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Texas Lab Warns of Potential Soot Contamination in Homes from Wildfires


EMSL Analytical offers testing solutions for all types of properties following fires that create smoke and soot damage.

Cinnaminson, NJ

West Texas has been ravaged by wildfires recently that have burned thousands of acres. Windy conditions have made fighting these fires a real challenge for agencies across the state. According to the Texas Forest Service, wildfires so far in 2011 have burned approximately 191,000 acres and destroyed 130 structures across the state.

These wildfires can produce an enormous amount of smoke. This smoke is filled with combustion by-products that include soot, ash and char. As the fires are extinguished, people will begin returning to inspect their homes and businesses. For many families and businesses, whose structures were not directly burnt, they may now have problems from issues related to smoke residue.

Many properties that survive an initial wildfire are left with problems ranging from smoke odors to soot residues throughout the property. These odors, discoloration and “ghosting” effects can result when carbon black and combustion byproducts (carbonized material) are deposited on building surfaces.

Smoke infiltration into buildings can have damaging effects to both property and human health and often times requires proof of damages for insurance claims. Testing can also help provide information that can be used to help determine the scope of the smoke remediation services that will be required.

EMSL Analytical is a leading provider of smoke damage testing services. “When insurance claims are involved, property owners are often required to show proof of these conditions by their property insurance companies prior to the buildings being remediated,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL we use a combination of techniques in culmination with Electron Microscopy for the highest level of accuracy possible when dealing with smoke damage investigations.”

To learn more about testing for smoke damage, char, carbon black, soot, indoor air quality (IAQ) or other environmental issues please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials 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.


 Texas Soot Wildfires
 smoke contamination
 ghosting ash char
 carbonized material
 combustion by-products

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