Our environmental team is specialized to recognize, evaluate, control, and anticipate environmental factors that arise in a workplace. The listed services assist in management of employee health and safety.
A naturally occurring mineral once thought to be a miracle fiber, asbestos has been utilized in everything from construction materials to hairdryers and even cigarette filters. Asbestos—once known for its tensile strength, chemical resistance, and flame-retardant qualities—is now known as a carcinogen that poses a significant hazard when disturbed.
Asbestos regulations are now in place to protect building occupants from exposure to this “miracle” fiber. These regulations vary from state to state, and we have made it our business to understand them so that we may help protect your business. Farmer Environmental Group strives to keep our clients in regulatory compliance and provide sound advice that is fiscally and morally responsible.
Our Process is Second to None
Farmer Environmental Group employs experienced, licensed, and accredited asbestos inspectors, management planners, project designers, and consultants to address and mitigate your asbestos-related issues. The first step is to identify your specific needs concerning existing regulations. Is a comprehensive inspection necessary, or will a limited path of construction inspection suffice? Is an inspection even needed at all? Our team of experts can help make that determination, conduct the inspection, interpret laboratory results, and make recommendations based on our findings in a concise, well-organized report.
Should it be determined that an asbestos concern is present, Farmer Environmental Group will walk you through the next phase – whether it be an Operations & Maintenance Program designed to manage asbestos in place or asbestos abatement.
Know The FactsChar is defined as a particulate larger than 1 μm that is made by incomplete combustion. Carbon is often a predominant component in char. Ash is characterized by pyrolyzed material from the combustion of char. Ash is mineral-based and loaded with elements such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and more. Soot is a submicron black powder produced as a by-product of combustion or pyrolysis. Black carbon/soot is the black material emitted from gas and diesel engines, coal-fired powerplants, and sources burning fossil fuels. These three effects of fire and smoke damage can cause several health problems, such as respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, congenital disabilities, and more.
TestingFarmer Environmental Group provides fire and smoke damage testing to protect you and your environment. By air sampling and surface sampling, our team tests for the residues of analytes of interest. Surface sampling can be done through alcohol prep wipes, microvacuum, bulk samples, and tape lifts. We also offer air sampling through the form of PVC pre-weighted cassettes, Zefron CSI cassettes, Zefron Air-o-cells, and MCE cassettes. All of the above have advantages and disadvantages, but Farmer Environmental Group ensures that we will conduct sampling most beneficial to you and your building space.
Farmer Environmental Group is licensed in the state of Texas as a mold assessment company and has an experienced staff of mold assessment consultants and mold assessment technicians.
Farmer has developed a systematic approach when conducting Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assessments as well as Mold Assessments. This process ensures that we are assessing all indoor environments so that your space is within industry standards and guidelines for acceptable indoor air quality.
We start this process by conducting a visual assessment of a building’s interior. Then, if the main concern is a mold presence, air samples will be collected in various areas of the building’s interior and exterior for comparison. If checking for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), however, Farmer will utilize either a Thermo Fisher Phocheck 5000 or a MultiRAE 3000 device—depending on client preference—to check for the presence of a number of compounds.
Lastly, Farmer will utilize an infrared thermography camera to visually inspect interior building components and assess the possibility of water intrusion. This process allows for a moisture map to be created before removing any contaminated materials in a non-intrusive manner.
If a contaminate is found, Farmer will assist with developing a plan to mitigate the problem appropriately.
Farmer has experience in developing mold remediation protocols and identifying how to handle a variety of VOCs. If remediation is needed, Farmer will develop work procedures, address clearance criteria, and provide post-remediation assessment services to ensure that the airborne hazard is no longer present.
When moisture invades the envelope of a structure, whether from a natural disaster or a minor water leak, and remains for a prolonged period, there is a high propensity for a mold problem to develop. Farmer utilizes an infrared thermography camera to visually inspect interior building components and areas known to be affected to determine the extent of the water intrusion without damage to the building substrates by identifying temperature differences that may indicate moisture. Before removing contaminated materials, Farmer creates a “moisture map” using non-intrusive methods, showing what materials need to be removed.
Farmer Environmental Group is experienced in conducting Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandated inspections in Child Occupied Facilities and Target Housing (pre-1978 structures), providing timely reporting with professional recommendations.
Farmer Environmental Group utilizes Thermo-Niton X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Analyzers during lead inspections. The Thermo-Niton XRF Analyzer is state-of-the-industry technology that allows our Licensed Lead Inspectors and Risk Assessors to obtain immediate results.
While XRF analysis is the preferred method in many cases, paint chip testing is required in certain situations. Farmer employs a licensed and accredited third-party laboratory when paint chip analysis is needed.
Protection & Safety
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP) governs professional remodelers in homes and public buildings where there is lead-based paint. These rules apply in buildings built before 1978 that are habited or frequented by pregnant women or children under seven or are used as residential, multifamily structures, or public buildings.
Buildings that meet these standards require lead-safe work practices and training for all workers who may come into contact with lead. If lead content is unknown, the worker must sample every component that may be impacted during work. A lead inspection must be performed by a certified lead inspector to determine which components contain lead. Any worker who will disturb this surface must be lead-trained and practice lead-safe work.
Following the identification of lead-based paint, our qualified project design team develops specifications for lead abatement, and implements lead air sampling protocols, work procedures, and clearance criteria.
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas, which is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. It can cause problems in residential structures and is estimated to cause thousands of deaths each year. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.
Radon comes from the natural, radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and can infiltrate the air you breathe. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon can be found all over the US. It has a propensity to be present in any building, including homes, offices, and schools. The greatest exposure risk tends to be in residential structures, where most people spend their time. Generally, radon moves up through the ground and into the air. This contaminated air can then enter a building or structure through cracks or other holes in the foundation. The structure then traps the radon inside, where it can build up. Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the US is estimated to have elevated radon levels.
Farmer Environmental Group routinely provides radon testing for clients with single and multi-family residential structures. This testing is typically driven by requirements from lending institutions during property purchases or refinancing. Most of the time, initial testing is conducted using short-term testing kits placed within the living spaces of a residential structure on the lowest occupied floor for a period of 48 to 96 hours. Once testing is completed, the testing kit is submitted to an accredited laboratory for analysis.
Know the Facts
The amount of radon in the air is measured in “picocuries per liter of air,” or “pCi/L.”
According to the USEPA, the average indoor radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L of radon is typically found in the outside air. The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels. While this goal is not yet technologically achievable in all cases, most homes today can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below.
Sometimes, short-term tests are less definitive about whether or not your home is above 4 pCi/L. This can happen when your results are close to 4 pCi/L. For example, if the average of your two short-term test results is 4.1 pCi/L, there is a 50% chance that your year-round average is somewhat below 4 pCi/L. However, the EPA believes that any radon exposure carries some risk, and therefore, no radon level is safe.
Lead Soil Testing
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program has developed strict guidelines regarding lead-based paint in government-assisted, Section-8, and multifamily “target” housing. Most states have adopted these guidelines, which also include testing of lead in soil. Farmer Environmental Group maintains EPA and state-certified/licensed lead-based paint Inspectors and Risk Assessors.
Lead in soil can be a direct source of lead exposure to children if they are playing in a contaminated yard. Soil is also a potential source of lead in interior house dust since dirt can be tracked into the dwelling. Many older buildings have exterior lead-based paint, especially in colder climates, because the lead-based paint was more durable.
EPA and HUD only require a visual examination for paint chips or debris following exterior lead-based paint abatement; however, post-abatement composite soil samples may be collected. Before conducting lead clearance soil testing, a visual inspection may be required of the abatement area to assess the previous lead removal and abatement according to HUD and EPA methods. Once the inspector completes this inspection and is satisfied that the lead base paint materials are abated, and cleanup is complete (including removal of dust, debris, and residues), the soil clearance monitoring is conducted.
Asbestos Soil Testing
In certain areas, the regulations regarding asbestos contamination expand beyond public buildings and cover the surrounding soil. Asbestos-contaminated soil remediation projects are those where asbestos-contaminated dirt is cleaned up to a specific concentration, or based on particular risk criteria, as defined in the remediation plan. Farmer Environmental Group has extensive experience with testing for asbestos in soil, and we understand the complexities of soil regulations. Our services include visual inspections for grid clearances, composite soil sampling, excavation/remediation oversight and clearances, air monitoring of personnel and area sampling, and project documentation.
During an IAQ Assessment or a Mold Assessment, Farmer Environmental Group can test for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), such as Formaldehyde, Radon, Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, etc. by using state-of-the-industry technology that allows our field personnel to obtain immediate results in most cases.
Farmer Environmental Group maintains multiple devices that allow for the detection of VOCs, including a Thermo Fisher Phocheck 5000 and a MultiRAE 3000.