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Government Agency Says Improved Asbestos-Related Data Would Enhance Oversight Ability

EMSL Analytical provides testing services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify asbestos from environmental samples and bulk materials.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

This past December, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicly released Asbestos in GSA Buildings: Improved Data Would Enhance Oversight. The document was the result of GAO being asked to provide their assessment of asbestos in federal office buildings by analyzing data collected by the General Services Administration (GSA).

The report states, “Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral fiber, was commonly used in construction materials until it was linked to serious illness and therefore fell out of widespread use. According to OSHA, certain building materials used prior to 1981 are likely to contain asbestos. More than three-quarters of federally-owned office space in buildings constructed before this date falls under the custody and control of GSA, which provides real-estate management and other administrative support services for the federal government.”

GSA captures information on the location and condition of asbestos in its buildings, but lacks the necessary information to conduct national oversight. Policy requires that the agency survey all of its buildings constructed before 1998 to identify asbestos, enter this information into its asbestos database and re-inspect the condition of asbestos-containing materials on an annual basis. However, GAO found that asbestos-related survey data were not entered into the database for 66% (289 of 436) of GSA’s office buildings.

“Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, so everything that can be done to prevent building occupants from inhaling it needs to take top priority,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Testing air and dust samples in buildings known or suspected of having asbestos-containing materials is a proactive approach for protecting building occupants that may work, live or go to school in a building that could otherwise be a hazard. At EMSL, we are proud to provide asbestos testing services and all of the sampling supplies necessary for indoor environmental quality and industrial hygiene testing. EMSL also offers direct bulk testing of suspect materials, in which any containing asbestos are identified and handled properly.”

To learn more about asbestos or other indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services, please visit, email  or call (800) 220-3675. To access asbestos and IEQ test kits, visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 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 EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA 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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