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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What are the benefits of purchasing an air quality self-test kit?

You may have seen that here at Envirochem, we have launched a new range of self-test kits, specifically designed to help keep you safe in your own home and working environment. The new self-test kits are cost-effective, fast and easy-to-use.

When many people hear the words ‘Air Quality testing’ they usually think externally, like exhaust pollution, CO2, fossil fuels.. the list goes on! What many people don’t realise is there can be a number of chemical substances found in the air inside a property or building known as VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), which can also be harmful.

VOC’s are common chemical contaminants that are often found in an internal environment, as gases emitted from certain solids or liquids and the concentration of many VOCs are, predictably, higher indoors than outdoors due to the ‘trapped’ environment.

Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in common household items like paints and varnishes, cleaning agents, sealants, glues, fuels, and combustion products. All of these products and others are capable of releasing organic compounds when you use them and also, to a certain extent, when they are stored.

To help identify these VOC’s you can use our indoor air quality self-test kit, in which you will find an SKC 575-001 indoor air quality badge in a sealed bag, detailed and easy-to-follow instructions on how to test, a sample submission form and return packaging.

If you’re concerned about the quality of the air inside your own home or workplace environment, you can order one of our self-test kits from our online shop on the Envirochem website and our expert team of staff are always on hand to answer any questions you might have and help you through the process.

Alternatively, if you feel that you cannot take your own samples for any reason, we are also able to attend site and take the samples for you and return them to our own in-house accredited Laboratory for analysis. Please live message or email us for this service.

Order your kit below or on 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 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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Three simple steps to taking waste to landfill

Three simple steps to taking waste to landfill

 

Making sure waste from your construction or demolition site is classified before it goes to landfill is a legal duty for contractors. There are several stages to take before you can confidently deliver your waste to landfill – here they are in three simple steps:

 

Step one

 

Work out how your materials for disposal are classified in government guidance on different types of waste[https://www.gov.uk/how-to-classify-different-types-of-waste]. Construction waste must be classified as hazardous or non-hazardous before it can be tested further or taken to landfill.

 

Step two

 

If your waste is characterised as hazardous it will need to be tested against Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) as this will determine which landfill site can accept it based on their waste license. Some non-hazardous or inert waste will also need testing so make sure you get expert advice on this.

 

WAC testing works by looking at how waste will behave once it’s buried in a landfill; specially what leaches out from it and the concentration of organic materials.

 

Step three

 

When it comes to taking your hazardous waste to landfill the site operators are likely to want to see your WAC testing analysis. This will help them decide if they can take it based on their landfill license and what they need to do with it next. Each landfill site is different.

 

How to arrange WAC analysis

 

WAC analysis isn’t a quick process so plan ahead to ensure you know exactly where your waste should be taken. This will speed up your waste disposal process.

 

At Envirochem we offer Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) testing on:

  • contaminated soil
  • spent grit
  • industrial waste
  • other waste streams.

 

You could purchase one of our WAC self sample kits below;

 

Alternatively, Find out about these services and the analysis consultancy we offer by completing the contact form below or calling our WAC experts on 01329 287 777.

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Lead in paint in your home – what you need to know

Lead in paint your home – what you need to know

 

Was your home built before 1978? If so there is a good chance it has lead-based paint. Lead paint is still present in millions of homes and sometimes under layers of newer paint. Here’s what you need to know if you find lead paint in your home.

 

Lead paint is usually not a problem, providing that the paint is in good shape. Deteriorating lead-based paint – for example peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged or damp – is however a hazard and will need immediate attention.

 

Where is it found?

 

As well as being found under layers of newer paints, it can also be hazardous when found on surfaces that get a lot of wear-and-tear. For example windows and window sills, doors and door frames, stairs, railings, banisters, skirting boards and porches.

 

Lead is naturally occurring, and can be found in high concentrations in some areas for example soil, gardens and playgrounds.

 

In a well-maintained home, lead in dust can still be an issue. When lead-based paint is scraped, canned or heated during DIY activities lead dust can form.

 

Lead can also be found in many products including, painted toys, furniture, toy jewellery, food or liquid containers, cosmetic and plumbing products.

 

Drinking water can also be affected by lead, it can enter drinking water through corrosed pipes.

 

Who’s at risk?

 

Children and adults, including pregnant women, are at risk from lead poisoning. Lead is particularly dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do. Children’s brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.

 

A pregnant woman’s exposure to lead is of particular concern because it can result in exposure to her developing baby.

 

How to lower the risk from lead paint and make your home safe

 

There are many simple steps that will go a long way in preventing lead exposure, for example:

 

  • inspect and maintain all painted surfaces to prevent paint deterioration
  • keep your home clean and dust-free
  • clean around painted areas where friction can generate dust, such as doors, windows, and drawers
  • wash children’s hands, bottles, and toys often
  • encourage children to wipe and remove their shoes and wash hands after playing outdoors.

 

How Envirochem can help with lead paint

It is important to have your home tested for lead if it was built before 1978. There are two ways to get your home checked, the first is a paint inspection.

 

We have 25 years experience in assessing chemical risks in buildings. When our team conducts a paint inspection, they are able to tell you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home. However from a paint inspection we are unable to tell you if the paint is a hazard. This test is appropriate when you are buying or renting a homeland before you do any DIY, and will help you to determine how to maintain your house for lead safety.

 

The second test that our team can carry out for your home is a risk assessment. This test allows our team to tell you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure such as peeling paint and lead dust. We will then provide you with information on what actions to take to address the hazards.

 

Get in touch with our team today to discover how our services can help keep you safe.

 


How dust sampling can save construction companies from fines?

How dust sampling can save construction companies from fines?

Dust is an unavoidable part of construction and demolition. However, processes can be put in place to reduce the amount of dust contamination and risk to the surrounding environment. Close and real-time dust sampling plays an important role in this.

Here’s how:

Dust sampling clears a construction company from wrong doing

Dust sampling proved critical for a construction company working at a hospital in Inverness[http://www.scottishconstructionnow.com/24142/contractor-cleared-causing-dust-contamination-inverness-hospital/] recently. A number of operations at the hospital had to be postponed after dust was found in the operating theatres.

Initially it was thought the dust was coming from building work happening in the hospital but testing revealed that this was not the direct source, clearing the construction company of causing the contamination and having to pay a hefty penalty.

Dust sample testing

This case study demonstrates how important it is to have real-time monitoring of dust at construction sites, both for the assurance of the client and contractor. There are a couple of different types of monitoring available:

  • Static monitors – these can be placed almost anywhere, and can collect physical samples of airborne dust particles. This data can be used to see how much dust individual site operatives are exposed to, or be analysed to determine chemical composition of airborne particles.
  • Settleable dust sampling – static samplers collect airborne dust and measure how much has gathered over a time period. Samples can also be analysed to determine their chemical composition.

At Environchem we have decades of experience in providing both types of dust sampling and monitoring to contractors. For information on our services please fill out the contact form below or call us on 01329 287 777.

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Metal content analysis for landfill acceptance

Metal content analysis for landfill acceptance

Recently at Envirochem we have noticed that more and more landfills are requesting additional testing along with the normal Landfill Waste Acceptance Criteria test (WAC test or Leachate test). Typically these include: metal content of air dried sample, speciated TPHs (total petroleum hydrocarbons, either as banded or aliphatic/aromatic split) and speciated PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons).

Envirochem laboratories offer these services to their clients; therefore, we would advise contacting the landfill site or waste receiver to check if the additional analysis is required to save you time. We will always retain samples for a period of time and can carry out additional testing at short notice.

If you would like to contact Envirochem regarding our services please fill out the attached form or call us on 01329 287777

 

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Landfill Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC).

At Envirochem, we have been experiencing an increase in requests for soil and waste samples to be analysed to ascertain whether they can be disposed of at landfill, which requires adherence to certain Landfill Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC).

The Landfill Directive is an EU directive which is designed to regulate the use of landfill sites and, most importantly, what is dumped at each site. The Landfill Directive’s overall aim is “to prevent or reduce as far as possible negative effects on the environment, in particular the pollution of surface water, groundwater, soil and air, and on the global environment, including the greenhouse effect, as well as any resulting risk to human health, from the land filling of waste, during the whole life-cycle of the landfill”. For a landfill site to adhere to this directive, waste to be dumped at the site must have a certificate showing that it is not too contaminated. An example of a certificate would be a WAC certificate. Please note that some landfill sites require additional testing to a standard WAC suite, such as a digest for metals.

In addition to the Landfill Waste Acceptance Criteria test (WAC test or Leachate test), there are guidances, such as the WM3 guidance, to help in the classification process of hazardous waste and to inform individuals what analysis they will require.

The requirement for WAC testing can depend on a number of different factors such as sample type, location and history of the site; therefore it is common for different samples to have a slightly different scheme of analysis. Because of this, Envirochem offers a wide range of soil and waste tests which include, but are not limited to, metals content; anions; speciated TPH and PAH; BTEX; PCBs; and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which allows us to provide a bespoke scheme of analysis to meet the needs of clients from a vast range of industries.

 

We can do WAC testing on a turnaround of 7 days, 5 days or 3 days depending on your needs. (Cost apply faster turnarounds).

 

For more information please fill out the form or call us on 01329 287 777;

 

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‘Air Change per hour’

‘Air changes per hour’ is the number of times the air is replaced in a defined space each hour. The number of these air changes that are required for a specific space is defined by its use. For example, the HSE guidance note EH22 ‘ventilation of the workplace’ requires 8 air changes per hour with a minimum requirement of 3 air changes per hour.

Guidance also recommends an air supply of 8 litres/second per person for open plan offices and a minimum of 5 litres/second per person for air conditioned spaces.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, regulation 5 requires that ventilation systems are appropriately maintained in an efficient state and working order. Regulation 6 requires that you ensure effective ventilation for any enclosed workplace by providing a sufficient quantity of fresh air.

We can combine an air change test within a full air quality survey for work spaces to include particulate monitoring, bio-aerosols and VOC’s as well.

 

For more information please call on 01329287777 or fill out the form below;

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Wood Burning Stove Pollution in London

Wood burning stoves could be banned in our capital in certain highly polluted areas. The burning of wood releases fine particles that are harmful to human health. It is noted that some exceptions may be made for the more modern and efficient wood burning stoves with the main focus on reducing inefficient open fires.

This is part of a wider plan to improve air quality in London through limiting emissions from boats, cars, diesel powered machinery from building sites and from construction work itself.

Read more about it here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/sadiq-khan-ban-wood-burning-stoves-london-air-pollution-fires-mayor-smog-a7973576.html

Here at Enviorchem, we can carry out Emissions testing and Air quality surveys;

For more information please give us a call on 01329 287 777 or fill out the form below;

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