LQM is a specialist environmental consultancy based in Nottingham (UK) with an international reputation for assessing and managing the risks posed to human health and the environment by contaminants in soil. Increasingly this is being done within a context of sustainable development and specifically sustainable brownfield regeneration.

We provide consultancy, peer review and expert witness services, contract research and training courses on all aspects of the management of land contamination to problem holders, developers and local government.

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Archive: Jun 2015

  1. Webinars: LQM PAH Profiling Tool

    LQM have launched a new quick and easy tool to assist risk assessors to determine if currently available generic assessment criteria (such as the C4SL for “Benzo[a]pyrene” and the S4UL for “Coal Tar (BaP as surrogate marker)” ), which are based on a surrogate marker approach, are applicable to the assessment of the mixtures of PAHs in soil at their sites.  Click here for further details.

    We are also running a FREE webinar to explain the scientific background behind the surrogate marker approach and the assumptions it is based on, what the Tool does and how to use it.  Topics that should be covered during the webinar include:

    • What are PAHs and why are they difficult to risk assessment?
    • What is the Surrogate Marker Approach to PAH risk assessment?
    • Why are there apparently two S4ULs for benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and when can they be used?
    • How can i decide if the surrogate Marker Approach is appropriate at my Site?
    • How do you use the LQM PAH Profile Tool and how does it help?
    • What is the differences between the free trial version and the full version, which is available for purchase?

    Why attend? Local authorities should understand the basis for assessing the risks posed by PAH mixtures in soil and that the simple surrogate marker effect may not always be scientifically valid, and how to check whether the various assessment criteria are being used robustly .  Consultants should know the limitations behind the surrogate marker approach and justify its use in any reports they produce.

    Register now! For convenience, the lunchtime webinar (roughly 1 hr) will be run twice on two different days.  Please follow the links below to book on your preferred day:

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    To get the most from the webinar, delegates should also download the free trial version of the LQM PAH Profiling Tool (registration required), as you will be given the opportunity to find out just how simple it is to use.

  2. LQM launch new PAH Profiling Tool

    Can you use an assessment criteria based on the surrogate marker approach to assess the PAHs at my site?

    In 2010,  Health Protection England (HPA, now Public Health England) recommended the use of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) as a surrogate marker approach in the assessment of carcinogenic risks posed by PAHs in soils and several generic assessment criteria have been derived based on this approach.  However, this approach is only applicable if the PAH profile in soils is sufficiently similar to that of coal tar.

    The LQM PAH Profiling Tool is a simple to use spreadsheet (Note: Microsoft Excel is required to use the tool) that calculates the relative proportions of the eight genotoxic PAHs and plots them on the two charts relative to composition of the two coal mixtures used by Culp et al. (the plus/minus an order of magnitude limits suggested by HPA).  Simply paste in your PAH site data (EPA 16) to automatically generate two charts that indicate the suitability of the surrogate marker approach and identify which samples, if any, deviate significantly from coal tar.  To find out more and see a short video explanation – click here (you will be asked to register to view the recording).

    Before using assessment criteria based on the surrogate marker approach (e.g. the S4UL for “Coal Tar (BaP as surrogate marker)” or the C4SL for “Benzo[a]pyrene”), these samples should be investigated and justify the reason for such apparent differences in composition. For example, they represent poorly transcribed data, issues to do with detection limits or laboratory anomalies. Alternatively, do they may indicate the presence of discrete hotspots or the presence of more than one source of PAHs at the Site.

    A free trial version with limited functionality is available at http://www.lqm.co.uk/free/ (registration required).

    The full version (including the inclusion of your company logo) is available for purchase at http://www.lqm.co.uk/publications/pahprofile/

  3. LQM training dates for 2015-2016 – Now with greater flexibility due to customer demand!

    We have just completed our 2014-2015 training schedule.  We ended a successful season on a high with a very busy day on controlled waters/hydrogeological  risk assessment.

    We have now announced the first dates for our 2015-2016 season, including another outing for the Introduction to hydrogeological risk assessment for Contaminated Land and Asbestos in Soils and Made Ground.  Our entire range of courses can be viewed at www.lqm.co.uk/training/. Please book online and remember you get an automatic 20% discount from the stated price when you pay online via a credit or debit card.

    Our ever-popular 5-day series will run twice: once in September 2015 and again in February-April 2016. The series consist of five 1-day courses covering the fundamentals of investigating, assessing and managing land contamination. These courses can be taken individually, in combinations, or in their entirety. (If you book all 5 days of the series, a discount/voucher code is available to get 1 day free – full details are available on the website). These courses are always popular so book early to avoid disappointment!

    More flexible: In Feb-April 2016 the series will run 1 day x 5 weeks as usual, but many delegates have expressed interest in doing a more compressed version to reduce travel time and costs. As any previous delegates will testify, the series is far too intensive to contemplate doing in a single week! So we have decided to trial a 2+3 days format in September 2015. If necessary, delegates are also welcome to spread the 5 days across both sessions, if this is more convenient.

    Full details, dates, prices and booking instructions for each day can be found at:

    1. Introduction and development of the Conceptual model (Day 1)
    2. Site Characterisation (Day 2)
    3. Human-health risk assessment (Day 3)
    4. Risk Management and Remediation (Day 4)
    5. Reviewing Third Party Reports (Day 5)

    These courses are suitable for both new and existing members of staff looking to expand their skill-set and/or refresh their knowledge in these critical areas and thereby undertake their role in a more robust and cost-effective manner.

    What’s your opinion?

    We are also interested to hear from any of you about your training needs.  Which LQM courses are you waiting for us to run?  What new areas do you think should be covered?  Please email suggestions, comments and requests to administrator@lqm.co.uk.