QuanTEM Laboratories - Fast, Accurate, and Professional
QuanTEM Chronicles - February 2009
QuanTEM Laboratories
John Barnett, PresidentA Message from John Barnett, President

Hi friends,
It seems to me that the Thanksgiving Season often gets lost somewhere between Halloween and gift buying. That's too bad, because Thanksgiving is maybe one of the most important parts of our lives. 
It doesn't matter what your religion is, what your background is, or where you grew up. It doesn't even matter what your political views are.  All that matters is that we each stop and take a minute to consider what we have.  I don't know how high money ranks, but I know family and friends are most likely at the top of the list.  Maybe the fact that we have a job or a business is a reason for being grateful.  I had an uncle who was blind and although he could do amazing things I can't think about him without being grateful for my eye sight.
Also, I'm very grateful for you, our friends and fellow environmental professionals.  Working with you is what makes this business rewarding.
Thanks for being a friend.
John E. Barnett
QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC



Lead Recalls: All Lead Recalls

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death. CPSC announces all recalls on their website http://www.cpsc.gov/. Pictures and descriptions are taken directly from the recall press releases. Click on the picture or link to see full descriptions of the recalled items.

To see pictures and descriptions of recalled items (especially toys) Click Here

Attention:  Air-O-Cell Spore Trap Users

Air-O-Cell Product Advisory

Monday, December 15, 2008

Zefon International has received a small number of reports related to lack of tackiness on the collection adhesive of the Air-O-Cell product. At Zefon, we take these reports very seriously and have worked to quickly confirm and identify the problem. We have determined that there was an intermittent problem on certain cassettes that can be best described as a significantly reduced shelf life.

We have identified that Air-O-Cell cassettes manufactured between late July 2008 and early November of 2008 may have this problem.

To maintain the integrity of the Air-O-Cell product and the confidence of our customers, Zefon International asks that customers check to see if they have any product on hand from one of the suspect lot numbers. If you find that you do have product from one of the suspected lots, Zefon recommends you stop sampling with product from that lot number and contact us immediately at 1-800-282-0073 to arrange immediate replacement of the product at no charge.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and greatly appreciate your assistance in this matter. Your continued support and confidence in Zefon products is our highest priority and we are working quickly and diligently to make sure all customers are notified of this matter.

To find a list of suspect lots Click Here
Researchers find gene that regulates mold's resistance to drugs

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Montana State University scientists concerned about lethal mold infections have found a gene that regulates the mold's resistance to drugs.

The gene, called srbA, allows molds to thrive during infections even when inflammation reduces its oxygen supply, said Robert Cramer, senior author of a paper published in the Nov. 7 issue of PloS Pathogens. When the gene is removed, the mold becomes much more vulnerable to lack of oxygen and can no longer grow to cause disease.

The gene is found in humans and molds, but the researchers studied it in a common mold called Aspergillus fumigatus, said Cramer, assistant professor of fungal pathogenesis in MSU's Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology. A. fumigatus can invade the lungs and cause dangerous diseases, including Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis. Patients with compromised immune systems, especially organ transplant patients, are particularly at risk.

"The incidence of potentially lethal infections caused by normally benign molds has increased tremendously over the last two decades," the researchers wrote.

Read more about this interesting discovery HERE


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs                                                                       Washington, DC 20207

October 22, 2007

CPSC Staff Study: Home Lead Test Kits Unreliable

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today announced the results of a special evaluation of consumer lead test kits. CPSC staff used commonly available test kits on a variety of paints and other products containing different levels of lead. Many of the tests performed using the kits did not detect lead when it was there (false negatives); some indicated lead was present when it was not (false positives). Of 104 total test results, more than half (56) were false negatives, and two were false positives. None of the kits consistently detected lead in products if the lead was covered with a non-leaded coating. Based on the study consumers should not use lead test kits to evaluate consumer products for potential lead hazards. These findings are consistent with previous CPSC staff test results.

CPSC staff studied two common types of home lead test kits that are based on chemical reactions involving rhodizonate ion or sulfide ion. Most test kits were developed to detect levels of lead in household paint that are usually much higher than CPSC's regulatory maximum level of 0.06%. As a result, staff found that these kits may not be useful for detecting relatively low lead paint concentrations or for detecting lead in other materials, such as metal jewelry or vinyl products. Also, both types of kits may be affected by substances such as iron, tin, or dirt, or by paint colors that can cause the color in the test kit to change or hide the color change, thereby interfering with interpretation of the test results.

Find the policies in full HERE
Asbestos suit against 58 defendants cites 'Pustejovsky' decision

1/6/2009 12:16 PM
By Marilyn Tennissen

The wife of a local refinery worker already received a settlement for a non-malignant illness allegedly caused by her husband's asbestos exposure. Now a new suit has been filed on her behalf after she died from an asbestos-related malignancy.

Denise Clements filed the suit on behalf of decedent Lola Thomas on Dec. 29, 2008, in Jefferson County District Court, and names nearly 60 companies as defendants.

The suit alleges Thomas was exposed through her husband's employment as a mechanic and laborer where he was required to work with and around asbestos containing materials.

Mr. Thomas's exposure "caused him to indirectly expose his wife, Lola Thomas, in which she suffered from asbestos-related diseases and other industrial dust diseases caused by breathing the asbestos-containing products," the suit alleges.

The plaintiff is now seeking damages pursuant to Pustejovsky v. Rapid-American Corp., the 2000 Texas Supreme Court ruling that a victim may file an additional suit for asbestos-related cancer if he develops a second illness from the same cause at a later date.

 The rest of the story HERE

Multi Layered Asbestos Sample Guidance

There seems to be confusion among some asbestos consultants as to how multi-layered samples are handled at the laboratory.  The federal government requires each material found in a sample to be analyzed separately.  A clarification to EPA's asbestos NESHAP details several examples of different materials (December 1993).  Also, OSHA requires each material to be analyzed separately. 
Asbestos inspectors are taught in their inspection class to identify each "homogeneous area" in a building.  A ""homogeneous area" means an area of surfacing material, thermal system insulation material, or miscellaneous material that is uniform in color and texture" (40CFR763.83). 
So each different material is a unique homogeneous area and is required to be analyzed by itself even if other materials are adhered to it.  Some examples:
A floor tile is one homogeneous area and the mastic on the back is a second homogeneous area. 
A plaster skim coat is one homogeneous area and the underlying "brown" coat is a separate homogeneous area.
The drywall texture over the surface of a gypsum wallboard is one homogeneous material while the wallboard is a second homogeneous area and the material found at the joints is a third homogeneous area.
When your samples are received at the laboratory, we must analyze each layer (homogeneous area) found within the sample container unless specifically directed otherwise by the inspector.  So, for example, if you already know the mastic in a flooring sample is asbestos containing and you only want the floor tile analyzed - state this on the chain of custody - we will only analyze the tile.
State in clear terms what you want the analysts to do (making sure, of course, that your request is legal).  Think of it this way:  The chain of custody is the direct link of your thoughts to our analysts.  And contrary to what you may have heard on the CSI shows, we are not magicians, mind readers, or miracle workers.  So throw us a bone and give us clear directions.  If you have any questions regarding multi-layered systems or would like a copy of the NESHAP clarification mentioned above, give us a call.

Jeff Mlekush

QuanTEM Laboratories
Medical Expert Demands 'Call For Action' with Asbestos Industrial Manslaughter Cases

Several researchers, scientists and professors who recently attended the President's Cancer Panel in September were prompted by a professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at SUNY Downstate Medical Center to halt the threat of asbestos among industrial workers by amending government policy on asbestos and mesothelioma cancer as well as all carcinogens in the workplace.

Jeanne Mager Stellman, PhD, explained to the panel of individuals that "decades had been wasted on examining the problem of carcinogens" among the workplace and had contributed to the demise of American workers' health. Dr. Stellman also explained to the panel that the government was responsible for the "lack of the will to prevent occupational disease, death and disability" among workers across the United States.

The President's Cancer Panel is an extension of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and is derived of experts who strive to "improve the investment in preventing cancers" that harm the American people, according to NCI's Web site.

However, Dr. Stellman, who gave a deposition of industrial carcinogens claimed that the toxic effects felt by many workers had manifested through the years and eventually caused the development of cancer among thousands, and basically stated that the panel was not doing enough to protect workers from carcinogens such as asbestos in the workplace.

To read more on this story Click Here
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