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PCB Testing Lab

Category Press Release
Publish Date 8/1/2017
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Hudson River Floodplain Soil Testing for PCBs Continues in New York
Introduction EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides sampling supplies and testing services to identify polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from indoor and outdoor samples.

New York, NY, August 1, 2017

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to take several hundred new samples to test for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) from a large section of the Hudson River floodplain. The reported area to be tested stretches from Troy to Fort Edward, New York.

While this set of tests will occur on the river’s floodplain, this portion of the actual river was dredged from 2009 through 2015 of 2.75 million cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment. The EPA reports that approximately 310,000 pounds of PCBs were permanently removed from the river – twice the mass anticipated – representing an estimated 72% reduction in the overall mass of PCBs in the Upper Hudson River.

Just last year, it was also reported that a number of residential properties that lined a creek in Western New York were found to contain PCBs in the soil around people’s homes. The creek in question, similar to the Hudson River, was used in the past to dump industrial wastes containing PCBs and other hazardous substances. In that case, state health and environmental officials notified the homeowners and advised them to keep children from playing or digging in the dirt, to limit contact with the soil, to avoid tracking dirt into homes, and to not plant gardens in the contaminated soil.

“Up until the late 1970s when the production of PCBs was banned due to health and environmental concerns, these chemical compounds were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This means that today we not only have contaminated outdoor sites due to PCBs that were dumped into the environment, we also have indoor environments where PCBs are present due to their use in various materials. These include some paints, mastics, sealants, adhesives, caulking, specialty coatings and fluorescent light ballasts. These PCBs can contaminate surfaces and even cause indoor air quality concerns.”

To help prevent exposures to PCBs, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers air, wipe and bulk material testing services. Testing can identify areas that present exposure risks so the proper procedures can be implemented to safely remove these hazardous chemicals. EMSL has also created a video about PCB testing that can be seen at:

To learn more about PCB testing in soil, paint, caulk, air, dust or other materials, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 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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