Accredited Environmental Technologies            1-800-969-6AET  








Quotes of the Month: 

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

Albert Einstein


“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change.” 

Alfred North Whitehead

25th Anniversary

   They say, “time flies when your having fun”... especially when you equate fun with hard work, learning, and commitment to your profession.  We at AET, would like to thank our clients and business partners for your continued support and success you helped us achieve.  The journey and long-standing business relationships have been worth every minute.  We look forward to the future and continuing to honor our commitments to you. 

Thank you,
Alan J. Sutherland
CIH, CHMM, President    


    All AET final work products and reports are prepared, reviewed or approved by a Certified Industrial Hygienist or a Certified Hazardous Material Manager.  These professional designations demonstrate our commitment to provide our clients with the highest quality of professional service.  At AET, our three CIH/CHMM on staff have a combined 85 years of experience.  Effective January 1st, expect to see our individual professional seals on your final work products.

2009 Corporate New Years Resolution

Communicate to our clients the full range of environmental services AET provides.

Our client relationships are based on completed projects and earned trust. All to often, our clients think of us based on one type of services (asbestos). Our goal is to make AET your first call when you have an environmental question or concern. If we cannot help you, we won't waste your time! But we will take the time to point you in the right direction. All phone consultations are free.

Insurance Issues

   Every December,  AET completes the renewal process of our corporate insurance to find the right insurance to protect our corporation and our clients.  This involves:

  • Meetings with our insurance agent (of over 24 years) to discuss our services and personnel including any changes, additions, etc.
  • Completion of an annual application to receive multiple quotations for both coverage and cost purposes.
  • Verification as a full service environmental consultant that all services provided are listed on the application including the anticipated sales volume of each service.  Simply stated, only the operations listed on the application encompass the covered operations endorsement for AET's services.  Coverage can be denied for any claims of services not listed on the application.
  • Carefully reviewing the policies for any special endorsements, conditions or exclusions which may limit or eliminate coverage.

   AET is extremely proud of our insurance record, safety performance and our lack of fines and penalties.  We continue to maintain state of the art insurance coverages of $2,000,000 per occurrence with a $4,000,000 umbrella (total $6,000,000) for our general liability and professional liability policies.  This far exceeds our competition.  We do so to protect our assets as well as our clients in this litigious environment that we live in.  Specific information regarding our insurance is listed on our website (  as a drop down under Home.

January is National Radon Action Monthuntitled2.jpg

   Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.  You cannot see, taste or smell radon.  Reportedly, radon causes an estimated 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year; the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US.  Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.

How does radon enter your home?

   Air pressure inside your home is usually lower then the pressure in the soil around your home's foundation.  Because of this difference in pressure, your house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon through the floors, hollow-block walls, cracks in the foundation floor and walls, and openings around floor drains, pipes and sump pumps. 

What should I do to protect my family?

   1. Check online at 
        for high risk radon areas. 

   2. Test your home or commercial property.  Testing in
        schools, day-cares and other child care facilities
        (including libraries and churches) is also
        recommended.  Easy to use test kits are available at
        your local hardware store, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. 
        Tests cost less than $25.00 each. 

When/Where is the best time to test?

   Always test in the lowest occupied level of your residence or commercial building.  AET suggests testing both the basement level and a 1st floor location for comparison purposes.  The heating season may be the best time to test for worst case conditions because your home is closed and it is more likely radon will be at its peak concentrations.  Basements, although not lived in, are used for laundry, storage, workshops and other uses which require periodic visits.  AET's Whitepaper entitled Radon: The Hidden Killer in your Home is available at our website to assist you during testing and evaluation of results.  The EPA estimates that 1 in 15 homes in the US exceeds 4.0 pCi/L.

What do test results mean?

   The EPA has set an action level of 4.0 pCi/L to fix radon problems.  Test comparisons should be based on an average of 2 short-term tests (48-72 hours in duration) or 1 long-term 90 day test.  With todays technology, radon mitigation should be able to reduce radon levels below 2.0 pCi/L.

How should I choose a contractor to perform work?

   Contractors performing radon mitigation are required to be licensed or certified in many states.  In Pennsylvania, a list of state-certified radon contractors is available online at or by calling 1-800-23-RADON.  PA Certified radon mitigation and testing professionals are issued radon photo-identification cards by the PADEP.  Check your selected contractors references and get a current insurance certificate before starting work.

What radon controls are readily used and how much should the work cost?

   Radon mitigation regularly involves sealing cracks and openings in the basement and installing a   sub-slab suction depressurization system.  This system incorporates drilling holes in the basement concrete floor and installing vent pipe(s) connected to an exhaust fan located outdoors.  The goal is to reduce radon concentrations by sucking the radon gas below the slab and exhausting the gas outdoors.  The average cost for a sub-slab suction depressurization system ranges from $800.00 - $2500.00 depending on the size of the basement and the number of vent pipes installed. 

What should I look for in my contract to perform work?

   1st   A written proposal or a contract including a price
           guarantee from the radon contractor to reduce
           radon levels below 4.0 pCi/L (preferably 2.0 pCi/L).  
   2nd   A lump sum price (i.e. no extra cost) to meet the 
           specified level.  At a minimum, price should include
           the installation of at least 2 vent pipes.  A specified
           extra cost can be added for the installation of
           additional vent pipes (both labor and materials) for
           completion of said work in the event the radon level 
           is not met.

December Radon Case Study


  • Residence with 800 SF basement (3 rooms including laundry room, bedroom, office). Bedroom and office are carpeted; no sump areas.
  • Homeowner tests basement, radon level at 5.0 pCi/L. Sounds like an easy fix!
  • Homeowner hires licensed contractor; $800.00 to reduce radon levels.
  • Subslab system installed with 1 vent riser; retest radon level at 6.8 pCi/L. Yes, it went up!
  • 2nd vent riser installed at an extra cost of $175.00; retest radon level at 6.0 pCi/L.

      AET contacted by homeowner

  • We find holes in the concrete floor slab (covered by carpeting); subsurface below the basement concrete floor found to be slag and clay (potentially inhibiting gas removal).
  • AET recommends sealing holes, installing 3rd vent riser, and increasing the exhaust capacity of the outdoor fan.  Stay tuned, work is underway. The goal is to reduce the radon level below 2.0 pCi/L as the basement is used as a bedroom.

Radon in Granite Countertops

   Experts generally agree that most granite countertops emit radiation and radon gas.  Granite is known to contain between 10 - 20 ppm uranium.  Radon gas is a bi-product of the uranium decay process. The growing controversy is the amount of radon gas emitted and whether it is  hazardous (see  Most studies, to date, indicate insignificant results however, high radon levels have been demonstrated in a few cases (possibly indicative of where the granite was mined).  As such, the jury is still out; BEST TO TEST IF YOU ARE CONCERNED.  December testing in my home yielded a nondetectable level of

What's That Smell?

   Radon is odorless.  The mildew-like odor associated with damp basements is primarily mold-related. However, this odor is also indicative that there may also be a radon problem.  High risk types of building construction include:

  • Basements with exposed rock walls or dirt floors
  • Wet basements, including those with sump pumps
  • Basements constructed of hollow block walls
  • Properties where foundation floors and walls are deteriorated, cracked and have openings around floor drains or sumps.
  • Properties with crawl spaces

Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans

   Clients with oil-containing AST's, pipelines, loading/unloading racks, oil-filled operating equipment (such as transformers) and sufficient quantities of 55 gallon drums have until July 1, 2009 to prepare or update/revise their SPCC Plans.  EPA SPCC regulations (40 CFR 112) mandate the preparation/use of SPCC plans to prevent the harmful discharge of oil into surface waters and to ensure a proactive, effective response to discharges of oil.  SPCC plans must contain written protocols for secondary containment, integrity testing, inspection, training, recordkeeping, and administration.  This performance-based regulation requires the SPCC plan to be certified/signed by a Professional Engineer.  The Professional Engineer is allowed flexibility to design alternate technical compliance measures via environmental equivalence provisions of this standard.  This standard is applicable to facilities with a total aggregate capacity of 1320 gallons of oil-containing sources.  Consult your P.E., EPA website or contact AET, Roy Mosicant for additional SPCC guidance.  

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