. Licence holders are additionally required to notify WorkSafe previous to any asbestos elimination work is undertaken. Operators who are concerned on this work should also put on private protective tools (PPE) together with respiratory protection. Welcome to AAA Training, the main asbestos course provider in the UK and overseas. Browse our website and obtain our FREE training brochure.

This snapshot of the Northern Territory's cattle trade features discussion from two station managers about work well being and security enhancements that they have carried out, to lift the profile of work health and security on their cattle stations. Our perforated acoustic ceiling tile photo above reveals that these particular asbestos-containing ceiling materials were also generally applied to a vertical wall.

Importers, suppliers and retailers are additionally requested to verify their shares and get rid of any merchandise listed. Suppliers who have been identified have been ordered to stop provide. Contact Council's Environmental Health Department on 9932 a thousand in case you have a query about figuring out, eradicating or disposing of asbestos by yourself property. LookUpStrata will preserve you up to date so you can also make knowledgeable selections regarding your strata property.

Asbestos Exposure &amp; Risk of Developing Asbestos Related Disease - Comments: 0

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