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Occupational Safety Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 9/13/2023
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Wildfire Smoke and Protecting Outdoor Workers from Exposure Risks
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides laboratory testing services, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment to identify and mitigate exposure to hazardous airborne pollutants.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, September 13, 2023

During a wildfire, the public is often advised to stay indoors and avoid demanding activities during periods of thick smoke; however, outdoor workers who cannot escape to the indoors are often at risk. This year alone, millions of workers have already been impacted by wildfire smoke. This is due to the fact that smoke from a wildfire or prescribed burn can travel a great distance, impacting workers even in places like New York City or Philadelphia.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes wildfire smoke as a complex mixture of gases and particles from burning vegetation and other materials. As a wildfire burns, many different compounds are released in the smoke, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter (PM), benzene, acrolein and aldehydes.

The agency warns that exposure to wildfire smoke can cause many symptoms, including eye and throat irritation, wheezing and coughing. It can also worsen other illnesses, such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and heart and blood vessel disease. During pregnancy, exposure to wildfire smoke can even affect fetal development according to NIOSH.

“Smoke from a wildfire can also react with urban air pollution to create exceptionally unhealthy conditions,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “It’s important to note that in many cases, wildfire smoke can make its way indoors, negatively impacting the indoor air quality (IAQ) of places where people work and live. At EMSL, we help to protect workers and the public from airborne exposure risks. Our environmental and industrial hygiene laboratories offer air testing services, sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments, and respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE). EMSL also provides laboratory services to identify smoke, soot and odor damage to the inside of homes, businesses and other buildings impacted by wildfires.”

An educational video sponsored by EMSL about wildfire smoke and protecting outdoor workers can be seen at: https://youtu.be/DCCc5ZuMDf4

To learn more about air quality, particulate matter, smoke residue, odor and other testing services and resources, 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 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, VOCs, 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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