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 hair dryers and even cigarette filters. Asbestos, once known only for its tensile strength, chemical resistance, and flame retardant qualities, is a known carcinogen that poses a serious hazard when disturbed.
Asbestos regulations are 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 to provide sound advice that is fiscally and morally responsible.
Our Process is Second to None
Farmer Environmental Group employs a team of experienced, licensed, and accredited asbestos inspectors, management planners, project designers, and consultants with the capability to address and mitigate your asbestos-related issues. The first step is to identify your specific needs in relation to existing regulations. Is a comprehensive inspection necessary, or will a limited path of construction inspection suffice? Is an inspection necessary 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.
Farmer Environmental Group has an experienced staff of Mold Assessment Consultants and Mold Assessment Technicians, and is licensed in the State of Texas as a Mold Assessment Company.
Farmer has developed a methodical approach when conducting Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assessments as well as Mold Assessments. This process ensures that we are assessing all areas of the indoor environment and that you are breathing healthy air in your home or workplace.
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 as well as the 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 to assess the possibility of water intrusion. This allows for a moisture map to be created prior to the removal of any contaminated materials in a non-intrusive manner.
If a contaminate is found to exist, Farmer will assist with developing a plan to appropriately mitigate the problem. Farmer is experienced in developing mold remediation protocols and identifying how to handle a number of VOCs. If remediation is needed, Farmer will develop work procedures, address clearance criteria, and will provide post remediation assessment services to ensure that the airborne hazard is no longer present.
When moisture intrudes 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. Prior to the removal of 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 in the field.
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 required.
Protection & Safety
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) governs the work of professional remodelers in homes and public buildings where there is lead-based paint. In buildings built before 1978 that are inhabited or frequented by pregnant women or children under seven and are used as residential, multifamily structures or public buildings, these rules apply. They 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 to be impacted during work or 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 positive 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.
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 and/or 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 yard that is contaminated. It is also a potential source of lead in interior house dust since soil can be tracked into the dwelling. Many older dwellings have exterior lead-based paint, especially in colder climates, because the lead-based paint was more durable.
EPA and HUD only require visual examination for paint chips or debris following exterior lead-based paint abatement, however, post-abatement composite soil samples may be obtained. Prior to conducting lead clearance soil testing, a visual inspection is conducted of the abatement area for completeness of the 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 complete (including removal of dust, debris, and/or residues) the soil clearance monitoring is conducted.
Asbestos Soil Testing
In certain areas, the regulations regarding asbestos contamination expand beyond public buildings and actually cover the surrounding soil. Asbestos-contaminated soil remediation projects are those where asbestos-contaminated soil is cleaned up to a specific concentration, or based on specific risk criteria, as defined in a 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.
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 many thousands of deaths each year. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Radon can be found all over the U.S. It has a propensity to be present in any type of building, including homes, offices, and schools, but the greatest exposure risk tends to be in residential structures, where most of everyone’s time is spent. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into a building or structure through cracks and other holes in the foundation. The structure traps radon inside where it can build up. Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. 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. Typically, 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 estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally 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 about 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 level of radon is safe.
During an IAQ Assessment and/or a Mold Assessment, Farmer Environmental Group has the capability to test for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs); Formaldehyde, Radon, Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, etc. 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.