ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING

ENVIRONMENTAL

When energy companies, or companies that use or produce substances at a site or facility, there’s always a chance those substances will spill or leak. If a spill or leak occurs, companies must manage and clean up any contamination and return the soil to a normal state.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING

Environmental remediation consists of the removal of soil and sediment, along with associated polluted contaminants within the soil. There are many government remediation standards set in most industrialized countries. Each country sets its own regulations on how the contaminants should be removed for the soil. These regulations set the guidelines for how an environmental assessment should be conducted and provides a history of what materials have been used on site. This will provide guidance on the type of sampling and analysis that must be conducted by the site manager or environmental consultant.

Soil testing neighboring properties should also be considered due to past emissions and potential contamination. Examples of these emissions are fine particles (PM10 & PM2.5), aerosols and dust. What monitoring agencies want is the real-time data to prove that their levels are below regulations and can act when the levels exceed the limits.

REMEDIATION APPLICATIONS

There are several applications for monitoring aerosol such as PM10 and PM2.5, gases and VOC’s in the environmental remediation space.

These include:

  • Fence-line or perimeter monitoring at hazardous waste sites
  • Perimeter monitoring of brownfields and remediation sites
  • Perimeter monitoring of construction sites
  • Community Watch Group Monitoring may also be interested in monitoring remediation sites
    • Urban air pollution monitoring
    • Watch groups
  • Roadside emissions monitoring

Concept Controls helps you find the right equipment for any unexpected environmental events.

HEADSPACE SAMPLING

Headspace sampling is an ideal way of introducing a sample into a photoionization detector. It avoids the introduction of involatile or high-boiling contaminants from the sample and it can often be used for the trace or ultra-trace determination of volatile organics with little or no additional sample preparation. However, there are many factors to consider when developing a headspace method, from correct sampling, optimization of headspace sampler parameters and techniques.

SAFETY IN CALIBRATION & TESTING

To ensure worker safety when using any detection device, make it a priority to perform daily bump tests before each use and schedule calibrations to the manufacturers specs. Regular service prolongs the life of equipment, as issues can often be identified and corrected before they turn into costly repairs. Scheduled equipment service programs mean fewer equipment purchases, while effectively protecting the most valuable asset, your workers.

LONE WORKER

When the hazards of the task are added to working alone, risks rise exponentially. Working alone is already a hazard, but add the risk of being knocked unconscious by an atmospheric contaminant or fall and you have a recipe for a serious incident or fatality.

The physical health of the worker is another factor that can ramp up the risk of working alone. Workers who suffer from medical conditions, such as heart problems, respiratory issues, or even an allergy to bee stings, face a higher severity of risk by virtue of being alone. In an urban work setting, these workers may be four to 15 minutes from medical aid, but it could be hours before anyone even checks whether a lone worker is okay. Having a device that can react in isolation from a workers manipulation can be the difference of life and death.

WATER MONITORING

Monitoring groundwater quality and aquifer conditions can be a challenging endeavour. Being able to detect contamination before it becomes a problem can make a world of difference. The appropriate type of monitoring and the design of the system depends upon hydrology, pollution sources, and the population density and climate of the region. There are four basic types of groundwater monitoring systems:

Ambient Monitoring

Involves collection of background water quality data for specific aquifers as a way to detect and evaluate changes in water quality.

Source Monitoring

Performed in an area surrounding a specific or potential source of contamination such as a landfill or spill site.

Enforcement Monitoring

Enforcement monitoring systems are installed at the direction of regulatory agencies to determine or confirm the origin and concentration gradients of contaminants relative to regulatory compliance.

Research Monitoring

Wells are installed for detection and assessment of cause and effect relationships between groundwater quality and specific land use activities.

Other tests can be performed, depending on the location of the water source. For example, if the water source is near a mine, then monitoring to detect the acid drainage that can flow from mine tailings may be warranted. Alternatively, if the water source is near a nuclear power plant or uranium facility, testing for the presence of radioactive compounds is often warranted. Water sources that incorporate urban areas often are monitored for the presence of petroleum compounds meanwhile, water sources in rural areas are monitored for the presence of farm fertilizer and pesticides.

Concept Controls has a wide network of partner suppliers to customize the right safety solution for any application.

RESPIRATORY

Respirators protect the wearer from inhaling chemicals and toxic materials. Without them, these hazards could have a devastating impact on the pulmonary and general health of workers. Simply wearing a mask, however, is not enough to ensure adequate protection. The mask needs to fit tightly but comfortably on the wearer’s face. To protect the wearer, the respirator needs to form a seal around the face to prevent the penetration of hazardous substances. Users can sometimes feel that the respirator has been loosened and that the seal is broken, but judging the fit by feel alone is unreliable. For best results quantitative fit tests should be performed at least once a year to ensure that the respirator continues to provide optimal protection. A fit test should also be performed any time an employee undergoes a change that could affect how well the respirator fits on them. Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight, for instance, could affect the respirator’s ability to create a protective seal. Growing facial hair could also compromise the respirator’s fit, and major dental work could affect the facial structure enough to make a difference as well.

QUALITATIVE FIT TESTING

Qualitative fit testing is a pass/fail test method that uses your sense of taste or smell, or your reaction to an irritant in order to detect leakage into the respirator facepiece. Qualitative fit testing does not measure the actual amount of leakage. Whether the respirator passes or fails the test is based simply on you detecting leakage of the test substance into your facepiece.

QUANTITATIVE FIT TESTING

Quantitative fit testing uses a machine, such as the TSI PortaCount, to measure the actual amount of leakage into the facepiece and does not rely upon your sense of taste, smell, or irritation in order to detect leakage. The respirators used during this type of fit testing will have a probe attached to the facepiece that will be connected to the machine by a hose.

PORTACOUNT

Simplify your fit test program with one consistent and objective fit testing experience across any respirator you use. SCBA masks, Air Purifying Respirators (APRs), and N95s for medical calls can all be fit tested with the PortaCount platform.

Achieve a better respirator fit for more staff in less time. The PortaCount Fit Tester boosts your productivity by making the entire respirator training and fit testing process more efficient.

Fast effective fit testing

Run multiple fit testing's in one session

Fit checks all respiratory masks

SAFETY IN COMPLIANCE

Respirator fit testing is about more than compliance with standards or about “checking the box” as quickly as possible, it’s about safety. Staff working in dangerous environments deserve the very best protection possible from a respirator. PortaCount Fit Testers deliver safety by utilizing the most effective quantitative fit testing method available to identify poor fitting masks.

LEVEL OF PROTECTION

Selecting the right respirator is important. Ask yourself these questions to guide you in choosing the correct respiratory protection.

Level of respiratory hazard?

What are the possible contaminants?

Are the contaminants gas, particulates or vapour?

Duration of exposure?

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