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News + Events

The Galson Blog

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Edward Stuber CIH


NHL – National Hockey League - aka as the National Hospital League

You remember the old saying – “I went to a prize fight and a hockey game broke out.” That saying has less meaning in today’s game of professional hockey. The winding down of the professional ice hockey season and into the playoffs is highlighted by a report has been released detailing the injury rate and cost of injuries in the NHL.  The study covers the previous 3 seasons (2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012) of the NHL.  If you ever watched a professional hockey game (much better in person than TV), you know what a violent game this is.

Up until recently, head hunting, goons, and prolonged fights were the norm ( some say encouraged) and expected during games.  Recently the NHL has tried to implement   rules to safeguard the players from many of the preventable injuries (with concussions being the most prevalent), but based upon the injury numbers, more needs to be done to safeguard the players. Not only will stricter rules make the workplace safer for the players, the owners will benefit from lost-time due to injury.

The study included over 1,300 NHL players   who played at least 1 game during the 3 years studied. More than half of these players missed at least one game due to an on the job injury. These on the job injuries cost the NHL roughly $218 million a year.  Concussions alone cost almost 43 million!  All of this happened during the newly instituted enlightenment period in the NHL where the powers that be made an effort to reduce these injuries. Imagine what the numbers were in the past!

This shows that more player protection is needed. Larger fines, stricter rules, and other changes need to be implemented to make the hockey rink a safer sports environment. The complete study can be found in the January 2014 edition of Injury Prevention.

These rule changes have not hurt the game in terms of attendance and revenue, as some people feared - so there is no reason more protection cannot be implemented for the workers (players).  I am all for providing a safe and healthy work place for all workers – including hockey players.

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Joe DeLeo


A Cup of....Mold?

I love coffee!  It really helps to get your day started right and for me personally allows much better focus and mental clarity. Now I am a very energetic person so one cup does wonders for me. Lately though I have noticed some interesting effects from coffee. I’ll get my brain and body revved up with a kick and then come crashing down.

I catch myself in a daze and usually have a bit of brain fog as well. What I noticed is that these symptoms occurred only after having coffee at places such as Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. When I purchased coffee from local cafes these symptoms never occurred. I investigated further and found that I was most likely experiencing symptoms from mycotoxins in the coffee beans. Read more here.

It all boils down to the fact that coffee doesn’t control for processing methods or the source of the beans and mold can grow on coffee beans which is a great environment for mycotoxins to flourish. Read more here.

This leads to all sorts of health problems such as cardiomyopathycancerhypertension, kidney disease, and even brain damage.

Mold can affect our health in many forms. At Galson Laboratories we focus on testing air quality and providing the data that protects workers. While you are probably reconsidering where you buy your coffee, take a few minutes and check out our website and learn more about how we can help you determine if your business, home, or other environment is suffering from mold exposures that are affecting your air and causing respiratory health issues. Chat with a client service representative to learn more!

Click here to chat.

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Bill Walsh CIH


Galson Implements Solution for Negative Oil Mist Blanks

Galson is pleased to announce a successful solution to the recurring problem of weight loss involving the 2.0 micron PTFE filters used to sample metal working fluids via NIOSH 5524.

Over the past several years, intermittent weight losses were observed whereby the blank filters used in the analysis randomly lost anywhere from less than 0.1 to more than 3 milligrams.  In researching the issue, we discovered that this was an industry-wide problem exacerbated by the fact that there is only a single manufacturer of these filters.  A quality control investigation by the filter vendor concluded that the problem was caused by raw material involved in the manufacture of the filter, though they have not yet rectified the problem.

Working closely with NIOSH, Galson developed a substitute 1 micron PTFE filter with a polypropylene support as an interim solution. Continuing research by NIOSH into the 2 micron PTFE has yielded a pre-rinse procedure that removes all unstable material from the filters.  Galson has extensively tested this pre-treatment for effectiveness as well as stability, and is satisfied that by using this procedure the filter stability problem has been resolved.

We realize that this has been a frustrating situation for our clients (as it was for us).  Galson takes great pride in the depth and breadth of our QA program and the resulting quality of our data. We deeply appreciate your business and thank you for standing by us while this problem was resolved.


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Bill Walsh CIH


Oops, Annotated PELs Trigger OSHA General Duty Clause

On October 24th, OSHA released a statement acknowledging something virtually every IH professional already knew; namely that the Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) are outdated and in many cases can no longer be relied upon to provide a safe working environment.  In my opinion, this woeful state of affairs is directly a result of the litigious nature of American business (and labor).  The situation closely mirrors Congress, where anything the other side of the aisle does is EVIL, whether it actually is or not.

As a case in point, the proposed change in the silica PEL is estimated to have at least three to five years of lawsuits in front of it before anything is adopted. IHs in other countries simply cannot understand why this is the case.  At any rate the United State’s inability to update exposure regulations based upon science has seriously undermined its reputation regarding worker safety and health. It’s hard to point a finger at overseas conditions when our own have not been updated in 40 years.

About 15 years ago OSHA tried to update its PELs by adopting the ACGIH TLVs.  This resulted in lawsuits saying that OSHA circumvented its rulemaking process (true) and that the ACGIH was promoting de-facto regulations.  OSHA withdrew the proposal and ACGIH almost went under due to the cost of defending itself.

The current attempt lists the OSHA PEL, the NIOSH REL, the ACGIH TLV, and the CalOSHA PEL for each substance.  OSHA says it is doing so in order to educate employers regarding the current.  However, it may have just loaded business’s lawsuit gun following a recent action it took.

According to the Thursday, November 21stedition of the Wall Street Journal, OSHA recently fined a company in Wisconsin $49,500 for overexposing workers to styrene under its “General Duty Clause”.   This clause states “ (employers) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;” 

The citation happened even though the company was maintaining exposures below the current PEL of 100 ppm. The annotated exposure limits listed by OSHA range from a 50ppm REL to a 20ppm TLV.  The article did not mention the measured exposures in the plant, but two workers were taken to the hospital with symptoms attributed to styrene exposure by medical staff.

Needless to say, this is a cause for much consternation for the “we are meeting all legal limits” crowd.  That noise you hear is an outpouring of angry hornets resembling lawyers resulting from OSHA kicking their hive.


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