Thursday, November 30, 2017

ASAPEnvironmental BMANov17 Web

If you watch Building Massachusetts December 2nd at 1pm you will get to see our owner John MacIsaac and if you cant tune in Saturday here is the clip!





Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Brief History of Lead Paint Used in Art

Lead is a toxic element that can be extremely harmful to human health. The medical effects of lead weren't well understood until the early 20th Century, and it wasn't until 1978 that the Federal Government banned the use of lead in all consumer paint products. For hundreds of years before, lead white was used in commercially-produced house paint. But the history of lead paint in art stretches back thousands of years, at least to the 4th Century BC. Some of the greatest painters in history used lead paint.

Why Was Lead Used in Paint? 
The ends of a bunch of lightly used paint brushes in Dorchester, MA


Lead is a heavy element that is highly opaque. In paints, a small amount of lead can cover a large area. Lead white is especially effective at coating darker surfaces without the underlying color bleeding through. Further, lead is insoluble in water, meaning lead paint is highly resistant to rain and moisture.

What Artists Worked With Lead Paint?


Before the mid-1800s, it's easier to ask which artists did not use lead paint. Because the substance is so capable of covering large areas, it was especially popular with fresco and mural painters. It is widely believed that Michelangelo suffered from lead poisoning. Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco Goya are two others suspected to have been afflicted with (and, some say, inspired by) the delusional effects of lead poisoning.

When Did the Use of Lead Paint Decline?


In the 19th Century, lead white, vivid yellow lead chromate, and other pigments in artists' paints were phased out in favor of compounds using zinc, titanium, and other elements. Commercial use of lead paint peaked in the late 1920s when the medical consensus against the substance could no longer be ignored. The paint industry undertook a voluntary phase out in the 1950s, and by 1978 the material was completely banned. In 2010, the Federal Government passed the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule, or RRP Rule. Under this rule, anyone at risk of coming into contact with lead paint (through work on pre-1978 housing) must follow a number of regulations designed to protect human health.

Though it is no longer used by artists, lead paint can still pose a threat to homeowners and workers. If you're concerned about lead in paint, soil, or water, contact the experts at ASAP Environmental, Inc. to schedule a lead inspection today.

Monday, October 23, 2017

5 Reasons to Avoid Painting Over Lead Paint

In 1978, the amount of lead allowed in paint was limited by federal regulations, but surfaces painted before that date may still contain lead. If lead paint is found in the home after a proper inspection, it must be professionally sealed or mitigated; not painted over. Lead paint is a serious health hazard. The toxins can be ingested or inhaled, putting your family at risk. Here are five reasons why homeowners should never seal lead paint by painting over it.

1. It's Not Effective 
A couple painting their wall


While encapsulation is an effective method of sealing lead paint and preventing fumes and chips from entering the environment, standard paint does not work for this purpose. That's because it fails to create an impenetrable barrier between the paint and the atmosphere.

2. Encapsulation Must Be Approved by the Government


After the lead paint inspection is complete, the chosen encapsulant must be approved by the state or local health department as well as the manufacturer before application. Lead paint encapsulation should not be a DIY project—only certified and experienced technicians should conduct it.

3. It Could Damage Architectural Details


Experienced technicians can perform encapsulation without damaging the structure. They are experienced with lead paint mitigation and can work around intricate carvings, crown moldings, and other unique features often present in older homes.

4. Surface Preparation Can Release Lead Paint Dust


A home's occupants should never be present during the surface preparation process, which may cause contamination with lead paint. Those who work for a reputable company take proper safety precautions before sealing lead paint.

5. Improper Encapsulation Can Increase Risk of Lead Paint Contamination


Damaged seals or those affected by water, heat, or other environmental factors no longer provide a protective barrier for surfaces that have lead paint. Encapsulation must be done correctly, and it must be protected from potential damage for it to be effective.

If lead paint is found in the home, the homeowner should avoid DIY remedies. The safest course of action is to contact a firm with vast experience in residential lead paint mitigation. Schedule an inspection with ASAP Environmental, Inc. today to get started.

Friday, August 18, 2017

How to Protect Against Lead-Contaminated Garden Soil

Growing one's own vegetables is fun, healthy, and even financially rewarding. However, there's a potential ingredient in some garden soils that represents none of the above. It's lead, and it's a threat to everyone's health. Here are some ways to deal with lead-contaminated garden soil.

Understand the Origins of Lead in Soil 
A bunch of carrots kept on a table


The presence of lead in garden soil is usually due to discarded gasoline or the remnants of lead-based paint. To a lesser extent, pesticides, lead-acid batteries, coal-based furnaces, and smelters are also culprits.

Recognize At-Risk Foods


A person affected by lead in garden soil has usually eaten vegetables contaminated in the garden or inhaled the soil through its dust. Lead is most easily absorbed and retained in root vegetables. Carrots and sweet potatoes are the most vulnerable, with leafy vegetables like lettuce and Swiss Chard also at risk. Fruiting vegetables like tomatoes are the least likely to be affected.

Compost to Dilute Lead's Presence


Adding an organic matter like compost dilutes the overall concentration of lead in garden soil, reducing the amount of lead that might be absorbed by vegetables. The iron oxides and phosphorus in compost also help retain the lead in soils and reduce its availability to plants.

Wash Vegetables to Remove Soil


The accidental ingestion of lead-contaminated garden soil can be avoided by vigorously washing all vegetables in pure, clean water. When a vegetable is hard to clean, get rid of its exposed areas, including the lower and outer leaves of leafy vegetables. Do note, however, that this is most effective for removing the soil. If the vegetable itself contains lead, washing will not make it safer to eat.

Choose the Garden Location Wisely


Confronting lead contamination can be as easy as choosing the place to plant a garden. If it's an old home, schedule a lead inspection. If it tests positive, don't plant vegetables near the house, where flakes of lead paint may have fallen.

Improve pH Levels


Soil pH is the measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil, and it can affect how much lead is retained in the soil. Gardeners can adjust the pH level by adding sulfur or peat to make the soil more acidic, and adding lime to make the soil more alkaline (basic). Neutral and alkaline soils hold slightly more lead, which may help prevent the lead from spreading to the vegetables.

ASAP Environmental, Inc. is here to perform any lead paint inspection, risk assessment, dust testing, or clearance inspection that may be necessary. Call 800-349-7779 or fill out the online contact form today.

Friday, May 19, 2017

5 Steps for Ensuring a New Home Is Mold-Free

Image of a happy family after mold inspection of their houseWhen buying a new home, mold can be a dealbreaker. This hidden health hazard compromises the home's air quality and can make residents ill. Here are the steps homeowners should take to ensure that the property is mold-free before settlement, including a mold inspection by a qualified professional.

1. Be Aware of Risky Areas

Mold spores begin to grow in areas with moisture. Therefore, it is common to find mold in homes
that have leaking pipes and faucets, damp basements, spaces that have flooded and never dried completely, walls that are tightly sealed and trap moisture, and rooms with poor ventilation.

2. Look for Telltale Signs


When shopping for a home, buyers should be aware of the factors that create optimal conditions for mold to grow. In any home under consideration, conduct a cursory mold inspection by checking for water stains or marks on the walls or ceiling, standing water in the basement, and musty smells, especially in areas with plumbing. Homes built with synthetic stucco require additional diligence since mold can grow within the walls if improperly installed.

3. Schedule a Home Inspection


After making an offer, buyers are entitled to a thorough home inspection, which should include a basic mold inspection. Ask the inspector to include information about noted water damage or potential mold in his or her report.

4. Ask for Disclosure


While sellers in Massachusetts don't need to disclose information about mold in the home, buyers can still ask the seller and his or her agent for this information. In addition, it is prudent to ask whether the home has ever flooded or had other water issues.

5. Add a Contingency


A buyer who wishes to make an offer on a house but is concerned about the potential presence of mold should add a contingency that allows them to back out of the deal if mold is found during a professional mold inspection.

Taking these five steps will help buyers ensure that they'll be happy and healthy in their new, mold-free abode.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Qualifying for a Lead Paint Removal Tax Credit

In the state of Massachusetts, property owners who paid for lead paint removal from their residential dwelling may claim the Lead Paint Removal Tax Credit. Homeowners can use the following four points to find out if they qualify for the credit.

Full Compliance or Interim Control


Full compliance means that all dangerous levels of lead are removed, while interim control indicates that lead has been effectively controlled. Homeowners can get credit for $1,500 for full compliance, or $500 for interim control.

Type of Property


Any residential property, either tenant occupied or owner occupied.

Licensed Workers


The property must have been inspected by a licensed expert and found to have lead paint. A licensed de-leader must complete the lead paint removal, and the property must be inspected afterward to confirm lead removal.

Letters Filed


To receive the tax credit, the owner must file a letter with the department of revenue for each deleaded property once the work is complete. They must also submit the letter of full compliance or interim control.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Mold Myths Debunked

Mold testing is one of the most important tasks to undertake if one suspects there are any spores in the home. However, there are many misconceptions about this fungus. Here are several myths about mold.

Myth 1: All Mold Is Dangerous

There is the thought that all mold is dangerous to humans, but humans benefit from this growth more often than they may be aware. Penicillin was created from mold. Cheese is also made using different types of mold.

Myth 2: To Be Healthy, the Home Must Be Completely Mold Free

There is no way to make an interior room completely mold-free. Mold spores in the air are natural. The only way to avoid them is to live in a plastic bubble. Mold testing can determine how badly the air is infected.

Myth 3: Bleach Kills All Mold

Bleach is known for killing viruses and bacteria. As a result, most people believe it will kill mold as well. In fact, chlorine bleach is not an approved sanitation method. Bleach only reaches the upper layer of the surface. In order to kill mold, the roots must be destroyed. On porous surfaces such as walls, carpets, roofing material, or insulation, the roots run deep and are unaffected by bleach.

Myth 4: If Some Mold Isn’t Dangerous, Then There Is No Need to Worry

There are those who know not all mold is dangerous, so they conclude that no mold is. Unfortunately, that is simply untrue. Several types of mold are harmful, and they should be addressed due to the health risks they pose.

Myth 5: A Little Mold Is Okay

A little might not seem like a huge problem. However, it is just the tip of the iceberg in most cases. Mold testing will determine the infestation.

Myth 6: Anyone Can Clean It Up

Many think that cleaning up an infestation is simple. However, to ensure the job is done properly, it is best to leave the clean-up to an experienced technician, especially in areas with strict rental laws.

Other Common Misunderstandings

While toxic mold can cause serious health problems, some conditions leave little evidence that can be easily linked back to spores. - Skin Rash: no clear evidence contributed to dermatitis - Sinusitis: no clear evidence to link the two - Asthma: outdoor mold has more of an adverse effect - Allergies: outdoor mold has an adverse effect If a residence has been flooded, it is best to call in an expert to perform mold testing and properly clean the area.