On Tuesday October 5, 2017, Mold Busters participated in the EMSL Laboratories’ workshop on Mold, Indoor Air Quality and Industrial Hygiene workshop in Mississauga, ON. It is part of a greater commitment from Mold Busters to maintain and contribute to the community’s continued education. With a full schedule and many topics to cover, it was an educative experience where our experts were able to further their knowledge in the field of environmental health and safety.
Many interesting topics were covered. We enjoyed and relished learning more about the theoretical approach to evaluation of indoor air safety and mold identification, Legionella prevention and identification; and being introduced to concepts of industrial hygiene. We also exchanged experience and expertise with other stakeholders in the business.
Among the topics covered at the workshop, we benefited in sharing experience on indoor air safety and mold identification. Various novel diagnostic methods were introduced and discussed at length, some of which are already in use at Mold Busters: mold sampling, infrared identification of exterior wall decays, moisture- and humidity-meter testing and use of Air-O-Cell cassettes, among others.
The laboratories we partner with, especially EMSL laboratories, comply with industry standards and regulations, particularly those established by the American Industrial Hygiene Association and local governments. For example, the speaker gave an example of the criteria they follow in identifying the different species of mold potentially collected in an Air-O-Cell cassette and the cut-offs they use in determining the presence of mold that is compromising to human health (30% mold spore presence at 600x magnification).
Among the rising concerns within air quality and environmental safety is the threat presented by Legionella species. Many of the current regulations in place in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta were discussed at length. Frequency, method and types of tests conducted were discussed at length and conveyed and giving to us within a pamphlet passed around during the day.
In short, Legionella species are sampled from the water particles present in air-conditioning devices and from tap water available in a building. EMSL does carry out those tests, are fully licensed to do so and can guide the stakeholders in making the right decisions based on their capacity for identification of the right causative agents for illness and human harm. We look forward to integrating that in our practice at Mold Busters.
We also discussed different types of industrial hygiene testing standards for hazardous material, i.e.: asbestos, organic gases, hazardous chemical and animal waste. EMSL provides a myriad of tests that have different sensitivities and specificities, and we look forward to partnering with them.
In the future, Mold Busters wants to get further involved in setting and following industry standards, and that is done with our continued contribution to optimal indoor environmental conditions, in Canada and abroad.
The EMSL workshop on Mold, Indoor Air Quality and Industrial Hygiene was a successful endeavor and academic exercise. Mold Busters looks forward to a continued learning experience.