Inspection Articles

When Power Can Kill

The Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation Overhead power lines. Hair dryers. Electric blankets. What's got everyone so worked up about these seemingly innocuous modern conveniences? Electromagnetic radiation, that's what. Produced naturally by the earth and technologically by man, electromagnetic radiation is everywhere around us--and always has been. Even prehistoric man was exposed to the earth's natural magnetic field. But the dawn of the Industrial Age brought hundreds of new sources of electromagnetic radiation into our homes. And therein lies the problem. Electromagnetic radiation is produced in [...]

Water Pollution Down Under

The causes of groundwater contamination What is groundwater? Groundwater is simply water that has percolated down through the soil from melting snow and rain. Where it collects underground is the zone of saturation, the top of which is the water table. The collection formation is called an aquifer. Aquifers occur at different depths depending on the geologic formation, but most groundwater is found within 2,500 feet of the earth's crust. Generally, groundwater moves in slowly flowing, tightly packed sand and gravel, although some forms in [...]

Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI)

UFFI is frequently identified as a cause of unhealthy indoor environments. Indoor air quality can be negatively impacted by the off-gassing of urea formaldehyde as it ages inside wall cavities. Originally utilized in the late 1970's as a retrofit insulation product, this material was typically pumped into hollow wall cavities and was recognized as an excellent thermal insulator. However, improper temperature, pressure, moisture and mixture during installation is now knows to inhibit the curing process of this material and can be responsible for generating toxic [...]

New Guidelines Promote Environmental Responsibility

The struggle to define environmental due diligence from a legal perspective continues unabated in our nation's courts. Due diligence is defined by ASTM's Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process as whether one has conducted "all appropriate inquiry into the previous ownership and uses of the property consistent with good commercial or customary practices." It is not defined well enough to apply in a standardized way to a real estate transaction because there are to many factors to consider in [...]

Know Your Hazards

Asbestos: This thermal insulation material is typically found on heating system components, wall and ceiling materials, floor coverings and certain adhesive materials. Removal is complicated due to regulatory compliance factors and is always costly. Inspections can determine presence (or absence), identify types, quantities and conditions. PCB'S: Polychlorinated bi-phenyls, liquid insulating material previously used in electrical transformers. Highly toxic and difficult to remove, transport and dispose of. A serious environmental threat due to high potential of leaking since most transformers are located in outdoor areas. Inspection [...]