Blog

  • asbestos riddled workplace How to Deal with Asbestos in the Workplace 25/8/2017 - Finding asbestos in your office is a discovery not to be taken lightly. Although no longer used in construction due to its inherent safety risks, asbestos continues to be an issue for public health. Luckily, there are certain steps and measures you can take to avoid unwanted asbestos exposure in the workplace. In this blog, …
  • air pollution The 7 Different Types of Pollution Explained 25/8/2017 - When we think of pollution, we often think of it as a visible problem. The term usually conjures up images of rubbish dumps and oil slicks. Most forms of pollution are invisible to the human eye and come in a variety of different forms. This week, we thought we’d look at the seven major forms …
  • Phase III Environmental Assessment Key Elements of a Phase III Environmental Site Assessment 17/8/2017 - A little while ago, we gave you a summary of Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments. Put simply, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment involves document research and review, as well as a detailed site visit to evaluate the potential for contamination, and what impact contamination may have on the environment if present. …
  • Mesothelioma The Impact of Asbestos on Human Health and the Environment 3/8/2017 - Once an incredibly common construction material used in the Australian commercial and residential building industries for most of the 20th century, asbestos has since revealed itself to be a silent killer which can have a devastating impact on both the environment and human health. This week, we examine just what those impacts are. Health impacts …
  • mould All About Household Mould 13/7/2017 - Mould is classified as fungi and grows naturally in many different places, however when mould is left to accumulate indoors, often because of poor ventilation, it can cause significant risks to human health. In this blog we look at some of the key health risks of mould, how to prevent it from growing throughout your …
  • simple steps to make your workplace greener 10 Ways to Make your Workplace More Environmentally Friendly 6/7/2017 - Making an established workplace more environmentally conscious and sustainable can be a daunting prospect for many business owners but making your office greener involves a series of small, simple, and relatively inexpensive steps that can be implemented relatively quickly. This week, we look at ten such steps that businesses can use to begin their journey …
  • soil is a finite resource 10 Interesting Facts About Soil 23/6/2017 - Alpha’s soil assessment service is one of the core elements of our environmental consultancy. However, soil and the important role it plays in environmental and human health is often overlooked so this week we thought we highlight the importance of maintaining soil quality with these ten facts. Soil is a finite resource Current farming practices …
  • EPA Victoria What is the EPA? 19/6/2017 - Without the EPA, Alpha Environmental wouldn’t exist. The chief governing body for environmental compliance in Victoria, the EPA exists to ensure commercial organisations do right by the environment and Alpha Environmental exists to help businesses achieve that. This week, we thought we’d explain in a little more detail what exactly the EPA is, and why …
  • Happy World Environment Day! 4 Ways to Participate in World Environment Day 5/6/2017 - Today (June 5th) is World Environment Day, an initiative begun by the United Nations in 1974 to raise worldwide awareness about pressing environmental issues and encourage action. Since it’s inception, WED has played important role raising awareness about a range of environmental issues which are known common knowledge including marine pollution, global warming, and wildlife …
  • soil contamination Key Causes and Effects of Soil Pollution 25/5/2017 - Soil pollution can have devastating effects on the environment, negatively impacting human, animal and plant health. In this blog, we look at some of the most common contributors to soil contamination, along with its harmful effects. Main causes of soil pollution Industrial activity Industrial activity has huge environmental impacts, one of which being soil contamination. …
  • An asbestos mine 2 Historic Asbestos Disasters 23/5/2017 - In 2017, most people are well versed in the dangers of asbestos, but few people are aware of some of the larger scale asbestos disasters which have occurred because of ignorance, error, or negligence. This week we look at two asbestos tragedies which still claim victims to this day. The Wittenoom Tragedy Today the town …
  • Asbestos building materials 8 Facts About Asbestos 17/5/2017 - Asbestos testing is one of the most common services Alpha Environmental is called upon to provide and it’s little wonder considering the prevalence of asbestos as a building and manufacturing material during the 19th and 20th centuries. This week, we thought we’d look at a few facts you might not know about this deadly fibre. …
  • Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Key Elements of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment 3/5/2017 - Earlier in the year, we provided you with a breakdown of what exactly occurs during a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment. Basically, a Phase 1 ESA involves looking into the past and present activities of a site to determine the likelihood of contamination and if present, what impact that contamination might have on the environment. …
  • shutterstock_417586969 The Environmental Impacts of the Oil and Gas Industries 28/4/2017 - The oil and gas industries heavily impact the environment, causing contamination that is devastating to natural flora and fauna, marine life, and human health. If you have a business or piece of land that may have come into contact with oil, either through mining, production, or a spill, it’s important to undertake an environmental site …
  • environmental consultants How to Choose an Environmental Consultant 27/4/2017 - When selecting an environmental consultant for contaminated site investigations and remediation it is vital that you invest the necessary time and effort to choose the most appropriate consultancy for your needs as the quality and results of the assessment undertaken rely on the competency of the consultant. There can be serious social, economic and legal …
  • mould remediation Why is Post Remediation Verification of Mould Important? 27/4/2017 - If you have had mould remediation conducted at your commercial or domestic premises, you are probably now wondering if it’s safe to move occupants back in or allow business to resume as usual. The Australian Mould Guidelines state that ‘the effectiveness of restoration to contents and remediation work to any large sized job (Building Grade …
  • Maralinga nuclear testing 3 Historic Environmental Disasters that Affect Australia Today 21/4/2017 - When you think of man-made environmental disasters, the names and places which spring to mind are usually far-flung places like Chernobyl, Bhopal and Fukushima. Whilst these large-scale events might be the ones that make their way into the history books, there are many smaller tragedies that have taken place much closer to home. This week, …
  • asbestos The Deadly Impacts of Asbestos 13/4/2017 - Although asbestos has been banned in Australia since 2013, its harmful effects on health are still being felt around the country today. In this blog, we look at the history and impacts of mesothelioma – a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure – as well as how asbestos exposure occurs, how to avoid it, and …
  • hazardous household waste Your Guide to Hazardous Household Waste 31/3/2017 - Most households contain some form of hazardous waste — that is, wastes or products that are potentially harmful to humans or the environment when disposed of –  so it’s important to know how to handle, store and dispose of such materials and substances. By knowing how to properly manage hazardous wastes, minimise your impact on …
  • contaminated earth kills off plantlife Signs of Soil Contamination 30/3/2017 - On this blog, we often discuss environmental contamination on the chemical or microbial level, but not all forms of contamination are invisible to the human eye, and soil contamination is one of them. This week, we take a look at six visible signs that there may be contamination present in a soil environment.   Discoloured …
  • shutterstock_467246426 All About Groundwater Contamination 3/3/2017 - Groundwater contamination is a common environmental problem in Australia, and is usually the result of poor environmental management, especially in high density industrial areas. Groundwater contamination occurs for a variety of reasons including poor storage or disposal of industrial waste, and the mixing of rain and industrial chemicals, and can present serious risks to the …
  • Asbestos exposure 5 Occupations at High Risk of Asbestos Exposure 22/2/2017 - While commercial production and use of asbestos have been banned in Australia for over a decade, inadvertent exposure is still a serious problem due to the widespread presence of these highly heat-resistant mineral fibres in building materials found in thousands of established structures across Australia. There are some occupations that put workers at much higher …
  • Environmental Site Assessment Key Elements of Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments 22/2/2017 - Environmental Site Assessments are a necessary procedure for many new businesses, as they ensure the site is environmentally sound and safe for employees. An environmental site assessment involves studying the past and present onsite activities to determine the likelihood of contamination, and, if present, what effects said contamination could have on the surrounding environment. In …
  • groundwater assessment glossary Glossary of Groundwater Management Terms 9/2/2017 - Groundwater management is an important part of the environmental consultancy services we offer, but the range of services and solutions we provide to identify, contain and remediate groundwater contamination can be a little confusing. This week, we thought we’d make our groundwater management solutions a little less opaque with a glossary. Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)/ …
  • shutterstock_540415651 A Guide to Environmentally Sound Demolition 19/1/2017 - Demolitions are a large component of refurbishment and redevelopment projects and can often bring up a whole host of environmental issues. In order to conduct an environmentally sound demolition, various measures need to be taken, including an extensive pre-demolition environmental audit, the salvaging and recycling of useful materials, and the proper disposal of waste. In …
  • pesticide Alpha Environmental’s Guide to Pesticides 13/1/2017 - Humans have been using pesticides for many thousands of years, with one of the first instances being around 1000 BC when the Chinese used sulfur to control bacteria and mould. Organic and inorganic compounds continued to be used as pesticides for many years, however synthetic chemistry saw rapid advancement in the 1930s, leading to the …
  • demolition hazards 7 Types of Hazardous Materials Commonly Encountered on Demolition Sites 10/1/2017 - Demolishing or refurbishing a building is fraught with potential hazards, not least of all those harmful materials used by builders in decades past. Many of the hazardous materials present in both commercial and residential buildings do not pose a risk to human health until they are damaged or exposed to air and light, so it’s …
  • Australia's breathtaking coastline 10 Interesting Facts About the Environment in Australia 23/12/2016 -  For our last blog in 2016, we thought we’d take a broader approach to looking at why being environmentally responsible is so important in a country like Australia. Often, Australia is held up as having one of the last pristine and truly ‘wild’ landscapes on earth. But in reality, most of Australia’s ecosystems are either …
  • shutterstock_472503508 3 Industrial Groundwater Contamination Disasters 9/12/2016 - Groundwater is something we take for granted and rarely think about. However, groundwater plays a fundamental role in the health of our ecosystems and we rely on the fresh water it provides to drink, bathe in, and use in agriculture. Unfortunately, groundwater is vulnerable to contamination from industrial activities and when this occurs, the results …
  • shutterstock_351852281 10 Facts About Petroleum 9/12/2016 - Few substances have been more important in the progression of civilisation and modern industry as petroleum. However, our reliance on petroleum as an energy source and manufacturing material comes at an enormous cost to the environment, as petroleum is toxic to virtually every form of life, including humans and has a devastating effect wherever it …
  • shutterstock_515369695  The World’s Biggest Pesticide Induced Disasters 28/11/2016 - The wrongful use or overuse of pesticides and herbicides can have huge environmental impacts, and can sometimes even result in devastating man-made environmental disasters. Because of the long-lasting harmful effects of negligent pesticide and herbicide use, and, indeed the accidents associated with their production, it’s important for businesses to engage in thorough environmental site assessment …
  • shutterstock_428369278 5 Disturbing Facts About Pollution in Australia 21/11/2016 - In the popular imagination, Australia is a pristine natural paradise unlike anywhere else in the world. In reality however, Australia is a notorious greenhouse emitter with a long history of polluting and poisoning the wealth of natural resources that surround us. This week, we take a look at five sobering facts about the state of …
  • shutterstock_428060587 How to tell if the Mould on your Property is Toxic 10/11/2016 - Mould is a fact of life. In fact, right now, there are probably several hundred different types of mould spores in the air around you. That being said, if there is a significant mould infestation in your property, it can cause a whole range of health issues for the people who work in your building. …
  • mould Common Misconceptions About Household Mould 10/11/2016 - Humanity has an intimate relationship with fungi and microbes, yet it remains one of the more misunderstood biological kingdoms. Mould is in our homes, in the plants, the soil, and even in the air we breathe. When it comes to mould growth around the home, a lot of what we think we know about mould …
  • shutterstock_401828143 Environmental Case Study: 3 Soil Contamination Disasters 24/10/2016 - Man made disasters are a depressingly common event and it takes no more than a Google search to realise that unregulated industrial activity can have a devastating impact on human health and the environment. This week, we take a look at three prominent soil contamination disasters that could have been avoided with proper site management. …
  • shutterstock_309155864 Environmental Case Study: 3 Historical Heavy Metal Disasters 18/10/2016 - For many modern businesses, environmental consulting is simply another bureaucratic hoop that they have to jump through before they can move ahead with their activities. However, there is a very good reason why environmental site assessments are such a central part of your environmental compliance requirements. This week, we take a look at three horrifying instances …
  • shutterstock_403153855 Everything you Ever Wanted to Know about Hydroflurocarbons 18/10/2016 - Last week, 197 nations at the United Nations Environment Programme signed an agreement to phase out hydroflurocarbons beginning in 2019. For many people, the threat posed by hydroflurocarbons was relatively unknown until the announcement on October 15, so we thought we’d dedicate this week’s blog to examining exactly what this substance is, and how it’s …
  • shutterstock_367279526 3 Hazardous Products Commonly Found in the Workplace 18/10/2016 - In one of our recent articles, we uncovered three seemingly innocuous products commonly found around the home, which actually have a negative impact on the environment and human health. This week, we give the same treatment to office spaces and take a look at three common items workers around the country come in contact with …
  • shutterstock_158695172 Substitutes for 3 Hazardous Products Commonly Found in the Home 14/10/2016 - When we think of toxic or hazardous materials, our minds often jump to industrial products such as chemicals or building materials. However, in reality, there are many seemingly innocuous items lying around your home which can pose a threat to human health and the environment. This week, we take a look at three common household …
  • shutterstock_307759688 The Challenges of Developing Former Industrial Sites in Victoria 14/10/2016 - Urban renewal has been a buzzword in Melbourne’s development industry for the last two decades but in recent years the trend of developing former industrial blocks around the inner city has reached fever pitch with land in suburbs like Abbotsford, Box Hill, Collingwood, Footscray and Richmond being snapped up like hotcakes for both residential and …
  • shutterstock_270480974 How Soil Testing Benefits Your Business 10/10/2016 - At face value, soil testing might not seem like anything more than another unnecessary bureaucratic hoop that developers and commercial landowners have to jump through in order to get a planning permit or a tick from the EPA, there are a number of ways in which this seemingly innocuous process can add value to your …
  • shutterstock_106756229 Understanding the Environmental Impact of Petroleum 5/9/2016 - One of the world’s most common fossil fuels, petroleum is used in the production of everything from toothpaste to jet fuel. However, our reliance on this fossil fuel has a devastating environmental effect which extends far beyond oil spills and truck exhaust. This week, we take a closer look at the environmental impact of petroleum. …
  • shutterstock_49705708 4 Ways to Reduce Chemical Consumption in Your Home 5/9/2016 - At Alpha Environmental, we work to find environmental management solutions to a number of hazardous substances and chemicals which can be found around the home. Although the environmental impact of substances like lead paint and asbestos are now well recognised and regulated, there are plenty of other commonly used household chemicals which have an adverse …
  • shutterstock_184744325 The Alpha Guide to Hazardous Materials Audits 30/8/2016 - For developers and business owners, it can be difficult to identify the right environmental consulting process for your commercial needs. Alpha Environmental specialise in a wide range of environmental consulting practices, and this week, we’re taking a closer look at one of our most popular services, the Hazardous Materials Audit. What is it? A Hazardous …
  • shutterstock_48029335 Asbestos Management Plan 22/8/2016 - All Australian workplaces have a duty to protect their employees from the harmful effects of asbestos as part of the OHS Act. Exposure to asbestos fibres is associated with a range of serious reparatory conditions and workplace managers need to take every precaution to ensure their employees are not at risk of exposure. If asbestos …
  • shutterstock_399617479 5 Facts About Groundwater 12/8/2016 - Little understood, and easily contaminated, yet crucial to sustaining a growing global population faced with the challenges of climate change, groundwater is one of the most important natural resources on earth. In this article, we strive to shed light on this invisible life source with five eye opening facts. Groundwater is an important water source …
  • shutterstock_412724332 4 Sources of Lead Around the Home 11/8/2016 - Prized for it’s malleability, density, ability to hold pigment and resistance to corrosion, lead was used for a wide range of construction, production and even medicinal purposes throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Although the health risks of lead were known about as early as Roman times, however its usefulness was deemed to outweigh its …
  • shutterstock_132968252 The Effects of Soil Contamination 2/8/2016 - This blog often explores the ways that human activity has had a devastating effect on the fragile ecosystems in which we live. One of the most nefarious ways human pollution alters the natural environment is through soil contamination, which poisons all living things from the smallest bacteria to the humans who eat produce from the …
  • shutterstock_207046564 7 Fast Facts About Pesticides in Australia 27/7/2016 - With one of the Western world’s strongest agrarian economies, it will come as little surprise to learn that Australia is a prolific producer and consumer of pesticides. Australia has a long history of using pesticides in agricultural and forestry practices and as a result, pesticide contamination is widespread across both rural and urban areas. This …
  • shutterstock_75822181 Factors that Increase the Need for Environmental Site Management 20/7/2016 - Environmental management is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you purchase a new house or business premises but in some circumstances, it can play a crucial role in protecting the health and welfare of those living or working on your property. This week, we take a look at a few of …
  • asbestos management The Safety Hazards of Asbestos 28/6/2016 - Whether it’s at home or in the work place, the presence of asbestos can pose many safety risks. Asbestos was commonly used as a building material in Australia between the 1940s and late 1980s, as it was durable, fire resistant and an efficient insulator. Today, asbestos is no longer mined or used in Australia because …
  • hydrogeological assessment Breaking Down the Hydrogeological Assessment (Groundwater Quality) Process 2/6/2016 - Groundwater quality plays a crucial role in the health of the surrounding environment and it’s imperative that we do everything we can to protect it by minimising the impact of human activity. A hydrogeological assessment is key to preserving groundwater quality and identifying any possible contamination issues that may be present. In this article, we …
  • environmental-consultants The Importance of Environmental Consulting 25/5/2016 - Whilst bringing in an environmental consultant to test your site might seem time consuming and an unnecessary expense, this process will ultimately benefit your business and is crucial to preserving both human health and the environment. In this article, we look at just a few of the reasons why environmental consulting is a crucial service …
  • esa Everything You Need to Know About Environmental Site Assessments 17/5/2016 - Environmental site assessments (ESA) are one of the most common services our consultants are called upon to perform and indeed this assessment plays a crucial role in identifying the contamination levels of a particular site and developing an effective management solution. In this article, we look at the inns and outs of an ESA. What …
  • lead-paint Four Things You Should Know About Lead Paint 11/5/2016 - Recently, comedian John Oliver discussed the hidden lead paint poisoning crisis in the US, an issue which the American government repeatedly overlooks and puts in the ‘too hard’ basket. This issue was of course highlighted by the Flint lead crisis but as Oliver points out, the threat of lead poisoning is far more widespread that …
  • contaminated-land 6 Key Terms Owners of Contaminated Land Need To Know 25/4/2016 - In Melbourne, some of the best commercial real estate on the market is considered to be contaminated land. A site is considered to be contaminated when the beneficial uses for a particular category of land use are precluded by contaminants. If properly managed, contaminated sites can be incredibly lucrative for owners and developers. However, before …
  • Site Remediation Understanding the Site Remediation 18/4/2016 - If you own a contaminated site, then it’s important to understand what your options are when it comes to management and clean up. In this article, we explore the concept of site remediation and the options available to owners seeking to use a site for residential, industrial or commercial purposes. What does remediation mean? When …
  • Ozone Depleting Substances Understanding Ozone Depleting Substances 31/3/2016 - Although the concept of ozone depletion only entered public consciousness in the 1990s, the man made chemicals responsible for this dangerous phenomenon have been in common use since the 1920s and are still in use today. Scientists have proven that ozone depleting substances have played a key role in stratospheric depletion which What are they? …
  • hazardous-material 5 Hazardous Materials Found in Heritage Homes Around Melbourne 24/3/2016 - Melbourne is a city filled with beautiful heritage homes that have a distinctive architectural style. These properties are highly valued for their old world charm and character but these elegant buildings are full of potential hazards. It’s no secret that building practices and materials have not always been as regulated as they are now, and …
  • contaminated soil Soil Contamination Fact File 21/3/2016 - Just as pollution affects our air and water, it also seeps into the ground beneath our feet. Soil contamination is a common issue on industrial sites and in this article, we examine the implications of soil contamination and the management solutions available. What is contaminated soil? Contaminated soil is soil that contains human made chemicals. …
  • mould Dealing with Mould in Your Home or Business 14/3/2016 - Mould is something humans have lived with for centuries and not all of it is bad. Mould is a type of fungi which belongs in the same family as mushrooms and yeast. However, the indoor mould we are talking about in this article is highly destructive and can cause numerous health problems as well as …
  • Groundwater Fact File 8/3/2016 - Groundwater plays a crucial role in the health of our waterways but it is also vulnerable to contamination as a result of industrial activity. Preserving groundwater quality is one of the most important environmental responsibilities within the industrial sector and it is vital that site owners and commercial operators ensure that their activities have a …
  • Asbestos Fact File 25/2/2016 - Over the course of a century, asbestos went from being a trusted building material to a public health hazard. Although it poses a low risk to the general public, asbestos can be hazardous when exposed or damaged. In this blog, we take a closer look at what asbestos is, how to identify if asbestos is …