Colorado Department of Health Archives - RDS Environmental

Colorado Department of Health

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Mold Affecting Your Children’s Asthma?

Young Children who live in mold positive homes are three times to contract asthma by the age of 7, according to an article and study published in the ieconnections paper. The University of Cincinnati did a study over the last seven years and took comparative data from its 700 evaluated children involved in the Childhood Allergy and Air pollution study ( CCAAPS). The study has shown that early life exposure to mold, plays a critical role in childhood developed asthma. As well genetic play a factor in this study. If the parents of the child have allergy’s or asthma they are at a greater risk of developing asthma. What dose this study mean for our homeowners, motivation. This study should motivate parents and expecting parents alike to have there homes tested if there was ever any evidence of water damage or water intrusion into the home.


Always Test for Mold!

It is always important to make sure your home is safe for you and your family. But its also important to test before you make a uneducated decsion and end up paying for something that wanst even there.  Companys can very easily take advantage of homeowners fears.  This is why it is very important to test before any action is taken  Watch this clip on the Today show about this growing problem these people are making a bad image for our profession lets set it straight.

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Spring is here, So is Radon!

During these past winter weeks we have had the ability to get the most accurate levels in homes for radon due to the fact that many people keep there windows and doors closed during this time.  I don’t know many people who thought a nice blizzard breeze felt good.  Now if you have your house tested this spring it is very crucial to the test your doing to recieve the most accurate levels possible.  As well its very important to your families health as well.  As a Radon testing company we see the effects of windows being left open during radon test, or if they were not used properly.  Thus why we send out two test or do our (CRM) continuois Radon Monitor.   It’s important for us to get this information out to you.  Because we want you the home owner getting the best readings so we know that your home and whats in it, is going to be protected.  So remeber if you have your home tested no matter how beautiful these spring days become keep windows and doors closed when testing for Radon.

Lets Hear it for House Bill 12-1165

Today mark’s a day in the history of Colorado, and for Radon.  A bill is being presented to the senate and the state of Colorado, to protect our Home sellers and buyers from Radon gases.  Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.  Its the Number 1 cause of lung cancer in non-smoking people.  Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, gas which attacks your lungs.  This bill will make Colorado a healthier state in that, our homes will be safer to live in.  We can all benefit from the fact that our families will be protected from this silent killer.  To have this bill pass, would be a huge step for Colorado, not only for our health but, for our State as a whole.  This bill will make it so the Sellers and real estate agencies are responsible for testing a mitigating the Radon in the home.  We can save lives just simply by testing and providing that information to the buyers.  As well homes being built are to have Radon mitigation systems installed which will drop initial cost of the installation of the systems cheaper up front.  So lets hope that House Bill 12-1165 makes it.  Sue Shaffer is our representative for this house bill so email her to give her a thank you.(   Click here to see the short summary of the Bill.

Radon Is a Killer, Respect It, Test For It.

Radon, It is know as the silent killer and for a good reason.  Its a odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that can enter into your home.  Radon is produced through the break down of uranium in the soil which most of the time si located under homes foundations.  It as well is the secound leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.  Home owners and homebuyers should always test there homes for Radon.  Studies do shows that most of Colorado’s counties are potential areas for high Radon.  The EPA’s zone map of Colorado shows most of the counties in the Zone 1 levels.  Which is the zone that the EPA recomends the homeowners to take action.  Click here to go to the EPA’s Map of Colorado. 

 Because radon levels are influenced by a variety of factors—soil type and moisture, how “tight” the home is, type of heating and ventilation system, movement of air and groundwater, air pressure, and lifestyle behavior of the occupants—the only way to know if a home has elevated levels of radon is to test it.  This table was pulled from an Artical about Radon In the Home Click here to go there.

Table 1: Radon risk if you have never smoked (Developed by the EPA).

If 1,000 people who never smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime
The risk of cancer from radon exposure compares to WHAT TO DO
20 pCi/L* about 36 people could get lung cancer 35 times the risk of drowning Fix your home.
10 pCi/L* about 18 people could get lung cancer 20 times the risk of dying in a home fire Fix your home.
8 pCi/L* about 15 people could get lung cancer 4 times the risk of dying ina fall Fix your home.
4 pCi/L* about 7 people could get lung cancer The risk of dying in a car crash. Fix your home.
2 pCi/L* about 4 people could get lung cancer The risk of dying of poison. Consider fixing between 2 and 4 pCi/L
1.3 pCi/L* about 2 people could get lung cancer Average indoor radon level. (Reducing radon levels below
2 pCi/L is difficult.)
0.4 pCi/L*   Average outdoor radon level. (Reducing radon levels below
2 pCi/L is difficult.)
*pCi/L: picocuries of radon per liter of air
NOTE: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be higher.

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.