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Environmental Testing Laboratory

Category Press Release
Publish Date 9/11/2019
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Identifying Potential Occupational and Environmental Exposure Risks at Recycling and Reuse Facilities
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides analytical services, sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment to identify and safeguard against exposure to chemical and microbial hazards.

Atlanta, GA, September 11th , 2019

With over 7 billion people on the planet, recycling has become increasingly necessary and an important part of creating a modern and sustainable society. Hundreds of millions of tons of waste are recycled each year and countless workers are involved in occupations that recycle or reuse residential, commercial and industrial waste.

While recycling is good for the environment and has created new industries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that it can also be dangerous for workers. The agency goes on to state that this is in part due to the fact that certain materials that are recycled or reused, such as scrap metal, electronics, batteries, and used oil and other chemicals, have materials that directly pose hazards to workers. A number of these hazards are quite specific to the materials being handled and processed.

For example, OSHA reported that composting and other activities to recycle organic material can create hazardous environments which can be fatal to workers who are not aware of the potential dangers. In particular, composting facilities often have confined space hazards, which may have respiratory hazards such as hydrogen sulfide or carbon monoxide gases, or other gases that may displace the oxygen in the area. Other inhalation risks include exposure to mold and particulate matter (PM) which could cause or exacerbate occupational asthma, allergies, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) and other respiratory conditions.

“Recycling electronics, batteries, scrap metal, used oils and various chemicals can also expose workers to a host of hazardous substances,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “These could include ammonia and other refrigerants, capacitors containing PCBs, mercury, asbestos, synthetic mineral fibers, dioxins, lead, cadmium, nickel and other toxic metals. Workers could also be exposed to a myriad of other hazardous chemicals, combustible dusts and even components containing radioactive substances.”

The industrial hygiene and environmental experts at EMSL Analytical, Inc. can test for heavy metals, microbial contaminants, chemicals, and radiative or other hazardous materials to help reduce exposure risks. Their network of laboratories across North America offer testing services, sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE). They have even recently sponsored an educational video about potential occupational exposure risks at recycling centers and reuse facilities that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/m4HY_bFhIWQ.

To learn more about industrial hygiene and environmental testing services or air monitoring and personal protective equipment, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 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.
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