1 Headquartered in Orange, Calif., Envirocheck, Inc. provides laboratory and consulting services for general contractors and builders, for both commercial and residential structures, nationwide. With two fully certified and accredited laboratories in Orange and San Diego counties, Envirocheck provides a wide range of professional services including the testing for asbestos, lead-based paint, microbiological contaminants (mold/bacteria), industrial hygiene, clandestine laboratories (methamphetamine), smoke & soot (combustion byproduct), as well as providing project management services, project design, environmental site assessments, training programs, and expert witness services. Laboratory Services Consulting Services Asbestos PLM, PCM, & TEM Analysis Lead Analysis Mold (Viable & Non Viable) Bacteria Microbiology Sewage Screen Analysis Allergens Analysis Clandestine Laboratories (Methamphetamine) Combustion Byproduct (Smoke & Soot) Asbestos Sampling & Surveys AQMD Compliance and Procedure 5 Reports Mold Investigations & Clearance Testing Lead Inspections & Assessments Industrial Hygiene & Chemical Exposure Allergen Assessments & Sewage Screens Litigation Support & Expert Witness Staff Certified Industrial Hygienists Certified Asbestos Consultants Ph.D. Mycology Certified Lead Inspectors Certified Microbial Consultants 5893 Oberlin Drive, Ste 105 San Diego, CA Office: Fax: (858) Visit our website at
2 ASBESTOS What is Asbestos? Asbestos is mined into fibers from naturally occurring serpentine rocks and it is used in multiple building applications. Up until the late 1970s, asbestos was installed in countless buildings from floor to ceiling, and despite being extensively cut back in its allowable production and use in the 1980s, is still found in many building products today. Where is Asbestos found? Because it was used so widely (over 3,000 building products), asbestos can be found in the following places: Acoustic ceiling finishes Insulation Carpet/flooring glues, Flooring materials such as vinyl sheet flooring or linoleum HVAC ducting and duct covering Drywall material and joint compound Roofing materials Window putty, and many more. What Regulations Exist to Control Asbestos? Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Rule: Asbestos containing material (ACM) with more than 1% asbestos by weight must be disposed as hazardous waste. Cal-OSHA: Regulates worker protection. ACMs greater than 0.1% must be removed / handled by licensed & certified workers. Local EPA Regulatory Agencies: South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD): LA, OC, IE. Air Pollution Control District (APCD): SD, Imperial and other counties. Rule 1403 & Procedure 5 Rule 1403: Accepted Asbestos Removal Procedures. Procedures 1-4 are pre-written for the removal of asbestos materials that are in a good, intact condition. Procedure 5: Applies to unanticipated disturbance or damage to ACMs EXAMPLE: Fire damage to a structure that resulted in significant damage to the acoustic ceiling spray and debris on the floor and contents. SOLUTION: Certified Asbestos Consultant (CAC) must perform an independent survey and prepare a custom written Procedure 5 report with plan & specifications of the abatement, decontamination, and remediation. Pro-5s only apply to the counties regulated by SCAQMD: Los Angeles, Orange, Inland Empire What Kinds of Health Effects Can Asbestos Exposure Cause? Exposure to Asbestos usually occurs through inhalation and can cause asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma (a rare, but always fatal disease of the lung lining). Many of these conditions have a latency period and usually do not appear until 10 to 40 years after exposure. Smoking often amplifies the negative effects of asbestos, and increases the probability of contracting asbestos related health issues by a large factor. How Does Envirocheck Test For Asbestos? Envirocheck, Inc. can conduct both bulk and air sampling to determine the presence of asbestos utilizing our two on-site NVLAP accredited laboratories.
3 LEAD Characteristics & History of Lead Lead is a heavy metal that was heavily used in construction materials, but the most overwhelmingly prevalent use of lead was in paint. Lead-based paint was used up until 1978, and can still be found in many residential and commercial buildings today. Lead was used in plumbing applications, and also in gasoline until it was gradually phased out in the 1970s and 1980s. Where is Lead Found? Lead is most commonly found on painted surfaces on either the interior or exterior of a building. Windows Window sills Doors & door jambs Baseboards and moldings Exterior eves, etc. Old or imported toys Because paint can deteriorate, dry and become brittle over time, lead paint chips can break off painted surfaces and fall into the surrounding areas of interior floors or exterior dirt. In locations where lead painted surfaces are subjected to high friction, such as a door and door jamb, lead dust can be created due to the constant amount of friction produced when opening and closing the door. Sanding or abrading of lead painted surfaces can also create lead dust. What Regulations Exist to Control Lead Poisoning? Lead is heavily controlled and regulated as it is a well known industrial hazard. Lead is regulated by the California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 8: Deals with the proper handling, removal, maintenance, and worker protection. Title 10: Deals with the appropriate disclosure of the presence of lead within a building in real estate transactions and rental contracts Department of Public Health regulates exposure levels in housing. The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations deal with the proper methods of testing and removal of lead based paint in residential buildings. The use of lead paint was banned in 1978 in residential buildings, but large amounts of older buildings still exist that are covered in lead paint. What Kinds of Health Effects Can Lead Exposure Cause? The primary pathways for lead exposure are through the ingestion or inhalation of lead dust particulates. Lead is most potentially harmful to infants and children under six years old, whose rapidly developing (and therefore, fragile) immune systems are more susceptible to harm from lead ingestion. Effects from lead exposure in children: Learning disabilities, Lowered I.Q. scores, Hearing loss, Behavioral problems. Adults can also suffer from lead exposure: Reproductive problems, High blood pressure, Nervous system damage How Does Envirocheck Test For Lead? Multiple Locations = Fast Results: Envirocheck owns two on-site NVLAP accredited Lead Labs Located in Orange and San Diego Counties that use Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) to service the lead testing needs. Instant Results On-site: Envirocheck can test lead based paint be using a portable X-Ray Florescence (XRF) Machine to test on-site. Bulk Sampling: Paint chips, dust wipe, soil, or water samples can be taken to determine and assess the risk at a property. Clearance testing: Clearance testing and inspection can be performed after lead is removed to determine habitability.
4 MOLD What is Mold? Molds are multicellular colonies of organisms which are found everywhere in nature. Molds come from the Fungi Kingdom and therefore the terms mold and fungi are used interchangeably. Fungi reproduce by releasing tiny seed-like particles called spores into the air, which enable the fungus to replicate elsewhere. Where is Mold Found? Fungi and their spores can be found in practically every environment on earth. mold can grow in many different areas of a building especially where issues such as water damage, sick building syndrome, or other conditions conducive to mold growth exist. To grow in a building, mold needs moisture and a food source. Food sources include drywall, wood, insulation, plants, decaying food, and much more. What Regulations Exist to Control Mold? Currently, there are no Federal or State laws or regulations that regulate the presence, exposure levels, or removal of mold. However, in the mold testing and removal industry, there are recognized standards and guidelines in existence that provide a standard of care. Some laws are in effect that mandate full disclosure in real estate transactions with regards to water damage and/or the presence of mold in a home or office to potential new buyers. What Kinds of Health Effects Can Mold Exposure Cause? The primary pathway for exposure to fungi is through inhalation. The effects of mold exposure can vary from person to person. Initial reactions to mold exposure can range from: Allergies Headaches Sneezing Itching Runny noses Upper respiratory problems Skin irritations Long term exposure can cause much greater health problems, especially to those with compromised immune systems, such as young children, the elderly, and those suffering from cancer and AIDS. How Does Envirocheck Test For Mold? Envirocheck, Inc. offers many services to determine the source of a mold infestation in the home or office. Air samples Surface samples Intrusive samples (e.g. wall or ceiling cavity samples) Clearance testing Envirocheck, Inc. has an AIHA-accredited Microbiology laboratory on-site for the analysis of mold contaminants.
5 BACTERIA What is Bacteria? Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms which are present everywhere in the natural environment. There are many different kinds of bacteria, some of which are beneficial or even essential to the health of plants and animals, and there are others which cause disease. Bacteria even have industrial applications, such as in food fermentation, pest control, bioremediation, and pharmaceuticals. Where is Bacteria Found? Bacteria can be found in a multitude of places around the home or office. The highest concentrations of bacteria would likely be found in places such as toilets, kitchen sinks, bathtub drains, doorknobs, computer keyboards, and trash cans Bacteria can become airborne, but are normally found attached to environmental substrates. Bacteria microbes can contaminate environmental surfaces such as flooring materials, cabinetry, walls, etc. and lead to human exposure and disease. What Regulations Exist to Control Bacteria? Currently, there are no Federal or State laws or regulations for the water damage and restoration industry to regulate the presence, exposure levels, or removal of bacteria. There are recognized standards and guidelines (e.g. IICRC S520 Standard for Water Damage Restoration) that provide a standard of care. The U.S. EPA sets standards for drinking water and also for beaches and other recreational waters. What Kinds of Health Effects Can Bacteria Exposure Cause? Certain types of bacteria, notably Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Salmonella enterica, just to name a few, are pathogenic. Bacterial diseases range from something as minor as a mild wound infection to food poisoning to something as serious as Necrotizing Fasciitis ( Flesh-eating Bacteria ). Harmful bacteria can infect the human body by entering into broken skin or natural orifices (i.e., nose, mouth, urethra, etc), through ingestion of contaminated foods, by placing foreign objects in the mouth (e.g., pen chewing), and through hand-to-mouth contact. How Does Envirocheck Test For Bacteria? Envirocheck, Inc. provides air, bulk, and surface testing for bacteria and analyzes the samples in our AIHAaccredited* Microbiology laboratory located on-site. Bacterial counts and genus/species identification can be obtained from air, bulk, and swab samples. Bulk samples include items such as water, food, and building materials. Swabs are typically used to sample environmental surfaces. The water damage and restoration industry typically utilizes the Sewage Screen, which checks environmental surfaces for a specific panel of sewageindicating bacteria. * AIHA does not provide accreditation for all types of bacterial analyses.
6 ALLERGENS What are Allergens? Basically, allergens are microscopic pieces of biological organisms that when introduced into the human body are detected by the immune system as antigens and stimulates an allergic response. Where are Allergens Found? Allergens can be found everywhere in nature, but pose a real problem when found indoors in high enough concentrations to make a person sick. These allergens originate from their biological sources in the following ways: Cat: When cats bathe themselves with their saliva, the saliva dries up on their skin and hair. The saliva, skin, and hair all combined into a substance that is shed from the animal is called dander. This dander becomes airborne and settles anywhere dust would normally settle, such as carpets and furniture. Dog: Although dogs don t bathe themselves with their saliva, they produce dander much like cats do. Cockroach: Allergens are present in cockroach egg shells, molting skin, and excrement. Dust mite: Allergens originate from their feces. Mouse: Allergens are found in their urine. What Regulations Exist to Control Allergens? Currently, there are no Federal or State laws or regulations that regulate the presence, exposure levels, or removal of allergens. Studies of environmental allergens are limited. What Kinds of Health Effects Can Allergens Cause? Allergic responses vary in severity, depending on the person affected. Symptoms include headache, sneezing, itching, runny noses, upper respiratory problems, and skin irritations. Even people who are not currently allergic can become allergic by a process known as sensitization. Basically, when a person is introduced to a high concentration of a particular allergen at one time, their immune system will produce antibodies to combat these allergens (antigens). The person will likely not show any symptoms until their next encounter with that particular allergen. When they do, their immune system will produce elevated levels of histamine, which are responsible for the symptoms of the typical allergic reaction. How Does Envirocheck Test For Allergens? Envirocheck, Inc. performs dust sampling to test for presence of allergens in the home or office. The samples are analyzed by Envirocheck s on-site Microbiology laboratory, using ELISA methodology (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay).
7 PROFESSIONAL TESTING IS KEY TO METH DETECTION Methamphetamine drug labs are being discovered all over the country. Many of these labs, located in commercial and residential structures alike, can go undetected for many m o n t h s. H o m e o w n e r s, employees and contractors living and working in these structures are equally at risk. Meth residue causes a myriad of symptoms including respiratory illness, skin burns, eye irritation, headaches, nausea, dizziness, and even cancer and death. Methamphetamine is an Invisible Toxin The toxins left behind after meth production pose the greatest risk. SICK HOUSE! Know the Signs of Methamphetamine Contamination These chemicals leave no visible evidence and permeate all surfaces. Walls, air ducts, flooring, and even the air itself can be toxic. Only One Meth Lab in Ten is Busted Even though many states have laws requiring disclosure of Meth labs once discovered, only one Meth Lab in 10 is uncovered by the authorities. Professional testing is the key. How can Envirocheck help? Envirocheck is the leader in methamphetamine detection - protecting your employees, residents and tenants from this dangerous toxin and its lasting effects. Our expert technicians will take samples and deliver them to our state-of-the-art laboratory for analysis. For more information please contact the ENVIROCHECK team You will receive verbal results in addition to a full, written report for your records Oberlin Dr, Ste. 105 San Diego, CA Office: (858)
8 Damages that seem to be caused by recent wildfires may come from other sources all of which can leave behind a fine-grained solid particulate residue. The residue from these sources can have the potential to create a visual phenomenon known as ghosting that appears as black discoloration on flooring, vents, electrical outlets, vent grills, ceilings, and walls. Some causes of ghosting : gas appliances fireplaces printer cartridges wildfires How can Envirocheck help? Envirocheck will analyze this residue, called combustion byproduct, and can give you the origin of the residue. In doing this, we provide assistance with adjusting claims and verifying damages for many adjusters, property managers, and attorneys. Avoid expensive cleanup costs and/or determine the legitimacy of a claim by using the leaders in the industry. Call Envirocheck today. burning incense burning candles BURNING MONEY? Science has saved thousands on soot-related claims. TEST THE AUTHENTICITY Y OF WILDFIRE DAMAGES cigarette smoke fuels such as oil For more information please contact our Envirocheck team Melinda Hernandez Office Manager/Scheduling Vinh Q. Pham V.P. of Operations Oberlin Dr., Ste. 105 San Diego, CA Tel: Fax: SERVING ALL OF SOUTHERN CA (858) Visit our website at
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