Customer Service

 Customer Survey

LABConnect™ - Online Results & More

Industrial Hygiene Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 10/21/2022
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Chemical Reaction in Railroad Tank Car Caused Temporary Evacuations and Freeway Closure in California
Introduction LA Testing provides laboratory services and sampling supplies to identify potentially hazardous chemicals to protect the public, workers and to help companies comply with health and safety regulations.

Huntington Beach, CA, October 21, 2022

A chemical reaction in a railroad tank car back in August resulted in the temporary closure of a freeway and the evacuation of many homes in Perris, California. A plume of smoke was seen coming from a spur line of a railway and first responders determined that a chemical reaction was taking place in a tank car filled with a chemical known as styrene.

Styrene is on California’s Proposition 65 list as a substance known to cause cancer. It is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that is widely used to make plastics, fiberglass, rubber and latex. It is also used to make polystyrene plastics and resins that can be made into foam and rigid plastic products.

“While this incident caused exposure concerns for area residents and first responders, there are a number of workers in California that could be exposed to styrene every day on the job because it is used to manufacture so many products,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Styrene is used to make everything from boats and automobile parts to carpet backing and food containers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports health effects from exposure to styrene may involve the central nervous system and include complaints of headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, malaise, difficulty in concentrating, and a feeling of intoxication. Exposure to large amounts could also cause hearing loss.”

To help protect workers and the public from exposure risks to styrene and other industrial chemicals, LA Testing offers environmental and industrial hygiene laboratory testing services, sampling supplies and even personal protective equipment. Several years ago, LA Testing sponsored an educational video about styrene and exposure concerns that can still be seen at: 

To learn more about styrene or other environmental and industrial hygiene testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor environmental quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.

Sorry, this function is disabled.