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The Galson Blog

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Making Your Job Easier and More Effective at AIHce, Booth #219

I’ve been spanning North America, attending the American Industrial Hygiene Association Conference and Exhibition (AIHce), for literally decades. I greet visitors, walk the show, hang with co-workers, go to and give presentations, and socialize in the evenings. The opportunity to share what’s new with SGS Galson and hear from long-time and potential clients about challenges they need help solving continues to be one of my favorite networking experiences.

As a matter of fact, one of those challenges expressed over many years was that there wasn’t an easy way to share ideas and information among the IH community. So, we did what we do at SGS Galson, we innovated, with the result being the OneTouch IH Community. OneTouch, in a sense, is an interactive, online conference and exhibition, 24/7/365.

Our OneTouch IH Community allows you to stay up to date on regulatory updates, technical advances, trending topics and more. Most importantly, you can submit stories, share your observations, questions, research and other relevant information. And, (because we just love to give stuff away), while you’re exploring the site, you’ll earn points for your activity that can be redeemed in store.

We’ll be demonstrating our new program at the AIHce exhibit, Booth 219, as well as other SGS Galson innovations designed specifically to make your job easier and more effective such as our new online chain of custody, and our safe and comfortable Personal Exposure VestTM . You’ll also receive updates on silica analysis,ultratrace US EPA‐compliant methodologies, fenceline monitoring and Indoor Air Quality analysis.

Away from our exhibit, you won’t want to miss Ron McMahan, our Business Development Manager, who will be at the AIHce Expo Learning Pavilion Monday, May 23 at 9:30 am, discussing ”The Power of the SGS Bundle”.

Feel free to contact me before AIHce to schedule a sit down, or just visit us at Booth #219 and our team will answer any and all of your questions. I look forward to seeing you soon at AIHce in Baltimore!

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OSHA Announces Final Silica Rule - What does it mean to you?

After many years in the making, OSHA announced today its highly anticipated but also controversial final Silica rule. This new rule brings worker health protection against silicosis and other silica-related diseases into the 21st century by replacing its 45 year old outdated permissible exposure limit (PEL).  Long time coming - but congratulations to OSHA for its hard work in pushing this into law.

Here at SGS Galson, we welcome the new rule and are ready to serve and assist our clients in coming into compliance with the new rule. We have anticipated and prepared for this new rule and are ready to serve you. We currently meet all the new laboratory qualifications and are ready to help.

There are many new provisions to the standard that will impact the Industry and could affect 2.3 million workers of which 2 million work in construction.  The new rule is actually two new standards. One for General Industry and Maritime, and the other for Construction.  Although there are two separate standards, there is a great deal of overlap in the requirements.

The highlights for each new standard:


·         Small-business employers can use specified dust control methods in lieu of sampling

·         Must have a written exposure plan

·         Defined housekeeping practices

·         Offer medical exams

·         Train workers

·         Keep records

·         New PEL (8 hour TWA) is 50 ug/m3 of crystalline silica (all 3 polymorphs)

·         New action level is 25 ug/m3

·         Timeline for implementation – employers have until June 23, 2017 –except for laboratory qualifications


Laboratory Qualifications:

1.    Implemented by June 23, 2018

2.    Evaluates all samples using the procedures specified in one of the following analytical

methods: OSHA ID-142; NMAM 7500; NMAM 7602; NMAM 7603; MSHA P-2; or MSHA P-3

3.    Is accredited to ANS/ISO/IEC Standard 17025:2005 with respect to crystalline silica

analyses by a body that is compliant with ISO/IEC Standard 17011:2004 for implementation of quality assessment programs

4.    Uses the most current National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or NIST 

traceable standards for instrument calibration or instrument calibration verification

5.    Implements an internal quality control (QC) program that evaluates analytical uncertainty and provides employers with estimates of sampling and analytical error

6.    Characterizes the sample material by identifying polymorphs of respirable crystalline silica present, identifies the presence of any interfering compounds that might affect the analysis, and makes any corrections necessary in order to obtain accurate sample analysis; and

7.    Analyzes quantitatively for crystalline silica only after confirming that the sample matrix is free of uncorrectable analytical interferences, corrects for analytical interferences, and uses a method that meets the following performance specifications:

8.    Each day that samples are analyzed, performs instrument calibration checks with standards that bracket the sample concentrations;

9.    Uses five or more calibration standard levels to prepare calibration curves and ensures that standards are distributed through the calibration range in a manner that accurately reflects the underlying calibration curve; and

10.  Optimizes methods and instruments to obtain a quantitative limit of detection that represents a value no higher than 25 percent of the PEL based on sample air volume.

General Industry and Maritime

·         Time line to comply – June 23, 2018 – exception – Hydraulic Fracking operations – June 23, 2021

·         Must have a written exposure plan

·         Defined housekeeping practices

·         Offer medical exams

·         Train workers

·         Record keeping

·         Written exposure plan

·         New PEL (8 hour TWA) is 50 ug/m3 of crystalline silica (all 3 polymorphs)

·         New action level is 25 ug/m3

·         Same laboratory qualifications and timeframe as in the Construction standard

The whole standard can be found here -   Happy reading – it is over 1700 pages long.

Before you have silica samples analyzed by your lab – be sure to ask them if they can comply with the new requirements.  Better yet, if you are not currently using SGS Galson as your IH lab, give us a call or send us an email and let us show you what we can do for you.  Free pumps, free media, 5 day guaranteed turnaround time, and much more.

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New Bill Defining Mold Signed in California

New bill defining mold signed in California

By Nicole Tormey

Mold sampling may see an increase in California due to a new law adding conditions to the definition of substandard housing. Senate Bill No. 655, which amends Sections 17920 and 17920.3 of the Health and Safety Code, adds mold as part of enforceable substandard conditions in California housing law.

Mold is now defined as “microscopic organisms or fungi that can grow in damp conditions in the interior of a building.” Health and code enforcement officers can now cite visible mold growth as a type of inadequate sanitation and thus substandard, as defined by the bill. Exceptions include minor mold and mold found on surfaces that can accumulate moisture as part of their proper and intended uses such as mold in a shower.  

By expanding the definition of a mold crime, the bill imposes a state-mandated local program requiring that code enforcement officers be trained in mold inspection practices. These officers have the authority to address mold complaints and require that mold be removed and sources of the moisture be remediated.  

Through our West Coast office in Irvine, CA, we provide a full range of air sampling and analysis services including comprehensive mold testing. As questions arise on the new California mold law, call us at 888-432-5227, email clientservices@galsonlabs.comor use our IH Live Chat, now available on tablets and mobile phones. We’ll be pleased to help in any way we can.


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By Jim Trainer

SGS Galson Laboratories’ FreePumpLoan™ program puts quality air sampling pumps at your disposal easily, quickly and, of course, free. To optimize the experience, we provide instructions with each pump and have an excellent client service team available 24/7/365 to help resolve any problems. If you are using the pumps, no doubt, you are technically savvy; and because time is money, we thought it would be useful to provide a reminder of the most common problems that can be easily diagnosed and fixed by you in the field on the GilAIr and AirCheck 52 pumps. 

If you experience a fault while sampling and the pump shuts itself off, denote the time

the pump has run from the LCD, found  on the side of GilAir pump or top of the AirCheck 2 pump. Address the fault cause with the troubleshooting instructions below and restart sampling.

The Aircheck 52 and GilAir have some common troubleshooting issues, and some are different, which we indicate below. For both air pumps, two basic faults can occur:

●     Air flow being restricted or cut off. The AirCheck 52 will show a broken arrow on the LCD display next to the timer indicating a flow fault.


●     An insufficiently charged battery.

When troubleshooting a flow fault, look for these issues, with reasonably easy fixes:

1.    When you encounter kinked or restricted tubing, re-route tubing to ensure unrestricted flow. Using an SGS Galson Personal Exposure Vest with built in tubing channels can eliminate this issue completely!

2.    When your pump inlet filter is clogged or dirty, the filter can be cleaned manually with tap water. If a new filter is needed:

o     On the Aircheck 52 pump, replace the filter with the spare filter provided in your pack.

o     On the GilAir pump, return to SGS Galson Laboratories for service.

3.    When the pump hose connector is loose on the AirCheck 52 -- the hose connector may occasionally loosen in transit -- make sure that the hose connector is hand tight.

4.    When the hose connector gasket is worn or missing or the hose connector is cracked or broken -- the SKC hose connector will occasionally break or become cracked if handled roughly during shipping -- check the hose connector and replace the pump hose connector and gasket with the spare ones provided in your pack, if necessary.

5.    When media is overloaded, replace the media. If additional media is not available it is best to end the sampling with the air volume collected or contact SGS Galson for additional media.

Battery fault

On the Aircheck 52 pump a battery with empty cells displayed next to the timer indicates a battery fault. 

●     When the battery is low:

o     You may have animproperly charged battery. If so, re-charge the battery.

o     You may have a loose connection between the pump and battery. If the pump stops when the battery is moved, remove the battery by unscrewing the two screws on the bottom of the pump. Depress the two détentes on the side of the battery and remove the battery. Reattach the battery and tighten the screws on the bottom again, then turn the pump on.

On the Gilair pump, if the battery is insufficiently charged, simply recharge the battery. 


If the pump still will not start, please contact SGS Galson Laboratories at 1-888-432-5227 or Chatlive online with a client service representative.  You can save yourself time and money by knowing these quick fixes, so keep this blog on hand and look for the instructions that come with the pump. And please let us know if you have questions or are experiencing other issues when using SGS Galson pumps.  We’re always available to help with a 24/7 on call service representative – at (315) 569-9027. 

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