Since November 13th wildfires in California have burned approximately 65 square mile, burned over 1,000 homes and apartments and created huge plumes of smoke. The destruction in some regions left vast areas completely devastated.
Thousands more surrounding properties are now dealing with smoke damage that has permeated homes, offices and institutions. The smoke damage from these wildfires can leave property owners with expensive remediation projects to return the properties back to habitable conditions.
EMSL Analytical’ California based LA Testing, with multiple laboratories throughout the state, recently began offering carbon black analysis from their Pasadena facility. The tests will help area property owners with their smoke damage remediation projects and insurance claims.
Carbon black and combustion byproducts (carbonized material) deposited on surfaces can lead to permanent discoloration and “ghosting” effects. Sampling for carbon black on surfaces can be performed by the wipe method. The area to be tested is simply wiped as much as necessary to darken a sample collection pad for analysis.
“As a leading environmental laboratory in the area we felt it was imperative to offer carbon black analysis and do all that we can to be a good citizen of the great state of California,” said Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for EMSL Analytical. “We hope by offering this important test, area residents can quickly begin rebuilding their lives,” Sublasky continued.
In addition to cases originating from wildfire smoke sometimes a point of origin is necessary for smoke damage investigations. Identification of partially ashed particles can be the key to proving a source. For cases of suspected arson, testing for accelerants that can also be performed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR), Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).