From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Discounted asbestos testing for Habitat for Humanity?
Date: January 16, 2013 6:24:44 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <1340E58C-AE3D-40CC-B7A5-0EAEA20F03F3**At_Symbol_Here**>

I was in close touch with the Environmental Defense Fund in the 1970s.  They were random sampling the vermiculite from around the country and it contained enough tremolite asbestos to be a real issue when disturbed.  It was essentially the only vermiculite commonly available at that time so you can win money betting on any vermiculite insulation you see coming Libby.  And my community mixed yard bags of the stuff into scene paints and clay as a texturing material, packed pottery in it, and more.  Damn.  I'm retained in another meso case and vermiculite and Vanderbilt talc are two of the sources for this now dead pottery teacher--my 4th such teacher. 
But I am not at all surprised that Habitat for Humanity has no regular access to testing.  And I would also bet that there are a lot of other regulations that are not followed by the well-meaning untrained volunteers.  I saw some shots of work on a house where fall protection rules where not followed for the roofing phase.
We are having the same issues with the volunteers and church groups who are helping Sandy victims rehab their houses.  They just don't seem to even want to hear about the vermiculite, asbestos, lead paint, and mold.  There was a meeting with the health department, OSHA and a number of volunteers that I attended.  The church groups in particular were very cavalier about these hazards.  And some of the church groups are bringing their children in to do this work.
In my own field there is a national project called Bowls for Peace, where ceramic bowls are made and glazed by kids and auctioned off for a nonprofit organization.  Buy one if you wish.  But you'd be crazy to eat out of it. 
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062

-----Original Message-----
From: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Sent: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 3:25 pm
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Discounted asbestos testing for Habitat for Humanity?

Each county/regional HFH affiliate is basically independent and we haven't run into this issue before.  The national organization does provide information/organizational safety resources and materials, but for the most part local affiliate's funding/operations is entirely local.  But I'll reach out to some of our neighboring affiliates because they include major cities where this has probably come up before.  Hadn't thought about the health Dept - worth a shot.   Hmm, guess I should ask our local ACS section membership as I'm its president now (doh!).   Many thanks.


On Jan 16, 2013, at 1:47 PM, Larry Maglin - NZ wrote:

Should put an ad/request out on CraigsList and see what pops... I worked for WR Grace back in the early 80's when they were still selling
Vermiculite as attic insulation... (did a few test attic air samples back in the day)... Each bag of vermiculite had about 20-30ppm of tremolite (asbestos) in it
depending which mine it came from. EPA is correct, I would assume it's there.
I'm surprised that your sponsor Habitat for Humanity does not have a source for testing.... No corporate sponsors for your project that has
a good IH/Safety department? did you check with County or the City health department for testing?

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of ILPI
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 1:00 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Discounted asbestos testing for Habitat for Humanity?

I am the (volunteer) Volunteer Coordinator for Gloucester County (NJ) Habitat for Humanity and I'm looking for a firm to do some discounted (or preferably gratis) asbestos testing on our behalf.  We normally build new homes, but every once in a while a generous benefactor will donate an existing property to us.

We currently have one home from 1956 that we are gutting and renovating.  My biggest concern is some ceiling tile we'd prefer to take off rather than cover up, and the next biggest is the vermiculite in the attic.   On the latter, the EPA says just to assume that it contains asbestos as 70-80% of the vermiculite from that era does.  Which is fine if you live there, don't go up in the attic and let it lie - millions of homes have it.  But we may have to consider patching at least part of the ceiling and roof and that would stir things up, so it would be helpful to know for sure.   There are also two other possible samples from that one home and a ceiling in a second home that we might also want to get done.

Does anyone have suggestions for a firm that would be willing to cut us a break on pricing for these tests?  I contacted EMSL Analytical which has a local office, but they had no interest in helping out our charity - not even a tiny discount.   They want $189 for the vermiculite and $105 each for to test samples of ceiling/floor tiles or duct wrap. Our budgeted amount is, of course, zero.

Thanks in advance,

Rob Toreki

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