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COVID-19 Surface Laboratory Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 5/14/2020
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Reopening California Businesses and Institutions and the Indoor Environmental Quality Challenges in Many Buildings
Introduction LA Testing offers indoor environmental quality testing services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify a wide range of potential exposure risks in buildings that were closed due to COVID-19.

Huntington Beach, CA, May 14th, 2020

To combat the spread of COVID-19 in California, orders were issued to shutdown non-essential businesses, schools, universities, institutions and almost everywhere people normally gather. These efforts have had a dramatic impact on the state’s economy and resulted in the temporary closure of countless buildings across the state.

Unfortunately, many buildings were vacated on short notice without enough time for the proper decommissioning of the building systems. A large number also had minimal maintenance during the weeks that they were closed. As these properties reopen, their varied conditions can pose a challenge for building owners and operators not only because there could be damage to some buildings but there could also be indoor environmental quality (IEQ) issues that now pose exposure risks in certain circumstances.

“As buildings of all types and sizes reopen, there are potentially serious IEQ issues that should be addressed before people return,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “This includes bacteria like Legionella that multiply in stagnant building water systems that haven’t been used for several weeks. Exposure to contaminated water could lead to Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever. Another major concern is the presence of mold and excessive moisture. If a building’s HVAC wasn’t operating properly, or not adjusted to vacant conditions, elevated humidity levels could lead to the growth of mold. This is also true for any plumbing issues that occurred while the building was empty or moisture intrusion caused by weather. In addition, plumbing drains and P-traps that have dried out due to a lack of use can allow for sewer gas to enter a building. Perhaps the greatest concern as people return to work and other places is the importance of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and structures to help prevent the spread of pathogens.”

The environmental and industrial hygiene experts at LA Testing provide analytical services and inspection resources to building owners and managers across California who are tasked with reopening buildings. With multiple laboratories in the state, LA Testing provides indoor environmental quality laboratory testing services for microbial and chemical contaminants, sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, building inspection tools, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE). LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about reopening buildings following the coronavirus pandemic that can be seen at:

LA Testing’s parent company, EMSL Analytical, Inc., is now offering COVID-19 Surface Testing by quantitative RT-PCR technology. As an alternative analysis, EMSL also provides Cleaning Efficacy Testing Services that can determine if the sampled surface area has been effectively cleaned and free of bacteria or fungi. Click here for more information on its COVID-19 laboratory services.

To learn more about this or other building science, environmental, health and safety testing services and products, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor 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-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), 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, San Diego and Ontario.

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