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Ashley J. Palmer

Baxter Group, Inc. Earns Platinum STEP Award!

By | Safety | No Comments

Baxter Group, Inc. is proud to announce

that we have achieved PLATINUM level

for the second year in a row!

The Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) serves as a benchmarking and improvement tool for achieving world-class safety performance in construction. Members measure their safety processes and policies on the 20 key components through a detailed questionnaire and learn to implement or enhance safety programs.

Our 2016 Platinum Award!

2017 Platinum Award Coming in the Fall!

An Invisible Cause of Lung Cancer

By | Baxter Group, Inc., Indoor Air Quality, Radon | No Comments

A cancer-causing radioactive gas that comes from the soil and can seep into any type of building- house, office, school, hospital, etc.…It can get in through cracks in solid floors and walls, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors and around service pipes, cavities inside walls and even in the water supply.

It is found all over the United States, but areas are broken into three zones measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L).

  • Zone 1 Highest Potential (greater than 4 pCi/L)
  • Zone 2 Moderate Potential (from 2 to 4 pCi/L)
  • Zone 3 Low Potential (less than 2 pCi/L)

No level of radon is safe, but anything above 4 pCi/L needs to be mitigated. Franklin County, PA and the immediate surrounding counties are all in Zone 1 meaning those counties have the highest radon exposure risk.

 

However, if your next-door neighbor’s house tests at 27 pCi/L, your home could test at 36 pCi/L or it could test 2 pCi/L. Many factors play a part in radon levels. The building structure, the wind, how much uranium is in the soil, rocks or water etc…

 

Just because the surrounding area tests high doesn’t mean your house will test high.

 

But the only way to know is to test.

Asbestos: Do, Don’t & Training

By | Asbestos, Baxter Group, Inc., Safety | No Comments

Workers involved in construction, renovation or demolition have a high risk of being exposed to asbestos-containing materials (ACM).

Some of these materials include:

  • Insulation
  • Vinyl floor tiles and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape

While the construction workplace has regulations to protect the workers, those in a maintenance or custodial position may not know what to do if they accidentally disturb ACM.

The EPA offers three types of training for those who do not typically work with asbestos.

 

Type 1: Awareness Training

This training is for maintenance and custodial staff involved in cleaning tasks where ACM may be accidentally disturbed. It is two hours and the topics may include:

  • Background information on asbestos
  • Health effects
  • Worker protection programs
  • Locations of ACM in the building
  • Recognition of ACM damage and deterioration
  • The operations and maintenance program for that building.

 

Type 2: Special Operations and Maintenance Training

This training is for maintenance staff involved in general maintenance and ACM repair. This class is generally at least 14 hours because it involves more detailed discussions of the topics in the Awareness Training along with more complex information such as:

  • Federal, state, and local asbestos regulations
  • Proper asbestos-related work practices
  • Descriptions of the proper methods of handling and disposal of ACM
  • Respirator use, care, and fit-testing
  • Protective clothing donning, use, and handling
  • Hands-on exercises for techniques such as glovebag work and HEPA vacuum use and maintenance
  • Appropriate and proper worker decontamination procedures.

 

Type 3: Abatement Worker Training

This training is for workers who work directly with ACM. These courses range in from 32 to 40 hours. Abatement worker training addresses a variety of specialized topics such as:

  • Pre-asbestos abatement work activities
  • Work area preparation
  • Establishing decontamination units
  • Personal protection, including respirator selection, use, fit-testing, and protective clothing
  • Worker decontamination procedures
  • Safety considerations in the abatement work area
  • A series of practical hands-on exercises
  • Proper handling and disposal of ACM wastes.

The EPA lists a few Do’s and Don’ts:

DO 

  • Do leave undamaged asbestos-containing materials alone.
  • Do keep activities to a minimum in any areas having damaged material that may contain asbestos, including limiting children’s access to any materials that may contain asbestos.
  • Do take every precaution to avoid damaging asbestos-containing material.

DON’T

  • Don’t dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.
  • Don’t saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in ACM.
  • Don’t use abrasive pads or brushes on power strippers to strip wax from asbestos flooring. Never use a power stripper on flooring that may contain asbestos.
  • Don’t sand or try to level asbestos flooring or its backing. When asbestos flooring needs replacing install new floor covering over it, if possible.
  • Don’t track material that could contain asbestos through the house or building. If you cannot avoid walking through the area, have it cleaned with a wet mop. If the material is from a damaged area or if a large area must be cleaned, contact an asbestos professional.

Prevent Mold Growth After a Storm

By | Mold | No Comments

The Atlantic Hurricane Season has arrived.

 

This means severe wind and rain.

Hurricanes can create all sorts of water damage and it is important to make sure mold doesn’t grow.

The health effects are numerous:

  • Obstructive lung diseases
  • Irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rashes
  • Fungal diseases

Mold can form very quickly on wet materials. Wood and other materials that look dry can still be wet enough for mold to grow.

Environment Specialist, Janie Harris, has some tips on how to prevent mold after water damage:

  • First take an inventory: List a room-by-room inventory of missing or damaged goods.
  • Dry all wet materials as quickly as possible. If possible, use air conditioning or heat with fans and dehumidifiers.
  • Remove wet carpeting right away. It’s best to discard it but if it can be salvaged- clean, disinfect and dry it quickly. Never reuse flooded padding.
  • Cut away wet wallboard and remove all damp insulation right away. Even if the wallboard appears dry- wet insulation will stay wet long enough for mold growth.
  • Clean items with non-phosphate detergents. Never use bleach. Disinfectants can kill molds, but they do not prevent regrowth.
  • Do all you can to speed the drying of subfloors, slabs and wall framing before replacing insulation, wallboard and flooring. Use air conditioning, heaters, fans or a dehumidifier. Contractors who specialize in water damage restoration have special equipment that dry materials faster than other methods.
  • Test the moisture content of studs and sheathing before replacing insulation.
  • DO NOT use vinyl wallpaper. It will prevent drying on the inside.
  • Damaged areas of the roof should be covered with a water-proof tarp. This prevents additional damage.
  • Remove wet insulation from the attic.

Moisture or humidity above 60% is ideal for mold growth.

Humidity around 45% is the best to prevent mold growth and keep your skin from drying out.

The P2000 Air Purifier – Scientifically Proven to Maintain Healthy Air

By | Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

Have you already had mold remediation and looking for preventative maintenance?

Or would you like to just clean up your indoor air?

 

The P2000 air purifiers by Airfree was tested by EMSL Analytical (one of the leading testing laboratories in the U.S.) for its effectiveness at killing bacteria and mold in an office room.

 

The Study

Samples were collected twice a week at the same time for the first two weeks to determine baseline fungi and bacteria counts. After two weeks, the Airfree P2000 air purifier was turned on and ran continually for four weeks. During this time, samples were similarly collected. Once the last sample was collected, the air purifier was turned off and air samples were continued to be collected for two more weeks.

 

The Results

After this eight-week scientific analysis, their conclusion was that the P2000 air purifier reduced bacteria by 85% and fungi by 69.64% for the four weeks it was turned on.

With exclusive Thermodynamic TSS Technology, Airfree applies the same concept as boiling water by using heat to destroy microorganisms and attains 100% efficiency at the Airfree air outlet, destroying mold, dust mites, bacteria, viruses, pollens, pet dander, tobacco, other organic allergens, and reduces indoor harmful ozone levels. The device is completely silent and does not require any filters or maintenance.

Product Information:

  • Recommended room size: 550 ft²
  • Filterless technology: No extra costs with replacement filters
  • Adjustable night light
  • Low energy consumption: 48 W
  • Independently tested in ISO laboratories around the world
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Small and portable with awarded design
  • Dimensions: height: 10.4 in | diameter: 8.4 in

The P2000 Air Purifier

Other Models