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California Braces for Additional Smoke Damage Claims from Wildfires


LA Testing and EMSL Analytical offer solutions for fire and smoke damage investigations.

An evacuation order for the town of Aspendale, California was recently ordered after a lightening sparked wildfire threatened the vacation home community and campground areas adjacent to Inyo National Forest. This most recent fire is also burning within 10 miles of the nearby town of Bishop, California.

This year’s wildfire season has kept firefighters busy across the state. As wildfires are extinguished, homeowners and business owners return to their properties to inspect for damage. Some people are happy to find untouched properties while others return to completely destroyed houses and businesses.

A significant number of property owners will discover properties without visible fire damage, but smoke damage can have far reaching consequences. Those facing smoke damage in their properties may find themselves needing to test the structures for proof of damage.

Carbon black and combustion byproducts (carbonized material) deposited on surfaces can lead to odors, permanent discoloration and “ghosting” effects. Sampling for carbon black on surfaces can be performed by simply wiping as much area as necessary to darken a special sample collection pad for analysis.

LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical, is one of the California’s leading environmental testing laboratories. The laboratory performs carbon black and combustion byproducts testing using a combination of techniques in culmination with Electron Microscopy.

“Unfortunately Polarized Light or Phase Contrast Microscopes are used by many laboratories for this procedure, but they do not adequately provide identification in many cases,” reported Joe Frasca, Executive Vice President at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “LA Testing provides expert analysis using the most advanced instrumentation for these cases and can also test for a variety of ‘unknown’ contaminates found in properties,” Frasca continued.

For more information about Smoke, Carbon Black and Soot testing visit, email or call (800)303-0047 and ask for Jerry Drapala PhD.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.

To learn more about LA Testing or EMSL Analytical please visit:, contact or (800)303-0047.


 Smoke Testing
 Carbon Black

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