Certified Industrial Hygiene Services: Since 1996, BioMax Environmental has been providing Certified Industrial Hygiene Services throughout California and the western states.  Our Senior Certified Industrial  Hygienist, Mr. Michael A. Polkabla is board certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) abih.org and is a current member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) aiha.org and American Industrial Hygiene Association Northern California Sections (AIHA-NCS) aiha-ncs.org.

All employers have both the obligation and legal responsibility to provide a “safe and healthful” working environment for their employees. While this appears to be a straightforward goal, the complexities of current regulations combined with the multitude of hazardous materials in today’s workplaces can make simple and cost-effective solutions to safety and health problems elusive. BioMax professionals are highly skilled in the “science and art” of industrial hygiene and in providing comprehensive services directed toward the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of environmental and occupational health and safety hazards. BioMax Environmental professionals provide this assistance through a broad range of industrial hygiene services designed to address the many complexities surrounding physical, chemical, radiological, ergonomic, and biological hazards. Some of our industrial hygiene services include:

• Development of sampling and monitoring strategies to assess worker, community, and other human exposures
• Methamphetamine (Meth) Clandestine Drug Lab Assessment and Cleanup Management
• Residential and Workplace exposure monitoring of hazardous chemicals and physical stressors
• Work-site area air monitoring of gases, organic vapors, fumes, and aerosols
• Lead, silica, and nuisance dust sampling and exposure monitoring
• Bulk material and surface sampling of hazardous substances at contaminated sites
• Microbial (Mold) contamination identification and assessment sampling
• Biological sampling for bacteria and other biological contaminants
• Off-gassing measurement and material chamber testing
• Noise monitoring and dosimetry surveys
• Emergency/Spill response incident command, clean-up, and post incident clearance
• Electromagnetic field (EMF) surveys and area monitoring
• Heat stress monitoring and control strategies
• Hazard assessment evaluations, surveys, and training
• Ergonomic illness and safety evaluations •
Design of contaminant and hazard control systems, programs, and strategies
• Expert testimony and legal consultative services

Drug Lab Assessment Services: Due to a number of factors currently present within today’s society, an increase in the use and distribution of illegally manufactured drugs has been experienced over the recent years. According to California law enforcement agencies, one of the most commonly synthesized illegal drug produced today is the illicit drug, Methamphetamine (also commonly known as “Ice, Crystal, Crank or Speed”). It is also widely understood that the chemicals and materials needed in the synthesis of Methamphetamines are readily available to illegal wood-be manufacturers from many common commercial sources. The most common chemical reactions used to produce Methamphetamines involve the use of ephedrine (extracted from some common over-the-counter non-prescription drugs), red phosphorous, and hydroiodic acid. The process of synthesis and production of Methamphetamine uses several extremely hazardous chemicals and generates a number of potential toxic, products, residues, and wastes. Common toxic products typically include corrosive acids and bases, flammable solvents, reactive chemicals, as well as other hazardous materials. Abandoned chemical products and/or drug residues may also present a significant health risks/hazards to individuals through exposures to surface residues and/or hazardous wastes when entering or living in an area once used to manufacture or store such illegal drugs. According to a recently enacted California State Law (AB1078), property owners must now comply with extensive requirements to mitigate the hazards associated with illegal drug labs once they have been discovered. This new law known ans the Methamphetamine Contamination Clean-up Act of 2005 specifically requires that property owners contract the services of a Certified Industrial Hygienist to perform a contaminant assessment of the property and to design and oversee the associated clean-up activities prior to allowing reoccupancy or property transfer/sale. BioMax Environmental offers professional services performed by our experienced Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) designed to meet the requirements set forth by current regulatory authorities such as those established in California. BioMax has had the distinguished “honor” to have performed the sampling assessments and cleanup oversight of the largest two meth busts (by # pounds seized) in US history and which happened here in northern California.  Our professional services related to these requirements include the following:

• Coordination with Local Health Officer and other regulatory authorities and Counties on behalf of property owner
• Site inspection, assessment, and sampling services performed by our CIH
• Mitigation work plan development in accordance with regulatory requirements
• Mitigation contractor management oversight and consultation
• Post mitigation “Clearance” assessment sampling and evaluation
• Preparation of Preliminary Assessment and Clearance Assessment reports and documentation in accordance with regulatory requirements. • Communication of technical findings with regulatory authorities and concerned parties as necessary

Expert Testimony and Legal Consultative Services: Expert Testimony and Legal Consultative Services: In today’s society we find that it is increasingly necessary to provide our clients with legal consultative support services under our professional industry standards of care. That is why our professionals have earned and maintain formal certifications within each of their respective fields of study as well as provide opinions, recommendations, and perform such services in accordance with generally accepted professional principals, practices, and standards. BioMax is highly regarded and experienced in the areas of environmental civil litigation and related expert witness testimony. Our professionals have successfully provided such services on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants alike and have always represented our professional opinions in an honest and reasonable manner which is supported by years of technical research, experience and current industry standard of care. Our professional legal consultative services in this area include:

• Professional review of technical reports and documentation
• Third-party review of environmental services
• Expert interrogatory support and preparation
• Expert deposition
• Expert witness testimony
• Legal consultative services

Indoor Air Quality Assessment Services: Indoor Air Quality Assessment Services: The terms Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) have rapidly emerged as issues of prime importance due to the fundamental changes in the manner in which we live and work. IAQ problems have been affected greatly by the increased number and variety of chemicals used in our homes and the workplace combined with the trend toward environmentally controlled “energy efficient” buildings. Consequently, the exchange of indoor air with the outside environment has been significantly altered, resulting in the accumulation of increasing levels of potentially hazardous pollutants from a variety of sources. Sources of such contaminants include new building materials, cleaning chemicals, machinery/equipment, neighboring air pollution sources; and other pollutants from building occupants (such as carbon dioxide) and personal care products. Water intrusion/damage may also significantly alter the indoor environment through the growth and distribution of molds (fungi), bacteria, and other microorganisms. Many studies have shown that certain types of microbial and biological contamination including molds, dust mites, animal allergens, etc., may cause adverse health effects among certain building occupants and workers. Employers may experience a variety of potential effects from poor indoor air quality including employee illnesses, increased employee complaints, loss of productivity, increased absenteeism, etc. Effectively solving IAQ problems demands a great deal of practical experience and a technical knowledge and understanding of building construction and operating systems. Also useful is an understanding of business and management needs combined with a true sensitivity to the concerns and fears of employees and building occupants. BioMax is experienced at providing meaningful solutions to IAQ concerns through a variety of professional services listed below:

• Indoor Air Quality sampling, monitoring, and analysis services
• “Sick Building Syndrome” investigations
• Microbial and Biological contaminant assessment sampling services.
• Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system inspection and testing
• IAQ Summary Report preparation (including findings, conclusions and recommendations)
• Tracer gas study sampling services
• Unknown “Odor” assessment investigations
• Construction material, renovation, and design consultation and oversight
• Risk communication and IAQ training of employees and supervisory personnel
• Building pressure differential measurements
• IAQ comfort factor (T, RH, CO2, etc.)

Measurement and assessment Our IAQ investigation surveys regularly involve a thorough site walkthrough and ventilation system inspection, a review of site plans and construction records, and a review of maintenance schedules to identify materials, equipment, and processes that may affect indoor air quality. We assess and evaluate the extent and distribution of any reported occupant/employee symptoms and concerns through various information gathering methods such as informal discussion sessions, interviews, and questionnaires. BioMax offers and conducts IAQ testing and sampling services which include the inspection and testing of ventilation system operation, measurement of indoor concentrations of indicator gases such as Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2), and sampling and analysis of a wide variety of chemical and biological indoor air quality contaminants common in indoor air environments. BioMax professionals also offer building material, design, construction, and renovation consultation and oversight to effectively minimize the potential for IAQ problems both prior to and after construction. Upon request, BioMax will provide a detailed written technical summary report describing our findings, sample results, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective actions and remedial measures, as necessary. BioMax professionals will also provide technical assistance in personally interpreting and communicating findings to all concerned parties, upon request.

Microbial (Mold) Assessment Services: Microbial (Mold) Assessment Services: Concern about exposures to mold has been increasing as the public becomes aware that exposure to mold has the potential to cause a variety of significant adverse health effects. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to molds can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma in sensitive individuals. Molds, however, are ubiquitous in nature and can be found almost anywhere so long as an organic nutrient source and moisture source are present. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed for a period of time. Current California real-estate disclosure law also requires that the sellers of residential and commercial properties disclose any previous water/moisture damage and associated mold growth upon the sale or transfer of such property. Although there are currently no regulatory standards or limits pertaining to allowable mold levels present within indoor environments, there is a consensus among regulatory authorities such as the EPA and a multitude of indoor air quality experts alike, that microbial growth found within work and residential living spaces should be minimized wherever possible. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/ clean-up existing indoor mold growth when discovered. BioMax Environmental offers professional environmental services performed by our Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) intended to minimize the adverse risks associated with exposures to mold within the workplace as well as within residences. Our professional services pertaining to this field include the following:

• Microbial site inspection, assessment, and sampling services performed by our Certified Industrial Hygienist
• Interpretation of sample findings, recommendations, and mitigation work plan development (as necessary) in accordance current industry practices and professional guidelines.
• Mitigation (clean-up) contractor management oversight and consultation
• Post mitigation “Clearance” assessment sampling and evaluation
• Preparation of Preliminary Assessment and Clearance Assessment report documentation
• Communication of technical findings with homeowners, property buyers/sellers, employers, regulatory authorities, and concerned parties as necessary

Construction Safety and Hazardous Waste Management: The construction and hazardous waste industries have, historically, had some of the highest incidences of injuries and fatalities among workers. It is also evident that management of these increasingly complex, competitive, and regulated activities have included an ever expanding demand on production, efficiency, and worker safety. BioMax Environmental professionals are highly experienced in construction and hazardous waste site management issues and are skilled at providing our clients with workable and cost effective solutions to their safety management issues and compliance needs. Our professional staff have years of project management experience working on construction and hazardous waste clean-up sites ranging from complex multi-million dollar federal projects to relatively simple private jobs. Some of our construction safety and hazardous waste management services provided to clients have included:

• Federal and State HAZWOPER Clean-Up Site Management: – Site-Specific Safety and Health Plan Development and Implementation – Hazard Analysis, Evaluation, and Mitigation – Air Sampling and Direct Reading Instruments Monitoring – Personal Monitoring for Worker Exposures to Hazardous Substances/Environments – Site/Hazard Specific Safety Training – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Selection – Air Monitoring Equipment Selection and Operation – Provision of On-Site Safety Personnel

• Construction Management: – Safety Compliance Audits and Inspections – Confined Space Management – Lockout/Tagout Procedures – Excavation/Trenching Safety – Safety Plan/Program Preparation and Implementation

• Lead In Construction Management: – Preparation of Lead Compliance Plans – Lead Exposure Monitoring – Lead Hazard Awareness Training – Medical Surveillance Oversight (including blood lead and ZPP monitoring) – Respirator Selection and Fit-Testing – Personal Protective Equipment Selection

• On-Site Hazardous Substance and Physical Stressor Exposure Monitoring and Sampling: – Organic Vapor and Gas Exposure Monitoring and Sampling – Silica and Lead Exposure Monitoring and Sampling – Bulk and Surface Materials Sampling and Analysis – Particulate/Aerosols (Dust) Monitoring – Noise Exposure Monitoring – Heat Stress Monitoring – Radiation Surveys, Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Surveys

Environmental Compliance Auditing: Environmental Compliance and Auditing: With the complexities of today’s environmental regulations, many employers and organizations find themselves in a quandary regarding their compliance obligations mandated by a multitude of overlapping and sometimes conflicting requirements. Through our technical expertise and our thorough understanding of federal, state, and local regulatory requirements, BioMax Environmental is skilled in interpreting this complex matrix to provide our clients with a clear understanding of their responsibilities and liabilities. BioMax Environmental’s goal is to develop workable solutions acceptable to our clients, regulatory agencies, and to the public. To achieve this goal, BioMax professionals provide our clients with a “snap shot” of their environmental compliance status through a comprehensive environmental audit. This service is routinely provided through a detailed site visit which encompasses a review of existing environmental documentation and records, a review of existing site operations, followed by an oral debriefing and a detailed written report summarizing our findings, recommendations, and strategies to maintain regulatory compliance. If necessary, the audit may also include sampling and laboratory analysis to identify and characterize specific site hazards. Our environmental compliance experience includes:

• Comprehensive Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) audits
• Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) compliance
• Development of Hazardous Materials Management Plans (HMMP)
• Uniform Building Code (UBC) and Uniform Fire Code (UFC) compliance
• Construction site safety compliance audits
• Lead Compliance Plan (LCP) auditing
• Storm water discharge planning
• Permit Required Confined Space (PRCS) compliance inspections
• DTSC Permit by Rule compliance
• Waste Reduction Planning
• Risk Management Prevention Plans (RMPP)
• Process Safety Management inspections
• Chemical Hygiene Plan compliance
• Chemical inventory tracking systems
• Proposition 65 compliance
• Hazard Communications Plan compliance
• Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) auditing and compliance BioMax Environmental professionals are skilled in preparing permit applications and working with regulatory agencies to develop, prepare, and approve regulatory documents and procedures necessary to comply with federal, state, and local environmental requirements.

Environmental Site Assessment Review (Phase 1 ESA): Environmental Site Assessments: Under current federal and state hazardous waste control laws, a property owner may be liable for cleaning hazardous or toxic materials from his/her property, even though the contamination may have occurred during previous ownership or because of off-site sources. These clean-up costs often have the potential to exceed the property’s value. Purchasers and sellers (including mortgage lenders) of real estate properties must, therefore, conduct “due diligence” in investigating potential environmental conditions and liabilities before the sale or development of property. Those who do not may be held solely responsible through “joint and several liability” provisions of government regulations for the cleanup of the site if it is found to contain contamination. The most commonly known areas of environmental risk include environmental factors such as those associated with lead-based paint, asbestos insulation, and underground storage tanks. However, there are many other factors which may significantly affect a property’s value and associated environmental risk. BioMax professionals are experienced in the identification and evaluation of a wide range of such potential environmental liabilities including the radon gas, electromagnetic fields (EMF), PCB containing transformers, as well as others. To minimize these environmental risks and liabilities, BioMax Environmental provides a range of cost effective, multi-phased environmental site assessment services which provide an accurate report on the environmental history, condition, and status of a site or facility. We provide our clients with a detailed written Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) report developed and conducted in accordance with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) Standard Practice E 1527-93. Through historical research and evaluating the potential environmental risks associated with each site, we help our clients make sound business decisions and limit future financial liabilities and obligations associated with a potentially contaminated property. Professionals at BioMax Environmental have conducted numerous environmental assessments throughout the western United States in accordance with ASTM guidelines and maintain staff with Registered Environmental Assessor (REA) status with California’s Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA).

Safety and Health Program/Plan Development: Safety and Health Program/Plan Development: Federal, state, and local regulatory agencies require all employers to prepare, and maintain a number of effective written environmental health and safety (EH&S) programs and plans. Many regulatory standards also require employers to develop and implement certain site and activity-specific EH&S Plans corresponding to the performance of certain hazardous tasks and operations. Such site/activity specific plans are common in a wide variety of industries ranging from construction to biotechnology. At BioMax Environmental, our professionals design and implement EH&S plans/programs to simplify our client’s environmental obligations. We apply our comprehensive understanding of the EH&S regulatory framework with our diverse field experience to help our clients respond to the ever-changing regulatory environment with written plans and programs that are strategically designed to be simple to understand, workable for current activities, and flexible for future operations. BioMax Environmental professionals have developed and implemented a great number of written worker protection plans and EH&S programs including:

• Site-Specific Safety and Health Plans
• Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Programs
• Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP)
• Hazard Communication Plans
• Emergency Action Plans
• Spill Response Plans
• Fire Prevention Plans
• Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Plans
• Chemical Hygiene Plans
• Lead Compliance Plans
• Respiratory Protection Programs
• Personal Protective Equipment Programs
• Hearing Conservation Programs
• Permit Required Confined Space Programs
• Medical Surveillance Programs
• Lockout/Tagout Programs
• Workplace Violence/Security Programs

The technical writing abilities of our staff have been held in such high regard that many have been published in a number of commercially available environmental compliance manuals. These publications have been designed to aid environmental professionals, lawyers, and even those who have simply inherited compliance responsibilities and who must quickly come up to speed in this area.

Environmental Health and Safety Training: With an increasing numbers of federal, state, and local environmental regulations, employers are faced with the monumental task of implementing and effectively maintaining required Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) programs. These programs commonly contain a number of task-specific provisions and more often than not, contain specific training requirements, as well. BioMax Environmental professionals are exceptionally qualified as trainers because of our hands-on technical experience in the field, our thorough knowledge of current and pending worker protection regulations, and our proficiency in effective presentation and communication to a diverse audience. This combination of skills provides our clients with training curricula that is both “book-smart” as well as “field-smart” and satisfies regulatory elements while keeping the subject matter applicable and interesting. Our staff has provided site-specific “tailor made” worker protection training courses for clients in both the private and public sectors. Our course materials are designed to serve as a permanent references as well as future learning aids. Our training sessions may also be presented on our client’s site (if requested) and will always be structured to meet site-specific client needs. BioMax professionals are flexible in presenting our training materials using a wide variety of audio and visual media in settings which range from the formal “boardroom” to the informal “tail-gate” meeting. Multilingual courses are also available upon request. Examples of our training include:

• Mold Hazard Awareness Training
• Microbial Mitigation Procedures Training
• Methamphetamine (Meth) clandestine Drug Lab Cleanup Training
• Hazard Communication Training
• Health Effects of Hazardous Substances
• Industrial Hygiene Principles Training
• 24 and 40-hour HAZWOPER Certification Training
• 8-hour HAZWOPER Refresher Training
• 8-hour HAZWOPER Supervisor Training
• General site-specific hazard training and “tail-gate” meetings
• Permit Required Confined Space Training
• Chemical Specific Training (e.g., vinyl chloride, silica, etc.)
• Lead in Construction Awareness Training • Respiratory Protection Program Training
• Fit-Testing Training and Performance (qualitative and quantitative)
• Personal Protective Equipment Training
• Indoor Air Quality
• Laboratory Safety Training
• Lockout/Blockout – Lockout/Tag-out
• Department of Transportation (DOT) Awareness Training
• Violence in the Workplace Awareness Training
• Emergency Response Training
• Workplace Safety Training
• Ergonomic Training
• Bloodborne Pathogen Training
• PPE Hands-on Field Training
• Unexploded Ordnance Avoidance and Awareness Training

As a service to our communities, BioMax professionals frequently provide no-cost informational and technical seminars for trade associations, private industry, and concerned community organizations. Our staff has also developed curricula and presents numerous training courses for local colleges, universities, and university extensions. In fact, many of our professionals currently teach courses in industrial hygiene, worker protection, and regulatory compliance as regular faculty members within the educational institutions listed below:

  • Solano Community College – Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene,
    Health and Safety Management Programs.
  • University of California Berkeley Extension –,
    Advanced Environmental Law;
    Hazardous Materials Management;
    Hands on Compliance I and II;
    and Management and
    Administration of Health and Safety Programs.
  • University of California Santa Cruz Extension – Hazardous and Toxic Materials Regulatory Framework.
  • Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) – Comprehensive Review of Industrial Hygiene (5 day CIH Exam Preparatory course);
    Fundamentals of Workplace Safety,
    Management of Pesticide Contaminated Hazardous Waste Sites.