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News + Events

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‚Äźcompliant 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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Edward Stuber CIH


PCBs revisited

In case you missed it, the 8th Annual PCB Workshop was held this past October in the USA - Woods Hole, MA. to be exact.  This conference moves its’ location from year to year.  A primary objective of this conference was to provide guidelines for risk assessment and risk management for PCBs and related compounds as mixtures found in the human environment, especially in school buildings. A second major objective was to present the very latest findings relating to the chemistry, biology, and toxicology of PCBs.


Sessions included:


·         Analytical Methods

·         Mechanisms of Toxicity

·         PCBs in Building Materials

·         Airborne PCBs movement

·         Human Exposure Assessment & Epidemiology

·         Regulatory Policy


Some of you may be wondering what the big deal is with PCBs. You may be saying to yourself – “Wasn’t PCB production and use banned in the US in the late 1970’s?”  You are correct, but unintentional formation of PCBs is ongoing and the PCBs already in place still exist - much like asbestos in building materials that still exist. It is these sources of PCBs that still need to be remediated and controlled as they are found.


Although the presence of PCBs is mostly associated with electrical equipment – primarily transformers – there are significant amount of PCBs that could be found in buildings constructed from the 1950s through the 1970s.  You may not realize it but some of the potential building materials that may contain PCBs include:


·         Caulk and other exterior sealants

·         Paints

·         Fluorescent Light ballasts

·         Flooring tiles

·         Ceiling tiles

·         Insulation

·         Waterproof coatings


In addition to the above sources of the past usage of PCBs, there are some processes that actually create PCBs as an unwanted byproduct - such as certain dye, ink, and pigment manufacturing processes.

The bottom line is, even though PCBs are no longer being utilized intentionally, there is a significant amount of potential PCB exposure out there.  Exposure to PCBs is a major health concern due to their classification as known human carcinogens (IARC, Group 1, 2012/2013), and for other health negative issues, including effects to the immune, endocrine (e.g. thyroid function), and reproductive systems. Some studies also suggest concerns relating to neurological development.


If you suspect or know you have a PCB issue, we at Galson Laboratories, an SGS Company, can help. Galson Laboratories has seen a recent increase in analytical requests for PCB analysis. In response to this increase in requests, we have recently added another instrument solely for the purpose of analyzing PCBs. Galson is an AIHA ISO 17025 accredited laboratory for PCB analysis - following NOSH Method 5503   for airborne particulate or vapor PCBs and wipe samples.


If you have questions/concerns about possible lead exposure than feel free to contact us at 1-888-432-5227 or utilize our online chat feature and speak with a knowledgeable client service representative. - See more at:


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Edward Stuber CIH


LEED 2009 Registration Extended to October 2016

I have just returned from the annual GREENBUILD International Conference and Expo held in New Orleans. Spending a week in The Big Easy was indeed easy. Good music and even better food made visiting there a real treat. I was at the conference to be part of an AIHA sponsored round table presentation on the IAQ aspect of LEEDv4. Our session was titled “Indoor Air Quality Management and Sampling” The focus of my portion of the presentation was to compare and contrast the IAQ sampling and analysis requirements between LEED 2009 and LEEDv4. I am happy to say that our session was sold out and very well received!

It has been less than a week since the conference ended and today I found out the USGBC says the market needs additional time to prepare for LEEDv4. When LEEDv4 was put into effect in November 2013, you had until June 2015 to implement it. You could no longer use LEED 2009 after that date. The USGBC has decided requiring new LEED projects to register for LEEDv4 as of June 2015 was too soon and has shifted that date back to October 31, 2016. The USGBC said that it was giving the market more time to get ready for LEEDv4 based on feedback it received during the aforementioned Greenbuild Conference. According to USGBC, > 60% of respondents to a survey said they are “not ready” or “unsure” if they are ready for LEEDv4 and require additional time to prepare. USGBC launched LEEDv4 as a more rigorous and fresh take on the LEED green building rating system. Although there are many more components to LEEDv4 that people may take issue with, the laboratory community had some major issues with the IAQ portion of the new standard and for the most part, we are glad for the extension.

As of today, nine LEEDv4 projects had been certified and 304 had started the process by registering during 2014. That's 15 times fewer than the almost 4,500 LEED 2009 projects registered to date. Between those numbers, the survey, and other market feedback (I like to think the lab community had something to do with this), the USGBC decided it had heard enough and extended the LEED 2009 window another 16 months.

What happens at the end of the extension period? Who knows? Could there be another extension? Possibly. By that time, the IAQ portion of LEEDv4 may not even look like it does today. This summer prior to the conference, members of the AIHA IAQ Committee (yours truly included) and the USGBC IEQ TAG meet and reviewed information and questions about LEEDv4 IAQ sampling requirements. A report, complete with recommendations, has been complied and will be presented to the USGBC for consideration and action. Stay tuned for further developments that may come out of this report.

If you would like a soft copy of my presentation, please feel free to email me at  I would happy to provide you with the presentation. If you are interested in finding out more about LEED IAQ certification. Click here.


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