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Category News
Publish Date 1/31/2005
Author Joe Frasca, Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Title Asbestos in Vermiculite and Soil Samples
Introduction LA Testing now offering highest quality analysis available in Southern California

Often soil and vermiculite material will contain asbestos fibers either as naturally occurring asbestos in rock, such as serpentine, or as contamination from asbestos removal activities. The need to identify the presence of asbestos fibers in of these materials may often be necessary prior to alteration, remediation, or removal of such material. Serpentine rock is often a component of road material, parking lots, playground surfaces, waste piles, and general excavation and construction sites. Vermiculite is especially common in the insulation material often found in attics and crawlspaces as well as gardening products, such as potting soils and fertilizers. The vermiculite can be in loose form, blown-in insulation, or in the ceiling texture paint found in buildings, commonly known as "popcorn ceiling."

"For construction, paving, school, development, excavation, mining, and other related companies, the CARB 435 method allows clients to check for asbestos with accuracy before they excavate", states Steve Parks of LA Testing. "The method provides our clients with an accurate determination of asbestos content prior to
commencement. In addition, the use of in-house milling allows LA Testing to provide maximum options for turn-around."

For the identification of asbestos in either soil or vermiculite, LA Testing follows the California Air Resources Board Method 435 (CARB 435). This method involves a fine milling of the sample to create a completely homogenous mixture. This maximizes the possibility of detection and increases the accuracy of quantification. The analysis can be performed by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Both analyses use the widely recognized EPA/600/R-93/116 method. The PLM method uses a 400-point count or 1000-point count. The TEM analysis is used for a more definitive analysis with sensitivities down to 0.001% by weight.


LA Testing now offers 4 levels of analysis for the EPA/600/R-93/116 CARB 435 Method:

CARB 435 Analysis Pricing Options

                                                                 72-Hrs        5 Days     Standard

435.A PLM       0.25% sensitivity level        $95            $75             $50

435.B PLM       0.1% sensitivity level          $145          $120           $95

435.C TEM       0.01% sensitivity level        $255           $205           $180

435.D TEM       0.001% sensitivity level       $300          $250           $225

24-Hour or 48-Hour options are available with prior notice and only if the sample composition allows for enough time to dry the sample prior to milling. Call for details.

For additional information about this method,please contact us at
1-800-303-0047, or go to the California Resources Board website:www.arb.ca.gov


About LA Testing:

LA Testing currently services 1,000 clients world-wide. Those clients include IAQ professionals, environmental consultants, abatement firms, restoration firms, environmental engineers, industrial hygienists, construction firms, engineering firms, remediation firms, contractors, mortgage companies, home inspectors, building inspection firms, carpet cleaners, duct cleaners, home owners, home builders, air conditioning contractors, roofing companies, health and safety professionals, hospitals, doctors, manufacturing firms, management firms, real estate firms, landlords, mortgage companies, attorneys, testing firms, laboratories, schools, universities, forensic consultants, health departments, fortune 500 firms and state, local and federal government agencies.

LA Testing currently operates in South Pasadena, CA providing  full analytical services, including environmental microbiology (mold, bacteria, legionella, coliforms, indoor allergens, mycotoxins, endotoxins), DNA based polymerase chain reaction (PCR), asbestos, lead, indoor air quality, industrial hygiene, environmental chemistry, materials, forensic, failure, and mechanical testing. In addition to laboratory services, the firm plans to provide free IAQ seminars,  free sampling workshops and training in the near future.

LA Testing currently holds accreditations with the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the AIHA Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program (EMLAP), the AIHA Environmental Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELLAP), the AIHA Industrial Hygiene Laboratory Accreditation Program (IHLAP), the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP), CA E-LAP and various other state, federal and private accrediting bodies. The lab is also successful participants in AIHA's Proficiency Analytical Testing (PAT), Environmental Lead Proficiency Analytical Testing (ELPAT), and the Environmental Mold Proficiency Analytical Testing (EMPAT) programs. LA Testing maintains a rigorous in-house QA/QC program to ensure our clients are receiving the most accurate and legally defensible results possible.