Episode 710: Tom Laubenthal - Asbestos and Lead - Past, Present & Future

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Episode 710: Tom Laubenthal - Asbestos and Lead - Past, Present & Future

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Show Resources: Show Discussion:

12:03:18 From cliff zlotnik : Trivia- What is the common thread shared by these celebrities: Steve McQueen, Ed Lauter, Merlin Olsen and Paul Gleason?
12:03:38 From Dave Kahane : Motorcycle accidents
12:03:59 From John Cala : mesothelioma
12:06:39 From cliff zlotnik : first correct answer arrived in a private message, Brent Kynoch was fastest on the trigger
12:57:47 From linda : A source of lead that is under the radar is from hunted meat. Here is a link to a short video. This could be significant lead source in household who eat lots of game - and also a factor in food banks https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlo ... reserved=0
13:02:38 From Wayne Ingram : Great job Joe and Tom
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Re: Episode 710: Tom Laubenthal - Asbestos and Lead - Past, Present & Future

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IAQ RADIO

Show Number: 710
Tom Laubenthal
Asbestos and Lead Past, Present & Future


Good Day and welcome to IAQ Radio+ blog! This week we welcomed Tom Laubenthal of TGL Consulting to discuss Asbestos and Lead Past, Present & Future. Topics that all of our audience encounters and needs to know more about.

Mr. Laubenthal is the owner of TGL Consulting, Inc, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He has 39+ years of industry service and is considered an internationally recognized subject matter expert within the asbestos and lead-based paint control industries. He has served in a variety of leadership roles including as a past National President of the Environmental Information Association and he is a past recipient of the EIA’s Snyder Lifetime Achievement Award. He currently serves on the national board of the Lead and Environmental Hazards Association (LEHA). He manages the Asbestos Professional Networks page on LinkedIn with nearly 17,000 members. The largest web page of its kind in the world. He has published extensively in print and e-media and is regularly invited to speak at technical meetings on topics of asbestos and lead-based paint detection and control. He received his B.S. in Geology from Georgia State University.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

Let’s talk a little about your past positions. You were with the Environmental Institute for a long time. Tom worked for McCrone https://www.mccroneinstitute.org/ an internationally known and renown microscopy organization. He left McCrone to accept the position of training director of the Environmental Information Association https://www.eia-usa.org/ where he sought to update training materials and methods. When teaching Renovation, Repair and Painting program (RRP) he found that students were often under the impression that the training course was an extension of the EPA. He explained that he didn’t make the rules; his job was to deliver the information. After a long stint at EIA, he became a “capitalist” by starting his own consulting and training business.

Asbestos regulations?
Asbestos is federally regulated with mandatory training and certification. Additionally, approximately 35 states have added licensing requirements.
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)- schools K-12 provides sampling formula.
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)- ASBESTOS NESHAP APPLICABILITY To determine applicability to the Asbestos NESHAP, three questions must be answered: 1) Is the facility regulated by the NESHAP? 2) Is the activity a demolition or a renovation? 3) Does the amount of regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) meet or exceed the thresholds? Pre-renovation and pre-demolition survey building from room to floor before you start. Know what ACM you have on site.
When applicable all ACM must be removed prior to demolition.
Clean up the site! Fines for uncontained ACMs.
Some C&D (Construction & Demolition Landfills) may accept ACMs. Many will not!

The older the building, the more likely it is to contain lead. 66% of homes built between 1940-1960 have lead, fewer after 1978 and higher pre-1940.

RRP Enforcement
. Contractors doing RRP program work generally don’t get into enforcement trouble over their fieldwork (waste removal and cleaning), it’s their record keeping that is often found faulty. The big companies (Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) doing thousands of subcontracted jobs daily were targeted by the EPA and fined for lack of training and paperwork. Now their subcontractors must provide documentation and do the paperwork in order to get paid.

RRP surface testing and supply chain challenges. 3M makes Lead Check swabs, a simple, effective and not perfect method for checking for lead. There are supply chain issues with Lead Check swabs. The alternate chemical field test is more complicated to use.
XRF= X-ray fluorescence. A fast, nondestructive method to measure the elemental composition of a material, can be used to check for the presence of lead. The devices cost $15K-$20K, and the X-ray source needs to be replaced periodically at a cost of thousands of dollars.

Pb (Lead) is different than RRP. https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-abatement-versus-lead-rrp ”Abatement is a specialized activity designed to address lead in the home. RRP activities (including most home contracting work) disturb paint as a consequence of the activity, but they are often undertaken for reasons unrelated to lead issues.” https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-abatement-versus-lead-rrp

Proposed new Pb clearance standard?
Current Standards Proposed Changes
Dust-Lead Hazard Standards
Current Standard 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2 on floors and window sills
Proposed Any level greater than zero reported by an EPA-recognized laboratory
Current Standard Dust-Lead Clearance Levels 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2 on floors and window sills
Proposed 3 µg/ft2 on floors, 20 µg/ft2 on windows sills, and 25 µg/ft2 on window troughs

The Controversy?
Can contractors achieve the proposed standard?
Can chemistry laboratories detect lower levels or must more sensitive and significantly more costly methods be used?
A failure will result in $1500-$2500 additional cost PLUS recleaning.
Will reduction from 10 ug/ft2 to 3 ug/ft2 result in significant benefit?
https://www.epa.gov/system/files/docume ... heet_0.pdf

Blood Lead Levels? According to Tom, there will always be some lead level in children? Tightening regulations has resulted in lower lead levels in children.
After cleaning the interior of homes, lead sources may remain (e.g. lead in adjacent soil and be tracked into home). LINK- https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/docs/lead ... et-508.pdf

RRP POST DISASTER LINK :
https://www.epa.gov/lead/post-disaster- ... ased-paint

Has all the low hanging fruit (asbestos) been picked (removed)? NO! We’ve been removing it since the 1980s. Fireproofing before the 1973 ban, sprayed on ceilings. Initial emphasis was removing asbestos from schools. Much asbestos remains in older commercial and industrial buildings (e.g. paper mills, refineries, mills) we have no idea how much asbestos remains. One thing is for sure, there is much, it will take multiple generations of workers to remove it. It’s estimated that only 25% of the asbestos in schools has been removed.

Purple Book- In 1985, the EPA published the purple book (books were referred to by the color of the cover). The purple book was the asbestos bible. Over time every regulation in the book changed, the work practices remain good. The book was rewritten by the EIA in conjunction with the EPA for use as content for a website. EIA provided writers, oversight and peer review. The website never came to fruition, the book was converted by the EIA back to book format. The book is written for building owners and managers, it was not written for contractors. Link to the purple book: https://members.eia-usa.org/store/Store ... emId=19587

Can you walk our audience through the steps in how to sample suspected Asbestos Containing Materials?
Asbestos Material Sampling Tips:
Tools- P100 respirator, Spray bottle with water and detergent, Plastic snack bags (press closed type, not the zipper type), trash bags, 8.5x11 paper, 1.5” chisel, vise grips, wet wipes, nitrile gloves, adhesive labels, marking pen, camera, knife, etc.

Remove material by prying, cutting, breaking.
Take suitably sized samples, size of half dollar
Wear respirator
Wear gloves
Pre-wet surfaces to prevent dust generation.
Pre-open plastic bags.

CEILINGS: Wet spray, When removing ceiling material fold sheet of paper in half lengthwise and hold under area to catch ceiling material during removal. Pour sample from paper into plastic bag. Seal plastic bag. Damp wipe exterior of plastic bag. Discard paper into plastic bag. Label sample.

PIPES: Wet spray, remove material by using chisel at low angle, place folded paper under to catch material during removal. Pour sample from paper into plastic bag. Seal plastic bag. Damp wipe exterior of plastic bag. Discard paper into plastic bag. Label sample.

FLOOR TILE: Search for broken tile. Wet spray, remove section of material by using chisel at low angle, place sample in bag, wet wipe bag, label sample.

WALLBOARD JOINTS: Locate taped joints/seams. Wet spray Chisel off section of joint tape and mud. Use folded paper to catch joint tape and mud. Pour sample from paper into plastic bag. Seal plastic bag. Damp wipe exterior of plastic bag. Discard paper into plastic bag. Label sample.

BASEMENTS- Old furnaces used asbestos paper to wrap joints and seams on ductwork.

MULTIPLE LAYERS OF FLOOR- Take sample of each layer.

HEAT CONSOLIDATED MATERIALS- Try and separate

ROOFING SHINGLES- Rarely contain asbestos. FLASHING CEMENTS- May contain asbestos.

TRANSITE SIDING- Use vise grips to break off sample, half dollar size.

Has asbestos and lead sampling and testing been abused? There are case histories of shoddy inspections where known ACM have been purposely overlooked in buildings. There have been cases of collusion and inspection fraud were labs reported asbestos when ACMs were not present.

Do you opine that restoration contractors rely upon the services of 3rd parties or are you okay with restoration contrcators doing their own sampling? Tom, has no problems with restoration contractors taking samples who have undergone the necessary training.

Is it true that homeowners are not governed by OSHA and can perform their own asbestos and lead sampling? While he frowns upon homeowners from doing their own sampling due to safety concerns, there is no prohibition against it.

What is the truth about asbestos related disease? The US is on the low end of asbestosis. The number of people with asbestos related lung scarring is going down. Many of the greatest generation are gone, Viet Nam era vets may be the last generation with significant exposure,

Why is mesothelioma in the UK still a big issue? In the UK and Europe gypsum drywall is not used, they use a particle board that contains amosite, so they have higher levels of asbestos related disease.


RoundUp


What does the future look like for asbestos and lead? An astronomical number of houses in the US still contain lead. There is a shortage of lead inspectors and lead risk assessors in the US.

We don’t need more led regulation in the US.
Asbestos and lead is enforcement based.
35 states are at the forefront of asbestos and lead enforcement.
Property risk managers, workers and vendors
HUD funds cleanups in public housing.
There have been massive lawsuits based upon lead poisoned kids.
Protect yourself and your company by maintaining records of training, PPE regulation compliance and monitoring.
Know and understand, before you promote yourself as an expert.

Very interesting video on lead ingestion risks from deer hunting, submitted during the broadcast.
“A source of lead that is under the radar is from hunted meat. Here is a link to a short video. This could be significant lead source in household who eat lots of game - and also a factor in food banks.” https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlo ... reserved=0

Z-Man signing off

Trivia
What is the common thread shared by these celebrities: Steve McQueen. Ed Lauter, Merlin Olsen and Paul Gleason?
Answer: died from mesothelioma.
Answered by Brent Kynoch, 6935 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 306
Chevy Chase MD 20814
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Re: Episode 710: Tom Laubenthal - Asbestos and Lead - Past, Present & Future

Post by RadioJoe »

It was a pleasure to get to talk to Tom on IAQ Radio+. I know understand better why he commands so much respect from the asbestos and lead industry world. Asbestos and lead have been huge drivers of indoor environmental quality issues and answers for years. I started out in this industry as an asbestos consultant monitoring large remediation projects in the summer. 3 or 4 days of training and you were in charge of oversite on large projects. It was all new to everyone and it was quite a learning experience. It was a great way to start in this fascinating industry.

Tom gave us an in depth review of the industries past, present and future. Cliff said it was like trying to drink from a firehose for him. It felt more like a walk down memory lane with a lot of current events and predictions on what the future looks like.

One question I did not get to ask is about the future of asbestos bans in the US. Many do not realize it is still legal to use asbestos in certain segments of industry today. And that asbestos is widely used in other countries that do not have the strict regulations we have. I guess we will have to wait for a future show to learn more.............
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