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Smoke Damage and Soot Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 6/3/2019
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Alberta Wildfire Displaces 10,000 Residents and Smoke Damage to Properties Not Touched by Flames Expected to be Widespread
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides analytical services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify smoke damage and residues in homes, schools and businesses.

Calgary, AB,  June 3rd , 2019

Several massive wildfires raging across the northern part of Alberta have torched over 230,000 hectares and forced the evacuation of over 10,000 area residents as of May 31, 2019. Some homes have already been destroyed by the wildfires and many others are at risk as firefighters battle to contain the fires.

While some homes and buildings have tragically been lost, many more have been impacted by the tremendous amount of smoke the fires have generated that has drifted vast distances. In fact, an air quality alert has been issued for Calgary and the surrounding areas and conditions are expected to be challenging for the next few weeks.

This wildfire smoke is filled with combustion by-products that include soot, ash and char that can travel long distances and cause damaging effects to the properties they impact.  Odors, discoloration and "ghosting" effects result when these combustion byproducts make their way into homes and buildings and onto surfaces. Their presence can also cause etching and corrosion over time.

“The damage caused by smoke residues can impact properties and create health concerns for building occupants, especially those with respiratory issues, even great distances away from the flames,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Fortunately, smoke damage is covered by many property insurance policies, but it often requires proof of damages to settle insurance claims and this is all too often left to the property owner to prove. The scientists at EMSL, with a facility in Calgary and others across Canada and the United States, are experts at smoke damage and soot testing. These services are available to assist property owners, tenants, environmental experts, and insurance companies and adjusters following a wildfire. EMSL even carries an easy-to-use Fire & Smoke Damage Test Kit.”

EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about wildfire smoke damage to homes and buildings that can be viewed at:

To learn more about soot and smoke damage testing services, please visit or, call (800) 220-3675 or email For more information or access to the Fire & Smoke Damage Test Kit, visit

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