ACOEM Top 10 List

ACOEM's list of top 10 environmental hazards

American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine's (ACOEM) checklist of Ten Environmental Hazards

  • Tobacco smoke (long-term exposure)
  • Radon (can cause cancer)
  • Asbestos (can cause cancer and lung disease)
  • Lead (structures built before 1978 - dangerous for children)
  • Combustion gas (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide)
  • Tap water (well water & older plumbing systems)
  • Household chemicals (keep them away from children)
  • Pesticides (even though outside home, still a danger)
  • Allergens (porous, water-damaged materials frequently grow mold & other organisms)
  • Food Poisoning (keep the refrig temp below 40 degrees, and wash cutting boards) 


  • Lead is one of the most serious environmental problems for children.
  • Your child can get lead in the body if he/she swallows lead dust, breathes lead vapors, or eats soil or paint chips that have lead in them.
  • Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, anemia, or damage to the brain and kidneys.

What you can do

  • If your home was built before 1978, test the paint for lead.


Household Products

Household Products

Many cleaning products give off dangerous fumes or leave residues. These products can be harmful if they are not thrown out properly.

What you can do

  • Only use these products when needed.  
  • Always have enough ventilation when using these products.
  • Store them in a safe place.
  • Bring empty containers to your local hazardous waste disposal center

For cleanup and proper disposal:  CALL PARKER YOUNG (FIRESTAR, INC.)



  • Asbestos is a natural fiber that was often used for fireproofing, insulating, and soundproofing between the 1940s and 1970s.
  • Asbestos is dangerous when it becomes crumbly.
  • If that happens, asbestos fibers get into the air and are breathed into the lungs.
  • Breathing in these fibers can cause chronic health problems, including a rare form of lung cancer.
  • Asbestos can still be found in some older homes, often as insulation around pipes.
  • Schools are required by law to remove asbestos or make sure that children are not exposed to it.
  • Asbestos is still used in some products under the different trade names.

What You Can Do

  • Don't allow children to play near exposed or crumbling materials that may contain asbestos.

If you think there is asbestos in your home or building, CALL PARKER YOUNG, a certified contractor to help solve the problem. 



Molds grow almost anywhere and can be found in any part of a structure.  Wherever there is dampness, there is a good possibility for the growth of mold. Examples include Damp Basements, Showers & Tubs, Airconditioners & Humidifiers, Wet Carpets.   Children who live in moldy places are more likely to develop allergies, asthma, and other health problems.

What you can do:

  • Keep the surface dry.  Make sure there are no leaks.

Once the mold appears, CALL PARKER YOUNG (FIRESTAR, INC.)

Chemical Spills

Chemical Spills


  • Assess the toxicity, flammability, or other properties of the material (see label & MSDS)
  • For flammables, remove or turn off ignition sources such as motors, pumps, fridges.
  • Determine if there is an immediate health threat to you or your neighbors.
  • If so, alert neighbors, isolate the area and call Parker Young

For Containment & Cleanup:  CALL PARKER YOUNG (FIRESTAR, INC.)

Active Shooting

Active Shooting

Business Operations

  • Identify an off-site location where operations can take place while the building is still being evaluated by law enforcement or damage is being repaired.
  • IT systems should be backed up so they can be accessed from anywhere.

Emotional Response

  • The trauma inflicted on those who survive an active shooting incident can be enormous.
  • Provide mental health assistance to affected employees.