Cinnaminson, NJ, July 7, 2017
A growing number of states have legalized the use of medical and recreational marijuana, also known as cannabis, over the past several years. To support this rapidly expanding industry, commercial grow operations and extraction facilities have been quick to open there doors in places where they can now legally function.
Much of the marijuana produced comes from indoor marijuana grow operations (MGOs). This multibillion dollar industry currently employs thousands of workers, and if growth projections are accurate, the industry could employee hundreds of thousands within the next few years.
Some of these MGOs could pose unique health and safety risks for employees. For example, the warm and humid conditions utilized in many grow operations can support the growth of mold. Inhalation exposure to elevated levels of mold can cause allergies, act as a respiratory irritant, trigger an asthma attack in some people with the condition, and some types of mold can even cause opportunistic infections in people with a weakened or suppressed immune system. Exposure to other potential allergens (insects), dust and particulate matter (PM) is another concern. Workers could also come in contact with various pesticides and fertilizers.
At some MGOs, elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2
) are produced to enhance plant growth. Depending on the source of the CO2
, carbon monoxide (CO), various combustion gases and PM may be present. Reduced ventilation rates to enhance CO2
concentrations can also lead to a buildup of airborne pollutants. In addition, extraction operations utilizing solvents could cause their own health and safety concerns.
“MGO employees should be trained to recognize respirable hazards and the proper use of personal protective equipment or PPE,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we provide testing services to identify occupational exposure risks associated with mold, allergens, solvents and pesticides. We also offer monitoring equipment to measure gases such as CO and CO2
and other airborne concerns, such as particulate matter. We even have a comprehensive line of PPE to protect workers from these and other likely hazards.”
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about marijuana grow operations and potential occupational exposure risks that can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XKiCrpY7Os
To learn more about air quality, occupational and industrial hygiene testing services and products, please visit www.EMSL.com
, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella
, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com
for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.