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Environmental Testing for Illicit Drugs

Category Press Release
Publish Date 12/8/2020
Author Paul Cochrane
Title EPA Works to Determine the Best Clean Up Methods for Surfaces Contaminated with Fentanyl
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides surface, bulk and environmental testing services, sampling supplies and personal protective equipment to identify fentanyl and a wide range of other drugs.

Cinnaminson, NJ, December 8th, 2020

In September, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the agency’s researchers have been working on determining the best ways to clean up fentanyl contaminated surfaces.

In a news bulletin about the research, the EPA stated that because a small amount of fentanyl can be deadly, emergency responders and hazmat teams are concerned about their potential exposure while responding to incidents at mixing houses, pill factories or in makeshift laboratories found in apartments, hotels, houses, garages and storage facilities. They are also concerned with exposures from remnants of laboratories that have been dumped illegally and possible fentanyl releases in correctional facilities.

Due to these fears, EPA researchers have tested multiple off-the-shelf, easy-to-access products for their ability to decontaminate fentanyl on common materials. The solutions contained active ingredients such as peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, percarbonate or hypochlorite. Following a spray application of these decontamination solutions and a one-hour contact time, the peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorite containing solution performed the best to cleanup fentanyl contaminated surfaces at the bench scale. Researchers are now working to scale up their project to address larger scale decontamination application to confirm these initial small-scale results. They are also conducting research on more difficult materials to decontaminate, such as porous materials, and methods to support more complex contamination scenarios that may benefit from fumigation methods.

“This research is crucial as this synthetic opioid is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine and a lethal dose is just 2 milligrams in many people,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “While first responders are especially at risk, anyone could unknowingly come in contact which fentanyl through inhalation, mucous membrane contact, ingestion, needlestick or skin contact. EMSL offers bulk, surface and environmental testing for fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, THC, MDMA, LSD and other illicit drugs and hazardous chemicals.”

EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about fentanyl and potential occupational exposures that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/EHnJ6ed0esI.

To learn more about fentanyl or other illicit drug, industrial hygiene, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 45 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 www.EMSL.com 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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