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Category Press Release
Publish Date 8/17/2021
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Potential Occupational and Environmental Hazards Lurking at Recycling and Reuse Facilities in California
Introduction LA Testing provides laboratory services, sampling supplies, and air monitoring instruments to identify chemical and microbial exposure risks.

Huntington Beach, CA, August 17th, 2021

With almost 40 million residents, and millions more that visit the state each year, recycling programs in California are important to prevent pollution, save resources, extend the life of landfills, and even create new jobs. In fact, CalRecycle reported that California leads the nation with an approximate 65% diversion rate for all materials and that recycling supports more than 140,000 green jobs across the state.

While recycling is indeed good for the environment and has created several new industries, it can also be dangerous for workers, reported the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency stated that this is in part due to certain materials that are recycled or reused, such as scrap metal, electronics, batteries, and used oil and other chemicals, have materials that directly pose hazards to workers. Many of these hazards are specific to the materials being handled and processed.

For example, OSHA reports that composting and other activities to recycle organic material can create hazardous environments which can be fatal to workers who are not aware of the potential dangers. Composting facilities often have confined spaces that may have respiratory hazards due to hydrogen sulfide or carbon monoxide gases, or other gases that may displace the oxygen in the area. Other inhalation risks include exposure to mold and particulate matter (PM) that could cause, or exacerbate, occupational asthma, allergies, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), and other respiratory conditions.

“Workers that are involved with recycling activities are at risk of being exposed to a myriad of hazardous substances,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at LA Testing. “These could also include mercury, asbestos, synthetic mineral fibers, dioxins, ammonia, and other refrigerants, and capacitors containing PCBs. They could also encounter lead, cadmium, nickel, and other heavy metals. Hazardous chemicals, combustible dust, biological materials, and even components containing radioactive substances are all potential exposure concerns.”

The scientists at LA Testing are dedicated to identifying heavy metals, microbial contaminants, asbestos, chemicals, and other hazardous materials. Their California laboratories offer testing services, sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments, and personal protective equipment (PPE). They even sponsored an educational video about potential occupational exposure risks at recycling centers and reuse facilities that can be seen at:

To learn more about material, environmental, or industrial hygiene testing services, please visit, email, or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash, and smoke damage, particulates, and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health, and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego, and Ontario.

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