Educate yourself

If you are a home owner in an area that could be affected, call your developer, real estate agent, and lender. Ask if your land has been tested for pesticide residue. Probe for answers. If you are in the process of buying or building a home, address this issue as soon as possible. The earlier your land is tested (and pesticide issues addressed, if necessary) the quicker you will have healthier roots for your home and family.

    Educational Information

We continue to educate the public and make them aware of their environmental health.  Below are some recent presentations and lectures we have presented.  For more information or to schedule a presentation at your location, please contact us.

Bethel Park High School Career Fair - March 29, 2012

Soil Presentation to The Outdoor Classroom - June 8, 2011

Air Presentation to The Outdoor Classroom - July 13, 2011

Water Presentation to The Outdoor Classroom - August 10, 2011

 

Other Environmental Issues to Consider

Oil and Gas

Exposure to Lead Based Paint

Exterior Environment of Your Home

Interior Environment of Your Home

Indoor Air Quality

Waste Disposal

Organic Farming / Agriculture

Oil and Gas

In addition to historic pesticides issues associated with the development of former agricultural land, much of this land has been used for the production of oil and gas. Many of the historic oil and gas wells have long been abandoned. The problem arises when these properties are developed for residential use and these wells go undetected or are improperly abandoned. It is important to recognize the potential for this situation to exist prior to the construction of your home.

Exposure to Lead Based Paint

Exposure to lead based paint is well documented to be a potential health problem.  Most recently exposure to lead based paint came in the form of imported toys.  However, historic use of lead based paint on the exterior of your home was also a very common practice.  Over time this paint would succumb to the weather, therefore requiring maintenance of these painted surfaces.  Maintenance of the exterior of the home’s painted surfaces included some form of mechanical preparation (examples would be scraping or pressure washing) prior to repainting.  Much of the removed paint would simply fall to the ground surface, left behind in the soil surrounding your home.

Exterior Environment of Your Home

The exterior environment of your home is open to many forms of unhealthful conditions, some of which may not be as obvious as others.  Just as we are becoming more aware of the interior environment of our homes, it is important to educate ourselves on the exterior environment and what potential unhealthful conditions may exist.  Living green incorporates both the indoor and outdoor space.

Interior Environment of Your Home

Indoor Air Quality

Have you ever considered that the indoor air you breathe may contain more chemicals than the exterior environments.  Because we store and use a multitude of commercial products to clean our homes and protect against a variety of pests, we are continuously introducing chemicals into our home environment.  These chemicals then are released into the indoor air.  So, as we all work harder to make our homes cleaner, safer and more energy efficient, these chemicals become "locked" in the air we breathe, because they have little opportunity to exit our homes.  Our young children are especially sensitive to these indoor air pollutants.  For example, a potential contributor to in-home pollution is the new compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb.  CLF bulbs are designed to replace incandescent bulbs and fit into most existing home light fixtures.  Compared to general service incandescent bulbs, CFLs generally use less power and have a longer rated life.  CFL bulbs save energy and, therefore, reduce the pollution inherent in the production of electricity.  The problem is that these bulbs contain small amounts of elemental mercury, a known human neurotoxin.  Mercury contained in CFLs can be released in the home if the bulb is broken.  When a bulb breaks, mercury escapes as both a solid and as a vapor.  The vapor can be inhaled and the solid, as small liquid beads, can settle into carpets and other textiles.  State and federal agencies say that breakages can usually be cleaned up inexpensively with household goods.  See our What You Need To Know article titled Mercury and Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs for more details.   The Healthy Roots Project® is committed to helping homeowners assess the quality of their indoor air and assist in developing innovative ways to breathe healthier indoor air.

Mercury and Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

A potential contributor to in-home pollutin is the new compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb.  CFL bulbs are designed to replace incandescent bulbs and fit into most existing home light fixtures.  Compared to general service incandescent bulbs, CFLs generally use less power and have a longer rated life.  CFL bulbs save energy and, therefore, reduce the pollution inherent in the production of electiricity.  The problem is that these bulbs contain small amounts of elemental mercury, a known human neurotoxin.  Mercury contained in CFLs can be released in the home if the bulb is broken.  When a bulb breaks, mercury escapes as both a solid and as a vapor.  The vapor can be inhaled and the solid, as a fine powder, can settle into carpets and other textiles.  State and federal agencies say that breakages can usually be cleaned up inexpensively with household goods.  Read entire article .......

INCREASED PROPERTY VALUES

Our Healthy Roots Project will help increase the value of your property. After completing the process, one of our professionals will provide you with written dccumentation that your property has been environmentally certified by meeting acceptable regulatory criteria for a particular set of chemicals. This certification can be passed on to future property owners, giving them the same peace of mind it gave you. They too will be provided with a basis for rational decision-making concerning their children's exposure.

BACKYARD PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT

All parents want to provide their children with outdoor activities they can enjoy. Almost every yard now displays a playset.  Children are outdoors on these playsets for hours at a time, days on end.  Many of these playsets are located in yards that have not been tested for pesticides or other types of chemical residue.  Knowing what is under your children's feet will give you the same confidence about the exterior of your home as you expect from the interior.

DAY CARE ENVIRONMENTS

All day cares are extremely diligent in maintaining a healthy interior environment for our children.  However, certifying the exterior environment to demonstrate that it meets acceptable regulatory criteria for chemical residue should be just as important affording the children many hours of healthy play time.

Waste Disposal

Farmlands have also historically been used as landfills since many farmers had excess land available.  In order to increase their income, they would accept many forms of industrial waste and allow it to be placed in unsecured landfills on the portions of their property not being farmed.  These landfills and the materials contained in them may pose a human health risk if undetected and development would occur in these areas. Unless specifically brought to a developer’s attention, these types of environmental issues are many times missed during routine preliminary assessments of the property.

Organic Farming / Agriculture

Reducing our exposure to pesticides in food is an important public health policy issue and an
increasingly important market choice, given the various alternatives available to today’s consumers.
Organic agriculture, with its prohibitions against synthetic chemical inputs and integrated pest
management (IPM) foods are healthy alternatives to conventionally grown produce ....... See Pesticide Residues in Food

What You Need To Know

Helpful Links

Maine DEP

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Regional Spotlights