This is an overview of the some of the common questions American Air Testing is asked from our commercial clients.
If mold is suspected in my office building, is there need for concern?
Yes, exposure to mold is not healthy for anyone inside buildings. Water is the key. When water is left to sit for 24 hours, common mold can take hold. When molds grow they produce spores. Mold spores are extremely small and can stay in the air almost indefinitely. Some common molds are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Botryis, Mucor and Penicilluim. Common molds can cause health problems which include:
- Allergy Symptoms
- Skin Irritation
- Nose and Throat Irritation
If common mold problems are left unattended a more lethal mold can develop. These molds are called mycotoxins. Stachybotrys is a mycotoxin which can cause breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flulike symptoms, and bleeding in the lungs. If mold is suspected in your building please seek the advice of a professional.
What is RCRA, CERCLA, AND SARA?
These are all environmental acronyms. RCRA is the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. It was enacted in 1976 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an amendment to the Solid Waste Disposal Act. CERCLA is the Comprehensive Environmental Responsibility and Cleanup Liability Act. It was enacted by the EPA in 1980. SARA is Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Title III. It was enacted in 1986 as an addition to CERCLA.
What are Brownfields?
Brownfields are industrial and commercial sites that are unused or abandoned because of environmental contamination. Federal and State programs have created grants, waivers of liability, and tax incentives to encourage clean up and reuse.
Am I required to have a SPCC Plan?
Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans apply to facilities that have discharged, or due to their locations, could reasonably be expected to discharge oil in harmful quantities. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA) oil includes petroleum and petroleum products, fuel oil, sludge, waste oil, vegetable oil and animal oils. The regulations require that a SPCC Plan be prepared and certified by a Registered Professional Engineer to reduce hazards associated with the storage and distribution of oil. Penalties for not complying can be as high as $25,000 per day per violation.
What is considered a “major source” under Title V?
A “major source” generally depends on the type and amount of air pollutants a facility emits and the quality of air in its vicinity. Major sources include facilities that emit 100 tons or more per year of a regulated air pollutant. Regulated pollutants include compounds such as nitrogen oxides, particulates, carbon monoxide, volatile organics, and sulfur dioxide. According to the North Carolina Administrative Code it defines a “major source” as a facility that emits at least 100 tons/year (TPY) of a regulated pollutant, or at least 10 TPY of a listed hazardous air pollutant (HAP), or at least 25 TPY of any combination of listed HAPs.
What is the purpose of a Chemical Hygiene Plan?
The purpose of a Chemical Hygiene Plan is to minimize chemical exposures of employees, avoid underestimation of the risks of hazardous chemicals, and institute a program of chemical hygiene.
What is the largest source of water quality problems?
Nonpoint source pollution is the largest source. Nonpoint source pollutants include pesticides, toxic chemicals, salts, bacteria, viruses, oil, grease, heavy metal, sediment and nutrients. These nonpoint source pollutants wash into rivers, lakes, coastal waters and ground water from agriculture, septic systems, forestry, grazing, recreational boating, urban runoff, construction and physical changes to stream channels. They cause destroyed habitat, unsafe drinking water, fish kills, severe environmental problems and health problems. The United States spends millions of dollars annually to restore and protect the water damaged by these pollutants.