Frequently Asked Questions

About Our Laboratory

1. Are you accredited?

Yes. We are accredited by NVLAP and you can see our current accreditation certificates on our website.

2. Are there any online reviews about your service?

Yes. Our customers have posted reviews about us online. You can check our Yelp page.

3. Is your address correct? My USPS office says you are not in Arleta?

This happens on rare occasions. In these cases use "Pacoima" for the city name.

4. Is your Submittal Form broken? I can't add more samples.

The Submittal Form requires Javascript to add more samples and show you the totals. Without Javascript enabled, you will also not see credit card payment options on the Payments page. If you can't turn on Javascript, use our printable form instead and send a check.

5. What if I have more than 12 samples? The Submittal form stops at #12.

Add more samples in the comments section. After you are redirected to the payments page, ignore the totals there and click on Payments from the top menu. Enter the number of samples manually.

6. Can I drop off samples in person?

Yes, no appointment required. You can drop by the laboratory anytime between 9:00am to 5:00pm. Please keep in mind that we do not process credit card payments at the lab. We accept cash, checks, and money orders. If you wish to pay with a credit card, use the Payments page.

Outside of business hours, you can drop off the samples through the mail slot in our front door. Or, if the entrance gate to our business park is closed, we have a drop-off box on the left side of the gate. The box has a "15" speed limit sign attached on the outside. We check the box every morning.

7. Do you report the results of my samples to any agency?

No. You are the only person who gets the results. In fact, we can only email the report to the original email address provided on the submittal form.

8. Can I send samples to you anonymously?

Yes. We only need an email address where we will send the report.

9. How will I get the report?

Our default way of sending results is by email. If you would like us to call you with the results or mail you the report, please instruct us so in the Comments box of the Submittal Form.

10. What if I don't have an email address? Or I don't want to give you my email address?

We do not sell or share email addresses. You can absolutely trust us with your email address. We only use it to deliver you your report. With an email address you will have the report within 24 hours of us receiving the samples.

If you don't have an email address, just provide us with a mailing address. Allow 1-2 days processing time plus up to 7 business days for 1st class mail delivery.

11. Can I use your report to remove the asbestos containing materials from my home?

Yes, if it is a renovation project. If you are the owner and the occupant of the property, then yes, you can remove any material yourself. But you are required to take the asbestos containing material to a hazardous waste site. Do not dispose of it as regular trash. You should also take safety precautions when doing the job. There are websites with instructions for homeowners who want to do the removal themselves. For example, this site from Washington State.

If it is a demolition project, most localities require a report generated by a Certified Asbestos Consultant. Same thing applies for projects on properties that are public places, like churches or schools. Please check your local regulations.

12. Can I use your report to hire a contractor to remove asbestos containing materials from my home?

In most cases, yes. You are limited to licensed Asbestos Abatement Contractors. General Contractors are not allowed. In most localities, Abatement Contractors accept reports which are generated by accredited laboratories like us from samples taken by homeowners. So, yes, you can use our report.

However, there could be localities, (for example, Los Angeles County), that require Abatement Contractors to only accept reports generated by a Certified Asbestos Consultant. In other words, in Los Angeles county, the rules of demolition jobs and public places apply for simple renovation projects in private homes. Initially, you hire a Certified Asbestos Consultant who takes the samples to an accredited laboratory like us. After you get a report from the CAC, then you can shop around for an Abatement Contractor. Because hiring a CAC is expensive, it might still be worth it for you to send samples to us yourself. If your samples test negative for asbestos, then, of course, a CAC would not be needed.

Regulations, like the ones in Los Angeles county, are not common. But you should check with your city to be sure.

13. What if my samples do not contain asbestos? Can I use your report to hire a contractor?

Yes.

About Asbestos

1. What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occuring mineral silicates. Asbestos minerals crystallize into narrow parallel bundles which are composed of many thin fibers. Some of the notable properties of asbestos are resistance to heat, resistance to chemical attack, high tensile strength and a tendency to be divided lengthwise into fine fibers.

2. When did the use of asbestos begin?

Use of asbestos on a large scale began in the early 1900s and continued until it was banned in 1980. However, contractors were allowed to use up their old stocks of materials with asbestos. So, it is possible, though not likely, to see materials installed in the early 80's with asbestos.

3. Where was asbestos used?

Because of the physical properties of asbestos, it worked very well as part of insulation, roofing, flooring and ceiling materials, etc. Any building material which is not glass or solid wood may possibly contain asbestos. Asbestos was also used in the lining of car brakes. For a rough guide of materials and percentages of asbestos used in building materials, see here.

4. How many types of asbestos are there?

Chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite are all types of fibrous asbestos. The most commonly used asbestos is chrysotile, followed by amosite and crocidolite.

5. Where does the exposure to asbestos come from?

Asbestos exposure results when asbestos containing materials, such as acoustical ceilings, floor tiles, etc, are disturbed in some way. Besides this, the areas near asbestos mines may contain higher concentrations of asbestos due to natural weathering and erosion in the sites of these mines.

6. How can asbestos enter the body?

The most common way that asbestos can enter the human body is through breathing in contaminated air. Most of the asbestos fibers that enter the respiratory system are removed with the exhaling breath or are trapped by the mucus lining the respiratory tract and are then removed by coughing.

7. How does asbestos affect my health?

The asbestos fibers that can do damage are the ones that enter the respiratory tract and are not removed by the usual body defenses. These fibers can reach the deepest parts of the lungs. They damage the lungs by leaving scars in the lung tissue. If many scars develop due to a large number of trapped asbestos fibers, the capacity of the lungs becomes decreased. It may become decreased to a point to cause disability and even death. People who are consistently exposed to asbestos over a long period of time, such as asbestos workers, are at a higher risk to develop lung cancer or mesothelial cancer. Lung cancer begins with the tissue of the respiratory system, while mesothelial cancer starts with the thin membranes surrounding the lungs as well as the heart.

The effects caused by asbestos do not manifest themselves immediately after exposure. It usually takes between 20 to 30 years to see the full impact of the exposure to asbestos.