Air Date: 9-30-2011| Episode: 221
This week on IAQ Radio we welcome Forensic Industrial Hygienist, Caoimhin P. Connell. Mr. Connell has been a practicing Industrial Hygienist for 24 years, and he currently serves as the contract Industrial Hygienist for the US National Center for Atmospheric Research...
This week on IAQ Radio we welcome Forensic Industrial Hygienist, Caoimhin P. Connell. Mr. Connell has been a practicing Industrial Hygienist for 24 years, and he currently serves as the contract Industrial Hygienist for the US National Center for Atmospheric Research. He has performed approximately 1,000 indoor air quality investigations and is a frequent speaker at conferences nationwide. Mr. Connell has some strong opinions and is not afraid to express them. We look forward to a wide ranging interview covering clandestine drug labs, IEQ and mold investigations, remediation of indoor environments, the Lead RRP Rule, lead in blood, asbestos abatement, expert witness testimony and more.
Forensic Industrial Hygienist
Caoimhin Connell, a Colorado based industrial hygienist with an impressive CV, refers to himself as a forensic industrial hygienist. Mr. Connell coined the term “forensic industrial hygienist” as one who develops for his client the most objective argument based on the facts. Caoimhin’s opinions are primarily used in civil litigation and criminal proceedings.
Nuggets from the show:
Worked on Colorado’s title protection statute for industrial hygienist
Clandestine Drug Labs. Law enforcement first responders often cannot wear PPE because it interferes with body armor and weapons. Criteria that the threat assessment is based upon includes: presence of children and/or other building occupants, perpetrators, responder’s personal protection, physical hazards such as booby traps, chemical hazards. The threat cannot be adequately assessed until responders get inside. Hydrochloric acid, phosgene, VOCs, iodine and ammonia are commonly encountered. Alarming statistic, 50% of unprotected first responders suffer chemical injuries. Clandestine drug labs have residual health hazards. California, Arkansas and Missouri are the hotspots for clandestine drug labs.
Marijuana grow houses formerly operated by hippies are now much more hazardous due to a new and more dangerous class of criminal. Law enforcement responders routinely now find cocaine and methamphetamine. Site hazards include CO, CO2, ultrafine particles and offensive odors. Marijuana grow houses often do not suffer structural damages and do not retain residual health hazards.
IAQ investigators must have the ability to define the problem. IAQ investigators need to be open minded. The complaint may not be related to IAQ. Stressors can include: lighting, ergonomics, interpersonal relations, etc.
Critical of IEP’s who collect nonsensical samples. 75% of IAQ problems can be resolved without sampling. In 600 mold assessments he only used sampling 3 times. Sampling is useful for academic pursuit to increase knowledge base or for litigation purposes. Investigator can often predict sampling results.
Fungi have both beneficial and adverse health effects.
On guidelines and standards. A common sense approach is necessary. IEP should recommend what is most appropriate for the situation. IEP should present an objective argument.
Lead is an insidious and persistent pollutant often found in a “bio-available state”. Government regulations have resulted in a reduction of lead levels found in blood.
Current asbestos abatement control methods are suitable for the hazard.
Opines that next big IAQ issued are: polyurethane foam insulation, ultrafine particles, new building materials.
Ruffled the feathers on some of our listening audience when he discussed successful consulting projects in which he was involved where he opined that large areas of drywall colonized with mold were HEPA vacuumed and lumber yard mold present on wood was left in place.
When challenged by a listener’s text question about a seeming contradiction to public health guidelines about mold on his website, he cited World Health Organization “decide what contaminates can be removed and what can be left in place”, EPA “it’s impossible to remove all mold”. He challenged those with opposing opinions to “show him the guideline.”
Advice to IHs and IEPs. Go back to basics, first and foremost stick with science.
Show music: Traditional Irish Music by Caoimhin O Raghallaigh & Mick O’Brien
Z-Man signing Off