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Industrial Hygiene Testing Laboratory

Category Press Release
Publish Date 10/28/2019
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Analysis to Identify Coal Ash Exposure Hazards
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides industrial hygiene and environmental testing services to identify coal ash, dusts, heavy metals and other exposure risks and pollutants.

Cinnaminson, NJ, October 28th , 2019

Over the last several years there have been a number of articles written about coal ash, including “What Is Coal Ash and Why Is It Dangerous?” published in The New York Times. These articles have shared a growing concern over exposure to coal ash and water contamination issues.

Coal ash is created when coal is burned by power plants to produce electricity. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), coal ash, also known as coal combustion residuals (CCRs), is one of the largest types of industrial waste generated in the country. In 2014, coal-fired electric utilities generated approximately 130 million tons of coal ash in the U.S. alone.

Coal ash by-products may include fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, flue gas desulfurization materials and other substances. Potentially hazardous elements that may be found in coal ash could include arsenic, boron, lead, cadmium, chromium, lithium, mercury, molybdenum, thallium and other materials.

“The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) reported that exposure to coal ash can cause skin irritation and inhaling it can result in respiratory irritation as well as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and some of the compounds found in coal ash can cause cancer after continued long-term ingestion and inhalation according to the agency. Four years ago, the Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities final rule was published in the Federal Register (FR). It delivers national regulations to provide a comprehensive set of requirements for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals from coal-fired power plants. Nationwide, there are hundreds of coal ash landfills and retention ponds, some over 1,000 acres, which could be causing exposure risks to workers, communities and the environment if not properly built, maintained and monitored.”

To safeguard workers and help keep companies in compliance with health, safety and environmental regulations, EMSL offers industrial hygiene and environmental analysis for coal ash, heavy metals, silica and other pollutants from air, soil and water samples.  EMSL has sponsored an educational video about coal ash and potential exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/5Rzhz6UnhmY.

To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, health and safety testing services, 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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