Five things to think about when redecorating:

 

Redecorating your home can be an exciting process – but whether you’re freshening up the walls with a coat of paint, or you’re undertaking a large-scale renovation, there are a number of health hazards to consider.

 

Here are five things you should think about before undertaking any DIY projects in your home:

 

Asbestos

 

Asbestos is a harmful substance that is often used to insulate homes. While it’s harmless if left alone, any disturbances to the substance can cause serious health problems. If you’re planning on making any changes to your home – for example, knocking down or drilling into walls – then ensuring no asbestos is present is the first step! We offer on-site asbestos monitoring, as well as providing self-test kits so you can safely test your home before making any changes.

Lead in paint

 

A number of houses built before 1992 contain lead-based paint. Like asbestos, if left untouched, this is unlikely to cause any issues. If damaged or disturbed, however, it can release harmful dust. If exposed to too high a level of this, people can experience unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, insomnia and stomach aches. Our self-test kits enable you to test for the presence of lead in paint safely!

 

Arsenic in paint

 

If you live in Victorian home, there is a chance some wallpapers contain arsenic. In a similar way to lead in paint, arsenic can produce harmful dust if disturbed. If you’re concerned about arsenic in paint, it’s always safest to test before beginning any work.
Legionella

 

This bacteria tends to live in water systems – so in the right conditions, even your shower head can be home to legionella, which could cause legionnaires disease. Regularly disinfecting shower heads and running taps for a few minutes after they have not been used for a while can help reduce risks, but it can also be found in places like gardening soils, air conditioners and humidifiers. If you’re worried about the presence of legionella, our self-test kits are safe, quick and easy to use!

Domestic heating water testing

If you’ve noticed corrosion on pipes and radiators, before you decide to replace them, it’s a good idea to find out what might be causing it in the first place. Factors such as the pH and the chemical makeup of water, among other things, can lead to corrosion. Our domestic heating water self-test kit can help you get to the root of the problem and help avoid future damage to pipes and radiators.

 

 

For any help and advice get in contact us via the form below or by telephone (01329 287777).

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Asbestos in Hollywood

With Christmas fast approaching, decorating the house like a Santa’s grotto is something that everyone can get excited about.

Whether you’re a tinsel person, paper chain lover or just wishing for a white Christmas, we know there’s a bit of festive spirit in all of you!

Using artificial snow to cover window ledges, plants and trees has been a festive tradition since the late 19th century. Most sprays and powders are a biodegradable and environmentally friendly way to keep a house feeling fresh and festive for weeks at a time.

But did you know artificial snow used to contain asbestos?

For quite a long time in the early 20th Century, asbestos was widely used in artificial snow found in ornamental decorations or sprinkled on tree branches and wreaths. Because of its white, fluffy appearance it was the perfect substance to use — before people realised how damaging the effects of asbestos could be!
Cans of artificial snow made from asbestos used to be sold under a number of branded names such as: White Magic, Pure White, and Snow Drift, particularly throughout the late 1920s and 30s.

A number of film sets have also used chrysotile asbestos in its purest form to create the illusion of snow falling.

Iconic film scenes such as the ‘poppy field’ scene in the original Wizard of Oz and the traditional ‘flurry’ scenes of It’s A Wonderful Life are coated in artificial snow which was actually made of pure asbestos. In A Wonderful Life, 6,000 gallons of the substance was used throughout the film which stuck to the actor’s hair, clothes and skin.

The fake snow used contained 100% industrial-grade chrysotile asbestos fibres. Anybody who came into contact with the substance, whether it was one of the actor’s or a member of the crew, would have inhaled a substantial amount — similar to those who worked in asbestos mines. This is despite the fact that the health hazards of asbestos had been known for many years.

Today, there is so much more knowledge about asbestos at our disposal, compared to the limited knowledge of asbestos in centuries gone by.

You can now buy artificial snow in many different shops to sprinkle on your tree, decorate your windowsills or imitate Santa’s footprints and is now made from a patented, safe and non-toxic super-absorbent polymer developed specifically to imitate the properties of snow but in a safe and child-friendly way.

On our website you can find out more about where you can still find asbestos and what to do if you think you might be at risk. Always check the safety procedures and precautions before approaching anything you think might be dangerous.

 

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Why you should purchase a self-test legionella kit.

Here at Enviorchem, we have recently launched a range of self-test kits to help keep you safe and make it easier for you to test for harmful substances in your home or workplace. Our wide range covers a multitude of various substances, including Legionella, and comes with all the necessary equipment and safety measures needed, so it’s super quick and easy to test for it yourself.

When it comes to the water we use everyday, it’s important to ensure that it’s safe enough to be used and consumed and to make sure it poses the least risk of immediate or long-term harm.

Legionella is a bacteria which, if left in favourable conditions, can cause Legionnaire’s disease. The bacteria can be found in areas like cooling towers, spa pools and showers, among other places. It can be hard to know when water isn’t quite right without organising proper testing. Our self-test kits allow you to take a sample of the water to send to us for testing.

In our kits you will find specialist water sample bottles, a sample submission form, and easy ­to-follow detailed instructions of how to take the sample yourself. They’re quick, safe and easy ­to-use.

If you’re concerned about water quality or the presence of legionella, you can order a self-test kit from the Envirochem website today. And, our expert team is always on hand if you need more information or would prefer for someone to attend a site to take samples for you.

Below are the links to purchase any of our self test kits or if you prefer to visit our website – https://envirochem.co.uk/shop/products

 

 

For more information or to get in touch with one of our team please fill out the form below or email us at office@envirochem.co.uk.

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Why you should purchase a self-test asbestos kit.

Here at Envirochem we’ve recently introduced our very own range of self-test kits for a range of different substances such as Asbestos, Lead in Paint, Legionella and more.

We always want your safety to be a priority and to make sure the process of checking for harmful substances is as straight forward as possible. Whether it’s at work or in your home, we understand that it’s not always easy to know where to start if you’re worried about asbestos. Our self-test kits are easy to use, come with all the necessary protective equipment and instructions and can be returned back to us for analysis. If needed, we can let you know feedback and results in just four hours!

Everyone knows that the presence of asbestos is definitely something you don’t want lurking around your home or workplace. With the release of our new self-test kits it’s never been easier to take a sample of an area you think may have asbestos and get it tested by us so you can get on with your day-to-day life.

Our self-sampling kit will enable you to take a sample, safely, from a material you suspect contains asbestos. The substance can be found in a number of materials, and it is commonplace in buildings built prior to 1980. It can be found in anything from corrugated cement and internal cladding panels to window sills, walls and boards. It is always safest to check whether asbestos is present before making any changes to a building.

If you’re considering renovating your home or workspace, make sure you order one of our self-test kits today to ensure the process is as safe as possible. Alternatively, our expert team is always on hand to attend a site and take samples for you. For more information, get in touch with one of our experts today.

Order any of our full range of self-test kits here:

 

For more information or to get in touch with one of our team please fill out the form below or email us at office@envirochem.co.uk.

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Introducing our new self-sample asbestos testing kits!

Envirochem are please to introduce our new safe, cost-effective self-sample asbestos testing kits.

Each kit comes with all the personal protective equipment (PPE) you will need to safely take samples of suspect asbestos containing material from your property. The Kits have a set of easy to follow instructions, and return packaging. The samples will then be analysed in our own in-house UKAS accredited 17025 Laboratory. Once the samples are received back to the lab, we can get the report issued to you within 4 hours if you request.

Please see below to purchase them and for all the details of the self sampling kit

What can I expect to get in the kit?

  • Disposable FFP3 flat fold face mask, coveralls and gloves
  • Cleaning wipes to ensure sample tools are kept clean
  • Labelled grip lock Polythene sample bags
  • Sample submission form
  • Detailed and easy-to-follow instructions

 

What samples can I take?

The self sampling kit enables you to safely take a sample(s) from a material you suspect may be containing asbestos, materials include;

  • Corrugated cement
  • Walls and boards
  • External cladding panels
  • Soffit, fascia and rainwater goods
  • Window sills
  • Textured coatings
  • Many more… all explained in the kit.

For more information and full details of places asbestos could be, please see the website below;

http://www.hse.gov.uk/ asbestos/building.htm

 

Once the samples are received, they are analysed in our own in-house UKAS accredited 17025 Laboratory. With results available four hours from being received if requested.

 

Need any more advice

Our in-house laboratory staff is always on hand to help answer any questions you may have either by phone or email;

 

If you’d like to know more about our kits or how to order one give us a call on 01329 287777 or send us an email at office@envirochem.co.uk. Alternatively you can fill out the form below.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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We recommend dropping the samples back to us or sending the samples to us via courier.

 


Meet one of our Asbestos Team

 

Introducing Emily Nixon (always with a new hair colour!) who is one of our female scientists here in the lab at Envirochem. She has a passion for drawing and painting and loves spending quality time with her friends while trying to go and see as many live bands as she possibly can.

 

Emily graduated from the University of Cumbria in 2017 after studying Forensic and Investigative Science. Like most fresh-faced uni grad’s, she applied for a variety of graduate jobs after leaving the North but found she was the ideal candidate for a role advertised at Envirochem that piqued her interest – and she must be having a good time as she’s been there ever since!

 

Her job role at Envirochem is an Asbestos Bulk Analyst which involves spending the majority of her working day analysing a variety of different samples of asbestos, identifying what elements of asbestos have been found, or not found within the sample, and understanding and demonstrating the implications this may have for the client who brought in the sample.

 

She said: “Working at Envirochem is great. I really love the people I work with, and the variety of work keeps the job so interesting”.

 

Emily makes sure every sample she looks at is properly identified and tested to make sure there are no health and safety issues surrounding the items… even if they might be slightly unusual!

 

She mentioned: “We recently had a gas mask that was used in the second world war brought in for testing which was definitely the most unusual sample I’ve ever looked at.

 

“The mask ended up testing positive for chrysotile (white asbestos that is the most commonly encountered form of asbestos, accounting for approximately 95% of the asbestos found), which many gas masks from that era have also turned up with the same result.”

 

It’s still quite unusual for female scientists to be thought of in relation to asbestos testing and analysis, which Emily feels very strongly about.

 

She said: “I could probably write an entire essay on that subject.

 

“I think there’s a general movement at the moment that is pushing forward the acknowledgement and the idea of women in science which is really exciting.

 

“I’m part of the generation where they began to push girls to pursue careers in science so it’s great to see more and more women have various roles in science based jobs.

 

“Saying this, there is still a long way to go before we’re in a time where men and women in science are both celebrated equally.”

 

Emily’s success story is hope for the future that women in STEM can make it in larger corporations such as this one and, not only that, really enjoy the work they do and have a fun time doing it.

 

If you’d like to get in contact with the Asbestos Testing team then contact: 01329 287 777 or office@envirochem.co.uk.

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World War 2 Gas Masks

We recently helped a client who had purchased a World War 2 gas mask, who was concerned that it may contain asbestos.

Warnings by the HSE have been issued in the past warning schools and the public that gas masks and helmets and the related equipment should not be handled or worn, as they may contain harmful asbestos and other harmful toxins. Over time the masks condition deteriorates allowing the fibres to become loose and free.

Advice from The Health and Safety Executive to schools and public is to destroy or make safe (by a licensed contractor) the artefacts following tests to look for asbestos fibres.

For more information please visit the HSE website or contact ourselves if you have any concerns.

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UKAS ACCREDITED ASBESTOS IN SOIL TESTING

UKAS ACCREDITED ASBESTOS IN SOIL TESTING
Envirochem now offer UKAS accredited quantification of asbestos in soil. 
Analysis will identify:
  • The presence of asbestos
  • The asbestos product type
  • The percentage of asbestos present within the sample
  • Documented values to enable the client to interpret the results to their specific requirements

Analysis will enable the end user to:

  •  Assist with the determination of the Waste Acceptance Criteria
  •  Identify potential for asbestos exposure adjacent to contaminated land
  •  Identify the total percentage of asbestos present in the sample

Prices start from £25.00 (+VAT)


Asbestos Fibre Identification in accordance with our UKAS accreditation and HSG 248.

Asbestos Fibre Identification in accordance with our UKAS accreditation and HSG 248.

 

Envirochem offers a competitive Asbestos Fibre Identification service returning results by email within 24 hours in most cases.

In the United Kingdom, the three most common forms of asbestos are chrysotile (white), amosite (brown) and crocidolite (blue). They are found in common building materials such as insulation board panels, spray coating, bonded cements, gaskets, insulation, textured coatings and vinyl flooring.

Samples can be delivered to our laboratory, or collected by our analysts.

An Asbestos Fibre Identification certificate is produced for each batch of samples analysed, which is available most commonly in PDF format via email.

Please fill out the form below or call us on 01329 287 777;

 

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Exposure to asbestos a major risk on farms

Here is a useful article from the HSE regarding asbestos exposure on Farms;

http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/topics/building.htm?utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digest-12-jan&utm_term=asbestos&utm_content=text-2

On most farms building work, whether it be demolishing a building a re-erecting a building there is a major risk of asbestos exposure. All work that involves these risks needs to be carried out with the proper controls in place.

The above link as a lot of helpful information and guidance, including a publication on managing asbestos in premises and safe construction controls.

 

For all of our asbestos services from sampling, surveys to air monitoring, please call on 01329 287 777 or fill out the form below;

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