JUNE 28-29 2011




MAY 2011

QuanTEM Chronicle

An informative Newsletter for Environmental Professionals

Message from John Barnett, President 

John Barnett, President
John Barnett, President.

Hello everyone, 

If you have been watching the news the last couple weeks you've seen the damage and devastation reeked on cities, homes and business throughout the Central Plains and the Midwest.   There have been hundreds who lost their lives and thousands who've lost their homes and livelihood's to these storms.   National disasters happen every year, sometimes its earthquakes, hurricanes or fires; yet the results are still the same.  Those affected need all the help they can get.  Those of us who are fortunate enough to be spared these losses need to rise to the occasion and pitch in any way we can.  Most of us are not in a position to personally go to the site and volunteer our services, but there are many organizations that are on the ground providing housing, food, clothing and trauma assistance.  They need our financial support.  Most TV stations have a listing of these organizations on their web sites.  One of the major national organizations is the American Red Cross. You can donate at   I'm confident that they'd appreciate your support. 

In case you were wondering, QuanTEM and our employees lost some sleep during the storms last week but no one experienced any storm damage.



John Barnett,
President, QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC


Man Faces $150,000 in Fines For Endangering Children With Lead Paint   

 By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

Posted May 16, 2011, at 6:20 p.m.
Last modified May 16, 2011, at 6:50 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine - When someone leaked a video of men sanding the side of an apartment building and letting lead paint chips fly around, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stepped in and started counting up the violations. Six of them.

Now Rockland contractor Colin Wentworth faces a minimum of $150,000 in fines from the federal agency.

According to the 22-page EPA complaint, Wentworth was on a vacation in October 2010 when his brother and one of his employees began sanding paint off an outside apartment wall on Park Street. Wentworth had proper lead paint training and certification, but the two men doing the work did not, the EPA wrote. The men neglected to use a sander with a vacuum to suck up the paint chips, to put down tarps, clean up, or contain the paint chips in any way. The 1852 building shed lead paint near the apartments, which housed at least six children, according to the EPA.

"Children could subsequently become exposed to lead by playing in or ingesting the contaminated soil [near their home]," the EPA complaint states. "Children under the age of 6 are most likely to be adversely affected by the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards."

This building, which contains four apartments, was home to at least one child under the age of 6.

Lead paint exposure to children "can cause developmental impairment, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems," the EPA wrote in a press release Monday. "Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain."

Further, the EPA wrote that Wentworth should have better trained and supervised his staff.

Maine's Department of Environmental Protection found out about the lead paint chips by an anonymous YouTube video of the sanding. <LINK NOW INACTIVE>  The state agency cited Wentworth for a violation because of the toxic mess around the building. The DEP asked Wentworth to clean up the paint chips. When the department checked the apartment the next day, the paint chips were cleaned up. The DEP will not take any further action, according to officials.

Federal officials, however, are pursuing six violations included: failure to obtain initial firm certification, failure to post warning signs, failure to cover ground with plastic sheeting, use of sanding or grinding equipment without HEPA exhaust control, failure to contain waste from renovation activities and failure to establish and maintain records. According to the EPA documents, the only violation Wentworth did not verbally admit to concerns the firm certification.

The EPA awaits a written response to the allegations from Wentworth. EPA officials also have offered him a chance to talk about a settlement.

Wentworth declined Monday to comment on the violations.  READ MORE.










In This Issue
Man Faces $150,000 in Fines For Endangering Children With Lead Paint
Asbestos a Hidden Threat in Tornado Damaged Areas
Abandoned Oil & Gas Wells Threaten Drinking Water
Residents Return to Flood-Damaged Homes in Mississippi

Editors Note

Business Development Director,
QuanTEM Laboratories
Summer is here at QuanTEM Laboratories
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Asbestos a Hidden Threat in Tornado Damaged Areas

Posted Thursday, May 11, 2011 by

Retreived online May 26, 2011 from HERE.


In the wake of deadly tornadoes that have ravaged Alabama, government agencies caution emergency workers and residents who are combing through debris containing an invisible threat: asbestos fibers. Because of the massive amount of destruction, asbestos fibers are believed to have been disturbed in the older homes and buildings during the tornados.


Inhalation and ingestion of asbestos fibers has been linked to the development of a number of different diseases, including asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma. Once asbestos fibers become lodged in human tissue, they create cellular changes that can lead to the development of asbestos-related diseases. Because asbestos fibers are microscopic, they are not visible to the human eye and many people inhale them unknowingly.

Tornado Image- Moore, Oklahoma May 1999 


Craig Tucker of the Jefferson County Department of Public Health recently commented on the hidden potential health risks, saying, "The likelihood is probably pretty high. Asbestos is a pretty common material in older homes and businesses, so it's going to be there. I think the risk is pretty low though at this time." However, Tucker further stated that, "when the material becomes crushed, more of a powdered state, that's when you've got the potential for the asbestos fibers to become airborne and then cause the greatest damage to the public's health."


Tornado Damage- May 2011

Piedmont, Oklahoma

Health officials have advocated that ordinary dust masks are not enough to prevent exposure, and half face type masks with double HEPA filters can provide nearly 100 percent protection. Officials have encouraged any people cleaning up debris to take a minimum amount of respiratory protection. Johnny Burnette of the Walker County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) noted, "We're trying to make sure that they all understand that there's nails in boards, that you've got to be careful where you step, what you're breathing."


However, in cities like Cullman, the downtown area has been inspected for items suspected to bear airborne asbestos and health officials have yet to discover any significant traces of the mineral. In a letter, Chief Building Inspector Rick Fulmer wrote that all materials should be handled with caution to reduce dust and be covered during transport. READ MORE.

Abandoned Oil & Gas Wells Threaten Drinking Water, Homes

From ProPublica's Nicholas Kusnetz:

A version of this story was co-published with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Retreived online May 27, 2011 from HERE.


In the last 150 years, prospectors and energy companies have drilled as many as 12 million holes across the United States in search of oil and gas. Many of those holes were plugged after they dried up. But hundreds of thousands were simply abandoned and forgotten, often leaving no records of their existence.


Government reports have warned for decades that abandoned wells can provide pathways for oil, gas or brine-laden water to contaminate groundwater supplies or to travel up to the surface. Abandoned wells have polluted the drinking water source for Fort Knox, Ky., and leaked oil into water wells in Ohio and Michigan. Similar problems have occurred in Texas, New York, Colorado and other states where drilling has occurred.


In 2008, gas from an abandoned well leaked into a septic system in Pennsylvania and exploded when someone tried to light a candle in a bathroom, killing the person, according to a 2009 draft report by the state's Department of Environmental Protection. That report also documented at least two dozen other cases of gas seeping from old wells, including three where the drilling of new wells "communicated" with old wells, leaking gas into water supplies and forcing the evacuation of a home.

In February, methane from an old well made its way into the basement of a house in West Mifflin, Pa., triggering a small explosion. Two families were evacuated and have not yet returned home.


Such incidents rarely receive much attention outside the states and neighborhoods they affect. But as the nation's latest drilling boom continues, abandoned wells have begun attracting more attention, particularly in states where the earth is already pock-marked with holes left by earlier waves of extraction. New wells sometimes disturb layers of rock and dirt near fragile old wells, leading to new cases of contamination. READ MORE.

Residents Return to Flood-Damaged Homes in Mississippi
By: The Associated Press
CUTOFF, Miss. May 30, 2011, 04:09 pm ET

Retreived online May 31, 2011 from HERE. 


Javier Campos returned to his neighborhood for the first time in nearly a month Monday to find the serene little enclave of fishing camps and homes a putrid, mud-caked mess after the historic flooding of the Mississippi River.

"It's too late for praying now," he said, stomping through the sludge.

Like Campos, many residents got their first glimpse Monday of what's left of Cutoff, an unincorporated community on the unprotected side of the river in Mississippi's Tunica County.

Cutoff, MS.  May 30, 2011


Authorities had already used machinery to remove dead deer and propane tanks from roads, but a thick layer of mud coated piles of debris and almost everything else in sight. Some of the houses, most built on stilts on the banks of Tunica Lake, had been flooded nearly to their attics. Only five out of 350 structures didn't flood.

The tally of the damage continues here, but at least a dozen houses are a total loss, and maybe more, with one left laying on its side.

Inspectors let some residents return home over the weekend, but most were seeing the destruction Monday for the first time.  Campos, a 32-year-old handyman, still couldn't quite get to his own home. So he pulled on a pair of gloves and started helping a neighbor salvage what he could.

"It's terrible, man. Everybody needs help," Campos said. "So I'm helping my neighbors, and when I can get back to my house, maybe they will help me."

Despite the devastation, Tunica County Planning Director Pepper Bradford said opening the last sections of the community Monday was a milestone for the roughly 225 households that are permanent residences in a series of fishing camps.

But, he said, danger is lurking.

"My building inspectors are packing heat," Bradford said. "And they have shot some snakes."  The Mississippi River displaced thousands on its march to the sea, despite dramatic action to stem the losses. The rising waters led the Army Corps of Engineers to blow up a Missouri levee to save Midwest communities and open spillways in Louisiana to lessen the risk in heavily populated places like New Orleans.  READ MORE. 


Barbara Holder, Customer Service Manager

  There is a change in Barbara's Corner.  I am now in a new corner of QuanTem. My new position will be Customer Relations Manager. 


 I will continue to coordinate your projects and will always be available if you have any issues, special needs, questions or concerns.

I am looking forward to this change as I am sure I will be of greater service to you now that you have my full and undivided attention.


Sherrie Leftwich and CeCelia Van Eck will continue on as your login specialists to help with your projects as well.


You can email me at HERE or call me at (800) 822-1650.

QuanTEM Chronicle Newsletter
Produced & Edited by
Scott Leavell, Business Development Director 
Suggestions or comments?  Email me here.

Any publication included in this News Letter and/or opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the views of QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC but remain solely those of the author(s). Such publications have been included only for ease of reference and academic purposes.
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