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Hazardous Materials Testing Lab

Category Press Release
Publish Date 8/16/2017
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Potential Worker Exposures to Mercury and Asbestos Results in OSHA Complaint
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides mercury, asbestos and other hazardous material testing services from occupational and environmental samples to protect workers and the public.

Cinnaminson, NJ, August 16, 2017

This summer, multiple media outlets reported about a worker who tested positive for elevated levels of mercury after working on a project at a New Hampshire power generating facility. The employee has filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) claiming workers were not adequately protected, as they were exposed to materials containing mercury and asbestos. 

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was added to thousands of products in the past to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance. When materials that contain asbestos become friable and are disturbed, asbestos fibers may be released into the air. Breathing asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Pure mercury is a liquid metal that volatizes readily, sometimes referred to as quicksilver. It has traditionally been used to make products like thermometers, switches and some light bulbs.  Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system of people of all ages. It has been demonstrated that high levels of methylmercury in the bloodstream of unborn babies and young children may harm the developing nervous system.

“The workers in question may have been exposed to mercury and asbestos while they were dismantling and removing old equipment,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This incident is a good reminder that these types of occupational exposure hazards still exist today. Material, surface and air testing is readily available to identify these and other common occupational exposure concerns, such as lead. At EMSL Analytical, Inc., we offer these analytical services and all of the supplies necessary to collect and submit samples. We also provide a large selection of respirators and other personal protective equipment to safeguard workers and help to keep companies in regulatory compliance.”

To learn more about mercury, asbestos, lead or other environmental, occupational, health and safety testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality (IAQ), and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 

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