Friday, July 12, 2019

Business Spotlight: Northeast Laboratory Services Craig Bailey

Did you know radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America? Erin Bouttenot, Head of Indoor Air Quality at Northeast Laboratory Services (NEL) explained, radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is released from the ground into cracks and drains in our homes. In fact, 1 in 3 homes in Maine have a higher level of radon than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended limit. You cannot see, taste, or smell radon, but it can easily be tested for in your air or water.

In addition, Bouttenot reinforced there is often confusion around commonly used terms like “black mold” and “toxic mold”, neither of which refer to a particular species of mold. Mold can come in many colors and grow in different ways, just like plants. Some fungi grows dark or black in color and may or may not produce toxins. The effects from mold exposure can vary greatly from person to person. Some individuals have an immediate or delayed response from being in a moldy environment, while others have no symptoms at all. The extent of mold sensitivities can also vary, whereas one person may be sensitive to most, or even all molds, another may only be sensitive to a particular type. The range of responses can present as irritation, allergies, asthma or infections.

Another important reality, shared by Zachary Smith, NEL’s Chemistry/Microbiology Laboratory Technical Director, is that water quality can change quickly and without warning. In most cases naturally occurring compounds known to have adverse health risks are tasteless, colorless and odorless. Just because the water looks and tastes fine does not mean it is safe to drink. To identify health risks, a full water test should be performed at least every three to five years on existing wells and a basic safety test should be performed during interim years. Only a laboratory test-preferably by a State of Maine Certified Laboratory-can tell you if the water is truly potable.

As a small locally-owned laboratory, NEL’s mission is to deliver accurate analytical data and superior culture media products to promote healthy home and business environments.

When asked, what sets NEL apart in the industry, Bouttenot shared that they are an accredited, full-service laboratory that is proudly veteran-owned and operated in the State of Maine. Their locations in Westbrook and Winslow provide diverse environmental and microbiological testing as well as mass-production of laboratory media products. Their clients range from private homeowners to large, nationally recognized companies.

As an example of the high-quality service NEL provides, Bouttenot mentioned that every day we receive calls or emails from homeowners worried about various environmental health risks. “We educate the public on guidelines and regulations from governing bodies within and outside the state of Maine. NEL provides a full scope of analyses for personalized testing in specific areas of concern. Our easy-to-use sample collection kits identify otherwise undetectable health hazards. Available sample collection kits include: environmental chemistry, water microbiology, radon in water, radon in air, and surface mold analyses.”

Northeast Laboratory’s analytical reports are tailored towards helping homeowners understand their data versus just having the numbers. For example, the analytical report for their Basic Safety water test provides a side-by-side comparison of results to the EPA limits with a green, yellow or red notation. “This aids our customers in determining steps to move forward. We also provide multiple supplemental materials on sampling and remediation,” stated Bouttenot.

NEL’s friendly, knowledgeable technicians and support team are available to help with any questions, support and laboratory needs. The company tests seven days a week and provide rapid turnaround with immediate reports via fax or email, as well as U.S. postal mail.

Bouttenot emphasized, “It is our ambition to exceed our customer’s expectations while maintaining a safe, welcoming, and professional work environment. Whether you are at the beginning, middle, or end of your testing process, Northeast Laboratory can provide you with the answers you need,” stated Bouttenot.”

Do not hesitate to contact Northeast Laboratory with any questions related to ensuring a healthy home or business environment. NEL knows that every situation is different and values the time spent with customers to ensure each has the tools and information needed to determine steps forward. Even if Northeast Laboratory doesn’t provide a specific service themselves, they are happy to connect you with someone who does.

To learn more visit or call (866) 591-7120. <

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Business Spotlight: Paul’s Boutique Nursery a twenty-year fascination and interest in the cannabis plant and its properties, Paul’s Boutique s Boutique family, the company is one of Maine’s leading medical marijuana
Nursery was created by a husband and wife team in 2015. Today, with the commitment of the entire Paul’
caregivers. What started out in a renovated automobile repair shop is now a 4000 square-foot, state of the art grow facility.

While keeping up with its descriptive name, Paul’s Boutique purposefully chooses to keep an
artisanal approach to all its products and services. The company has now expanded to also include a tier 1 non solvent cannabis extraction lab with a food processing license and a retail store front. As plans become a reality the Paul’s Boutique team has seen where hard work and following your dreams can lead.

In the rapidly growing and ever-changing cannabis industry, not only here in Maine but nationwide, the Paul’s Boutique team has proven the future is bright. They are a company that focuses on providing a high level of products and services. By creating a vertically integrated business, with rigid quality standards from seed to sale, Paul’s Boutique has made a major commitment to being on the forefront of the Maine market.

The latest expansion of the business is the opening of a beautiful new store front in Windham. This allows Paul’s Boutique to better serve the medical community of Maine as well as many card-holding out of state visitors who travel Route 302 while vacationing here.

The Paul’s Boutique vision and dream has become a reality with the opening of their new retail storefront. Located in North Windham on Route 302 at Crimson Drive in a highly visible location with ample parking, they are easily accessible. A private consultation room is available
for those who wish to discuss any questions or concerns about cannabis and its uses, especially for those new to the powers of the plant and its many cannabinoids. A warm and inviting check-in area, as well as multiple budtending stations help create a smooth and pleasant shopping
experience, allowing patients a comfortable visit.

The store stocks locally crafted items. Paul’s Boutique has carefully chosen CBD vendors who are local cultivators, extractors, and producers. The store also carries a full array of flowers, concentrates, vape pens and edibles.

Paul’s Boutique apparel will be available as will accessories such as functional glass art and rolling papers. The walls are adorned with in house ‘pot’ography. It is attractively displayed and available for sale to those interested in artwork for their personal use.

Paul’s Boutique has also become deeply involved in the local community, as members of the Chamber of Commerce, and as supporters of community outreach programs such as Riding to the Top, Camp Sunshine, Outdoors Again, Windham Food Pantry, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Maine Game Warden Association. Additionally, the owner was recently appointed to Windham’s Marijuana Task Force for Cannabis Regulation. Paul’s Boutique is proud to have hired local Maine residents for their team, as well as relocating employees from other parts of the US, who with their families are settling into the southern Maine lifestyle and helping grow the local economy.

Paul’s Boutique can be found online at sites such as Google listing and Weedmaps where they have high reviews and ratings. The obvious focus of the Paul’s Boutique Family to a quality small batch product is also being recognized by the cannabis community in the form of several awards. They entered their first cannabis competition in 2017 and medaled in The Secret Cup, as well as winning a couple High Times Cannabis Cups. Their strains are clone only and will not be found elsewhere, in spite of the fact that others may sometimes share a common name.

You are invited to stop in and check out Paul’s Boutique storefront which is located at
8 Crimson Drive in Windham. They are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Also visit