laboratoryLCS Laboratory offers absolutely unique set of tests specifically designed for Home Buyers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors. Our tests are developed in full compliance with health and safety standards and are based on OSHA, NIOSH and EPA standard methods.

Our tests target 3 aspects of chemical safety of residential houses: 1) hazardous construction materials; 2) contamination of the property; 3) indoor air quality of the property.  All tests have different purposes and can deeply affect the price of the property. In this article we address the most common tests that can tell you a lot about property that you are buying.

Hazardous Construction Materials

  • old paintAsbestos. This fibrous mineral was industry favorite additive used in most construction materials in Canada.  Majority of Canadian houses built before 1985 contain some asbestos. It is OK to live next to asbestos, it is not safe to “disturb” or work with Asbestos Containing Materials
  • Vermiculite  is a form of processed mica. Both mica and vermiculite are considered to be safe. Unfortunately, some batches of vermiculite are naturally contaminated with asbestos. Homeowners used vermiculite as wall and attic insulation and unknowingly contaminated their houses with asbestos
  • Lead was a used as basis for commercial paints until mid 1980’s. It is not safe for you and for environment to scrape off old paint. Make sure that you know what you are working with before you start. LCS lab can test paint chips for lead content.
  • UFFI is a short for Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation.  This wall insulation was used to retrofit older buildings and is known to be a source of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is carcinogenic and should be avoided
  • coal pitchCoal Tar was a typical component of roofing materials and water barriers. Even after 30-60 years since manufacturing date, the samples of coal tar still smell like “mothball”.   This is because it contains highly toxic and carcinogenic PAH’s.

Contamination of the Property

  • Lead dust can accumulate in significant concentration on hard-to-reach surfaces like furniture tops, door and window frames. Typical source is old paint which was removed by previous owner during pre-sale renovation. Level of this dust is strictly regulated by EPA. Lead dust is especially dangerous because it can diffuse from place to place by air draft and contaminate our skin and get into food
  • mold on tape liftMold stains are common for surfaces affected by water. Mold related diseases are rare but mold spores can cause severe allergic reactions. Mold staining of walls and ceiling may indicate previous flooding or water damage
  • Nicotine test is performed if it is important to prove the house is a non-smoker place. Nicotine can be used as an indicator of recent event only. In 24-48 hours it will completely evaporate.
  • Polynuclear Aromatic Compounds (PAH) is a group of 16 tar-like compounds. Some PAH’s are toxic and some are carcinogenic.  They are formed when any material is burnt: kitchen fire, wood burning stoves, cigarette smoke, they all can produce PAH
  • Pet’s hair, skin dust and bio-dust can cause severe allergic reactions to new home buyers. If the property should be a “pet-free”, LCS Laboratory can test settled dust for residual animal hair
  • THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is active component of marijuana smoke. We offer THC test on surface swabs. This test is important if concerned about history of the property.

Indoor Air Quality

ASTHME-ENFANT-ILLUSTRATIONIndoor Air Quality testing can be very complex. We recommend that it would be performed by professional air quality specialists. If you need assistance, please email us and we can recommend one of consultants working with our laboratory. The most commonly asked tests are:

If your clients require those or any other tests, please email us at your convenience to discuss the project