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Why partner with a woman owned business?

For almost 30 years Environmental Testing and Consulting has been a woman-owned business. After a lengthy national certification process, we’re thrilled to announce our WBENC Status! ETC is a proud WBENC partner, and believes in this program. This program allows ETC to increase the worth of our partnerships with old and new clients alike!

So here’s 3 overlooked benefits of pairing with a WBENC certified business!

1.) Revitalize your bottom line. These days most companies have some sort of Supplier Diversity program. As a part of these programs, they are looking to bring in business partners that are diverse.
By partnering with WBENC businesses, you increase your appeal to larger corporations with Supplier Diversity requirements.
2.) Tax Incentives
The US government offers tax breaks for companies who do business with minority and women-owned companies. There is also a second tax incentive that is lesser known. When work is paid for by a federal loan or grant, there are incentives to using women-owned businesses. There may also be state and local incentives that focus on supplier diversity!
3.) Get the word out!
When you partner with a WBENC company it may give you a competitive advantage in the future. Corporations and suppliers look for companies that work with WBE’s.  Not to mention Second Tier Sourcing! Second Tier Sourcing is subcontracting suppliers to support a prime contractors fulfillment.  
By utilizing women-owned businesses, companies show their commitment to fostering diversity. This is important when doing business with large corporations, government agencies, etc. Not to mention, women-owned businesses love to do business with one another and support the cause one of the widest growing demographics in the nation!
By partnering and subcontracting a WBENC company, you may appeal to fortune 500 companies with strict diversity plans!


Quora Questions Vol.2 : Does cement contain asbestos?

It can, but not all cement and concrete mixes do.  While asbestos was once used in a whole slew of applications, usually it is – not- found in most poured concrete. (Most. There are always exceptions and one should always get a material tested before demolishing.).  Asbestos was found in cement building materials such as Pipe cement, mortars, Transite and wallboard systems, and  If asbestos is to be found in cement, it’s typically in a building material. It is commonly seen in pipe cement, as well as in concrete/cement mixture that’s found within transite or wall board systems, or even as ‘asbestos brick’ in the United States. In other countries, it can be commonly found in ‘pressed concrete’ wall boards, and other materials. Basically , if you’re doing renovations and need to destroy any of the following :

Some of the standard cement ACMs were:

  • Powder for masonry mortar and binding cement.
  • Foundation and building support cement.
  • Cement roofing, flooring and siding materials.
  • Pressure pipe and drainage products.
  • Gutters and downspouts.
  • Fire control bricks, chimney flues, and heat shields.
  • Asbestos-cement sheets.
  • Insulation and acoustic inhibitors.
  • Roofs- typically on industrial or farmyard buildings.
  • Flat sheets for house walls and ceilings
  • Battens used to cover the joints in fibro sheets.
  • “Super Six” corrugated roof sheeting and fencing.
  • Internal wet area sheeting, “Tilux”
  • Pipes of various sizes for water reticulation and drainage. Drainage pipes tend to be made of pitch fibre, with asbestos cement added to strengthen.[7]
  • Moulded products ranging from plant pots, roofing, to outdoor telephone cabinet roofs and cable pits.

Or if you find work or currently work, or have worked  in one of these fields :

Remember :

Asbestos is microscopic, and it’s impossible to tell if a material contains it without having PLM bulk sampling. Even if you aren’t dealing with Asbestos when handling concrete, you should remember that there are other safety risks involved, and use precaution. Respirable Silica is potentially just as hazardous as asbestos, and silica -is- in all concrete type materials.


Detroit Lead Inspections – Full Compliance F.A.Q

Detroit Lead Paint Inspections for Rental Properties  F.A.Q.

Since January 1st, 2010, Detroit has required all Rental property owners to have  a lead clearance for their properties before they can be rented out to the public.  The wording of this ordinance is clear, but to people unfamiliar with lead safety it can also be really very confusing. What is a Clearance? Why do I need a prior inspection? How long is my clearance good for? What can the city do for those who are non-compliant?   We answer these questions and more, daily, and hope that by sharing some of our information with you, we can help you decide what course of action is best moving forward with lead paint inspections.


1.) What exactly does the City rental code require?

The 2010 amendment to the Detroit City Code, Chapter 9, Article 1, Division 3 requires the following:

  • “Owners of rental property built before 1978 in the City of Detroit must have a lead inspection and risk assessment performed to determine the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards.”
  • “If lead-based paint hazards exist, the hazards must be reduced or controlled using interim controls and/or abatement (as defined by State Law) prior to a tenant occupying the rental property.”
  •  “After Interim Controls and/or Abatement are performed by properly trained and certified and individuals, the owner must obtain a clearance inspection and lead clearance. Owners must obtain this lead clearance in order to receive a Certificate of Compliance and Rental Registration from the City.”

2.) What happens if I ignore this?

To rent a property legally within the City of Detroit, one must obtain a Certificate of Rental Registration.  This can not be achieved without having a lead clearance.

Furthermore, there are penalties for non-compliance.  These fee’s change with the size of the building, but they range from $500-$2000 for single-family/ duplex owners to $2000 -$8000 for Apartment owners. These penalties can continue daily until compliance is achieved.

Under current laws, in the state of Michigan make landlords responsible for lead paint in their rental property.

It’s a criminal offense in the State of Michigan to rent a residential unit to a family with a minor child who is found to have an elevated blood lead level where the property owner or manager has knowledge that the rental unit contains a lead-based paint hazard. (MCL 333.5475a.)

The penalties that can incur after such an incidence is up to 93 days in jail and/or fines as high as $5000 for first-time offenders, and double that for repeat offenders.

On a smaller scale, it is a violation of the Detroit City Code to maintain a rental property that has lead hazards. Section 24-10-25 of the code states that it is ” unlawful for any owner to maintain a dwelling unit in a condition where lead hazards present a danger of lead poisoning to children who inhabit the dwelling.”

The penalty from the city can be as harsh as $500 a day until the said hazard is fixed and cleared.

On a Federal level, Federal law requires landlords to disclose all known lead hazards to tenants at the time of lease or lease renewal. This disclosure must occur even if the hazards have been removed, reduced or abated.  Not disclosing this information is a violation of HUD , the US Department of Housing, and the EPA. The violations start at $11,000 per agency and violation.

3.)How is this any different from older laws?

An ounce of prevention with lead paint is more viable than any cure.  In previous versions of these rental laws, the lead was generally not identified until someone, generally, a child had already been exposed to lead via the paint.  Lead poisoning is not reversible, and they can last a lifetime.  The new laws allow for the prevention of pain and suffering and improve the quality of life for all citizens within the city of Detroit.

4.) What part of the city can help me know if I’m in compliance?

The City of Detroit Buildings and Safety Engineering department is responsible for the regulations and changes to the city’s ordinance.  They can be reached at the following: 800-450-2503

5.) So, when do I need an inspection?

A.) If you’ve never had a Lead-based paint inspection before.

B.)If you had an inspection and used interim controls and a clearance, your inspection should be done annually. 

C.) If you had an inspection and used abatement procedures, your inspections should be done every three years. 

D.)If you had an inspection and no lead paint was found, or the home was fully abated, you require no further lead inspections or risk assessments.

6.) Can I do my own lead inspection? If not, who can help me?

Unless you are a certified lead paint inspector within the state of Michigan, you can not do your own inspections.  These services can be provided by a certified Lead Inspector/Risk assessor within the State of Michigan. The Michigan Department of Community Health is in charge of licensing these professionals. ETC employs well over 20 certified lead technicians and is well versed in dealing with the city of Detroit’s rules and regulations. However, if you’d like to see a list of other Lead safe Inspectors you can find one here!

7.)How much is this going to cost me?

For a Lead Inspection/Risk Assessment, the prices can vary depending on the size of the facility, age of the house, and the number of rooms. Generally, you’re looking at anywhere from $500-$700 for an initial single family home inspection. Multi-family inspections can be a significant amount more and are generally based on unit’s tested.

For a Lead Clearance, You can expect to pay anywhere from $300-$500 depending on the size of the home and how many hazards were found. Multifamily units are again priced per unit and contingent on common areas and number of rooms.

8.) What’s the difference between Abatement and Interim Control Methods?

Abatement: This method of control seeks to act to reduce levels of lead, particularly in the home environment. Generally, this permanently eliminates lead-based paint hazards. This is done in order to reduce or eliminate incidents of lead poisoning. This involves either the complete removal and replacement of lead-based paint surfaces and fixtures or encapsulation of hazardous materials. This also branches out to the removal and covering of soil hazards. The process of abatement includes preparation, cleanup, disposal, and post-abatement clearances. All abatement work must be performed by a state certified lead abatement firm.

Interim Controls: A less permanent, yet generally lower in immediate cost method of dealing with lead paint hazards.  This method is designed to temporarily solve the problem.  Interim controls include, but are not limited to :

  • Specialized cleaning.
  • Repairs
  • General Maintenence
  • Painting
  • Temporary Containment
  • Ongoing monitoring of lead-based paint or hazards.
  • and Resident Education.

The temporary nature is why Interim options require more frequent monitoring than houses which have been abated.

9.) Who can perform these controls or my abatement?

Any certified renovator, with accredited training from the state of Michigan Department of Community Health, and has an up to date, issued certificate can perform renovations.  These individuals can also act as directors of subcontractors to others who supervise while the renovations are being performed.

Abatement, however, must be done by a certified abatement worker. This individual has been trained and specialized to perform this task, and has been certified by the Michigan Department of Community health to perform abatement.

10.) I can’t do the work myself?

As a rental owner, you can. But you must be trained as a certified renovator in order to perform interim controls or renovations that disturb more than 6 square feet of paint per room or 20 feet total.

The good news is, it doesn’t take much to become certified. You or someone on your staff must take the 8-hour Renovate, Repair, and Painting course f from any certified Renovator Trainer.  Environmental Testing and Consulting also specializes in this form of training, and we run these classes often. If you are unable to attend one in our Romulus or Lansing branch, you can find more trainers here.

11.) I just got my first letter from the City. What are my next steps?

  1.  Call 1-800-450-2503 and obtain a certificate of Rental Registration for each of your properties.
  2.  Schedule a lead inspection /risk assessment for your properties.
  3. Hire a contractor, or take classes your self, so that the hazards may be addressed which are highlighted in the Lead Inspection/Risk Assessment report.
  4.  Obtain a Lead Clearance, and send it to ‘Building, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department” @ 313-628-2451


 City of Detroit, Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Development,  

“New Lead Ordinance Requirements for Rental Property Owners”




Quora Questions Vol.1 : Do All Popcorn Ceilings Have Asbestos?

Here at ETC we believe information is utterly invaluable.   That’s why we do what we can to educate the public with simple answers to fairly simple safety questions to increase public safety overall. is a wellspring of random questions, and many are about Asbestos , Lead , and Mold.  We’ve taken the initiative to try to answer some of these questions while sharing some of the better ones here on our website!

NOPE!  Contrary to popular thought, not all ‘Popcorn’ style ceilings contain asbestos.  Problem is, some do. So how do you know if you’re working with a substance that contains asbestos or not? You Don’t. It is literally impossible to tell which popcorn ceilings do and do not have asbestos with the naked eye.

“Literally”, Literally.  This is because asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, that is prized for its tensile strength and lack of flammability.  Asbestos crystals form in long thin fibers that are generally fluffy and can range in color from white to blue.    These microscopic fibers are what causes lung damage, as they are made airborne when disturbed.  Theses jagged fibers can get sucked into the lungs when we breathe and can cause a wide array of problems.

But isn’t there a cut off date for Asbestos safe homes?  Not Really.

Unlike lead that was outlawed from paint and petrol in 1978,  the United States has never outlawed Asbestos .

 Asbestos is still used in industrial applications, while some of the more frivolous applications have been tapered down. While we don’t see asbestos baby bottle warmers or gloves anymore, we still see asbestos in building materials and some automobile parts.

So how do you know if your popcorn ceiling has asbestos?  The good news is it’s cheap, and relatively easy to get a sample tested to be certain before you remove the material. Analysis, before you remove, is FAR more cost effective than testing and cleaning after improper removal. Taking a sample is pretty safe and simple. Here’s a great video showing how to take a popcorn ceiling sample quick, safely and easily.  After you’ve taken the sample give ETL a call and we’ll be glad to get your samples analyzed.  Our NVLAP accredited lab is highly competitive in pricing and specializes in helping homeowners! 


CLEARcorps and Detroit Lead Paint Inspections

CLEARcorps and Detroit Lead Paint Inspections 

Since 2010  the Detroit Property Maintenence Code has made it mandatory for owners of rental properties built before 1978 to undergo lead inspections every few years. This is news to many landlords. CLEARcorps has been tasked with getting landlords who are unaware of the law or noncompliant up to code, by sending out notices. 

Lead in paint is one of the largest sources of lead poisoning, causing a variety of health issues.   Fertility damage, kidney damage, high blood pressure in adults, and behavior /learning disabilities in children.  The threat is so prevalent that in 2004  over 6% of children tested for lead exposure by the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness tested positive for lead exposure. 

If you own rental properties in Detroit, built before 1978, or received a notice from CLEARcorps about needing a lead risk assessment or lead clearance, you can find more information about the lead ordinance here. 

In order for the rental property to be occupied in the City of Detroit, the owner must have a Certificate of Rental Registration and a Certificate of Compliance. Neither of which can be obtained without a Lead Clearance.   Inspections are generally required before the lead clearance as most homes in the city are old enough that they will likely have lead hazards of some sort. 

If a property is being rented without the proper clearance, financial penalties can be steep. Fee’s range anywhere from $500 – $8,000 depending on the size of the property. These fines are additional to those that simply not having a certificate of compliance. 

All Landlords are liable to be held responsible for the lead in their rental properties under State, local and federal laws. National laws require landlords to disclose all known lead hazards to tenants even if the hazards have been abated or controlled. 



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