Our clients value our ability to provide industrial hygiene, incident and data management services across multiple types of projects & industries. Regardless of the complexity, we deliver the best solution to every project.
Fungal Infection Outbreak at a Medical Center
Forensic Analytical Consulting Services, Inc. (FACS) was retained by a university medical center to evaluate indoor environmental quality with respect to Rhizopus fungal spores in the air and on surfaces in their bone marrow therapy department. While no single source of the reported outbreak was identified, FACS did uncover conditions and issues that have the potential to negatively impact environmental quality at the facility.
Aspergillosis Outbreak at a Medical Center
Forensic Analytical Consulting Services, Inc. (FACS) was retained by a medical center in Southern California to assist in an outbreak investigation which included a mold and moisture investigation in selected patient rooms and nurse stations in one of the hospital’s critical care units. The assessment was performed to assess for potential sources and airborne levels of Aspergillus fumigatus mold spores following a reported Aspergillosis outbreak. The hospital was especially concerned about potential threats to patient health.
FACS Experts Encounter an Odd Case of Lead Exposure
This multifamily housing property owner didn’t wait long before calling FACS for assistance. The tenant’s young son suffered a mysterious illness, and a blood test revealed elevated levels of lead in his blood. Suspicion immediately turned to the family’s apartment, prompting the owner to ask FACS to help find the source of lead exposure. The results of that investigation were quite surprising.
Waterborne Pathogens in Healthcare
A dental group discovered the limitations of filtration systems the hard way. By the time CDC officials and a local health officer pinpointed the source of the issue, dozens of adolescent dental patients treated by the dental group were infected with Mycobacterium abscessus, a type of bacteria that can colonize healthcare facility water supplies. In all cases, hospitalization and surgery were required to combat the infection. After irrigation water used at the practice was identified as the cause, the dental group filed suit against the filtration company that supplied the system used at the practice’s several offices. FACS environmental scientists were hired by the attorney representing that company to investigate and report their findings.
FACS Solves a Mysterious Outbreak of Eye Health Issues at a Casino
FACS experts are often asked to help solve indoor environmental quality problems after others have hit a perplexing dead end. In this case, OSHA investigators pointed staff in the wrong direction (while demanding the problem be quickly solved). In desperation, management called FACS for assistance. Aided by decades of experience and a firm grip on the science behind environmental issues, that call provided insight that satisfied all stakeholders and ended the dilemma.
FACS Helps Expedite Repairs and Upgrades Along the California Aqueduct System
FACS provides onsite worker and environmental exposure assessment monitoring and industrial hygiene oversight for projects involving the disturbance of hazardous coatings and materials. In this case, FACS assists Jeffco Painting and Coating, Inc., a certified industrial paint contractor, in their work on industrial facilities along the California Aqueduct system. In this highly risk-averse and safety-conscious environment, the work is often carried out under adverse physical and environmental conditions as well as rigid time constraints. FACS’ presence helps workers concentrate on the task at hand and assures the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) of the contractor’s compliance with pertinent regulations.
Mercury Contamination Remediation Under California DTSC Regulations
Inspection by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) discovered hazardous levels of mercury in a section of an electronics waste recycling plant. Management was ordered to shut down that part of the operation and develop a plan to address the situation. FACS was called in to advise the recycler and develop clearance criteria. The FACS team inspected the facility, developed the necessary plan, and oversaw the cleanup. The FACS team leader then presented the findings and supporting data to the client’s legal representative and to officials from DTSC. DTSC deemed the work satisfactorily completed, opening the door for the client to work with the equipment manufacturer to get the plant back into full operation.
Upscale Spa Quickly Recovers from Outbreak of Legionella Bacteria
The California Department of Public Health (DPH) identified an upscale spa as the probable source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. Officials ordered the business to cease operation, pending inspection to prove or disprove the suspicion. Spa management asked FACS to investigate the situation and act as a liaison between the business and the DPH.
FACS Helps School District Create a Mold Operations and Maintenance Program
Discovering mold growth in an occupied building can be an alarming situation. When that mold is on the ceiling of a school classroom, though, the concern is even higher. FACS responded to an urgent call from a school district in Southern California – but ended up doing more than making sure the mold was safely removed. FACS communicated with all stakeholders to answer questions and reduce anxiety, then helped the district develop a mold operations and maintenance program to keep mold problems from further disrupting the educational environment.
Property Management Company Keeps Incident Response Costs & Headaches Under Control
Multi-family property management is challenging on every level. Efficiently and consistently overseeing a growing portfolio is especially tough when unplanned incidents (leaks, floods, fires, and the like) distract on-site staff from their daily priorities. Sequoia Equities owns and manages 49 multi-family communities, spanning the West Coast from Los Angeles to Seattle. As the number of managed properties grew, incident response demanded a larger share of the budget and increasingly became a source of irritation and distraction to staff. Seeing management’s dilemma, FACS conducted a business impact analysis for Sequoia. The results of that study clearly showed savings of time, money, and human resources were possible through the implementation of a FACS Incident Response Management (FIRM) plan. Sequoia’s team agreed to partner with FIRM and quickly began to see the program's effectiveness.
FACS Scientist Serves as Expert Witness in Personal Injury Lawsuit
A university employee brought suit against a construction company. He claimed improper storage of dirt during an excavation project caused him to contract an infectious fungal disease. The attorneys for the defendant asked FACS to advise them on the case and prepare an expert witness declaration concerning the nature of the fungus and the mode of infection.
Hospital Construction Project Requires Environmental Monitoring
A hospital construction project required cutting through the exterior walls of the existing structure to tie-in to a new building being erected adjacent to it. FACS was retained to assist with evaluating the project impact on the environment of care, which included monitoring concentrations of airborne particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5).
Hospital Demolition Requires Identification & Elimination of Hazardous Agents
An abandoned hospital complex in a historical neighborhood was to be turned over to a developer for reclamation as single-family housing. Given the age of the property (70+ years) and its former use as a medical center, it was critical that the buildings be cleared of environmental pollutants and liabilities before demolition could begin. The primary contractor called on FACS to carry out that work.
FACS Helps Protect Builder from Legal Entanglement
A builder was caught in the middle when the supplier of the (I-beam) floor joists used in the construction of recently-built homes warned owners of formaldehyde emissions coming from a fire-retardant coating used on the beams. The manufacturer of the floor joists advised occupants to move out of the houses immediately. Seeing a potential legal issue that would threaten the pending sale of the firm, FACS was called in to assess the situation and recommend a solution.
Structure Fire Remediation in a Las Vegas Luxury Hotel
The intense black smoke from a poolside fire at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas penetrated adjacent hotel rooms, rendering many of them unsafe to occupy. Concerns included the safety of guests and staff, salvaging expensive custom furnishings, and getting the rooms back into service quickly. A FACS team was dispatched to plan and oversee remediation efforts.