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Lab Testing of Environmental Samples: Asbestos, Groundwater, and more

RELIABLE ASBESTOS TESTING SERVICES IN TORONTO AND ACROSS ONTARIO

What Do We Analyze?

 

Fisher Engineering Limited proudly collaborates with independent professionals and members of the general public throughout the province, extending our expertise to assist in analyzing environmental samples and offering valuable support in sample collection. 

 

Our specialized services cater to various environmental concerns, particularly in providing convenient and efficient asbestos testing services in Toronto, ON. As a company committed to ensuring the well-being of our community, we employ cutting-edge technologies and methodologies to deliver accurate and reliable results in asbestos testing.

 

Our dedicated team of professionals has extensive field experience and is equipped to handle diverse environmental challenges. Whether you are a professional in the industry seeking comprehensive analysis or a member of the public requiring support in sample collection, we are your trusted partner.

 

For inquiries or to schedule our services, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. You can also visit us. We are here to assist you with your environmental testing and sample collection needs, ensuring a thorough and accurate analysis tailored to the unique requirements of each project. 

Our chemical and analytical services are divided into three categories:

 

Air: Air Quality (especially indoor)

Water: Watershed, Groundwater, Aquifers (wells)

Earth: Soil, Sediments, Materials (building materials)

 

More information on timing, fast tracking, emergencies, questions about us, or how to submit your samples. We can collect samples for you, or you can bring your own.

Further reading:

TYPES OF ANALYTICAL LABORATORY TESTING SERVICES

WHAT IS ASBESTOS TESTING?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of microscopic fibres. It was widely used in building materials until its long-term adverse effects were discovered. It is known for its fireproofing and retardant properties in construction materials such as insulation or drywall. Because it releases no gases, it can only be detected through microscopic asbestos testing. Some materials that could contain asbestos are:

 

  • Floor and ceiling tiles
     

  • Textured paint
     

  • Roofing shingles and siding
     

  • Insulation on pipes and tanks
     

  • Soundproofing or decorative sprays
     

  • Patching compounds
     

  • Cement roofing

Further reading:

Common Areas Where Asbestos Can be Found

WHY SHOULD YOU TEST FOR ASBESTOS?

When it comes to commercial and residential safety, asbestos testing emerges as a critical practice to safeguard lives and well-being. Asbestos, once a widely used construction material, has been identified as a potent health hazard due to its link to severe respiratory diseases, including lung cancer.

 

  • Protecting human health
    Asbestos fibres, when disturbed, can become airborne and pose a significant risk when inhaled. Asbestos-related diseases often have a long latency period, making early detection through testing crucial for preventing long-term health issues.

 

  • Legal compliance
    Strict regulations govern the use and handling of asbestos in construction and renovation projects. Asbestos testing is a legal requirement in many instances to ensure compliance with safety standards and regulations set forth by authorities in Toronto, ON.

 

  • Renovation and demolition precautions
    Before any renovation or demolition work, asbestos testing is essential to identify asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Disturbing these materials without proper precautions can release asbestos fibres into the air, threatening workers and occupants.

 

  • Property transactions
    Asbestos testing is a prudent step in real estate transactions. Knowing the asbestos status of a property allows buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals to make informed decisions, ensuring the safety of future occupants.

 

  • Occupational safety
    Construction, renovation, and maintenance workers are at an increased risk of asbestos exposure. Regular testing helps create a safer working environment, preventing potential health hazards and liability issues for employers.

 

  • Preserving the environment
    Asbestos, once released into the environment, can have long-lasting effects. By identifying and properly managing asbestos-containing materials, we contribute to environmental conservation and prevent the spread of hazardous fibres.

 

In conclusion, asbestos testing is not merely a precautionary measure but a fundamental responsibility to protect lives, adhere to legal standards, and contribute to a safer and healthier environment. At Fisher Engineering Limited, we ensure precision and full compliance with the stringent requirements that proper asbestos testing in Toronto, ON, takes place.

HOW DO WE TEST FOR ASBESTOS IN MATERIALS?

Most homes built before 1980 are likely to have some presence of asbestos, putting you at risk of asbestos poisoning. When you call for our professional asbestos testing services:

 

  • First, we will do a visual consultation to inspect your property.

  • We will then take a few samples from materials likely to contain asbestos.

  • We will then test for the presence of asbestos at our state-of-the-art laboratory.

  • In the end, our team will present the results and explain the ramifications in detail to help you understand the importance of remediation.


Call us to book our asbestos testing services for your property in Toronto, ON.

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SAMPLES
PROCESSED
WITH YOUR NEEDS
IN MIND

Air tests

Air Tests

Air Tests are typically about uncovering possible problems with indoor air quality.

 

Tests and sampling include substances such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) as well as lead, asbestos, and mould, which are materials that, if disturbed, become airborne.


In some instances, air samples are taken in conjunction with surface samples to provide a clear picture of the nature and origin of the suspected contamination. The following are just some of the known contaminants of concern when examining air quality:

 

Formaldehyde

  • Often found in paint, furniture, or carpets.
  • Collection and Testing: Samples are taken through pumped air and absorbed in a solution. The Lab then tests the solution.

 

Chlorinated VOC

  • Often found with dry cleaning activities.
  • Collection and Testing: Samples are taken through pumped air. The Lab then tests them through a solution.

 

Benzene VOC

  • Often found in gas stations and auto-repair shops
  • Collection and Testing: T-test

 

Lead

  • Often found in older paints. Lead found in water (due to old pipes/minerals/manufacturing) is a water test.
  • Collection and Testing: Samples of paint are taken and tested. Such tests are often critical during disruption, such as renovations or demolition.

How to Submit Asbestos
Sample for Testing

Procedure:

 

1.Fill out the Asbestos Laboratory Request Form (Chain of Custody). Fields include: 

  • Contact information (client)
  • Name of sample
  • Submission (where the sample was located and how it arrived at the lab).
     

Regulations require all information about the sample to be included in the submission.

 

2. Place the sample in a NEW DRY Ziploc bag.

3. Deliver the sample(s) via courier or mail to our lab with the completed Chain of Custody form. Alternatively, you may drop it off in person (as we would love to chat) or place it into our designated drop box after-hours

Never handle Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) without professional training. Call us if you require ACM removal.

water tests

Water Tests

Example Parameters for Water Analysis

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), tested via Purge/Trap and GC/MS

 

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tested via GC/ECD

 

Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), tested via GC/MS

 

Petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), tested via GC/MS, GC/FID

 

Chlorinated solvents (e.g., Tetrachloroethylene –‘perc’) included in VOCs

 

Benzene, ethylbenzene, xylene toluene (BTEX), included in VOCs

 

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), included in VOCs

 

Vinyl chloride, included in VOCs

 

Mercury, tested via CVAA or ICP/MS

 

Metals, including LEAD (e.g., from old water pipes/minerals/manufacturing), zinc, etc., were tested via ICP/MS or ICP/OES.

 

CyanideNEW, tested via Colorimetric Method

 

Hexavalent chromium, tested via Colorimetric Method

Our focus is groundwater evaluation and drinking water assessment for those relying on private wells.

 

Ground Water

 

Analyzed groundwater is typically associated with environmental soil problems at the property or neighbouring properties. Current and especially historical land use activities, such as gas stations, dry cleaners, and factories, can impact the surrounding area over time.

 

Local, provincial, and federal governments have established specific threshold points within which known contaminants can be accepted. These acceptable standards are designed to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of all those who live within the region. They are identified through an environmental assessment.

 

Parameters sampled and tested include metals, petroleum hydrocarbons(PHCs), PCBs, PAHs, and VOCs. Many of these substances may also be found in the soil and tested through earth samples.

 

Well Water 

Well water is also groundwater. Contamination caused by human actions may happen in the form of chlorine or pesticides, which is a significant threat to a healthy ecosystem and to the water you and both domesticated animals or wildlife might be drinking.

 

While the laboratory at Fisher does NOT test standard municipal drinking water, we can refer you to laboratories that offer this service.

airtest
water
earth tests

Earth Tests

Earth tests usually include samples in the form of soil and sediment but can also include building materials. Like water testing, soil analysis is typically about some kind of property contamination due to existing or previous and historical land use. Most officially recognized organic and inorganic substances in water can be found and/or tested through soil samples.
 

Soil contamination can migrate to other areas of the property over time and can leach into the existing groundwater, aquifers, and neighbouring watersheds. Soil can also absorb contaminants as impacted water moves through the soil layers. To establish the extent and depth of possible environmental problems, both earth AND water samples are advised to be taken when a property shows evidence of contamination.

Soil-Only Tests

Sodium Absorption Ratio (SAR), tested via Extraction and ICP/OES


Moisture - Percent Moisture


Grain Size - Particle Distribution


For Agricultural activities tests, many include calcium, sodium, and magnesium. Increased sodium amounts are problematic.

General Tests for both
Water and Earth

pH (for optimal level range), tested via Extraction and pH Meter

 

EC Conductivity (total salt), tested via Extraction and Conductivity Meter

Speciality Analysis

Illicit Drug Facility Investigation and Cannabis, MDMA, Meth House Facility Cleanup

Fisher Laboratory, often together with Fisher’s Engineering team, has extensive experience consulting on and remediating illegal drug manufacturing facilities and illegally or inappropriately operated marijuana grow ops. We offer confirmatory air sampling post-remediation activities.

 

Research and Regulations

For the last 15 years, we have worked alongside government agencies and other industry leaders to navigate evolving regulations when marijuana grow ops began to emerge in residential neighbourhoods. Cannabis legislation changed federally and varied provincially in Canada in 2018. Non-approved facilities are still illegal in Canada.

 

Certificates 

Fisher Laboratory provides certificates and reports regarding restoration, as well as letters of compliance for:

  • Specialty research projects
  • Forensic investigations

 

Special Requests

Over our history in service, we have enjoyed many unique scenarios and analyses. Feel free to call us with questions, as it is impossible to offer our complete portfolio. If we don’t do it, we can help you find someone who does!

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earth
Modern Architecture

SCIENTIFIC EXCELLENCE

CONTACT US

For inquiries about our asbestos testing services in Toronto, ON, don't hesitate to reach out to Fisher Engineering Limited. Our team at Fisher Engineering is dedicated to ensuring the safety of your environment by providing comprehensive asbestos testing solutions. Committed to professionalism and precision, we employ cutting-edge technology to detect and assess the presence of asbestos accurately. Your safety is our priority, and we strive to deliver prompt and reliable services.

Call us today for expert assistance safeguarding your property and loved ones from asbestos hazards.

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