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COVID-19 Surface Laboratory Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 5/18/2020
Author Paul Cochrane
Title IEQ Challenges Building Owners and Operators May Encounter When Reopening Buildings Closed for Weeks Due to COVID-19
Introduction EMSL Analytical offers indoor environmental quality testing services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify a wide range of potential exposure risks in buildings that were closed due to COVID-19.

Cinnaminson, NJ, May 18th , 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on human health, institutions, financial markets and the business community has been extensive. The novel coronavirus has infected millions and caused tragic deaths across the globe. It also resulted in major disaster declarations in all 50 states and many countries across the globe restricting people to their homes and closing non-essential businesses.

As these restrictions are lifted, and people return to work, and normal daily activities, businesses and institutions need to reopen their doors. Unfortunately, a significant number of the buildings they used were vacated on short notice earlier this year. This did not give enough time for the proper decommissioning of the building systems and a large number also had minimal maintenance during the weeks they were closed.

Due to this, conditions now pose a challenge for many building owners and operators. Not only could there be damage to some buildings, there could also be indoor environmental quality (IEQ) issues. Some of these could pose significant exposure risks.

“While cleaning and disinfecting to allow buildings to reopen and provide a safe place for building occupants is a top concern for building owners and managers, there are likely additional exposure risks in many of these buildings,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Legionella is a concern in building water systems that sat idle for weeks and could put people at risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever. Any plumbing issues that occurred while the building was closed, or weather related events, could have introduced moisture and mold into the indoor environment. Unused plumbing drains and P-traps could have likely dried out, allowing sewer gas to infiltrate buildings. If the relative humidity inside the building got too high, due to an HVAC malfunction or because it was not reprogrammed to take into account an empty structure, there could also be mold concerns.”

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides COVID-19 Surface Testing by quantitative RT-PCR technology. As an alternative analysis, EMSL also offers Cleaning Efficacy Testing Services that can determine if the sampled surface area has been effectively cleaned and free of bacteria or fungi. Click here for more information on its COVID-19 laboratory services.

EMSL specializes in indoor environmental quality testing services for microbial and chemical contaminants. They also provide sampling supplies, test kits, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE). EMSL even recently sponsored an educational video about reopening buildings following the coronavirus pandemic that can be seen at:

To learn more about this or other building science, environmental, health and safety testing services and products, please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675. To access IEQ test kits, visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 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-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC 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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