January 2012 - RDS Environmental

Monthly Archives: January 2012



sarah2-157x300Real life happens every day, we deal with love, and loss, hurt and hope, new beginning’s and new paths in our lives.  Sorry to get all Zen like that, on the blog today but life happens and that is what is being talked about today.  It’s always a scary thought when your son or daughter, start’s to get old enough to drive.  They most likely have a couple friends or their boyfriend/girlfriend is driving  now as well.  Yes it’s a fun and exciting time for your teen.  I remember when I first started to drive there was that big speech to you from either your mom or your dad and it was that ” driving is a privilege not a right, treat it that way”.  Which is funny because life is the same way your privileged to be alive and well everyday.  But back on to the topic of today.  Yes, the freedom that came with a new car was amazing!  Anywhere, anytime as long as you had the cash for the gas, and would have the car home before 10.  All this freedom and responsibility can come at a price if you don’t do one thing, “Wear Your Seat-Belt”.  On a personal note,  Our colleague and very dear friend’s daughter was in an accident on Sunday. Her daughter was not wearing her seat-belt she was flung from her seat, going head first into the windshield.  Her daughter’s name is Sarah.  Her boyfriend was driving and lost control of his truck and hit a tree head on.  Her boyfriend was wearing his seat-bealt and walked away from the crash with bumps and brusies but Sarah was not that lucky. This was only two blocks away from her home.

Her duaghter is in ICU and is suffering from massive head trama, she was put into a medically induced coma for her safety, due to the massive swelling she has on her brain.  She is only 15 years old.  She as well suffered a broken wrist and lacerations to her face.  Whoever may be reading this blog, if you have kids, know kids, see kids, please make sure they know the importance of  a seat-belt.  Sarah is strong and is a fighter, everyday she becomes more responsive and just recently started to talk a little and to open her eyes.  She has a support group that loves her very much and that is fighting for her and praying for her.  We love you Sarah!

Included are some pictures of Sarah with her friend and her boyfriend. Sarah is on the right in this picture:


Colorado takes action against Radon Today

Yesterday on Colorado’s state capital steps, a rally was held for a bill to be passed to help protect Colorado and is people.  Not from drugs, bad fast food chains, or even drunk driving.  It is a silent killer and the number one cause of lunge cancer in non smoking people in the united states.  Its name is Radon you cant taste it, you cants smell it, and it cant be seen.  Along with CANSAR’s support and many local and those who have lost loved ones to this silent killer where there to show there support and to help educate colorado about Radon.  Last year 159 people died from drunk driving in Colorado.  Last year 500 people died from Radon induced lung cancer.  With state representatives and a help from a few others we can help protect Colorado from this silent killer.

Here our some pictures of us Taking the steps and of our Representatives



Stay Safe Working Around Lead Paint

In challenging economic times, many homeowners consider remodeling their homes rather than moving. Others are remodeling to improve energy efficiency and Go Green! It is important to stay safe when you remodel, whether you are hiring a contractor or doing it yourself. Learn the facts about working with lead paint. Painting or remodeling a home build before 1978 can disturb lead paint and endanger young children. Lead can harm your child’s brain, causing lifelong learning and behavior problems. Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies. Children under age six are most at risk. Lead can harm an unborn baby, if the mother is exposed to lead. Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family and require large costs for proper cleanup to ensure a lead-safe environment. Keep your home a Healthy Home by learning the facts about lead.

Where is lead paint found? Most homes built before 1978 have some lead paint. Homes built before 1960 have the most lead paint. Lead paint can be present on any painted surface, but it is most fen found on windows, trim,doors, railing, columns, porches and outside walls.

Sanding, scraping or otherwise disturbing lead paint can release large amounts of toxic lead dust. This dust isn’t always visible and can settle on floors and other surfaces where it gets on children’s hands and into their mouths. The only way to know for certain if a surface has been coated with lead-based paint is to test it.

New rules adopted by the EPA require that if you hire a contractor to remodel your pre 1978 home and the work involves disturbing paint, the contractor is required to give you the Renovate Right pamphlet before starting work. EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (RRP) rule also requires that, starting April 2010, contractors performing work that disturbs lead-based paint homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 Must be EPA-certified to work with lead-based paint, and Must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

What You Should Know About Asbestos

What is Asbestos and Why Should I Be Concerned About It?

Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals. Asbestos fibers are very stable, and are resistant to both heat and chemicals. The addition of asbestos fibers adds strength and durability to many products. To date, more than 3,000 different products have been manufactured with asbestos fibers. Asbestos has never been banned totally from being added to building products and may be found in buildings/homes of any age, including new construction.

Asbestos in building materials is not a risk to human health unless it is disturbed. Inhalation of asbestos fibers may lead to increased risk for one or more diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Although scientists have not been able to determine the amount of asbestos exposure needed to cause disease, it is known that the exposure is dose-responsive. In other words, the greater the exposure and the longer it lasts, the greater the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. The goal, therefore, is to minimize one’s exposure to asbestos over a lifetime. Typically, asbestos-related diseases have a long latency period. The latency period is the time between the exposure and the onset of disease. With exposure to asbestos, symptoms may not appear for 15 to 25 years after exposure, sometimes longer. If you have specific health questions, you should contact your personal physician.

Where is Asbestos Commonly Found?

A partial list of building materials that may contain asbestos includes: floor tile and related mastics (glue); roofing shingles and flashing; wall and ceiling textures, including “popcorn” or “cottage cheese” textures; pipe, duct and boiler insulation; linoleum; drywall and drywall mud (joint compound); vermiculite insulation; cement asbestos board shingles and siding; and acoustic ceiling tile and plaster.

Have I Been Exposed to Asbestos?

When a building has been damaged, asbestos-containing material (ACM) may have been disturbed. In order to determine if ACM is present in the building, an inspection by an asbestos building inspector certified by the state of Colorado must take place. The owner of the building is required, by regulation, to hire a certified inspector to properly inspect the building and sample materials thought to contain asbestos. The owner should work quickly to obtain the services of trained personnel to determine if an asbestos spill has occurred.

If ACM was disturbed during the incident, there may have been a release of asbestos fibers. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine after the fact what exposure, if any, may have occurred. Water may have been applied to the building; wetting building materials is one of the most effective engineering controls used to prevent asbestos fibers from becoming airborne. Asbestos fibers, once stabilized by water or other means, pose minimal, if any, health risk to those nearby.

If asbestos is discovered in materials that have been disturbed during the incident, further investigation may be required to determine if adjacent areas were affected. If your building/area suffered physical or smoke damage, it is possible that asbestos fibers could have become airborne and migrated to that location. In that case, air or dust samples may need to be taken to help determine the extent of the spill.

Who is Responsible for Inspecting Property for Possible Asbestos Contamination?

The owner of the damaged property is responsible for having it property inspected. Adjacent properties, if affected by smoke or debris, should be evaluated as well. If you need to have samples taken at your property, the Colorado Department of Health has a listing of certified inspectors and remediation contractors.

What Happens if Asbestos is Found?

If asbestos is found in building materials that have been disturbed, it may be necessary for the property owner to hire a state-certified asbestos contractor to have the contamination remediated and the building cleaned. This is a private contractor that uses trained and certified workers to perform asbestos abatement. The contractor is required to obtain a permit from the state before conducting the work and they must follow accepted procedures to remove the materials in a safe and controlled manner. Building owners are advised of their responsibilities for dealing with a major asbestos spill. State or local asbestos compliance officers may visit the site to ensure that the work is proceeding in accordance with applicable regulations.

If a building owner refuses to comply with the requirements set forth in Colorado’s asbestos regulation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will issue an Order for them to do so. Failure to comply with an Order will force the matter into the court system, where the building owner faces the possibility of criminal penalties and imprisonment.

What if I Live or Work in the Building?

Access to the building may need to be restricted until an inspection for asbestos-containing material can be performed. You should be aware that other issues, such as arson/criminal investigation or structural integrity, also might require restricting access to the building. Until an affected area can be assessed properly, there may be a risk to anyone entering the area. Once the potential risks are understood and conveyed to building occupants, state or local health department officials may or may not allow building occupants temporary access to the property to retrieve essential items. Some examples of these items include: keys; medicine; glasses; wallets and purses; money, credit cards and checkbooks; pets; important papers; laptop computers; essential school and/or business materials; and minimal clothing. If you are permitted to remove items, you will be given written instructions by the health department on how to safely handle them. Your building owner/management will have information as to if, and when, access to the building will be permitted.

The initial inspection process will take some time, so please be patient until it can be determined if there is a hazard present. If the area is deemed part of a major asbestos spill, remaining items within the area are required to be either decontaminated by a state-certified asbestos contractor or disposed of as asbestos-contaminated waste. Contact building management or your insurance company about remaining items.

National Radon Action Month

January, is National Radon Action Month, and in the State of Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper has proclaimed January as Radon Action Month. On January 25th, 2011 all across the country, individual states will be arriving to their Capital Steps to help promote Radon Awareness in conjunction with Cansar a non-profit who’s main focus is to provide education and awareness to the general population as to the seriousness health impacts of Radon. RDS along with CanSar, EPA and Governor Hickenlooper urge all Coloradans to test their homes for Radon, and to have a radon system installed should the results of their testing, be above the EPA’ s action guideline of 4.0 pCi/L (piccocurries per liter of air).

Radon is the leading cause of lung-cancer in non-smokers, and claims more than 20,000 life’s a year. Radon is a natural occurring gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas. So you can’t see it or smell it like Natural Gas.

When radon enters a home and is trapped, the levels become a health concern, as the gas cannot dissipate as it would naturally outside. When you breath in radon, radon particles can attach themselves to the linings of your lungs and disturb the cells, thus potentially causing lung-cancer. To learn more about radon you can find more information on the EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/

In Colorado 1 out of every 2 homes has elevated radon, 95% of Colorado counties are listed in EPA’s Zone 1- levels greater than 4.0 pCi/L. With the makeup of the geology of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, nearly all of the state is at risk to have elevated radon levels in their home.