Episode 728: Bradley Prezant & Russ Crutcher - Assessing Wildfire and Other Indoor Particle Contamination

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Episode 728: Bradley Prezant & Russ Crutcher - Assessing Wildfire and Other Indoor Particle Contamination

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Show Resources: 12:03:44 From Ralph Froehlich : BOUNDARY, BORDER
12:04:03 From Martin Brown : WUI
12:04:42 From Ralph Froehlich : WILDLIFE URBAN INTERFACE
12:05:24 From cliff zlotnik : correct ralph send your contact info to czlotnik@cs.com
12:13:16 From Scott Armour : I have used Russ’ services for wildfire debris assemblage analysis. It works. His work is excellent.
12:16:20 From Dave Kahane : Good Points Brad- Particle ID combined with Pathway and Ultimate Exposure. At Forensic we are huge supporters of the Light Microscope and assemblage of characteristics
12:18:03 From Ed Light : How did you differentiate fire residue from meat smoking residue? Please provide your methodology and validation.
12:18:07 From Scott Armour : The real “cost” to do this industry-wide will be the learning curve to get enough microscopists skilled enough to do what Russ (and only a couple others) can do…
12:27:37 From Martin Brown : Several tape techniques used by labs. Any of them much better than wipe method. Its the Light Microscope with reflective light dark field that makes the difference.
12:28:36 From Sarah Mack : Reacted to "The real “cost” to d..." with ❤️
12:28:50 From Martin Brown : A trained microscopist can easily differentiate burnt food emissions from burnt structural material.
12:29:03 From Scott Armour : Reacted to "A trained microscopi..." with 👍
12:29:08 From Scott Armour : Reacted to "Several tape techniq..." with 👍
12:29:56 From Martin Brown : What can you differentiate with the naked eye by looking at a sponge?
12:32:16 From Dave Kahane : I think the trained microscopists on this call understand the methods available, the nuance, etc. Problems arise when selected methods are pushed over others despite the limitations..
12:32:38 From Scott Armour : A sponge shows you dirty or not dirty - regarding aesthetics only. “Looks” acceptable, or not. OR - level of “cleanliness” - can it be cleaned better - I.e., until the sponge/wipe is no longer picking up visible dirt/residue. By the way, the sponge/wipe is a way of making“invisible” debris/residues visible by accumulating them in a pile on the wipe/sponge.…
12:37:48 From Martin Brown : To a degree, most labs use Assemblage analysis as part of the analysis.
12:38:23 From Dave Kahane : Joe- IMO your question isn’t really about ID / methods, but pathways and a residual “contamination” decision tree. We do have to be careful about over interpretation of findings in view of the pathway
12:38:34 From Scott Armour : Sampling properly is critical. Yes there are several methods. BUT Used correctly, with other INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE skills (NOT “IEP” or “restorer” skills, sampling is really the only way to verify what is on the surface, and if assemblage is used, the only way to determine source.
12:40:41 From Martin Brown : Restoration methodology is also advancing, doesn't mean we should not remediate.
12:42:11 From Ed Light : Can you please post the following: Can you post the following: 1. Detailed method for identifying combustion particles and their source. 2. Validation (i.e., lab and field experiments confirming that differentiating types of particles is accurate) 3. proposal/scope of work for your McCrone project to add morphology of specificcombustion particle types to their Atlas
12:42:19 From Scott Armour : Brad P. - I agree with your explanation of ambiguous, and being downwind, exposure criteria etc. The issue is that the “news” has labelled wildfire smoke as being “toxic” without explanation or clarification. the general public is scared into believing that any smoke residue is “highly” hazardous - so the sampling for residue often is incorrectly interpreted.
12:43:36 From Dave Kahane : Cliff is on the money- that quote in AIHA of one spore is used in court even now- have to take statements like this in context..
12:43:49 From Scott Armour : Wait - you want to clean BEFORE you investigate? How will you know what your’e cleaning and who will you know the criteria for completion ?
12:45:04 From Scott Armour : The point is NOT “mascara”. It is whether the residue is from a fire source. Wildfire across the road or the fireplace in the lobby?
12:47:15 From Don Weekes : I like this NEHA Guide for Wild Fires: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/1047576220/
12:47:30 From cliff zlotnik : Scott. for 60+ years fires have been successfully cleaned and testing was unnecessary.
12:47:31 From Ralph Froehlich : There are limited numerical limits for surface contamination levels of most contaminants. What limits are useful for wildfires and structural fires?
12:48:21 From Brad Prezant : Replying to "There are limited nu..."

Russ uses a 4 category scale for impact based on assemblage analysis
12:48:26 From Scott Armour : Cliff - how do you know ? If you never tested, you do not and cannot know what you left behind. Or if you cleaned the right stuff - or if insurance paid for cleaning from the source of the claim (fireplace or wildfire? Etc)
12:49:40 From cliff zlotnik : Scott, derergent and water has been proven successful in removing dioxin, furans, etc.
12:49:41 From Lawrence Wayne : Replying to "Scott. for 60+ years..."

If you did no testing, how do you know they have been successfully cleaned?
12:49:54 From Scott Armour : The example from Russ is valuable but often is ignored - and the “new” surface contamination is tested but not put into perspective - did it come in with occupants after the fire? Most “IEP”s do not know how to develop the hypothesis correctly. They simply do not ask the correct questions.
12:50:19 From Scott Armour : Reacted to "If you did no testin..." with ❤️
12:51:16 From Scott Armour : Replying to "Scott. for 60+ years..."

Larry - CORRECT. Just because it looks “clean” does not mean you removed the invisible contaminants that might be hazardous. MOST hazards (in the worlds of Enviro-Health and IH) are INvisible.
12:51:24 From Ed Light : Please address the role of microscopic evaluation of typical structural fires for scoping the restoration needed and clearance. Do you have any examples of where this provides more accurate information than the results of visual examination of representative wipes?
12:52:00 From Scott Armour : Why would anyone not want to know the analytics of cleaning - before and after? Why would anyone trust the “sponge” instead of the IH and the Lab?
12:52:08 From Ralph Froehlich : Even if evidence of wildfire contamination is present, does the particulate contamination have any documented human health effects for occupant?
12:54:21 From Martin Brown : That's a silly question, Cliff. Points of entry?
12:55:07 From Martin Brown : Dr. Richard Wade study
12:56:12 From Ralph Froehlich : If there is no health concern, then the investigation and remediation should be focused on visible surface cleaning and/or odor reduction.
12:58:31 From Lawrence Wayne : Testing before and after should be decided on a case by case basis. Every structure is different and every fire is different. Proper testing requires that you know as many variables as possible to determine which is the most appropriate analytical methodology.
12:58:32 From Martin Brown : Value is the key word.
12:58:42 From Scott Armour : Reacted to "Testing before and a..." with ❤️
12:58:48 From Scott Armour : Reacted to "Value is the key wor..." with ❤️
12:59:04 From John Pletcher : Visual and olfactory investigation after cleaning is the current standard of care in the restoration industry.
12:59:11 From Scott Armour : Larry, Martin, EXACTLy. The sponge is not sufficient.
12:59:20 From Lawrence Wayne : Reacted to "Larry, Martin, EXACT..." with ❤️
13:00:04 From Scott Armour : BUT the industry has granted “expert” status to the “IEP” .. 90% of them have never heard the words reliable or valid, much less methodology and hypothesis testing.
13:00:09 From Martin Brown : Testing methods is goal oriented. Is the goal related to exposure or origin of particles. Testing is extremely valuable.
13:00:13 From Don Weekes : https://synergist.aiha.org/201608-after-the-fire
13:00:19 From Scott Armour : Reacted to "https://synergist.ai..." with ❤️
13:00:57 From Dave Kahane : I had the pleasure of working with Larry Wayne for over 25 years - he along with Russ are rare experts in forensic microscopy..
13:01:09 From Scott Armour : Reacted to "I had the pleasure o..." with ❤️
13:01:31 From Martin Brown : Yes, Cliff, you are anti-testing
13:01:49 From Jack Springston : Need to apply a bit of common sense when doing testing.
13:01:52 From Scott Armour : Cliff - but indeed, you sound very anti-testing.
13:02:15 From Martin Brown : Who will pay for cleaning a house of just dust?
13:02:39 From Scott Armour : removing one shovel full of ash is “leaving the site improved”… c’mon Cliff…
13:03:10 From Don Weekes : Sooner - Already wildfire season is started in Cnada
13:03:53 From Scott Armour : Jack - not common sense! Educated knowledge…
13:04:08 From Lawrence Wayne : Reacted to "I had the pleasure o..." with ❤️
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