Syracuse, New York – The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse, New York has recently been awarded a certification as an official testing facility for air samples by the New York State Department of Health. Named SALTs, the Syracuse Asbestos Laboratory Service will not only be able to test air samples collected from construction zones and schools for asbestos but will be able to provide businesses a clear understanding of the potential hazards in the ambient air.
Structured as a fully-functional business, SALTs is competitive with other certified testing facilities. However, the advantage of SALTs is the close association with SUNY ESF: students will have a first hand experience of analyzing indoor air quality as well as handling the complex equipment required for testing.
Though the acronym directly points to one common, yet dangerous air pollutant – asbestos – SALTs analyzes air samples for a variety of other contaminates. Students and staff of SALTs do not collect air samples but rely on clients to provide the samples for analysis.
Asbestos is a highly toxic, naturally occurring mineral used primarily in building materials before 1980. Virtually every structure built in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States contains some form of asbestos products. Generally, asbestos was combined with other materials such as concrete to strengthen the original material and provide heat insulating properties.
Friable asbestos or asbestos that has become airborne through disturbing or damaging the material poses a considerable health threat. Exposure to friable asbestos can lead to lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer. For any property undergoing construction, knowing whether asbestos is present and whether the asbestos has become airborne is critical. SALTs like other certified testing facilities aims to ensure clients a complete understanding of how toxic the air in a work space is. Working unprotected in an environment with unsafe levels of asbestos or other pollutants is dangerous.