What Is Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)?

You might be surprised to discover there’s radioactivity all around us. From the rocks beneath our feet to the food we eat, small amounts of radioactive elements occur naturally in the environment.  These are referred to as naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). While generally harmless in low quantities, NORM becomes a concern when human activities concentrate or relocate it.

Where Do We Find NORM?

NORM is prevalent in a variety of industries and settings you might not expect:

Oil and Gas 

NORM is frequently encountered in oil and gas production, particularly within the “produced water” that comes up during oil extraction. As this water flows through underground formations rich in uranium and thorium, it can pick up trace amounts of radioactive materials. These materials then concentrate in scales, sludges, and other waste products, forming deposits on pipelines, tanks, and other equipment.


The extraction and processing of ores containing uranium, thorium, or other radioactive elements can create NORM-rich waste materials. This is especially true in the mining of phosphate or other minerals where the NORM concentration might get enhanced along with the target material.

Water Treatment

Some water treatment facilities, especially those treating groundwater, use filtration processes that trap minerals rich in NORM. These filtration materials can become contaminated with NORM, requiring careful handling and disposal.

Construction and Building 

Certain building materials, most notably granite, phosphate-based fertilizers, and some types of bricks or tiles, might contain slightly higher levels of naturally occurring radioactive elements. While the risk from these materials in homes is typically low, it’s something to be aware of, especially in areas with naturally higher background radiation.

Other Industries

NORM can also be found in smaller quantities in industries like:

  • Coal-Fired Power Plants: Coal can contain trace amounts of radioactive elements, which can concentrate in waste products like fly ash.
  • Metal Smelting and Foundries: Some processes involve ores and materials that might be naturally higher in NORM.

Why Is NORM a Potential Problem?

While naturally occurring, NORM becomes a concern when human activities concentrate it to levels exceeding naturally occurring background radiation. Here’s why:

Ionizing Radiation

NORM emits ionizing radiation, which has enough energy to disrupt atoms and damage cells in living tissue. Long-term exposure to even moderately elevated levels of ionizing radiation increases the risk of health issues, including cancer.

Exposure Pathways

Potential exposure routes to concentrated NORM include:

  • Inhalation: Workers working with NORM-contaminated dusts, scales, or sludges can inhale radioactive particles, exposing their lungs and internal organs.
  • Ingestion: Accidental ingestion can occur if particles are transferred to food or if workers don’t follow safe hygiene practices.
  • External Exposure: Even without directly inhaling or ingesting NORM, prolonged proximity to contaminated items can lead to external exposure to radiation.
  • Environmental Impact: Improper disposal of NORM waste can contaminate soil, groundwater, and ecosystems, potentially spreading the problem to a much wider area.

The Texas Factor

As a major hub for oil and gas production, Texas faces a particular NORM management challenge. The sheer volume of extraction activities increases the possibility of NORM concentration, making careful handling and disposal even more critical to protect workers, communities, and the state’s environment.

It’s important to emphasize that the dangers of NORM are heavily dependent on the concentration, the duration of exposure, and the specific types of radioactive elements involved.

Identifying NORM

The primary challenge in dealing with NORM lies in its initial identification. NORM doesn’t have a distinct smell, color, or any other easily noticeable characteristic. It can be present in various materials without giving any outward indication. This means relying on specialized equipment and techniques to detect the presence of ionizing radiation, such as:

  • Geiger Counters: These handheld devices are a common first line of detecting radiation. They measure overall levels of radiation, helping pinpoint potential problem areas.
  • Gamma Spectroscopy: Advanced laboratory analysis is often needed to accurately determine the specific types of radioactive elements present in NORM and their concentrations.

Potential Indicators of NORM Contamination

While direct detection is necessary for confirmation, there are some clues that might suggest the possible presence of NORM. Note that these indicators are just that: indicators. They increase the potential for NORM contamination but do not guarantee it. Only specialized radiation detection can ultimately confirm or rule out the presence of NORM.

Industry and Process

Industries known to handle materials potentially containing NORM (oil and gas, mining, water treatment) are the obvious starting point for concern. Specific processes within those industries, like scale removal in oil pipelines, are higher-probability areas.

Origin of Materials

Materials extracted from deep underground, especially from areas with naturally occurring uranium and thorium deposits, have a higher likelihood of containing elevated NORM levels.

Historical Knowledge

If a facility has a history of handling materials associated with NORM or has operated in locations known for higher background radiation levels, past contamination may be present.

Safe NORM Waste Disposal

Appropriate handling, transportation, and disposal of NORM waste are crucial. Failure to do so can lead to environmental contamination and potential health risks. Companies like TAS (Texas ALP) specialize in all aspects of NORM management, including:

NORM identification and assessment. Expert technicians use advanced tools to analyze materials and determine the extent of NORM contamination.

NORM decontamination services. When items or areas become contaminated, TAS has the expertise to clean them safely and effectively.

NORM transportation and disposal. TAS has the permits and expertise to transport NORM waste to approved disposal facilities ensuring that all state and federal regulations are followed.

Managing NORM Responsibly in Texas, With TAS Environmental

Industries that generate NORM waste have a responsibility to ensure its safe management. Partnering with a reputable NORM waste disposal provider like TAS is critical for ensuring compliance with regulations and maintaining a safe work environment.

Don’t wait until a NORM problem arises — take proactive measures to protect your operations and the environment. If you work in an industry where NORM is a possibility, here’s what to do:

Worker Training. Educate staff on NORM basics, how to identify potential contamination, and the necessary safety protocols.

Regular Testing. Routine testing can help identify NORM issues before they become significant problems.

Partner with Professionals, Companies like TAS Environmental provide the expertise and services needed to manage NORM safely and responsibly.

If you suspect NORM might be a concern at your facility, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at TAS Environmental. We’ll guide you through everything from identification to disposal, protecting your business and your workers.

The Science and Innovation Behind Restoring Polluted Landscapes

Industrial waste cleanup is a complex and often secretive world. It’s a world of hidden hazards, innovative technologies, and dedicated professionals working tirelessly to protect our environment from the legacy of pollution. In this blog, we’ll peel back the curtain on some of the most fascinating secrets of industrial waste cleanup, exploring the science and innovation behind restoring polluted landscapes.

1. Understanding Contaminants

Industrial waste can come in many forms, from toxic chemicals and heavy metals to radioactive materials and infectious agents. Each type of contaminant poses unique challenges for cleanup crews. Understanding the properties and behavior of these contaminants is the first step in developing an effective remediation plan.

2. Bioremediation

One of the most fascinating secrets of industrial waste cleanup is the use of microorganisms to break down and remove contaminants. Bioremediation harnesses the power of naturally occurring bacteria, fungi, and other microbes to degrade pollutants. These tiny organisms can feast on everything from oil spills to heavy metals, leaving behind a cleaner environment.

3. Phytoremediation

Plants can also play a vital role in industrial waste cleanup. Phytoremediation uses plants to absorb contaminants from soil and groundwater. Certain plants, known as hyperaccumulators, can take up and store large amounts of pollutants in their tissues. These plants can then be safely harvested and disposed of, removing the contaminants from the environment.

4. Advanced Tech

Innovation is constantly driving the development of new and more effective industrial waste cleanup technologies. Some of the latest advancements include:

  • Thermal desorption: This process uses heat to vaporize contaminants, which can then be captured and treated.
  • Solidification/stabilization: These techniques bind contaminants together into a stable form, preventing them from migrating into the environment.
  • Membrane filtration: This technology uses semipermeable membranes to filter out contaminants from water and other liquids.

5. The Human Touch

Industrial waste cleanup is not just about science and technology; it’s also about people. Effective cleanup requires collaboration between scientists, engineers, regulators, and the local community. Engaging with affected communities is essential for building trust, addressing concerns, and ensuring the success of cleanup projects.

When It Counts, Partner With TAS Environmental

Industrial waste cleanup is a never-ending challenge, but the secrets we’ve learned offer a glimpse of hope. With continued research, innovation, and community engagement, we can tackle the legacy of pollution and create a cleaner and healthier future for all. Remember, even the smallest actions can make a difference. Let’s join forces to protect our environment and create a brighter future for all.

For all your remediation and recovery efforts, you need a partner you can depend on. TAS Environmental offers expert technicians trained in safe, efficient cleaning of industrial spaces and equipment. Cutting-edge, specialized equipment and cleaning solutions for even the most challenging tasks mean we can start taking care of you from the moment you reach out.
With TAS Environmental’s dedication to keeping our world clean, and the innovation and expertise we bring, you’re in safe hands. Contact us today.

Restoring the Balance | Environmental Remediation

Environmental concerns are now at the forefront of global discourse, as we look into our fascinating future. As we grapple with the consequences of industrialization and human activity, the need for innovative and effective environmental solutions like environmental waste disposal and other services we offer has never been greater. And that’s where environmental remediation plays a crucial role. 

It’s not just about cleaning up; it’s about restoring balance to our ecosystems and safeguarding our planet for future generations. It’s not just about the future, either: our current world desperately need balance, and the sooner we can repair the damage, the sooner we can devote ourselves to building a brighter future.

A Growing Need for Environmental Remediation

Environmental remediation is the process of removing pollution or contaminants from environmental media such as soil, groundwater, sediment, or surface water. This is essential for protecting human health and preserving the natural environment. 

As industrial activities expand, so does potential environmental damage. From oil spills to chemical leaks, the impacts can be catastrophic — not just for the immediate environment, but for the wider ecosystem.

Successful Global Projects

Numerous successful remediation projects across the globe serve as beacons of hope and exemplify the potential of human ingenuity in reversing environmental damage. 

One notable example is the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay in the U. S., which was plagued by pollution and eutrophication, which is the excessive richness of nutrients, often due to runoff, that causes dense plant life to spring up and choke vulnerable animal life.

Concerted efforts including reducing agricultural runoff, improving sewage treatment, and restoring wetlands have significantly improved water quality and revived marine life.

Another inspiring example is the cleanup of the River Thames in the UK. Once declared “biologically dead,” the Thames is now thriving with wildlife, thanks to strict pollution controls and continuous monitoring. 

With the right approach, it’s possible to reverse even severe environmental damage.

Advanced Technology

Advancements in technology have significantly enhanced our capability to address complex environmental issues.

  • Bioremediation uses biological organisms to break down pollutants into less harmful substances. 
  • Phytoremediation uses plants to absorb or contain contaminants. 

These technologies and others offer more effective solutions and are often more sustainable and cost-effective besides.

Leading the Charge in Remediation

At TAS Environmental Services, we understand the critical nature of these environmental challenges. Our seasoned expertise and unwavering dedication empower us to be at the forefront of remediation projects that span many areas. Our approach is not just about remediation; it’s about restoring ecological balance and ensuring sustainability.

We employ various advanced technologies and methodologies tailored to each unique environment and situation. Our team can handle the challenge, whether it’s a small-scale soil contamination issue or a large-scale industrial spill.

Join TAS Environmental in Making a Difference

Environmental remediation is a shared responsibility. It’s about communities, businesses, and individuals coming together to protect our planet. We’re committed to leading this charge at TAS Environmental Services, but we can’t do it alone.

We invite you to join us in this crucial endeavor. Whether you’re a business seeking to mitigate environmental risks, a community facing ecological challenges, or an individual passionate about conservation, your role is essential. Together, we can restore balance and ensure a healthier, more sustainable future for our planet. 
Contact us today to learn more about our commitment to environmental preservation.

Liquid Gold: Navigating the Waters of Environmental Cleanup and Prevention

We know water as a precious resource that sustains life on Earth. It is essential for drinking, agriculture, industry and healthy ecosystems. However, our water sources’ purity is constantly threatened by various pollutants and contaminants. Let’s explore the critical role of environmental remediation, cleanup, and prevention in safeguarding our water resources.

The Significance of Clean Water

Clean water isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Many of us take it for granted, but it is a fundamental component of our daily lives. Whether it’s the water we drink, the water used in our homes, or the water that supports our diverse ecosystems, its importance cannot be overstated.

Human Health

Clean water is vital for human health. Contaminated water can carry diseases and pose serious health risks. Access to safe drinking water is a fundamental human right, and ensuring its quality is a global priority.


The agriculture that feeds the world’s population relies heavily on water. Farmers need clean water for irrigation, livestock and processing crops. Contaminated water can lead to crop failure and food shortages.


Aquatic ecosystems depend on clean water to thrive. Polluted water harms fish, wildlife and plants, disrupting fragile ecological balances. It can even lead to dead zones in bodies of water where the aquatic life cannot survive at all.


Many industries require large quantities of water for manufacturing and cooling processes. Contaminated water can damage equipment, affect product quality, and increase costs.

TAS Environmental Services: Champions of Clean Water

Given clean water’s central role in so many parts of our lives, it’s paramount that we protect water sources from contamination and ensure effective environmental cleanup.

In terms of environmental cleanup and prevention, TAS Environmental Services stands out as a beacon of hope and excellence. With a track record of dedication and innovation, our organization has been instrumental in purifying water sources and preserving life through both planned remediation and emergency response situations. Let’s dig into some of our remarkable initiatives.

Groundwater and Wastewater Remediation

Groundwater contamination occurs due to various factors like industrial runoff, leaking underground storage tanks and accidental spills. When groundwater is contaminated, it poses a significant threat to both the environment and public health.

At TAS Environmental, we use cutting-edge technologies and techniques to remediate contaminated groundwater. Pump-and-treat, bioremediation or chemical treatment, or some mix of them all remove contaminants and restore the aquifer’s health. Our expertise ensures the water extracted from these sources is safe for consumption and ecological balance.

Wastewater treatment is another critical aspect of our work. We help industries and municipalities in the region treat their wastewater, ensuring it meets regulatory standards before discharging it back into the environment. This prevents the release of harmful pollutants and preserves the quality of our waterways.

Spill Response Strategies

Accidents happen, but when they involve hazardous materials or chemicals, it’s crucial to get a quick and effective spill response up immediately to mitigate environmental damage. 

TAS Environmental excels here as well. Our disaster response teams are highly trained and equipped to handle a wide range of spill scenarios. Whether it’s an oil spill in a water body or a chemical spill on land, TAS Environmental Services responds promptly and efficiently. The goal isn’t just cleaning up the spill but also minimizing its impact on the environment and community.

Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword but a way of life. At TAS Environmental Services, we understand the importance of using sustainable practices in our work. We’re committed to minimizing our environmental footprint while maximizing our positive impact.

At TAS, we use eco-friendly technologies and practices for our remediation and cleanup efforts. We also prioritize recycling and responsible waste disposal, ensuring we align with the principles of environmental stewardship.

Joining the Clean Water Mission

As individuals and communities, we can also play a significant role in the mission to protect and preserve clean water. Here are some steps we can take

One great way to conserve water at home can be through fixing leaks, using low-flow appliances and practicing water-saving habits.

Also, advocate for policies and initiatives that promote clean water and responsible environmental practices.

Going beyond advocation and spreading the word about the importance of clean water and the impact of pollution on our ecosystems can help others make sustainable decisions that preserve coveted waters.

TAS Environmental Services: Purifying Water, Preserving Life

Water is our “liquid gold,” and its purity is vital for the well-being of all life on Earth. TAS Environmental Services has embraced this mission with unwavering dedication, showcasing our groundwater and wastewater remediation expertise and commitment to spill response and sustainability.

TAS Environmental Services is a beacon of hope in the quest for clean water and a healthier world. Join us in this critical mission and contact us today if you know your community could benefit from cleaner water.

4 Environmental Emergencies TAS Environmental Services Can Resolve

Environmental emergencies can strike at any time. Unfortunately, the long-term effects of an environmental issue can be deadly to wildlife and humans if they go unresolved.

TAS Environmental Services specializes in mitigating the effects of specific and dangerous environmental situations through environmental remediation.

Here’s a look at 4 of the biggest environmental emergencies our team can handle.

Oil Spills

Oil spills are one of the most dangerous environmental disasters that can occur. They can have devastating impacts on wildlife, ecosystems, and human health. 

Common causes include tanker accidents, pipeline rupturing, illegal dumping, and offshore drilling operations releasing petroleum into the ocean. 

Oil spills can also be caused by natural events such as hurricanes which may damage infrastructure and cause an uncontrolled release of crude oil into surrounding waters. 

The effects of an oil spill depend on various factors including weather conditions, type of oil spilled, geographic location, size of spillage area, etc. Still, all cases will inevitably lead to serious damage for both people and nature if not effectively managed in time.

TAS Environmental Services can quickly come to your community’s aid for the oil spill cleanup. We will seal off the area, prevent further spread, clean and remediate the environment the oil spill affected. Our emergency response team is available 24/7 for immediate action in the wake of an oil disaster.

Groundwater Pollution

Groundwater pollution is the contamination of naturally occurring beneath-the-surface aquifers and soil. It can happen in a variety of ways, including seepage from landfills, industrial waste disposal sites, usage of pesticides and herbicides, leaking sewer systems, and petroleum fuel spills. 

When polluted groundwater reaches drinking water sources such as wells and springs, it becomes a significant health hazard for communities that rely on this resource for their daily needs. In some cases, polluted groundwater may leach harmful chemicals into the air due to naturally occurring evaporation processes. This phenomenon is known as atmospheric dispersion, which contributes to further environmental deterioration when left unchecked.

Indicators of groundwater contamination vary depending on the type of pollutant, but some common signs of this problem include an unusual taste or smell in the water, changes in the water’s color or clarity, and floating debris in the water itself.

Environmental Remediation services from TAS can be utilized to remove groundwater pollution in various ways. One of the most effective methods is to purify groundwater through physical, chemical, and biological treatments. This process involves suspending contaminants from the water using physical filters or chemical adsorption such as activated carbon before it passes through the filtration systems.

Natural Disasters

From fires, to ice storms and tornadoes, Texas sees its fair share of natural disasters. In times like these, spills from plants and trucks can erupt, trees can dangerously down  electrical wires, and cause long-term damage for plants, wildlife, and people, if issues aren’t immediately resolved.

TAS Environmental Services specializes in emergency response for the communities we serve. Our team is always on top of the latest natural disaster on the horizon and will be ready to answer the call.

We handle chemical spills, oil spills, cleanup, and more. If your community is at risk of a destructive natural disaster, make sure you have TAS Environmental Services on its side.

Industrial Chemical Spills

Facilities that regularly utilize hazardous chemicals are at great risk of industrial chemical spills that impact their immediate work environment. Harsh chemical spills not only put the environment at risk if they seep out of the building, but they also put your employees at risk in their attempt to handle and clean up a spill.

Working with TAS means that your team has 24/7 access to a responsive chemical spill team that can quickly quarantine your spill, effectively clean up the mess, and ensure your location is safe for use after our work is complete.

We can handle material emergencies small and large. So, no matter your chemical spill, you can trust TAS Environmental Services to stay on top of the problem.

Need Environment Remediation Services? TAS Environmental Services can Help!

If your community has been impacted by a natural disaster, never let the damages fester. Trust the experts of TAS Environmental Services to step in immediately and clear the danger from your environment.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.

How Can Environmental Remediation Help Your Community in 2023

Environmental remediation is an important concept, especially in today’s world, where environmental destruction is a global concern. Remediation reduces or eliminates ecological pollutants in soil, water, and air.

TAS Environmental Services practices remediation techniques in the communities we serve that help ensure environments get properly restored after pollution or an environmental incident and remain safe for current and future generations.

We’re welcoming a new year, and now is the time for community leaders to start thinking about how they can positively impact their local environment. If your community doesn’t have an environmental remediation partner on hold for emergencies and special projects, here are some key reasons why you should work with TAS for remediation services in 2023.

Remediation Improves the Quality of Previously Developed Lands

When we remediate an environment, we focus on restoring contaminated land to a safe and usable state while preserving existing natural resources.

When TAS steps in to restore polluted land, our process usually involves removing or treating hazardous materials, such as oil spills or chemical leaks that have damaged surrounding water, soil, and wildlife.

Additionally, we can restore habitats for wildlife and reintroduce native plants and animals into an area. By doing so, we can restore degraded environments and ensure they remain healthy for years to come.

Environmental Remediation is Great for Human Health

Environmental remediation involves the removal of hazardous materials from contaminated sites to improve human health in the communities where TAS Environmental Services provides the service. This process can prevent future environmental damage and reduce risks associated with specific contaminants. Remediation also helps reduce exposure to dangerous pollutants and toxins in areas where people live, work, and play.

Environmental pollutants and toxins can have an incredibly detrimental impact on human health. Contaminants in the air, water, and soil can cause various adverse health effects, from minor respiratory irritations to more severe illnesses such as asthma or cancer.

Remediation helps mitigate current and future community members’ risks as they share an environment.

Remediation Guides Your Future Environmental Decisions

Environmental remediation provides a clean and safe environment for people living in affected areas and valuable information that community leaders can use to make better decisions about how to use that land in the future.

By understanding what was present before remediating a site and what has been removed during the process, we gain insight into potential risks associated with using that space for different purposes. This knowledge helps us assist community leaders in planning wisely when deciding how best to use remediated lands going forward.

Your Land Becomes More Valuable and Useful

In addition to improving safety, environmental remediation also increases land productivity by restoring habitats for native plants and animals and introducing new species into an area.

We can also reintroduce water sources into an area that further enhances land productivity by allowing for agricultural activities such as farming or ranching on previously unusable land. By doing so, we can restore degraded environments while providing additional resources for communities in need of fresh produce or livestock products.

Step Up for Your Community’s Environment Today, With TAS Environmental Services

Are you part of a community committee and uncertain of your responsibilities regarding environmental remediation? TAS Environmental Services, headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has been at the forefront of this area for a century! We offer remediation services across the South and Midwest. Reach out to us today to learn more about our environmental solutions.