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Microbial Contaminant Testing Lab

Category Press Release
Publish Date 12/28/2016
Author Paul Cochrane
Title California Workers Advised to be Aware of Metalworking Fluids Containing Microbial Contaminants
Introduction LA Testing provides analytical services to identify fungi, bacteria and microbial toxins in metalworking fluids.

Huntington Beach, CA, December 28, 2016  

According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), approximately 1.2 million workers in positions involving machine finishing, machine tooling, and other metalworking and metal-forming operations could potentially be exposed to metalworking fluids (MWFs) on the job.

Many of these workers are employed in a wide range of industries across California. Anyone of them could be exposed by breathing aerosols generated in the machining process or through skin contact when they handle parts, tools and equipment covered with the fluids.

Exposure to some MWFs has long been known to have potential health consequences. This is due in part because water-based metalworking fluids can support microbial growth, which could introduce biological contaminants into a worker’s environment.  If these fluids are not properly maintained or changed frequently, contaminants may become established and grow exponentially. These contaminants can include bacterial and fungal cells or cell components and their related biological byproducts which could include endotoxins, exotoxins and mycotoxins.  One of the most commonly isolated types of bacteria in MWFs are Pseudomonas.  Others types of bacteria that have been identified include Legionella, Mycobacterium avium complex, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Achromobacter, Proteus vulgaris and others.  Fungal contamination is also a concern and may include Penicillium, Aspergillus and Fusarium.

“Many industrial processes depend on metalworking fluids, but it is essential that these fluids be maintained and tested to protect the health of workers,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility.  “Proactive sampling of MWFs can identify contaminants and prevent illnesses.  Air sampling can also identify if workers are at potential risk of breathing these substances.”

LA Testing offers comprehensive MWF analyses and all of the sampling supplies and equipment needed to submit samples. They have also sponsored an educational video about metalworking fluids and microbial hazards that can be seen at:  

To learn more about this or other occupational, indoor air quality, aquatic, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for air 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, NVLAP, CDC ELITE, 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 Huntington Beach, San Diego, San Leandro and South Pasadena.

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