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PCB Cancer Risks and PCB Remediation; Questions Answered by Darrell Maclean of SMI.

Because of the high incidence of questions raised regarding last weeks blog on PCBs, Darrell Maclean of SMI’s will this week provide answers to a number of your PCB questions. As an expert in PCB Remediation, Darrell Maclean and his industrial environmental remediation company, SMI, has seen a growing need for PCB remediation in many industrial and community building settings.

Question: What Are PCBs And How Are They Regulated?

Answer:PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are a group of chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were commonly used in hundreds of products and

PolyChlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Molecular Structure, Darrell Maclean SMI

processes from the 1940’s to the 1970’s.  EPA banned the use of PCBs in 1979, and their safe removal and disposal is now regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act to ensure minimal exposure to workers and occupants of buildings that may contain them. They are regulated under Code of Federal Register, reference: 40 CFR part 761.

Question: What Are The Health Risks Associated With PCBs?

Answer: PCBs are known to cause cancer after long exposure. They are also associated with a variety of other health conditions related to the immune system, the reproductive system, the nervous system and the endocrine system.  Further information on the medical dangers of PCBs can be found at the EPA websites.

What are acceptable levels of PCBs?

The answer varies by the source of the contamination, whether soil, surfaces, oil, water or air, but OSHA suggests a time-weighted average exposure of no more than 1mg/m3 or 0.07ppm, is acceptable over a normal 8 hour day, 40 hour week. Caulk containing PCB > 50ppm is considered PCB bulk product waste and must be disposed of according to the regulations. This limit applies to all building materials in which the PCB containing caulk may have come into contact with during its application, and is known as PCB remediation waste.

What Are The Disposal Options for PCB Waste?

PCB Bulk Product Waste can be disposed of three different ways:

  1. Performance Based Disposal (does not require EPA approval): this includes, TSCA incineration, TSCA chemical waste disposal, RCSA hazardous waste landfill, or a facility coordinated by the TSCA.
  2. Disposal in Solid Waste Landfills (this requires EPA approval).
  3. Risk-Based Option: this is an alternative method which the EPA must first approve.

PCB Remediation Waste also has 3 options for disposal:

  1. Self-implementing clean up and disposal: this depends on the occupancy rates of the area and building and requires EPA approval
  2. Performance Based Disposal:(does not require EPA approval): this includes, TSCA incineration, TSCA chemical waste disposal, or a facility coordinated by the TSCA.
  3. Risk Based Clean up and Disposal: is an alternative method which the EPA must first approve.

What Type Of Protective Clothing Is Recommended For PCB Remediation Activities?

PCBs are dangerous, cancer causing agents. Darrell Maclean explained, “The recommendation is to avoid skin or eye contact with PCBs. If you might come in contact with PCBs, wear gloves, boots, goggles, or other protective clothing.” Protective clothing should be made of materials that are resistant to PCBs, such as Viton, Saranex, polyyethylene, polyvinyl alcohol, polytetrafluorethylene, butyl rubber, nitril rubber, nuprene. Polyvinyl chloride and natural rubber (latex) are not recommended materials. PCBs will soak through almost any protective clothing materials within hours, so disposable clothing is best utilized. If dust is contaminated with PCBs might be present, wear a respirator.

“If you suspect your building was constructed using PCB-containing materials, then you must use a certified environmental remediation company, like Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, to safely remove and dispose of the affected PCB-containing waste materials”, stated Darrell Maclean, President of SMI. “The team at SMI are expert at PCB remediation; we have the training, the knowledge and the experience to tackle any size job, to remove and safely dispose of the PCB contaminated materials in your building.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

 

PCB Cancer Risk Feeds Greater Demand For Remediation Expertise, Reports Darrell Maclean of SMI.

SMI’s Darrell Maclean reports on a rising need for environmental remediation of PCB in buildings undergoing demolition or renovation. As an expert in PCB Remediation, Darrell Maclean and his industrial environmental remediation company, SMI, has seen a growing demand for his PCB abatement program.

Darrell Maclean, President of Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc., (SMI) an industrial environmental remediation and demolition company based in Norwood, MA, has seen a rapid increase in the demand for PCB remediation work over the last year. I don’t know if the buildings are just getting old and need renovating or demolishing, or if it takes 20 years for these problems to materialize, but we have definitely seen an increase in requests from building owners, both private and public, to safely remove and dispose of PCB contaminated building materials.

PCB, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are part of a group of chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons, which were commonly used in hundreds of products and processes from the 1940’s to the 1970’s.  The use of PCBs was banned by the EPA in 1979, and their safe removal and disposal is now regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act to ensure minimal exposure to workers and occupants of buildings that may contain them.

Long-term exposure to PCBs can cause cancer and a variety of other health conditions related to the immune system, the reproductive system, nervous system and endocrine system.  For more information on PCBs and the medical dangers, visit the EPA websites for general information and the health effects of PCBs.

A few weeks back, Westport Middle School in Westport, MA reported a worsening problem with PCBs that could cost them $100,000 or more to clean up before the start of school this fall. Apparently, PCBs in the caulking around the windows had leached into the surrounding masonry, and in addition, PCBs were found in the glue holding the roof panels in place. Testing of the air inside the school showed there was an unacceptable level of PCBs.  It turned about to be worse than they thought, delaying the opening of the school and costing over $2 million.

In a similar circumstance last year, concerns were raised in Massachusetts after an elementary school in Lexington was closed for concerns relating to PCB contamination, and Fox News reported that as many as 50% of schools in Massachusetts could be polluted with PCBs.

“If you suspect your building was constructed using PCB-containing materials, then you must use a certified environmental remediation company, like Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, to safely remove and dispose of the affected materials”, stated Darrell Maclean, President of SMI. “The team at SMI are expert at PCB remediation; we have the training, the knowledge and the experience to tackle any size job, to remove and safely dispose of the PCB contaminated materials in your building.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean of Suburban SMI Shocked By Zero Growth of The Job Market: Not A Good Sign For The Industrial Environmental Remediation Business.

Darrell Maclean, Founder and President, of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Industrial Environmental Remediation Company, based in Norwood Massachusetts, was shocked by the latest job figures from the government. There were zero jobs created in August 2011, which is not a good sign for his business and the industrial environmental sector as a whole.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that non-farm payroll jobs in August were unchanged, in other words zero growth, and the unemployment rate was flat at 9.1%. They went on to say that employment in most major industries changed little over the month. One ray of sunshine was the healthcare market, which added some jobs but the information sector declined. Government jobs also continued to trend down.

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we still have about 14 million people unemployed, of a labor force equal to approximately 156 million. But the scary statistic is that the long term unemployed now stands at 6 million (about 45% of the unemployed). Another scary statistics is the so-called “involuntary part-time workers” grew from 8.4 million to 8.8 million. These are the people who cannot find full time work or their hours have been cut.

The Economist magazine this week correctly pointed out that August was a terrible month for the USA:

  • Congress took America to the brink of default.
  • Standard & Poor’s cut the USA debt rating.
  • Europe’s debt crisis deepened.
  • The stock market plunged.

So it is not surprising that U.S. businesses did not feel inclined to add jobs in August. Predictably, the stock market also reacted negatively to this news on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Index stridently marching back towards 11,000.

Parallel to this depressing news was the consumer confidence index, which plummeted in August to 44.5, down from 59.2 in July, along with the CEO confidence index which declined by 12 points; a situation somewhat predicted by this blog last month.

There is no doubt that the U.S. employment market is really in the doldrums as is the overall economy. With the impact of the East Coast Hurricane Irene last week, gas prices are on their way up again. We are edging dangerously close to another recession, or as some like to say a double dip recession. Did we ever come out of the first recession? The economists argue, yes, using their strict criteria for defining a recession, but the man on the street doesn’t see it that way. It is more basic than that – are there any jobs, can I afford to pay the bills this month, and what do I do if someone in the family falls ill?

These data do not bode well for the industrial environmental remediation and asbestos abatement businesses. I am concerned this could push us further towards another recession, which is not good news for any business.

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean of Suburban SMI Reports on the Complexities of a Worcester, Massachusetts Asbestos Abatement Project

SMI, a Norwood-based industrial environmental remediation company, has been working on a complex renovation project in Worcester, MA, for the last 6 months, reports Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of suburban Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI).

“This is no easy project.” Said, Darrell Maclean in a moment of respite between jobs, “There is over two million square feet of floor space in this building and asbestos containing materials were used throughout the building. The complexity arises because of the number of crews working on the site and the staging of the work. To ensure the utmost safety for workmen and the public it was necessary to screen off areas in which SMI was working on asbestos abatement and environmental remediation of other hazardous materials.”

Mr. Charles Smith estimated that the amount of asbestos in the building meant abating an area equivalent to over 800,000 square feet, and cordoning off and screening both inside and outside the building in discrete, manageable sections in a sequential fashion. “The timing of the asbestos abatements was complex as every few weeks after we finished one section, we would have to tear down the screening and air filters and then seal the next section and re-establish the negative pressure system, before we could start work again. ”

Darrell Maclean went on to explain. “Just to add to the challenges, it was necessary to cut out the floors in the massive building so that all the asbestos could be safely removed. This is always a difficult process, but again made more complex by the staging and sectioning approach we had to take.  Buildings of this size are never easy to renovate particularly when asbestos abatement is part of the process, and inevitably we come across issues that had not been picked up by the environmental consultants and inspectors prior to the start of the work, which in this project, were numerous. No disrespect to the inspectors, they could not have foreseen most of the problems without tearing down a few walls or pulling up a few floors.  These problems, however, can cause untimely delays and further expenses for the building owners which are never welcomed news.”

The majority of the environmental remediation is now complete which will allow the start of the refurbishment and renovation activities. “It’s great to know that SMI has played a significant part in bringing this building back to life. This was not just another asbestos abatement program, this was the mother of all asbestos abatements.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog Contact SMI page and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean of SMI Reports on the Mass.Gov Asbestos and Other Environmental Contaminants Information and Resource Guide.

When Darrell Maclean is asked by building owners about a building renovation or asbestos abatement and environmental remediation of their building, his first instinct is to tell them to visit the Mass.Gov website. Darrell Maclean is President and Founder of Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc., (SMI), a Norwood-based environmental remediation company, which has become a highly regarded company in the Northeast over the last 25 years.

Before undertaking any major building renovation, and particularly if the building was built before 1989, it is wise to first have an environmental inspection to ascertain if there are any materials in the building that require specialized removal and disposal, such as asbestos, lead, mercury, pcbs, mold, and other environmental contaminants.

A good source of information is the mass.gov website. The website is run by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and provides a wealth of facts and guidelines to help the building owners. Their mission is simple:

The Department of Environmental Protection is the state agency responsible for ensuring clean air and water, the safe management of toxics and hazards, the recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, the timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

The website has a subject area called “Air & Climate” and a section within that called “programs & initiatives” which contains numerous references to asbestos and other potential building contaminants. There are several documents available such as the Asbestos Information and Resource Guide, a copy of which can also be requested from this website, and the requisite forms that have to be filled in prior to removal of any asbestos, such as the Asbestos Notification Form ANF-001, the Application for Asbestos Blanket Form, and before any construction or demolition starts, the BWP AQ6 Notification Prior to Construction or Demolition form.

There is also a reference to the full set of Regulations and Rules governing Asbestos, Policies and Guidance, and reports from the Asbestos in soil working group.

Information on lead and mercury can be found under the section headed “Lead and Other Contaminants in Drinking Water” as part of the “Water, Wastewater & Wetlands” subject matter. This provides information on the lead and copper rule, mercury hazards, percholorate information, percloroethylene risks, radon, radioactive isotopes and other potentially harmful material contaminants. PCB’s have their own section that can be found under the Water, Wastewater and Wetlands subject heading.

As a resource for further information on the regulations and guidance relating to building owners responsibilities before, during and after construction or renovation, I can fully recommend a visit to Mass.Gov/DEP website.

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS INFORMATION AND RESOURCE GUIDE, THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog Contact SMI page and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Significant Charlestown Asbestos Abatement Residential Renovation for Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI

SMI, a Norwood-based environmental remediation company, won an important Charlestown renovation project, reports Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of suburban Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI).

Working with Atlantic Coastal and the innovative Westborough, MA Company, Noresco, which designs energy and operational improvement solutions for a variety of different industrial and commercial buildings, Darrell Maclean commented, “We are excited to work with Atlantic Coastal and Noresco on a significant renovation project in Charlestown, MA. Essentially, we will be working on a project to replace and upgrade the old heating system in a number of the residential buildings with a new energy saving system which is predicted to slash the cost of heating and energy consumption for the residents, improve the environment, and bring the buildings into the 21st Century.”

Atlantic Coastal and Noresco brought in SMI to specifically help with the environmental remediation of the buildings. A major part of this entailed asbestos abatement and the safe removal and disposal of the old large boilers used to create heat and hot water. With six buildings in total, each boiler room was approximately 1000 sq ft in size; the task was sizeable and required total isolation of the work areas as the buildings were occupied during the project. SMI took great care to screen off and seal each area to protect the occupants and general public from any dangerous asbestos fibers, and to minimize any noise pollution during some of the work.

“One of the hardest aspects of this job was physically removing the old boilers.” Commented Darrell Maclean. He went on to say, “The asbestos abatement was straightforward enough, but the boilers were huge and had to be carefully cut out and removed so as not to allow any environmental contaminants to escape. We tried to keep the noise to a minimum, and I believe we were largely successful.”

Charles Smith explained how Noresco was able to provide a high tech energy saving system at virtually no cost to the owners. “Noresco’s claim to fame is that over the last 20 years they have provided significant energy savings to thousands of customers in over 20,000 buildings by installing proven energy-efficient technologies and upgrading the energy infrastructure of the buildings. They also provide an innovative approach to finance these changes by leveraging their clients’ existing operating and energy budgets to pay for their investments in energy efficiency and infrastructure, after which the lower energy costs translate into real savings. Noresco has provided its energy saving services to numerous branches of the Federal government, Universities, Schools, State and Local Government buildings, and many commercial and industrial facilities.”

“With SMI’s work completed, Noresco can now start the business of installing the new high efficiency boilers, adding insulation, and improving the infrastructure to lower the energy costs of the building”, said Darrell Maclean. “We are proud to be part of this project with Noresco and Atlantic Coastal, as we know we are helping the residents lower their energy costs and improve their environment. I would certainly recommend the Noresco approach to other building owners as a way to upgrade their buildings, lower their energy costs and improve their environmental footprint.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog Comment section and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean of SMI Reports On The Economic Missteps That Could Signal A Gloomy Rest of Year.

Darrell Maclean, Founder and President, of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation Company, discusses the handling of the debt ceiling, the inability of the government to come to terms with the overall economy and unemployment and projects a tough second half.

First, I was appalled at the mishandling of the debt ceiling debacle and the lack of understanding of the need to get our economy back on track and focused on growing job opportunities.  Of course, making sure the country did not miss a debt payment was critical, but so was showing the world that we were doing things to get our economy back on track, and doing something to stimulate the economy and jobs. It is likely that the consequences of this inaction will be a downgrading of the USA debt ratings in the next few months (happened on Friday 4th August 2011).  We have already seen the stock market react to the latest economic news and take 10% off its last high in April this year (Thursday, August 4, 2011). However, it is only fair to say that the stock market decline was more a reaction to the economic news from Europe that Italy and Spain will probably need help with their debt situations, than just the impact of the US debt ceiling deal. A further 5% decline occurred on Monday August 8 2011.

As the Economist magazine pointed out this week, the world’s largest economy needed to show it was serious about its flagging economy by demonstrating how it would collect higher revenues and cut spending. It fell woefully short of this.

Surprisingly the latest employment figures from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics was not as bad as everyone thought for July 2011.  Although the unemployment rate was little changed overall at about 9.1%, the non-farm payroll jobs increased by 117,000. They reported that most of the job gains came in the health care, retail trade, manufacturing and mining. Jobs with the government continued to decrease. Admittedly, job gains need to be increasing north of 200,000 per month in a sustained fashion to start to regain ground, but the prediction for July was even lower than the 117,000.

Interestingly, consumer confidence for July increased slightly by 1.9 points to 59.5, but this was measured before the debt crisis and stock market crash, so we may see this reversed in the month of August. CEO confidence was down 12 points in July, and this may worsen with the latest news.

In summary, we are seeing weakness in Europe, a persisting weakness in the USA, and no real plans to orchestrate a recovery. While the political rhetoric in the USA focuses on job creation, it is tough to see what concerted bipartisan effort is being made to create the right environment for further growth. One can only conclude that the economic climate for the rest of this year remains gloomy.

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

SMI Tasked to Safely Remove Asbestos and Demolish the Morton School Building in Suburban Fall River, MA: Darrell Maclean Reports.

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation Company, have won the project to tear down the old Morton Middle School building in suburban Fall River, Massachusetts. Due to the enormous amounts of asbestos containing materials used in the building they have to first implement a full asbestos abatement program.

Darrell Maclean commented, “We are delighted to win the project to demolish the old school building and environmentally clean up the whole site prior to the rebuilding of a new school.”

In March 2010, Marc Munroe Dion of The Herald News first reported that decisions

Jack Foley|Herald News


were being made by Executive Director Katherine Craven of the Massachusetts School Board Authority (MSBA), the town mayor of Fall River, Will Flanagan, and the local School Superintendent, Meg Mayo-Brown, to finally demolish the old Morton Middle School and build a new more modern school.

“The challenge for SMI in the first phase of the project is first to ensure we remove all the potential environmental contaminants, which is largely asbestos, but may also include some heavy metals such as mercury and lead and possibly some pcb containing materials. We can then start the interior demolition before we move to pulling the whole building down.” Said Darrell Maclean of SMI, before adding, “However, the biggest concern is the underground storage tanks and just what we may find when we remove them – hopefully no spills.”

The demolition of the 75 year old, 168,000 square foot old school on two and a half acres of land, and building of the new school, is estimated to be a $63 million project that will take two years to complete. Eligible for a state reimbursement of up to 80% of the costs, it is estimated that the city will have to find approximately $12 to $15 million.

After some last minute bickering over the size of the school, final approval was finally given in March 2011 so that work could finally start this year with a view to completing the project in time for the start of the school year in September 2013.

Darrell Maclean, commented, “We are delighted to have been given this sizeable project and can’t wait to get started.  We have a plan ready based on the building site inspections and we are confident that we will complete the work on time and on budget. If the underground tanks require additional abatement activities because of leaks, we are ready to address it immediately and make sure the site is environmentally contaminant free ready for the start of construction of the new school. This project has been a long time in planning and the whole community is excited to see their new school erected.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog comments page and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Asbestos Environmental Decontamination of Suburban Allgrove School Building in East Granby, CT, Required Rapid Intervention By Darrell Maclean of SMI.

Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation Services Company, in Norwood, MA, won the project to clean up the suburban Allgrove school building of asbestos. Darrell Maclean, president and founder of SMI, told reporters that the project required a rapid turn around to avoid delays to the overall renovation project.

In late 2010, the Carl D. Allgrove Elementary School in East Granby, Connecticut, was made part of a statewide group of school building projects to receive state grants to help renovate their building and bring it into compliance with state code and regulations. It was reported that the Allgrove School project would include “live safety” renovations including asbestos abatement, and ADA code compliance for HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. The work included a boiler upgrade, roof repair, improved ventilation and sewer connection, as well as replacement of all exterior windows and doors. As the Board of Education for the area is housed in the Allgrove School, they also anticipated carrying out additional asbestos abatement and code upgrades in their facilities too.

The total cost of the Allgrove School building renovations was estimated at $1.4 million and the State of Connecticut agreed to pay $623,000 or 45% of the cost in the form of a grant. As a first step in the project in early 2011, a team of specialists was called in to assess the hazardous materials within the building, with a specific request to look for and identify any asbestos containing materials that needed to be removed.

SMI was called in a few weeks back to implement an asbestos abatement project to rid the school building of environmental contaminants.  Darrell Maclean of SMI commented, “Although on the surface this seemed like a fairly typical asbestos abatement project, of which a large part of the project was to remove asbestos containing floor tiles, there were two specific challenges we faced. First, we needed to complete the work in record time so we did not hold up the other steps in the renovation project, and second,  we faced a bit of an unknown as to the amount of work required to remove the tiles and flooring materials, which were pretty old and difficult to assess.”

Darrell Maclean went on to say, “We sent in one of our most experienced teams with a supervisor I have learned to trust over the years. After sealing off the areas, and taking a few samples of flooring it was clear we had made the right choice in team. It was not easy, but we were able to finish on time and on budget. The building was cleared of the asbestos containing materials identified by the inspectors and requested of SMI to remove. The Allgrove School building project should be completed on time to meet the goals of the School Board and provide a safe and pleasant environment for the students for years to come.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog comment page and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website or the SMI Facebook page.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

BUSINESS IS PICKING UP SAYS THE SUBURBAN ECONOMIST: A RAY OF HOPE FROM DARRELL MACLEAN OF SMI.

Darrell Maclean, Founder and President, of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation Company, has seen an uptick in business and predicts the economy is on the turn even though the national economic indicators suggest the contrary.

“Business is picking up,” says Darrell Maclean of SMI, who has been following economic trends on a local level for years and has been dubbed, the “Suburban Economist”. He went on to say, “SMI has started to hire more staff to keep up with the increased demand for industrial environmental remediation service projects that SMI has won this year. I am hopeful the trend will continue, as it is showing no signs of diminishing.”

“On a National level there has been more bad news this last week. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase in the unemployment rate to 9.2% with only 18,000 jobs being added during June. This result fell short of what was expected. We now have an estimated 14.1 million people unemployed and this is probably an underestimate.”

When asked about the broader picture, Darrell Maclean commented, “The major economic indicators for the country are not looking so good. Consumer confidence declined in June by 3.2 points and CEO confidence fell 12 points, which partly explains the job situation, but The Economist Intelligence Unit this week, also reports that the global economy is also going through a “soft patch”. They put this down to the impact of the increase in oil prices earlier in the year and the aftermath of the Japanese disasters. It is anticipated that the oil prices will ease and that growth of the developed countries will improve in the second half of the year.

National Economic Indicators

  • Unemployment declined to 9.2%
  • Unemployed: 14.1 million
  • Consumer Confidence Index declined 3.2pts
  • CEO Confidence declined 12.0pts

Darrell Maclean was asked to comment on the Suburban Economy, and he had this to say, “SMI is certainly seeing an increase in suburban industrial renovations and demolition jobs that require environmental remediation work too. We have had to add more employees to keep up with the work and to help manage the projects.  However, Massachusetts reported an increase in unemployment on June 29, which reflected the problems seen nationally.”  He went on to comment, “I am concerned that Congress will not address the National Debt problem, which could really push the economy back into recession that would be more difficult to recover from because of the impact on interest rates globally. If Congress does increase the debt ceiling, manages the government budget better, and if the Economist is right about oil prices and a general recovery, perhaps we will see the economic indicators improve later this year.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Called Out to Suburban Hamden Police Department building, in Connecticut, To Solve The Case of The Carcinogenic Environmental Contaminant.

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation Company, have won the project to rid the Hamden Memorial Town Hall and New Police Department of PCBs, a Persistent Organic Pollutant found throughout their building.

Suburban Hamden Memorial Town Hall, CT

As part of the 75,000 sq ft renovation of the suburban Hamden Memorial Town Hall and New Police Department in Hamden, Connecticut, a project previously reported in this blog (Jan 18 2011), SMI was called out again to remove an additional environmental contaminant from the buildings structure. This particular contaminant, PCB, or polychlorinated biphenyls, is a persistent organic pollutant used in caulking, fluorescent light ballast, PVC wiring and a myriad of other building products, and, is a known carcinogen.

Darrell Maclean, President of SMI commented, “PCB abatement is becoming a more frequent problem for building owners because of the broad use of PCB in multiple products in the construction industry and because of concerns relating to its ability to cause cancer, neurological problems and adversely affect the body’s immune system. Understandably, Hamden town and its Police Department, want SMI to make sure all the PCB materials are removed from their building as part of the renovation.”

Hamden is a small suburban town just outside of New Haven, CT, and was first incorporated in 1786 and is now home to a population of 58,000. When the town offices moved from the Memorial Town Hall to their new home down the street in the Hamden Government Center, it was decided that the best site for the new Police Department would be the Hamden Memorial Town Hall building. Renovation work started in December 2010 and should be finished in the latter half of 2011.

Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI, explained, “the Hamden PCB project presents a

Suburban Hamden New Police Department

unique challenge as it appears all the walls and stairs have been sealed with caulking that contains PCBs. We plan to screen off and segregate the work areas before we start the abatement, so we ensure the other building site workers and the general public are safe from exposure. The SMI employees will be wearing protective gowning and all the PCB containing materials will be carefully removed and safely disposed of in approved disposal sites according to State guidance and regulations.  It’s a sizable job, but SMI has a lot of experience and expertise with this particular contaminant and this size of building. We are confident we will get the job done on time and on budget.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog contact page and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website and SMI Facebook site.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Asbestos Abatement Challenge at Fitchburg State University: SMI’s Darrell Maclean, Charles Smith and Bill Finn Discuss the Progress.

Darrell Maclean, President, Charles Smith, Vice President, and Bill Finn, Project Manager of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation Company, describe one of their latest Asbestos Abatement projects at the Hammond Hall building in Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Suburban Fitchburg State University, Hammond Hall

Fitchburg, Massachusetts is the third largest town in Worcester County, founded by John Fitch in 1764, and now home to a population over 40,000 and to Fitchburg State University. The Trustees of the University recently decided to renovate the Hammond Hall building. The goals of the project were to:

  • Create a prominent new accessible entry to the Main Campus.
  • Create a substantial change to Hammond Hall by making interior activities more visible from the street.
  • Improve circulation in the building by providing stronger visual connections between the street level and the quadrangle level.
  • Provide separate dedicated elevators to the Library and student center.
  • Provide accessibility, infrastructure and interior configuration upgrades.

SMI was contacted to help with the renovation, specifically, to coordinate the initial environmental remediation and preparation work prior to demolition and new construction. This involved the safe removal and disposal of asbestos, pcb and other contaminating materials from the old structure, carryout a careful interior demolition of walls and floors, and to complete the project on a very tight time schedule.

Darrell Maclean, President and founder of SMI, and with over 25 years experience of industrial environmental remediation of large buildings, explained, “The Hammond Hall building at Fitchburg University posed an interesting and challenging project for SMI. We were partnered with another construction company, the Lee Kennedy Company, and were operating on a very tight schedule to complete the project before the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year. The real challenge was integrating all the different steps so we could hand off to the Lee Kennedy Company flawlessly.

Suburban Fitchburg State University, Hammond Hall

Bill Finn, project manager for SMI explained, “The current structure of 4 floors and over 55,000 sq ft had to be carefully isolated and the asbestos removed. As the window structures all contained pcbs, these too would have to be removed as part of the preparation work and prior to the start of any demolition work.”

Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI and with over 25 years experience in Hazmat removal in industrial building renovations and demolition projects said, “While we were concerned about the timeline and making sure that all dangerous materials were removed from the building and that the building demolition was taken to a stage where the Lee Kennedy Company could come in and start the construction of the new building, we were pleased that the student body had left for their summer vacation so that we did not have to wrap and seal the whole building. As it was we only had to seal off the areas in which we were working so the project could progress quickly.  I am delighted to say that we concluded our parts of the project and have handed off to the Lee Kennedy Company on time.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog Contact Us page and request it .

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Report on the Suburban Hanover High School Building Asbestos Problem.

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation Company, describe some of the challenges with their latest Asbestos Remediation Project in the High School Building of Suburban Hanover, Massachusetts.

Hanover Suburban High School Building - Darrell Maclean SMI

In 2007, the Town of Hanover created a High School Building Committee to oversee the design and completion of a new Hanover High School building as well as review, summarize and provide future recommendations for the system wide school facilities. The project involved erecting a new school building and tearing down the old one.

Darrell Maclean, President and founder of SMI, and with over 25 years experience of industrial environmental remediation of large buildings, explained, “The Hanover High School building project was not as easy as it first seemed. It involved a significant asbestos abatement project with removal of other hazardous materials prior to a careful interior demolition before the building as whole could be demolished and the ground prepared for what was to be the new parking lot. It turned out that each structural deck or floor of the school had been sprayed with an asbestos containing material to act as a fire retardant, and this had to be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the building and grounds. We also had to carefully remove the windows and pcb containing putty prior to carrying out a selective interior demolition. This was not a small project, as the areas contaminated with asbestos were about 40,000 sq ft.”

The total project cost for the new Hanover High School building together with the removal of the asbestos and other hazardous material, and demolition of the old school buildings, was estimated to cost $63 million and take until the fall of 2011 to complete. With the new school building, Hanover High School will occupy 156,000 sq ft on 3 floors, with 48 teaching stations and be capable of housing the predicted 800 pupils.

Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI, with over 25 years of Hazmat experience in large industrial buildings, went on to say, “Luckily for us the students were not occupying the building when we were removing the asbestos and other hazardous materials; their presence always makes it trickier. Even so we had to take great care to contain the area around the old school building during the work activities to minimize risks to the students, staff and general public. Once all the hazardous materials were removed the building is to be demolished and the area will them be graded to form a parking lot for the new school building.  As Darrell said, the challenge with this building project was the scheduling of work and the tight time line. The school wants to be ready for the new school year.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog contact page and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

THE SUBURBAN ECONOMISTS, DARRELL MACLEAN AND CHARLES SMITH OF SMI, TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THE CURRENT ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation Company, have a passion for economics. Today, they take a closer look at the current economic indicators to give their Suburban Economic outlook.

Darrell Maclean of SMI has been following economics both nationally, internationally and more locally, urban and suburban, since he started his environmental remediation company, SMI, some 25 years ago. “On a National level there has been a lot of bad news over the last few weeks. SMI reported on the latest employment and unemployment figures last week after their release by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news was not good.”

When asked about the broader picture, Darrell Maclean commented, “In fact, when you look at the other major economic indicators for the country you can quickly see that the “bad” economic indicators outweigh the “good” economic indicators more than 3 to 1. Let’s take a look at unemployment, employment, consumer confidence, new housing starts, construction spending, manufacturers shipments and orders, CEO confidence, and gas prices. And we should also look at what is going on with SMI’s business and other suburban economic measures”

“Bad” National Economic Indicators

  • Unemployment static at 9.1%.
  • Employment added only 54,000 jobs in May (expected 200,000+).
  • Consumer confidence dipped at the end of May by 10% vs. last month!
  • New Housing starts down 10% vs. last month and down 23% vs. last year.
  • Manufacturers shipments and orders decreased by 1% in April.
  • Construction spending was flat in April.
  • New Home Sales were 7.3% up on April, but 23% down on last year.

“Good” National Economic Indicators

Charles Smith of SMI who works closely with Darrell Maclean, commented “At the local suburban level, the picture is a little different. Yes, we are seeing that jobs are hard to come by and that the housing starts are slower than normal, but gas prices are getting better, and we are seeing a healthy strengthening of the environmental remediation projects that SMI reviews. As Darrell Maclean has pointed out before, when we see SMI doing better as a company and the suburban business community smiling, it is often the harbinger of a recovery. It may not be tomorrow, but better times are ahead of us.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and a tracker of suburban economic indicators with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the Contact SMI page and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI Blog Site.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

SUBURBAN ECONOMIC INDICATOR, SMI, PREDICTS SECOND DOWNTURN: REPORT BY DARRELL MACLEAN AND CHARLES SMITH 

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation Company and suburban economic indicator, reports on the latest economic data suggesting the country may be heading for a second downturn and continued hardship for many.

The latest employment figures from the US bureau of labor statistics revealed little change in May, adding only 54,000 jobs nationwide, and the unemployment rate remains at 9.1%.  They went on to report that the total USA workforce stands at some 153.7 million, little changed from the previous month.  Although there was some improvement in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for a few months at the beginning of this year, the last two months have seen an increase in unemployment. Interestingly, the number of nonfarm payroll employment changes month-to-month have shown increases over the last several months, but not sufficient to offset those losing jobs.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2011

The latest labor report is seen by many as a dismal indicator of the overall economy. It comes on the back of a poor real estate market and weak consumer spending.  Wall Street had expected an increase in non-farm payrolls of approximately 200,000 jobs in May. It is estimated that it will take an increase in new jobs by approximately 100,000 per month to prevent the number of unemployed growing.

Jobs did increase in professional and business services, healthcare and mining, but there was little change in the employment levels in other private sectors. Employment in local government continued to decline. The really scary data is that the unemployment rate in the younger age group reached 24% and is also higher in certain minority groups.

Darrell Maclean, President of SMI, has over 25 years experience and expertise in dealing with environmental hazards such as asbestos, lead, mercury, and other noxious agents, commented that “SMI has always been a type of ‘suburban economic indicator’ of the overall economy, with the amount of our business rising and falling just ahead of other economic indicators.  Our business has been pretty steady over the last several months, but is not as robust as in previous years.”

Charles Smith, Vice President at SMI, also with over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban environmental remediation, commented, “Most recently, we have seen the number of jobs pick up, which gives us some hope that the economy will pick up later in the year.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company and student of the economy with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI Contact Us page.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Asbestos Exposure Scare Following Suburban New Zealand Earthquake: Report by Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), a Massachusetts Environmental Remediation Company, report on an Asbestos exposure scare following a major earthquake in suburban Christchurch, New Zealand.

We all still remember the Japanese earthquake, the subsequent tsunami, and the radioactive leak from the damaged nuclear reactor plant. This blog site reported on a further catastrophe, that of asbestos contamination of the debris left by the tsunami and the danger to the workers involved in sifting through the mess and having to remove the rubble. But, how many of you remember the Christchurch,New Zealand earthquake in February this year, which hit suburban and urban communities? What other dangers

Christchurch, New Zealand, 2011. Pumphouse.blogspot.com

are they facing?

Authorities from New Zealand recently reported potential health hazards in the Christchurch area from toxic asbestos-contaminated debris. In fact, the contaminated debris is estimated to amount to over 4 million tons of rubble that have to be moved in the next few months.

A District Health Board member, Mr Andrew Dickerson, commented that many people who worked in the rubble of New York’s World Trade Center developed chronic health problems, and some had died. “I am thinking about exposure to things like asbestos, toxins from electronic waste, toxins in the dust and toxins from treated timber,” he said. He went on to question the safety of the local urban and suburban residents both near the rubble and near the landfill site that will be used to deposit the debris. The Board decided to seek expert advice.

Darrell Maclean, President of SMI, has over 25 years experience and expertise in dealing with environmental hazards such as asbestos, lead, mercury, and other noxious agents, commented, “This is a very serious matter. When an old building is demolished, like many were in Christchurch and the suburban areas by the earthquake, there are massive amounts of toxic materials released and exposed which are a definite danger to those working in the debris, those living close by and those who have to haul it away.”

Charles Smith, Vice President at SMI, also with over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban environmental remediation, reinforced the need for care. “These dangers are real, and all concerned should take every precaution to minimize exposure to these toxins. Protective clothing and respirators are an absolute minimum, and getting some experts to the site to determine just which toxins and hazards are present is essential.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the “Contact Us” SMI Blog page and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website.

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Asbestos Abatement Safety Measures: Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Comment

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), a Massachusetts Environmental Remediation Company, report on the safety measures associated with asbestos abatement of suburban and urban businesses and buildings waiting for renovation or demolition.

Darrell Maclean, President of Southern Middlesex Industries, has worked in the environmental remediation business for the last 25 years. “Just about every suburban and urban building constructed prior to 1989 was built with asbestos containing materials. We are constantly being called out to help safely remove and dispose of the asbestos and other contaminants just prior to a demolition or renovation of a building. One cannot dismiss the dangers of disturbing asbestos materials, and we take every precaution to safeguard our workers, the building occupants and the general public from exposure to asbestos fibers during these activities.”

SMI and other certified asbestos abatement companies, go to great lengths to protect everyone from the potentially dangerous asbestos fibers that can become airborne during the asbestos-containing building materials (ACM) removal procedures. Some of the key safety measures include, but are not limited to:

Qualified Supervision: An accredited competent person supervises the asbestos abatement work and all asbestos abatement workers are properly trained and accredited.

Screening off the area: heavy-duty polyethylene sheeting is used to create an airtight screen to isolate the area containing the asbestos material to be removed.

Negative Pressure and Filters: negative air pressure within the enclosed work area is maintained relative to the outside environment along with high efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA filters), which are changed regularly to ensure efficient air handling.

Signage: signs are used to restrict access to authorized, trained and properly protected personnel only and signs clearly warn of an Asbestos Health Hazard.

Protective Clothing: all workers wear protective, disposable clothing at all times when in work areas along with protective masks and respirators. Protective clothing is carefully disposed of in sealable containers prior to leaving the work area.

Asbestos removal process: contractors use industry-accepted asbestos removal procedures, including HEPA vacuuming, wet scraping, wet wiping and wet brushing to ensure all visible evidence of asbestos has been removed.

ACM waste disposal:  all asbestos-contaminated materials including disposable coveralls and polyethylene sheets are removed and properly containerized. Contaminated materials are adequately wetted and packaged in sealed leak-tight containers with approved OSHA and US DOT labels, identifying the contents as asbestos materials. Wet asbestos waste is placed into labeled leak-tight wrappings and/or containers according to industry standards.

ACM waste transportation: ACM waste containers are transported in enclosed vehicles to a US EPA approved disposal sites.

Air sampling: daily personal air sampling on abatement workers is conducted to ensure no contamination of the individual or of the general public.

Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI, reminds us that, “Asbestos is a very dangerous material. Asbestos fibers are particularly dangerous and are associated with causing asbestosis, lung-cancer and mesothelioma. As certified asbestos abatement contractors, we have undergone rigorous training and certification to ensure the safety of our workers, the building occupants and the general public, and we take this responsibility very seriously.”

For a full set of guidance we recommend the Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Inspection and Safety Procedures Workshop to provide an overview of asbestos safety measures for suburban and urban buildings.

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial and suburban contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS NESHAP INSPECTION AND SAFETY PROCEDURES WORKSHOP OR THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to Contact SMI and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean of SMI Reports on the Asbestos Status in the USA

Darrell Maclean, President, of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, a Massachusetts Environmental Remediation Company, reports on the current status of asbestos containing materials in the USA.

Although 52 countries have banned asbestos and asbestos containing materials, the USA still allows the use of certain products that contain asbestos, many of them in the construction industry.

Asbestos was popular from the late 19th century through to the late 20th century among manufactures and builders because of its unique strength, resistance to heat, electrical and chemical damage, and its sound absorption properties. Consequently, asbestos was mixed with cement or woven into fabrics or mats and used in products for its resistance to heat, such as hot plates, electric ovens, electrical insulation, and in buildings for its flame-retardant and insulating properties, but also because of its tensile strength, flexibility and resistance to chemicals.

The harmful effects of asbestos became apparent as early as the 1930s when a large number of early deaths and lung problems were reported in asbestos mining communities. It is clear now that asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

In 1989, the USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a ban and phase out rule relating to asbestos, which was overturned in 1991 by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. However, the following asbestos containing products remained banned: flooring felt, rollboard, and corrugated, commercial or specialty paper. The regulation also continues to ban the use of asbestos in products that have not historically contained asbestos.

The EPA issued a clarification in 1999 as to what was banned and what was allowed. It listed asbestos-containing product categories that are no longer banned, as “asbestos-cement corrugated sheet, asbestos-cement flat sheet, asbestos clothing, pipeline wrap, roofing felt, vinyl-asbestos floor tile, asbestos-cement shingle, millboard, asbestos-cement pipe, automatic transmission components, clutch facings, friction materials, disc brake pads, drum brake linings, brake blocks, gaskets, non-roofing coatings and roof coatings.  The EPA is very careful to say that it does not track the manufacture, processing or distribution in commerce of asbestos-containing products, and recently estimated in a presentation that they believe there are over 3000 asbestos-containing products in use in construction today (see earlier blog).

Darrell Maclean, President of Southern Middlesex Industries, has worked in the environmental remediation business for the last 25 years. “Just about every building constructed prior to 1989 was built with asbestos containing materials. We are constantly being called out to help safely remove and dispose of the asbestos and other contaminants just prior to a demolition or renovation of a building. One cannot dismiss the dangers of disturbing asbestos materials, and we take every precaution to safeguard our workers, the building occupants and the general public from exposure to asbestos fibers during these activities.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog Contact page and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Report on Global Asbestos Production and Consumption

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President, of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, a Massachusetts Environmental Remediation Company, report on the Global production and consumption of the cancer-implicated white fiber known as Asbestos.

As an Environmental Remediation company, Southern Middlesex Industries, makes a living by carefully removing and safely disposing of hazardous materials from buildings due for demolition or about to be renovated. The material most frequently removed and potentially dangerous to construction workers and users of the facility is asbestos, or more specifically, the white fibers that escape into the air

Asbestos: Dangers of White Fibers

if the asbestos containing material is disturbed. Most facilities built prior to 1989 in the USA were constructed with materials containing asbestos.

Today, more than 50 countries ban the use or severely restrict the use of asbestos in any building materials.

A recent report by the BBC and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, identified the top five producers of asbestos in the world in 2008 as:

  • Russia:                         1,017,000 metric tons
  • China:                            280,000 metric tons
  • Brazil:                            255,000 metric tons
  • Kazakhstan:                  233,000 metric tons
  • Canada:                         180,000 metric tons

Backed by a multinational lobbying campaign, the use of asbestos is growing rapidly in a number of developing countries, and experts are warning these countries that they will face an epidemic of health problems associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibers, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.  The largest consumers of asbestos in 2008 were:

  • China:                         606,000 metric tons
  • India:                          302,000 metric tons
  • Russia:                       280,000 metric tons
  • Kazakhstan:               109,000 metric tons
  • Brazil:                           94,000 metric tons

It was reported that demand for asbestos is increasing and that Canadian mines are looking to boost products at some of their mines. The top exporters of asbestos are:

  • Russia:                        657,000 metric tons
  • Kazakhstan:               216,000 metric tons
  • Brazil:                         178,000 metric tons
  • Canada:                       176,000 metric tons
  • China:                            14,000 metric tons

Charles Smith, Vice President at Southern Middlesex Industries, an Environmental Remediation company based in Norwood, MA, commented on the report. “Given the dangers of asbestos, I was astonished to learn about the level of production in the World and that demand is on the increase.”

The report goes on to say that the Canadian government is coming under pressure from Canadian scientists and the World Health Organization who believe further production and sale of any asbestos materials will just extend the duration of the health problems that are associated with this material. Millions are at risk.

Darrell Maclean, the president of SMI, commented, “As a native of Canada, I was particularly troubled by the fact that Canada produces and exports asbestos to other countries. It is my understanding that very little asbestos is used in Canada.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog contact section and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Report on Another Japanese Disaster: Asbestos

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President, of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, a Massachusetts Environmental Remediation Company, report on the latest disaster to strike Japan: Asbestos Fiber Exposure in the clean up operations.

After the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, together with the complication of the nuclear power plant problems of Fukushima, Japan is

Source: BBC News Photo

scrambling to deal with the clean up of the areas affected. But, to complicate matters even further, officials from Tokyo have reported that they are concerned about the risks associated with cleaning up demolished buildings that were constructed using asbestos-containing materials. A recent report suggests that Tokyo officials are providing an asbestos training program to workers clearing debris in the hope that precautions can be taken to prevent inhalation of dangerous asbestos fibers.

Charles Smith, Vice President at Southern Middlesex Industries, an Environmental Remediation company based in Norwood, MA, commented on the latest development in the devastated area. “As you probably know, Asbestos fibers can be very dangerous to your health. Asbestos fibers have been associated with the development of cancers and respiratory diseases often not apparent for two to four decades after exposure. Protecting workers against asbestos fibers who are clearing away the building debris is absolutely essential”

Japan’s health ministry has issued a large number of dust prevention masks but they are concerned that many workers may not use them because workers complain the masks restrict breathing. To overcome this criticism, the ministry plans to make a small number of high efficiency masks that contain an electric fan in them to make breathing easier.

Darrell Maclean, the president of SMI, commented, “The real challenge will be to safely remove and dispose of all the hazardous materials that will be found in the debris fields including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcbs, and other dangerous materials. This is really an environmental nightmare, and I would strongly recommend that all workers wear full protective clothing at all times.  I just hope they have enough masks and the right protective clothing for all the workers involved in the clean up operations.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link

For More Information: Visit the SMI website at

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Support the Massachusetts Lead Laws

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President, of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, a Massachusetts Environmental Remediation Company, both speak out and fully support the Massachusetts Led Laws and the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

In 1971, Massachusetts passed a far-reaching state lead poisoning prevention law; one of the first in the nation. Essentially, property owners are required to control specified lead-based paint hazards in a permanent fashion, in any housing unit in which a child under the age of 6 resides.  Enforcement is the responsibility of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program run by the Department of Public Health and the local boards of health. As property owners are “strictly liable” for damages resulting from failure to make a property lead-safe for children, it means they are liable even if they did not know they had lead paint!

So listen up, rental property owners where children under the age of 6 reside! If a child is lead poisoned by lead hazards in your building, you will be found legally responsible. And there is no point trying to get tenants to sign an agreement that they accept the presence of lead paint, as this will not make any difference: You are still liable. The only way to avoid liability, is to ensure you comply with the lead law.

Each year in Massachusetts, hundreds of young children are poisoned by lead paint. Lead poisoning can cause permanent damage to a child’s brain, kidneys, and nervous system., and may also result in serious learning and behavior problems.

To be clear, the Lead Law requires you remove or cover all lead paint hazards in homes where any children under six live that were built before 1978. Lead paint hazards include loose lead paint and lead paint on windows and other surfaces accessible to children.  Tax credits, grants and loans are available to help with the cost.

How does an owner comply with the lead law?
There are two ways:

  1. Have all lead hazards removed or covered. The owner must first hire a licensed lead inspector who will test the home for lead and record all lead hazards. After the work is approved, the owner will receive a Letter of Full Compliance.
  2. Have only urgent lead hazards corrected, while controlling remaining hazards. This temporary method is called interim control. The owner must first hire a licensed risk assessor who will explain what work needs to be done for interim control.

After the work is approved, the owner will receive a Letter of Interim Control. Owners then have up to two years before they must have the remaining lead hazards removed or covered and receive a Letter of Full Compliance.

Who can remove or cover lead hazards?


To be on the safe side, we at Southern Middlesex Industries strongly recommend using a licensed deleader to bring your building into full compliance as quickly as possible.  SMI is fully licensed to safely remove and dispose of lead from your rental properties.

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION ON THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the Contact SMI section and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)


Part 2 of the New Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Asbestos Rules and Regulations for 2011

Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, a Massachusetts Environmental Remediation Company, based in Norwood, provides Part 2 of the latest Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Asbestos Program that reviews all the new Asbestos Rules and regulations for the state Health Officers Association.

It is a must read document. Charles Smith of SMI reviewed the first half of the program in last week’s blog, and plans to cover the second part this week. As was pointed out in last weeks blog, there are over 3000 Asbestos containing materials still used in the building industry!  Hence the new Asbestos Rules. It should be noted that the EPA and MassDEP do not track the use of these materials, their distribution or commerce relating to them, so one must assume they are being used and that prior to demolition work or a renovation project, a licensed professional Environmental Remediation company should be used to remove any hazardous materials from the building.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE ASBESTOS RULES PRESENTATION, send an email with your name to SMI (press@smienvironmental.com) or leave a request on our blog site and we will send it to you.

The Asbestos Rules report stipulates that prior to the start of any demolition or renovation work, it is important to ensure the safety of asbestos abatement workers and facility employees in areas with asbestos containing materials (ACM) which is to be removed (Emission Control, section 7.15 (1)(c)) :

  • Seal work area and use air cleaning
  • Maintain adequate wetness of ACM
  • Contain ACM during removal
  • Carefully lower contained ACM to ground
  • Ensure ACM remains wet until and after sealed in container

Under the Air Cleaning regulations 7.15(1)(d), the new Asbestos Rules stipulate that Asbestos Removal operators must use one of the following:

  • Fabric filters with air flow permeability not to exceed 350 ft3/min/ft2 for felted fabrics; or
  • HEPA filters in power exhaust units with negative air pressure systems capable of filtering 0.3 micron particles with 99.97% efficiency; or
  • Other equivalent air cleaning system subject to approval by MassDEP

The report also defines how new Asbestos Rules for asbestos containing material waste should be safely and carefully disposed, section 7.15(1)(e):

  • Keep asbestos-containing waste material (ACWM) wet until sealed in leak-tight labeled containers.
  • Store ACWM at approved transfer station
    • 30 days maximum at asbestos contractor’s shop or at the site of removal
  • Dispose of ACWM at approved sanitary landfill special waste site
    • No landfills in Massachusetts accept ACWM
  • The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) has additional provisions:
    • Waste shipment record (waste manifest)
    • Transporter and disposal site record-keeping

MassDep and Municipal Health Officials plan to work together to ensure appropriate permits are obtained under the new Asbestos Rules and that any building demolition or renovation first ensures that all hazardous materials, especially Asbestos containing materials, have been safely removed and disposed of prior to any work starting.

Online registration and contacts for the MassDEP Asbestos Program and the new Asbestos Rules are available in the full presentation.

MassDEP’s Asbestos Program and the new Asbestos Rules was presented to Massachusetts Health Officers Association this year, and provides a comprehensive overview of states rules and regulations as they pertain to Asbestos, its use, removal and protection of employees and the public.  It also covers the latest ideas on how Municipal Officials and MassDEP can work together to protect the public from asbestos fiber releases. Here’s a link.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION AND THE NEW ASBESTOS RULES, SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to the SMI blog and request it.

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Charles Smith Reports on the New Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Asbestos Rules and Regulations for 2011

Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI, a Massachusetts Environmental Remediation Company, based in Norwood, reports on the latest Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Asbestos Program that reviews all the key rules and regulations for the state Health Officers Association.

If you haven’t read it yet you should. The presentation made to the Massachusetts Health Officers Association this year, by MassDEP provides a comprehensive overview of states rules and regulations as they pertain to Asbestos, its use, removal and protection of employees and the public.  It also covers the latest ideas on how Municipal Officials and MassDEP can work together to protect the public from asbestos fiber releases. Here’s a link.

If you have a problem downloading it, just send an email to SMI (press@smienvironmental.com) or leave a request on our blog site and we will send you a copy FREE OF CHARGE.

Essentially, the presentation reviews what Asbestos is and where it is found, and clarifies that Asbestos is still very much in use in a number of building materials, and is present in most older buildings; in fact they claim that there are more than 3,000 Asbestos Containing Building Materials (ACBM) today! It is not part of the EPA or MassDEP’s job to track these materials. They explain how asbestos fibers once released can stay airborne for 24 hours and that Asbestos fibers are associated with a number of diseases, including, Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, possible gastrointestinal cancers from ingestion and mesothelioma.

Examples of where Asbestos can be found are split into two groups:

  1. Friable Asbestos: Sprayed on, or troweled on, decorative plaster, Sprayed on fire proofing, Pipe and boiler insulation, Duct insulation, Suspended ceiling tiles, Wallboard and joint compound, Some attic/wall insulation (such as vermiculite or sprayed on), Fire rated doors
  2. Non-friable: Floor covering (e.g. floor tiles and linoleum backing), Mastic (damp proofing), Caulking and glazing, Roofing felts and shingles, Fire rated drapes and curtains

The general MassDEP Air Quality Regulations include:

  • No person shall “permit emissions which cause or contribute to a condition of air pollution.”
  • Regulations focus on prevention of visible or particulate emissions into ambient air, including asbestos.
  • Regulations require 10-day notification prior to commencing construction, demolition or renovation activities.

Of particular note to Construction and Demolition companies is Notification 7.09(2)

  • Applies to any construction, demolition or renovation of any building, except residential buildings with 19 or fewer dwelling units
  • Requires MassDEP notification 10 business days prior to start of construction/demolition/renovation.
  • Owners or Operators can register with MassDEP to submit AQ-06 forms on-line: efile @ http://www.mass.gov/dep

They also call out Notificaton 7.15 (1)(a) which prohibits air pollution from “demolition/ renovation, installation, reinstallation, handling, transporting, storage, or disposal of a facility or facility component that contains asbestos, asbestos-containing material, or asbestos-containing waste material”.

I will cover more of the rules and regulations in my next blog next week.

Southern Middlesex Industries is an Environmental Remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

FOR A FREE COPY OF THE MASSDEP PRESENTATION SEND AN EMAIL TO press@smienvironmental.com or go to Contact SMI and request it.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Darrell Maclean Reports Asbestos Abatement Completed Successfully at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, specialists in industrial environmental remediation, reported the successful completion of the asbestos abatement at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School as well as other environmental remediation activities. This is all part of an $85 million renovation headed by HMFH Architects and the Consigli Construction Company.

Within two years, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School hopes to complete a 400,000

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

square foot multi-phase renovation of the high school’s academic space. It is hoped that the $85 million renovation will be completed in time for the start of the September 2011 school year.

Darrell Maclean, President of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, an industrial environmental remediation company based in Norwood, MA recalls the detail of the project “ We were asked by Consigli Construction Company to take a look at the project. It involved an extensive asbestos abatement as many of the building materials contained asbestos fibers. It also involved demolition of the ceiling, removal of the floor tiles, and removal of the asbestos containing window caulking.” Maclean went on to comment, “All these materials had to be carefully removed and disposed of in a safe fashion an in accordance with strict government regulations.”.

The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) was originally constructed in 1933 and expanded in 1978. CRLS is the only public high school in the city of Cambridge serving grades 9 through 12, and has a capacity of 1,800 students.  CRLS can trace its history back to 1648 and the founding of Master Elijah Corlett’s “lattin schoole”, also around the time of the founding of Harvard College. Long noted for its innovative approach to teaching and learning, the high school is organized into four small Learning Communities. In keeping with the city’s green buildings policy, CRLS is expected to be LEED Silver certified when it is completed.

Charles Smith, Vice President and co-founder of SMI explained the particular challenge with the asbestos abatement project at CRLS. “This was a phased project and the students were still in school, so we had to work around them.  This requires very stringent screening off for safety purposes and to ensure no environmental contaminates escape into the atmosphere. With over 25 years experience in this field, SMI was ideally suited to carry out the project, and successfully completed this phase of the project on time without any incidents or concerns”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an environmental remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website or read the rest of the SMI Blog

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Charles Smith of SMI Talks About Asbestos Abatement in our Schools

Charles Smith and Darrell Maclean of Southern Middlesex Industries, an environmental remediation company based in Norwood, MA, report on the successful completion of the Watertown High School, CT, asbestos abatement project.

About two years ago, the town of Watertown, CT completed a thorough investigation of five of their school facilities.  This included an existing condition evaluation, space needs

Watertown High School, CT

assessment and feasibility study. Each study examined enrollment projections, code compliance, space needs, and current building conditions. Prioritized recommendations for improvements were made and the town approved several addition and renovation projects at each school. The project at Watertown High School include renovation of science labs, kitchen and food service facilities, auditorium, gymnasium, and locker rooms; a partial roof replacement and replacement of non-energy-efficient windows; and the addition of a new media center, music classrooms, and administrative offices.

Southern Middlesex Industries was brought in to affect the environmental remediation of the building and site, prior to any new construction. Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI, remembers his first visit to the site and the challenges it posed. “The existing buildings were approximately 80,000 sq ft, and required extensive remediation activities to remove various building materials that contained asbestos fibers.” He went on to say, “The project was complicated by the fact that the school was still in operation and that SMI would have to work around the students and teachers. This meant ensuring the areas in which we were working were completely screened off and segregated from the students and teachers.”

In work environments where asbestos exposure is inevitable or probable, asbestos containment requires that employers create controlled areas designed to protect employees from asbestos hazards. These are sealed restricted areas where, upon entrance, workers are required to wear protective clothing, use respirators, and shower before exit. This is particularly important in schools.

SMI follows the strict Federal and State guidelines for sealing off work areas that contain asbestos materials.

Darrell Maclean recalls, “The school building was old and contained transite piping and transite wall board that had to be removed carefully and safely disposed of.  Transite is a type of asbestos.”  He also recalled, “We are delighted to say that the work went very well and without incident. We completed the environmental remediation, removing any other contaminants as well as the asbestos, so that the site was ready for the next stage of development. SMI is committed to helping make our schools a safe and hazardous material free environment, so our students and teachers can concentrate on what matters: education.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an environmental remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Economic Progress: Slow and Hesitant

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an environmental remediation company based in Norwood, MA, discuss the recent economic indicators and global changes affecting the USA economy, employment and Massachusetts business.

While the press made a lot of positive noise about the U.S. National unemployment rate adding 200,000 jobs, the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, were not so forthright pointing to an unemployment rate of 8.9%, or 13.7 million unemployed in February 2011, and stating that “the labor force was about unchanged for the month.” Even though the nonfarm payroll employment increased in February, “it is difficult to get too excited by this given the other mitigating factors that promise to drag the economy back down into a depressed state” stated Darrell Maclean, President Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI.

“The Libyan crisis is a huge factor.” Added Maclean.  Oil output from Libya have been halved since the crisis began, and although Libya only produces about 2% of global oil production, it happens to be a much larger percentage of the high quality oil used to produce fuel used in aviation, the so called “sweet crude”.  As a consequence, fuel prices on are on the rise, rapidly.

“In Massachusetts, we have seen fuel prices at the pump increase dramatically over the last few weeks,” said Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI. He went on to add, “the price of gas at my local service station has jumped from $3.00 a gallon to over $3.50 in the last two weeks.”

Economists predict that higher oil costs will drive up the cost of gas to exceed $4.00 within a few weeks; some gas stations are already charging over $4.00 for a gallon of regular gas.  Worst still, the rising oil prices will probably undermine the fragile USA economic recovery and bring with it the specter of a second depression, or at the very least a prolonged recovery.

Reflecting on their current predicament, Darrell Maclean commented, “At SMI, gas prices really cut into our business as we have to transport our equipment and personnel to various environmental remediation sites around New England every day.” He went on to say, “I don’t know how bad this will be yet, but one thing is for sure, this is going to negatively affect a lot of businesses in Massachusetts and across the whole USA.

Southern Middlesex Industries is an environmental remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)


Asbestos, PCBs, and Mercury contamination of an Elementary School.

Darrell Maclean, President, and Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an environmental remediation company based in Norwood, MA, report the successful completion of a large environmental remediation project involving asbestos and other contaminants at Winthrop Elementary School in New London, CT.

Southern Middlesex Industries was asked to participate in the major renovation of the Winthrop School buildings. “After assessing the site, it was clear that there was significant environmental remediation required prior to any remodeling or new building could take place,” commented Darrell Maclean, President of SMI.  He went on to add “The project included both interior and exterior work to remove hazardous materials including many asbestos-containing materials, pcb ballast, mercury containing light tubes, and the job also included some brick salvage work, and the removal of an old oil tank.”

In 2008, the City of New London, CT, announced the changes it had planned for the

Students at Winthrop Elementary School, New London, CT

Winthrop Elementary School: essentially they planned to renovate the existing 33,750 square foot building and add a further 36,250 sq foot addition to make an expanded facility of approximately 70,000 sq ft. They plan to have a Science theme for the new building, with exhibit space for science projects, plus specialized classrooms for instruction in science, including a greenhouse and a weather station, computer technology, nutrition, math, and conventional classrooms for all grades, from Pre-K through 5. The building will have two floors and a partial basement. Site work will include new driveways, parking areas, and playgrounds.

When asked about the degree of complication in this project, Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI, said “Luckily for us, the building was vacant while the work was to be performed, allowing us to screen off the old structures so we could begin the environmental remediation.”  He went on to say, “We completed the asbestos abatement and other environmental decontamination at the end of last year, and I understand that the next phases of construction can now proceed.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an environmental remediation company with an outstanding reputation throughout New England.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)


Charles Smith of SMI Talks About OSHA and ASBESTOS

Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), an Environmental Remediation company in Norwood, MA, talks about the government OSHA regulations and the impact on Asbestos Abatement activities

The United States Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as part of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Its’ goal is to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

“As an Environmental Remediation company, Southern Middlesex Industries comes into contact with construction materials containing hazardous agents everyday” remarked Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI. He went on to say, “And, as such, the OSHA guidelines, education and certification is our play book on how to ensure the safety of our employees, other working men and women on the work site, and the general public in the vicinity of our work. SMI is often brought in at the first stage of a renovation or the demolition of a building to safely remove and dispose of any harmful materials such as asbestos.”

Most buildings built before the 1989 ban on asbestos used asbestos-containing building materials, and most buildings, even modern buildings, are full of lead, mercury, pcbs and other potentially harmful materials. Asbestos is particularly hazardous as exposure, particularly prolonged exposure, can lead to lung disease and cancer.

OSHA classifies work relating to asbestos into four groups:

Class I asbestos work means activities involving the removal of Thermal System Insulation (TSI) and surfacing Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) and Presumed Asbestos Containing Material (PACM).

Class II asbestos work means activities involving the removal of ACM which is not thermal system insulation or surfacing material. This includes, but is not limited to, the removal of asbestos-containing wallboard, floor tile and sheeting, roofing and siding shingles, and construction mastics.

Class III asbestos work means repair and maintenance operations, where “ACM”, including TSI and surfacing ACM and PACM, is likely to be disturbed.

Class IV asbestos work means maintenance and custodial activities during which employees contact but do not disturb ACM or PACM and activities to clean up dust, waste and debris resulting from Class I, II, and III activities.

“The OSHA guidelines are very specific about the dangers of asbestos and the need to protect workers by providing the appropriate training, safety wear, monitoring and sealed barriers in which to perform such work. There are also specific requirements pertaining to the different classifications of work.” Explained Smith. “At SMI, we pride ourselves on our expertise in the area of asbestos abatement, environmental remediation and are fully certified and licensed to perform this complex work.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an environmental remediation company based in Norwood, Massachusetts.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website at http://www.southernmiddlesex.com

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Asbestos Environmental Contamination Slows Demolition of Building

Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI), comment on the Asbestos found in a Newton Massachusetts School undergoing Demolition

Last November, the demolition of a Newton, MA School was halted because asbestos was

Asbestos Scare Halts Newton, MA School Demolition

found in the building. Concerns were raised because and disturbance of the asbestos would lead to the release of dangerous asbestos fibers that can cause serious health hazards to the demolition workers and the general public in the nearby vicinity. Asbestos abatement was requested immediately and is now underway with the hope of restarting the demolition as soon as possible.

Charles Smith, Vice President of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, commented on the Newton predicament, “We see this a lot. Construction companies want to move ahead quickly and move in all the demolition equipment, trying to keep to a tight schedule and budget, only to find that the building is full of contaminants like asbestos, but probably also lead, pcbs, mercury and other materials that require special removal and disposal”

Another asbestos related incident at a School in Connecticut was reported recently. After the heavy snow and ice storms in January this year, an attempt to remove ice and snow from the school roof using hot water, resulted in exposing asbestos containing materials which led the local authorities to order an emergency shut down to ensure the school was safe.

“You cannot be too careful when you discover the presence of asbestos when repairing or demolishing a building. There are strict EPA guidelines on how to safely remove and dispose of the contaminants, “ commented Darrell Maclean, President of SMI, and went on to say “The problem of course, is that if the asbestos is not discovered until work starts then there is going to be additional expense in the demolition or repair, and probably significant delays while the work is performed. Our advice to building owners is to check out the materials used in the construction of their building before they start demolition or repair work, as this will save time and money in the long haul.”

Southern Middlesex Industries is an environmental remediation company based in Norwood, Massachusetts.  SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

If you have questions, want to make a comment, or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website at http://www.southernmiddlesex.com

Copyright © 2011 Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. (SMI)

Environmental Scare of Toxic PCB Contamination in Schools and Buildings

SMI’s Charles Smith reports on several cases of environmental PCB contamination in schools, the dangers of PCBs and their safe removal and disposal during demolition or renovation of your building.

A Stanton Island school was recently threatened with closure due to the discovery of excessively high levels of PCBs in the air and raises the fears of contamination in other schools and buildings.  Class rooms were sealed off and further tests were requested. PCBs are toxic chemicals, which can be found in older buildings as PCBs were routinely used in building materials prior to their ban in 1979.

In fact, as part of a broader program of testing, three more schools were identified with high levels of PCBs in the air in the New York area.

Long term exposure to PCBs can cause cancer and a variety of other health conditions related to the immune system, the reproductive system, nervous system and endocrine system.  For more information on PCBs and the medical dangers, visit the EPA websites for general information and the health effects of PCBs.

PCB, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are part of a group of chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons, which were commonly used in hundreds of products and processes from the1940’s to the 1970’s.  The use of PCBs was banned by the EPA in 1979, and their safe removal and disposal is now regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act to ensure minimal exposure to workers and occupants of buildings that may contain them.

Only a few months ago, concerns were raised in Massachusetts after an elementary school in Lexington was closed for a similar reason, and Fox News reported that as many as 50% of schools in Massachusetts could be affected.

“If you suspect your building was constructed using PCB-containing materials, then you must use a certified environmental remediation company, like Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, to safely remove and dispose of the affected materials”, stated Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI. Southern Middlesex Industries has over 25 years experience in safely removing and disposing of environmental contaminants including PCBs, Asbestos, Mold, Lead, Mercury and has expertise in selective interior demolition, demolition of buildings and general contracting.

If you have questions, want to make a comment or need help, click on this link?

For More Information: Visit the SMI website at http://www.southernmiddlesex.com

5 Must Do’s When Renovating An Old Building

Charles Smith and Darrell Maclean from Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, an Environmental Remediation company, explain five important considerations when planning to renovate an old building.

If the building you are planning to renovate was built before 1989, the chances are it could have been built with materials containing Asbestos!  It more than likely has a healthy helping of mercury in the lighting and switches used, and may also contain lead and pcbs. These materials can be harmful if disturbed and need to be carefully considered prior to starting any renovation to ensure the safety of the workmen and occupants, especially if you plan to renovate part of a building while another part is occupied.

Must Do #1: Make sure you have the area to be renovated properly assessed by a qualified company and accredited laboratory to identify the type and quantity of potential contaminants present in the building.

Must Do #2: Adequately screen off the renovation area where contaminated materials exist to prevent exposure to building occupants.

Must Do #3: Ensure workmen removing the contaminated materials are adequately trained and certified in how to remove the contaminants safely without danger to themselves or others.

Must Do #4: Ensure the workmen understand how to safely dispose of the contaminated materials in an approved fashion and utilize approved sites for such materials, where applicable.

Must Do #5: Hire a qualified Environmental Remediation company for steps #2 to #4, to safely remove and dispose of all hazardous materials before any demolition starts.

“Must Do #5 is probably the most important” says Darrell Maclean, President of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI.  He went on to say “Southern Middlesex Industries has over 20 years experience and expertise in industrial environmental remediation, including the safe removal and disposal of contaminants such as asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, and mold, and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.”

“We are often asked about the dangers of some of the materials we remove” said Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI, who recommended “I always suggest they look at the government website called, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, where you can look up the dangers and hazards associated with different materials: its an excellent website.”

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Asbestos Environmental Problem Shuts Down Local Massachusetts School

Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI provide insights into Asbestos Abatement, Mold Remediation and the challenges for Builders, Construction Workers, the Building Owners and Occupants.

Helen Donaghue School

The Helen Donaghue School in Merrimac has had to be shutdown to find a more permanent solution to what is thought to be a mold and asbestos problem. Although the school was shutdown for a week in early January this year because of noxious fumes causing students and staff to complain of nausea and stinging eyes, the problem has not been rectified and still persists after first attempts to decontaminate the school.

Darrell Maclean, is President of Southern Middlesex Industries, SMI, an industrial asbestos abatement company with expertise in environmental contaminants, their removal and safe disposal. Maclean explained, “Established mold problems in large, old buildings such as the Donaghue School, can be very difficult to solve because of the underlying pervasiveness of the contamination. Often caused by high humidity, floods or leaks, the mold can grow undetected, in the sheet rock and a host of other materials used in the building structure. Sometimes the first signs are a musty odor, such as that reported at the Donaghue School. The real difficulty is finding out just how extensive the contamination is.”  He went on to add, “It becomes an even more complex problem if they find that asbestos containing building materials were used in the school and if they have been contaminated with the mold.”

Mold contamination of an old building can be harmful to the occupants, potentially causing a variety of respiratory and allergic problems. Similarly, Asbestos is renowned for its dangers when disturbed; exposure to the fibers released during remodeling are associated with a higher risk of developing respiratory cancers.

“Remediation of the asbestos and mold contamination in the Donaghue School should only be carried out by a certified abatement company, like SMI,” explained Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI, “and the work must be carried out by strictly adhering to the EPA guidelines for decontaminating Schools and Commercial Buildings.  These guidelines are there to protect the remediaters, the owners and the occupants of the building to ensure the contamination problem is properly eradicated in a safe and effective manner.”

Massachusetts has a large number of older buildings, which were built prior to the ban on asbestos, and with the severe weather associated with the North East, these older buildings often suffer from leaks and mold related problems. The state currently has over 900 asbestos abatement related projects currently on going, which have a considerable economic impact on the state’s budget.

Southern Middlesex Industries has 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal and safe disposal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website at http://www.southernmiddlesex.com/

The Economy: Up or Down? Asbestos abatement projects on the increase.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics clearly show that unemployment for the month of December was much improved with a rate of 9.4%, down from November’s rate of 9.8% and the lowest since May 2009. By comparison, the rate for Massachusetts showed an uptick in unemployment in November to 8.2%, and it is hoped that this is just a blip in what has been a steady decline over the last 6 months .

“Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc., (SMI), based in Norwood, Massachusetts, has seen a significant increase in the number of asbestos abatement projects in the last few months,” commented Charles Smith, Vice President at SMI, “suggesting a strengthening of the local economy and could signal an economic recovery. Although the recovery is slow, our experience suggests that it is a positive sign that funds are being freed up for large construction projects.”

Mr Smith did not want to speculate on the rate of economic recovery or the impact of the latest news  from the Commerce Department on the 5.5% rise of new building permits in December. “As many have pointed out, 2010 was one of the worst years for the housing industry, the Commerce Department thinks we are seeing signs of life, but I base my cautiously optimistic projection on SMI’s asbestos abatement experience which tends to act as a leading indicator for the overall economic health of the industry.”,  said Charles Smith.

Although I am optimistic, New Housing Starts are at an all time low for the last five years and many are saying the foreclosure mess will not peak until later this year. These factors will certainly slow the rate of recovery.

Southern Middlesex Industries has 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website

Southern Middlesex Industries helps the Environmental Restoration of historic Hamden Memorial Town Hall in Connecticut

The planning of the Hamden Memorial Town Hall renovation in Connecticut has been in the works for over 40 years. Hamden is a small town just outside of New Haven, CT, and

Printed with the Permission of the Hamden Patch

was first incorporated in 1786. The town hall was built in 1924 and it is estimated by the town planners that the renovation will be equivalent to a 75,000 sq ft face lift, which will provide more space for the police department, include more energy efficient standards and add a two level parking structure.

Southern Middlesex Industries (SMI) was brought in at an early phase in the renovation to perform asbestos abatement, lead removal and to perform the very delicate selective internal demolition.

Charles Smith, Vice President of SMI, explained that “the Hamden project presented a unique challenge with its load-bearing brick and terracotta construction and the need to ensure that SMI try to preserve as much of the old structure as possible while eliminating the asbestos containing floors and wall coverings. The town was keen to have SMI keep the unrecyclable material to a minimum to comply with LEED standards and to try to save the old terracotta wall.”  The term LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an internationally recognized certification system offered to building projects by the US Green Buildings Council.

“Separating the asbestos containing plaster from the terracotta wall was particularly demanding,” said Bill Finn, project manager for SMI, and went on to explain, “SMI was able to save portions of the terracotta wall that will eventually be refinished without worrying about impacting the asbestos plaster surfacing material.  All of the walls that were to be demolished were able to be recycled due to the asbestos removal techniques that SMI implemented on this project”

Hamden Memorial Town Hall was built in red brick with cast-stone trim in the Colonial Revival style to the design of Richard Williams.  The town hall also has significance historically as a memorial to the fallen soldiers and sailors from the War of the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, Spanish War, World War I, and Korean and Vietnam actions.

Southern Middlesex Industries has 25 years experience and expertise in industrial contaminant removal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in building demolition, selective interior demolition and general contracting services.

For More Information: Visit the SMI website at http://www.southernmiddlesex.com

Sources:

http://hamden.patch.com/articles/memorial-town-hall-expansion-project-progressing

http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19

Charles Smith, SMI, warns of Mercury Contamination Dangers in old Buildings

After hearing about the Mercury scare at Grafton Street Elementary School in Worcester, MA, in September 2010, people are asking just what are the dangers of this heavy metal, and where is it found?

Mercury is a major contaminant of older buildings. Most people are familiar with the liquid heavy metal from its use in old thermometers. But it was also commonly used in barometers, thermostats, switches and fluorescent lights. Older industrial buildings are particularly a concern in case mercury was used in some of their manufacturing processes, but so are hospitals and schools, and even older office buildings. For an extensive list of sources of Mercury, click on this link. But what are the dangers?

Mercury is highly toxic and when liquid mercury is exposed to the air, invisible mercury vapors are emitted which can be absorbed into the body. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that Mercury can permanently damage or fatally injure the brain and kidneys; it can be absorbed by the skin and cause severe allergic reactions; and if swallowed, can cause severe renal and gastrointestinal damage. It is particularly harmful to young children (see www.NIH.gov for more information).

SMI (Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc) is a company that specializes in industrial contaminant removal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in demolition and general contracting services. When dealing with older buildings, Charles Smith, vice president of SMI, warns, “Before any large-scale demolition begins or any major building infrastructure reconstruction, building owners should contact a professional contamination abatement company, like Southern Middlesex Industries, to remove all of the heavy metal risks in their building, such as mercury, to ensure the safety of any construction workers and the building occupants.”

SMI has over 25 years expertise and experience to identify, remove and safely dispose of any and all heavy metal contaminants, including mercury-based materials, and regularly works in schools, hospitals and a range of industrial settings. For More Information: Visit the SMI website at http://www.southernmiddlesex.com

Massachusetts Economy on the Mend? SMI reports business picking up.

A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that Massachusetts unemployment rate was 8.2% in November, a significant improvement compared to 9.2% back in May 2010.  Is the Massachusetts economy on the mend?  If this trend continues it certainly seem so, although it should be noted that the October figure was 8.1%. Massachusetts lost jobs in November!

Darrell Maclean, President of Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc., (SMI) based in Norwood, MA, commented “We have certainly seen an uptick in business in the last several months which bodes well for the coming year.”  SMI is an established industrial asbestos abatement company with over 25 years experience in removing and safely disposing of building contaminants, making buildings both safe and habitable for a variety of small and large businesses and government buildings in the New England area.

Governor Patrick also announced $165 million stimulus package of some 33 projects around Massachusetts in October which will hopefully add both short term and long term jobs.  Clearly this initiative did not have an impact in November.

Darrell MacLean reports on East Somerville Community School and the Aftershocks of a Devastating School Fire

Three years ago almost to the day, East Somerville Community School in Massachusetts was devastated by a three-alarm fire in the early hours of the morning.

East Somerville Community School, Massachusetts

The damage was extensive and the 585 students had to be re-housed in alternative buildings while the school board and city planners figured out what to do. It was 2009 before work began on the clean up.

Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc., (SMI) was asked to stabilize the building so renovation could begin. Darrell MacLean, president of SMI, recalls, “The building was in a terrible state. SMI was asked to be the general contractor for the selective demolition and abatement of burned and dangerous building materials.  We knew this would not be simple, and that we would have to tap into our 25 years of experience and expertise to accomplish the task.”

Bill Finn, project manager for SMI remembers that the demolition was particularly

East Somerville School: Phase 1 of the Renovation

difficult and involved cutting out burned and warped steel and replacing it with new steel, as well as having to build a new roof deck, install a new roof and construct a temporary wall to ensure the safety of the structure for the next phases of work.

After recently raising the funds to renovate and rebuild the school, plans are now in place to move forward with the next phases of the renovation.

Sources:http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville/news/x805326490?photo=0 http://somervillenews.typepad.com/the_somerville_news/2007/12/east-somervil-1.html http://www.somerville.k12.ma.us/education/components/faq/faq.php?sectiondetailid=14493Key Words: Darrell Maclean, Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc., SMI, Bill Finn, Demolition, Somerville, MA,  School Fire

Darrell MacLean (SMI) applauds new EPA Lead Standards

Most buildings in America have some heavy metal contamination due to their use in a variety of building materials. Lead is one of the biggest problems, found in paints, floorings, wall coverings and other materials. To protect against the risk of lead poisoning from lead-based paints, the government safety watchdog, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency; http://www.epa.gov), issued a new rule on April 22 2008, requiring the use of lead-safe practices. Beginning April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in structures, such as schools, child-care facilities, hospitals, etc, built before 1978, must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

Lead is a particularly dangerous material that can accumulate in the body, particularly in infants and children, leading to a range of symptoms and if left untreated can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

SMI (Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc) is a company that specializes in industrial contaminant removal, including asbestos, lead, mercury, pcb’s, refrigerants, mold and has expertise in demolition and general contracting services. Darrell MacLean, president of SMI, commented on the new EPA standards that came into force this year. “SMI applauds the new standards that EPA introduced to improve lead-safe practices. SMI received its certification in 2010. Before demolishing a building or initiating a major reconstruction, any building owner should contact a certified lead-safe practices company, like Southern Middlesex Industries, to remove all of the heavy metal risks in their building to ensure the safety of any workmen and the building occupants.”

SMI has over 25 years experience and expertise to identify, remove and safely dispose of any and all heavy metal contaminants, including lead-based materials, and regularly works in schools, hospitals and a range of industrial settings.

Sources: http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lead-poisoning/FL00068


Update on Worcester Mall, City Square, Worcester, MA Project

Bill Finn, Project Manager for Southern Middlesex Industries reported today that SMI has completed containment of the first major phase in the abatment process of the old Worcester Mall building located in downtown Worcester, MA. Completion of containment for the area will provide a complete enclosure so that asbestos-containing materials can be safely removed without releasing any asbestos fibers into the environment. Bill explained just how difficult and intricate this procedure can be and how important the containment step was to ensure the safety of the workmen in the building and the safety of the public.

Worcester Mall, City Square, Worcester, MA

The 2 million square feet building has been sadly in need of renovating for some time. Darrell MacLean, president of SMI, said “I am delighted that the work is finally underway, and that SMI can be a significant part of the overall plan to rejuvinate downtown Worcester.” He went on to say “The abatement plan for the Worcester Mall building is quite complex and broken into several phases to ensure the building is properly prepared for the renovation.”  SMI has committed to keep us informed of progress and as significant milestones are achieved.

Darrell MacLean of SMI comments on the Madison Square Gardens asbestos scare and the dangers of asbestos in older buildings. See press release

After the Madison Square Gardens asbestos scare; just what is the concern? The New York Times recently reported that Madison Square Gardens was shut down for a night after someone reported a concern about asbestos after some debris fell from the Garden’s attic. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/sports/basketball/04knicks.html).

Historically, asbestos has been used in a wide range of building materials, including roof shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, cement and other building products. And, it is well established that inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses including certain cancers.

We are all exposed to low levels of asbestos in the air we breathe. Exposure to significant levels of asbestos usually occurs by breathing contaminated air in workplaces that make or use asbestos, or in the air of buildings containing asbestos that are being torn down or renovated. Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during demolition work, building maintenance, repair, and remodeling.

Darrell Maclean, President of Southern Middlesex Industries, an industrial asbestos abatement company, said today, “Many old buildings were built with materials that contain asbestos, which should only be removed by certified asbestos abatement companies like SMI to ensure the safety of the occupants and owners.” He went on to say “If you are worried about your building containing asbestos, and particularly if you plan any remodeling or demolition, contact Southern Middlesex Industries. SMI can solve your industrial asbestos problem and make your building safe for those employed by you and for those working in the facility.”

It was later reported that tests conducted by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection and by independent contractors concluded that no asbestos had been released into the arena.

Economic upturn? Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc., (SMI) lands major project at Worcester Mall, in City Square, Worcester, MA.

Darrell Maclean, President of Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc., (SMI), announced today that SMI has been chosen to remove all the asbestos and other contaminants within the old Worcester Shopping Mall, now known as City Square.

Maclean commented: “We are very excited to have won this contract for such a sizeable project, and to take the first important steps in making the mall structure safe from asbestos, heavy metal and PCB contamination prior to further work taking place.”  He went on to say, “I remember when the Worcester Mall was a thriving center of commerce, and SMI is delighted to be part of project to create a new center for the Worcester community.”

The Worcester Shopping Mall is a 2,000,000 sq ft structure on three levels, stretching from Front Street to Foster Street. Worcester City planners have been working diligently to redesign this enormous structure that was a focal point for the Worcester community and the surrounding environs.

Do you remember visiting the Worcester Mall?

What are your ideas for this space?

The new SMI Blog will start in a few days…keep watching. It will be worth it.

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34 Responses to SMI-BLOG

  1. Pingback: Darrell Maclean (SMI) applauds new EPA Lead Standards | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  2. Pingback: Darrell Maclean Reports on East Somerville Community School and the Aftershocks of a Devastating School Fire | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  3. Pingback: Massachusetts Economy on the Move? | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc. Environmental Solutions for the 21st Century

  4. Pingback: Charles Smith of SMI warns of Mercury dangers in old buildings | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  5. Pingback: Southern Middlesex Industries helps the Environmental Restoration of historic Hamden Memorial Town Hall in Connecticut | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  6. Pingback: The Economy: Up or Down? Asbestos abatement projects on the increase. | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  7. Pingback: For the latest economic and business trends, take a look at https://smipressoffice.wordpress.com/smi-blog

  8. Pingback: Asbestos Environmental Problem Shuts Down Local Massachusetts School | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  9. Pingback: 5 Must Do’s When Renovating An Old Building | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  10. Pingback: Environmental Scare of Toxic PCB Contamination in Schools and Buildings | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  11. Pingback: Asbestos Environmental Contamination Slows Demolition of Building | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  12. Pingback: Charles Smith of SMI Talks About OSHA and ASBESTOS | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  13. Pingback: Asbestos, PCBs, and Mercury contamination of an Elementary School. | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  14. Pingback: New Asbestos 2011 Rules | Official Article Power | Article Directory

  15. Pingback: MassDEP Asbestos Rules | ScientiaWeb

  16. Pingback: New Asbestos Rules And Regulations | Asbestos course

  17. Pingback: MassDEP Asbestos Rules | Asbestos course

  18. Pingback: Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Report on Another Japanese Disaster: Asbestos | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  19. You need to take part in a contest for among the best blogs on the web. I’ll recommend this website!

  20. Pingback: Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Report on Global Asbestos Production and Consumption | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  21. Pingback: Darrell Maclean of SMI Reports on the Asbestos Status in the USA | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  22. Pingback: Asbestos Abatement Safety Measures: Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Comment | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  23. Pingback: Asbestos Exposure Scare Following Suburban New Zealand Earthquake: Report by Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  24. Pingback: SUBURBAN ECONOMIC INDICATOR, SMI, PREDICTS SECOND DOWNTURN: REPORT BY DARRELL MACLEAN AND CHARLES SMITH | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  25. Pingback: THE SUBURBAN ECONOMISTS, DARRELL MACLEAN AND CHARLES SMITH OF SMI, TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THE CURRENT ECONOMIC INDICATORS | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  26. Pingback: Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith of SMI Called Out to Suburban Hamden Police Department building, in Connecticut, To Solve The Case of The Carcinogenic Environmental Contaminant. | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  27. Pingback: BUSINESS IS PICKING UP SAYS THE SUBURBAN ECONOMIST: A RAY OF HOPE FROM DARRELL MACLEAN OF SMI. | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  28. Pingback: Darrell Maclean of SMI Reports on the Mass.Gov Asbestos and Other Environmental Contaminants Information and Resource Guide. | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  29. Pingback: Darrell Maclean of Suburban SMI Reports on the Complexities of a Worcester, Massachusetts Asbestos Abatement Project | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  30. Pingback: PCB Cancer Risks and PCB Remediation; Questions Answered by Darrell Maclean of SMI. | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

  31. Tim Maggott says:

    could you please send me a copy?

  32. Pingback: PCB: Cancer Concerns Spark Interest in buildings contaminated with PCB. | Southern Middlesex Industries, Inc.

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