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LA Testing Provides 4 Levels of Analysis for Victims of Wildfire Smoke Damage Investigations

Garden Grove, CA – WEBWIRE

California has seen its share of destructive wildfires so far in 2014. Large areas have already succumbed to wildfires and numerous homes and businesses have been impacted.  Although people realize wildfires can destroy properties and buildings with their flames, far fewer recognize the damage that can be caused by the large amounts of smoke that can travel extensive distances and cause problems in homes, schools and businesses.

“Smoke released by a wildfire is filled with combustion by-products that include soot, ash and char,” Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “Odors, discoloration and ghosting effects can result when these combustion by-products from wildfires are deposited in buildings.  LA Testing provides expert analysis of smoke damage and fire debris. This is crucial for not only identifying indoor issues caused by smoke residues, but also for settling insurance claims for property damage.”

Smoke residues left behind and not addressed can lower property values due to discoloration, tarnishing and lingering odors. Odors can be neutralized, and then sealed on some types of materials. Smoke residues can also result in corrosion and etching of materials.  Some building materials and household belongings can be cleaned and restored, while others may need to be replaced.

LA Testing offers a diverse combination of analytical levels depending on the complexity of the methods utilized to meet the client’s specific needs. The analytical complexity level and the overall value of the packages increases from level 1 to 4.  They include:

  • Level 1: Char + Soot (presumptive) + Ash
  • Level 2: Char + Soot (confirmation level) + Ash
  • Level 3: Char + Soot (confirmation level) + Ash + common components of environmental dust (such as fibrous glass, biological material, cellulose, synthetic fibers, pollen, quartz, calcite)
  • Level 4: Char + Soot (confirmation level) + Ash + common components of environmental dust (fibrous glass, biological material, cellulose, synthetic fibers, pollen, quartz, calcite) + Elemental composition of soot, char, and ash by SEM/EDX + pH (to determine overall corrosivity of the dust)

To learn more about testing for smoke damage, char, carbon black, soot, indoor air quality (IAQ) or other environmental issues, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

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 ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, 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, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.

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 California wildfires
 wildfire smoke damage
 soot, ash and char
 indoor air quality
 environmental issues

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