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Mold & Asbestos Lab
Mold & Asbestos Testing Lab

IN-HOUSE LABORATORY

We offer testing and analysis for Asbestos and Mold, for both the public and private sector. Our clients include:

• Homeowners
• Contractors
• Realtors
• Abatement Companies
• Business and Industry

The NorthWest HazMat laboratory is unique in several ways.  We provide routine testing services of two business day results, however, we also provide 4 hour rush results upon request, as well as 24 hour emergency testing services that includes nights and weekends. As we have one of the only onsite asbestos and mold testing laboratories in the Southern Willamette Valley, we can provide quicker turnaround times and a more personalized service. If you have any questions you can talk directly with the lab technician who is testing your samples.

You can access our services one of three ways:

IN PERSON  Sample the material yourself and bring it to NorthWest HazMat (See our step by step guide below)

MAIL  Sample the material yourself and mail to NorthWest HazMat (See our step by step guide below)

CALL US We can send a certified asbestos/mold professional to your location to survey your property and take the appropriate samples for analysis. (Additional costs will apply)

ASBESTOS

Caution AsbestosWORDS OF CAUTION

Asbestos is a hazardous material.  It has been known to cause lung cancer as well as other types of cancers specifically mesothelioma.
It is at its most dangerous form when it becomes airborne. Any type of construction, remodeling, demolition, or even minor repairs can pose the risk for asbestos fibers to become airborne. Use caution when disturbing building components.  When in doubt have it tested!!

WHAT TYPES OF MATERIALS MAY CONTAIN ASBESTOS? Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) are broken down into three categories:

Surfacing Materials – ACM sprayed or troweled on surfaces (walls, ceilings, structure members) for acoustical, decorative, or fireproofing purposes. This includes plaster and fireproofing insulation. The common term popcorn ceiling also falls under this category.

Thermal System Insulation – Insulation used to inhabit heat transfer or prevent condensation on pipes, boilers, tanks, ducts, and various other components of hot and cold water systems and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning(HVAC) systems. This includes pipe lagging, pipe wrap; block, ban, and blanket insulation; cements and “muds”; and a variety of other products such as gaskets and ropes.

Miscellaneous Materials – Other common largely non friable products and materials such as floor tile, ceiling tile, roofing felt, concrete pipe, outdoor siding, and fabrics.

AsbestosTHE POINT!
Use caution; be careful when disturbing building components.  Don’t spread asbestos fibers throughout your work area, your home or business.

ASBESTOS | STEP BY STEP GUIDE

Our Asbestos consultants are trained in the proper collection of samples for asbestos analysis.  Typical precautions include:
» Make sure no one else is in the room when sampling is done.
» Wear disposable gloves or wash hands after sampling.
» Shut down any heating or cooling systems to minimize the spread of any released fibers.
» Do not disturb the material any more than is needed to take a small sample.
» Place a plastic sheet on the floor below the area to be sampled.
» Wet the material using a fine mist of water containing a few drops of detergent before taking the sample. The water/detergent mist will reduce the release of asbestos fibers.
» Carefully cut a piece from the entire depth of the material using, for example, a small knife, corer, or other sharp object.
» Place the small piece into a clean container (for example, a 35 mm film canister, small glass or plastic vial,) walk in only, or high quality reseal able plastic bag). Mail or walk in.
» Tightly seal the container after the sample is in it.
» Carefully dispose of the plastic sheet. Use a damp paper towel to clean up any material on the outside of the container or around the area sampled. Dispose of asbestos materials according to state and local procedures.
» Label each container with an identification number and clearly state when and where the sample was taken.
» Patch the sampled area with the smallest possible piece of duct tape to prevent fiber release.

NOTE: If you still don’t feel comfortable taking the sample, call us for detailed instruction.

Chrysotile Asbestos Fibers under PLM

Chrysotile Asbestos Fibers under PLM

HOW MUCH TO SAMPLE?

Asbestos can be grouped into two separate categories:

FRIABLE, which means it can be turned into powder with your hand and NON-FRIABLE which cannot be ground up.

For Friable materials we suggest about a table spoon. (Attic insulation, popcorn ceiling material)
For Non-Friable materials: about one square inch.  (Floor tile, putty, linoleum)

Lab Technician at work

Lab Technician at work

I’VE GOT MY SAMPLE.  NOW WHAT!

Now that you have your sample in a proper container, zip lock bag or film container you now have our chain of custody to fill out.

Click here to open our chain of custody.  Also see our sample.

Fill out the highlighted areas and sign the bottom.  You can now either send in your sample by mail or bring it to our office.  If you bring your sample in you can fill out the chain of custody here.

One of our asbestos technicians will then analyze your sample/s.

We provide the following asbestos testing services:
(PLM) Polarized Light Microscopy, analysis of Bulk Samples
(PCM) Phase Contrast Microscopy, analysis of Air Samples

In order to assure the highest ethical standards in our testing facility, we do not offer asbestos removal services.

ASBESTOS | TESTING PRICES

The following prices are for samples brought to us. Please call for a quote if you need on site sampling. Additional charge for off hour emergency testing.

NOTE: You may submit a “Sample” that has more than one layer, example is a floor sample.  This could include several layers of floor covering as well as the mastic. Each layer is considered one sample.

•    $35 per LAYER for a 2 Business Day Turnaround
•    $40 per LAYER for a 4 Hour Rush Turnaround

Download and fill in Chain of Custody Form

Payment should be included with all mail in samples, or you can supply credit card information.
For walk in samples payment can be made by cash, check or credit card.

Note: Prices subject to change

MOLD

Mold roomMolds are part of the natural environment and are microscopic organisms whose purpose is to break down dead and decaying materials. Mold spores are lightweight and are easily spread by air currents. If spores land on an appropriate surface, they will begin to grow. In order to thrive, mold requires four things to grow: Water, Organic materials, Oxygen, and an Optimum temperature (between 40 and 90 degree F). Mold growth is often seen as a discoloration and can grow in several different colors. The most common are white, orange, pink, blue, green, black, or brown. Mold is present outdoors and in normal indoor environments.

Pen-Asp Type Mold under microscope

Pen/Asp Type Mold under microscope

If mold growth results in a building, occupants may begin to report odors and a variety of health problems, such as headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions, and aggravation of asthma symptoms; all of these symptoms could potentially be associated with mold exposure.  All molds (indoors and outdoors) have the potential to cause adverse health effects. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, toxins that may cause reactions in humans. Whether or not an individual exhibits any mold related symptoms depend largely on the types of mold present, the extent of an individual’s exposure, the ages of the individuals, and their existing sensitivities or allergies.

 

Mold sampleThe best method for analyzing visible mold is by collecting a “tape lift” sample as described below. Tape lifts are an excellent, non-destructive method of sampling. Our laboratory will then determine the type of mold spores found as well as the estimated concentration of spores in a given sample.

 

Strachybotyrs type mold under micropscope

Strachybotyrs type Mold under micropscope

We also offer airborne mold spore analysis. This is done using a pump with a filter attached in order to quantify the type and amount of airborne fungal spores inside versus what is naturally occurring outdoors. This requires an onsite visit – contact us for pricing.

MOLD | STEP BY STEP GUIDE

» Choose the area of most concern for testing. We suggest testing any areas with visible mildew or water damage. You will need a roll of clear scotch tape and a zip lock bag.
» Take a piece of clear scotch tape. Fold one end over, sticky side to sticky side as this will give you something to hold on to. Leave the rest of the sticky side exposed.
» Gently depress the sticky side of the tape against the area you are testing, and lift the tape off. You should try to get a sample about the size of a postage stamp. More is not necessarily better as it will be observed through a powerful microscope. It is important to only press the tape against the mold one time. If you press the tape to the mold more than once it will cause inaccuracies in the amount of mold detected for a given sample.
» Adhere the sticky side of the tape to the inside of the zip lock bag. Wash hands immediately.
» Label each bag with an identification number and clearly state when and where the sample was taken.
» Fill out our “Chain of Custody” form (click here) and either mail or bring in the sample along with payment.

MOLD | TESTING PRICES

The following prices are for samples brought to us. Please call for a quote if you need on site sampling. Additional charge for off hour emergency testing.

$35 per SAMPLE for a 2 Business Day Turnaround (Tape lift sample)

Download and fill in Chain of Custody Form

Payment should be included with all mail in samples, or you can supply credit card information.
For walk in samples payment can be made by cash, check or credit card.

Note: Prices subject to change

NorthWest HazMat, Inc. is an independent company and not affiliated with, partners with, owned by or controlled by any outside entity.

Questions?  Call 1-800-597-1323 or email our technician aspeck@nwhazmat.com

Links:
Oregon DEQ
LRAPA
EPA

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