NES is always looking to add qualified people to our team

Environmental Health and Safety

Staff level environmental professional with compliance experience, BS desired.

Industrial Hygienist with 3-10 years of experience. Candidate must be a self starter with leadership skills and proven technical writing abilities, versed in IAQ investigations, EH&S program development and training.

Clan Lab

OSHA Programs Trainer, Candidate must be motivated, personable and articulate. The ability to explain technical concepts to nontechnical people is a must. Background in chemistry, biology, public health or related degree required. Candidates will perform all levels of OSHA compliance training including instruction for law enforcement agencies around the country.


Hazmat Trainer, 2-year degree required, 4-year desired, OSHA/EPA/DOT, conversant in regulations, excellent presentation skills, computer literate, travel required, benefits, salary DOE, EOE.

Please e-mail resumes to: SMartincek or fax to SMartincek at (916) 353-2375.

NES On The Move

Bay Area Training Facility: On The Move

bay areaNetwork Environmental Systems, Inc. (NES) headquartered in Folsom, California will be relocating its Bay Area training facility from Hayward to Walnut Creek, in March. The facility will be located in a newer office park, Mt. Diablo Plaza, at 2175 North California Blvd, Suite 206 Walnut Creek, CA 94596.

NES' focus on providing state of the art environmental health & safety training is now enhanced by our new training facility that is both functional and convenient. The new Walnut Creek Training Facility is suitably located near major transportation hubs, including BART. The office is one block away from the Walnut Creek BART Station, and public parking is available at the Mt. Diablo Plaza. Services such as restaurants are also just a short walk away.

NES will continue to offer its full range of training courses in the new Walnut Creek Training Facility and plan to expand our training and consulting services to surrounding areas.

Additional information about NES is available at Please contact Training Manager, Steve Reichow at 916-353-2360, if you should have any questions or concerns about the Walnut Creek Training Facility.

Ins And Outs Of Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection is a broad subject that can be complicated and misunderstood by even the most experienced people. The importance of proper respiratory protection cannot be understated. Only a small segment of this vast subject will be covered in this article.

There are many types of particle filtering respirators. General categories include: 1) disposable particle masks; 2) half and quarter mask respirators with a reusable filter pad; 3) half or full facemasks with replaceable cartridges. Discussions in this article will include some of the fundamentals of respiratory protection, particles, and the most basic and the most widely used form of individual worker respirator protection: disposable particle mask, also called the filtering face mask.

Many activities in industry, trade, and even the home involve substances against which you need to protect yourself. Grinding, drilling, milling, as well as painting and cleaning processes may release very fine aerosols or respirable dusts. These particles, depending on the substance inhaled, can cause respiratory tract and lung irritation, which can lead to pneumonia or more serious health hazards such as organ damage or lung cancer. Individual respirators should only be used in the event that the hazard(s) cannot be eliminated through the use of engineering methods.

Fit Testing

Some fundamental information regarding respirator protection: in order to provide proper protection, users must know what contaminant(s) they are being subjected to, the level of contaminant, and the permissible exposure limit of the substance.

It is also a requirement to be trained in respirator donning/doffing and the possible signs and symptoms of overexposure. Following manufacturers' recommendations for donning respirators is very important because improper donning can cause a poor fit and subject the user to high levels of contaminants. Medical clearance may also be required to ensure that it is safe for workers to wear a respirator. Individuals must be clean-shaven and have been fit tested with the appropriate respirator within the last year.

There are two basic methods of fit testing: qualitative (QLFT) and quantitative (QNFT). QLFT methods include Irritant Smoke, BitrexTM, Saccharin, and Isoamyl Acetate. This method can be considered a pass/fail type of test. In order to pass, the user must not taste or smell any of the media used in the test. If media is detected the test is failed.

The QNFT test method has two approved testers, the Fit Test 3000 and the PortaCount. These testing devices are very sophisticated and provide a number that signifies how well the mask fits. If a test from either the QNFT or QLFT method has failed, the wearer should re-don the same mask, select a different size, or try a different brand until a successful test has been achieved. Whichever method is chosen, every user that falls under the Respiratory Protection Program must be fit tested at least annually.


Particles are the smallest solid and/or liquid substance produced from mechanical processes such as grinding, milling, crushing, and/or from thermal processes such as combustion processes, reactions, and heating metal. Merely mixing and sweeping substances or demolition and renovation work can lead to spreading of particles in the air. Particles with a size of less than 5 microns are referred to as respirable substances or fine dusts and are invisible and may penetrate the respiratory tract as far down as the alveoli.

All varieties of particle filtering respirators are manufactured to fit into one of the nine categories of particle filtering media the National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) has created. Three categories of the filter media based on its resistance to oil-based aerosols are: N-Not oil resistant, R-oil resistant, and P-oil proof. The three levels of filtering efficiency are 95 percent, 99 percent, and 99.97 percent (100). The P100 provides the greatest level of protection and the N95 provides the lowest level. Filter media remove contaminants by mechanical, electrostatic, or combination of mechanical and electrostatic methods.

Mask Shapes, Filter Material

Filtering face masks are available in shapes that include three dimensional, accordion flat fold, fold in half, and combinations of these designs. Folded masks that are individually packaged can be kept clean when taken to the workplace in pockets of work supply containers. Once at the workplace, a clean mask can be quickly donned. The elastic head straps should stretch to adjust to any head size without having to be tied in a knot to shorten them. The mask should provide a good fit and be comfortable to wear for long periods.

The filter capacity of these masks can vary widely, which results from the various types of materials used by various manufacturers. A layered filter material, if used properly, provides longer service life than a single ply material. The filter material should keep breathing resistance at an extremely low level, which will minimize much of the heat generated within the mask. Many masks are equipped with an exhalation valve that even further reduces breathing resistance and heat buildup, those being two of the most frequent objections to wearing a filtering facemask. Even the best mask cannot provide protection if the user refuses to wear it due to discomfort.

Have You Been Tested?

Now Offering...Qualitative and Quantitative Fit Testing Services

PortacountWith over 18 years of experience in the environmental health and safety (EH&S) field, Network Environmental Systems, Inc. (NES) is a solution oriented leader in the environmental industry. Our EH&S professionals are dedicated to help clients with their Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Program Standard Compliance. NES now offers the convenience of both qualitative and quantitative fit testing.

Qualitative fit testing is a pass/fail test designed to assess the adequacy of a respirator fit and relies on the individual's response to a test agent such as banana oil or saccharin. Qualitative fit testing only ensures that a respirator can be used within the limitations of their Assigned Protection Factors (APF): Filtering Facepiece APF of 5, Half-Mask APF of 10 and Full-Facepiece APF of 50.

Fit TestThe quantitative fit test actually measures the level of protection using the TSI PortaCount. The quantitative fit test determines a fit factor by measuring and comparing concentrations of a challenge agent inside and outside the respirator. The quantitative fit test provides you protection fit factors 10 times greater than that of the qualitative fit test benefiting your employees with a higher level of assurance.

Annual respirator fit testing and training is mandated by OSHA for employees required to use respiratory protection equipment. Qualitative fit testing is provided to our HAZWOPER students. Quantitative fit Testing can be provided for a fee. Those interested in receiving fit testing may schedule an appointment by calling NES at 916-353-2360. Please contact us for pricing, volume discounts and on-site fit testing.