Cinnaminson, NJ, September 16th, 2020
Each year, millions of people across North America take on do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement projects. While these projects can often save money for a homeowner with the skills to successfully complete the project, there are also a number of potential hazards they may encounter. In addition to issues with building code compliance, laws, permits, ladders, sharp tools, and electrical and gas hazards, a do-it-yourselfer could face a myriad of hidden exposure risks.
These dangers include asbestos. Until the 1970s, many building products used in homes contained the mineral fiber known as asbestos. Asbestos fibers could be released into the air if these materials are disturbed. Exposure is known to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Lead-based paints were also used for decades. Many homes built before 1960 contain heavily leaded paint and some homes built as recently as 1978 also contain lead-based paint. While exposure to lead is harmful to everyone, children are especially vulnerable.
Another issue is mold. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold is very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Exposure to elevated levels of mold can cause respiratory issues, allergies and even trigger an asthma attack in some people with the condition. Some types of mold can also cause fungal infections in people with a weakened immune system.
“Even new materials and finishes used in the project could expose building occupants to elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) states that formaldehyde levels are higher in new manufactured wood products and some fabrics. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to some VOCs may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.”
With laboratories across the United States and Canada, EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services for mold, lead, asbestos, VOCs and many other substances during home improvement projects. They also provide sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, air monitoring instruments, personal protective equipment (PPE) and building inspection tools. EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about DIY home improvement projects and potential hidden dangers that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/N1ZiWkH1SUk.
To learn more about this or other indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and material testing services and products, please visit www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675. To access IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 45 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-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC 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.