Environmental Services

Asbestos

Asbestos once was considered the miracle mineral. Its heat and corrosion resistance, high tensile strength and its general versatility made it a key ingredient for the industrial age. For this reason, asbestos is found, and is sometimes still added to, a tremendous variety of building materials.

Unfortunately, when it was proven that exposure to asbestos caused cancer, all of the benefits associated with this material were replaced with concerns over how to safely manage a carcinogen that is present in nearly every home and building constructed before the 1980's.

The staff at Lawrence Environmental Group has extensive experience managing all aspects of asbestos materials in homes, schools, hospitals and the workplace. Lawrence Environmental Group and its staff maintain the legally required EPA, New York State and New York City asbestos certifications.

Lawrence can work with your architect or contractor to ensure that renovations to your home or workplace are carried out legally and safely. While Lawrence, as a consulting firm, never performs asbestos removal because of the conflict of interest involved, we can pre-qualify local licensed abatement contractors for your project. Our rigorous vetting process is just one way Lawrence goes beyond the normally limited role of a consultant to provide comprehensive environmental management services.

Check out:
http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/453.html

Lead-Based Paint

The dangers of lead-based paint, and more accurately lead dust, have been well known for decades. Even minor exposure to a child can cause damage to the central nervous system and affect a child's brain. Through diligence and proper monitoring, our goal at Lawrence is to limit the chance that a child is ever exposed to a dangerous environment contiaining lead-based paint.

If your home or building was built or significantly renovated prior to 1980, chances are high that some lead-based paint is present. Location of a home does not necessarily affect the likelihood of lead's presence. The 100-year-old colonial in an affluent suburb is just as likely to contain lead-based paint as is an inner city apartment.

Homeowners involved in renovation projects need to be especially diligent, as even minor demolition or sanding can cause a home to become completely contaminated with lead dust. (Even if your home is brand new, have your child tested for blood lead levels regularly. As more of the products we buy originate overseas, the greater the chances are that some merchandise containing lead can be brought into your home.)

The staff at Lawrence Environmental Group has tested thousands of residences for the presence of lead-based paint and lead dust using the latest in field and laboratory technologies. Lawrence will work with both parents and building owners to both educate them as to the potential sources of lead and to assess potential hazards.

Check out:
http://www.epa.gov/lead/
http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/outreach/communityoutreach.cfm
http://www.nsc.org/library/facts/lead.htm

Mold

Mold is a natural organism that is present virtually everywhere and lives mostly undetected. Problems arise when mold begins to grow in a home or workplace, as it releases spores and chemicals into the air which can cause allergic or asthmatic reactions in some individuals. People with compromised immune systems are particulary at risk for complications and infections due to excessive mold in indoor environments.

Due to increased media coverage, public awareness of mold and its negative health risks has been raised. Public interest stems not only from the health concerns associated with mold, but also because of its potential impact on property value. In some cases, mold contamination has led to litigation with insurance companies, condo and co-op boards, building managers and employers.

Concerns contact mold have resulted in the creation of any entire industry dedicated to testing and eliminating mold from homes and buildings. Unfortunately, in the great rush to be part of the industry, many less than reputable individuals have entered into it. Some offer services to both identify mold contamination and to be the contractor to fix the problem. Lawrence advises home and building owners to avoid companies that do not recognize this conflict of interest.

Also to be avoided are companies that specialize in the "deadly toxic black mold" variety. It is true that some mold is black (e.g. Stachybotrys chartarum), some mold is known to produce mycotoxins, and some believe that mold (Aspergillus fumigatus) can cause death in people with immuno-deficiencies. However, while the potential health effects of mold should not be ignored, any firm advising that mold in relatively minor quantities is toxic to the average person is simply exploiting the fears of the public.

The staff at Lawrence Environmental Group has dealt with the issue of mold from many vantage points. Some of our most serious work involves developing and monitoring infection control procedures at hospitals and nursing homes. Patients at risk for infection are particularly susceptible during facility renovations or maintenance procedures, which can release dormant mold spores into the air. In addition, Lawrence has provided expert witness testimony in property disputes involving mold contamination and construction warranty issues.

If you are concerned contact mold in your home or property, let our experts inspect and test for mold using the latest technology available. Our full-service laboratory employs mycologists with many years of experience in allergen and fungi identification. In addition, the Lawrence Environmental Lab always operates a night shift in order to provide the fastest results possible.

If we do find a mold problem in your home or building, Lawrence will identify the cause and develop a plan of action to correct the problem.

If you don't think that you have a mold issue but want extra piece of mind, contact Lawrence to find out contact our periodic HealthyHome Checkup that can help ensure that your family's health and home remain safe.

Check out:
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/moldcleanup.html

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