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Press Releases at LATesting

Category Press Release
Publish Date 12/20/2017
Author Paul Cochrane
Title California Wildfire Smoke and Residues Cause Health Concerns and Property Damage
Introduction LA Testing provides analytical services and test kits to identify smoke damage and air quality issues following the historic fires across Southern California.

South Pasadena, CA, December 20th, 2017

Earlier this month, the California Department of Industrial Relations issued a notice that Cal/OSHA was advising employers that special precautions must be taken to protect workers from wildfire smoke hazards. The agency reported that smoke from the recent wildfires contained chemicals, gases and fine particles that can harm health. The greatest hazard comes from breathing fine particles, which can reduce lung function, worsen asthma and other existing heart and lung conditions, and cause coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.

The historic fires that have torched hundreds of thousands of acres across California have also resulted in the destruction of more than 1,000 structures and caused damage to many thousands more. The same fine particles found in wildfire smoke that Cal/OSHA warned workers about breathing not only cause occupational health concerns, these particles easily infiltrate properties many miles away from the flames leaving behind residues and odors.

“Residues and odors in a home or building can have a damaging effect on both the properties and the well-being of any building occupants exposed to polluted indoor air,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Fortunately, smoke residues and odors caused by wildfires are often covered by property insurance policies so they can be properly remediated. However, it is often left to the property owner to provide proof of damages to settle smoke residue insurance claims. At LA Testing, we specialize in smoke residue, odor testing and other indoor air quality laboratory services. We offer all of the sampling supplies necessary to collect samples and even offer easy-to-use test kits for smoke residues. For outdoor workers exposed to wildfire smoke and ash and for those tasked with fire damage cleanup activities, LA Testing offers a complete line of respirators and other personal protective equipment.”

LA Testing has even produced an educational video about smoke damage from wildfires that can be seen at:

To learn more about testing for smoke and soot residues, odors or other indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental issues, please visit or, email or call (800) 755-1794.  To access the Fire & Smoke Damage Test Kit, visit  

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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