Columbia Analytical Services

Archive for the ‘Simi Valley’ Category

Columbia Analytical Services announces sale to ALS Group

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

November 1, 2011
For Immediate Release

Kelso, Washington – Columbia Analytical Services (CAS) of Kelso, Washington, announced that it has been acquired by The ALS Group, a unit of the publicly traded Australian corporation, Campbell Brothers Limited. CAS is a leading full-service independent network of analytical testing laboratories in the United States. The Company operates six laboratories located in Kelso, WA, Rochester, NY, Jacksonville, FL, Simi Valley, CA, Houston, TX, and Tucson, AZ. CAS has earned an outstanding reputation built over 25 years of service to a diverse portfolio of clients from industry, government, and consulting firms. CAS’ comprehensive suite of laboratory testing services provides its clients with high quality and legally defensible data for use in promoting human health and environmental protection.

CAS Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Christian, commented on the acquisition. “We are very pleased to announce that we are joining ALS Environmental (ALS) as a key component of their platform for expansion and growth in the United States. We look forward to continuing to provide our customers with the same level of superior technical expertise and dependable services they have come to expect from CAS.”

“After consistently growing our business over the past twenty five years, we are now excited to join the expanding ALS family. ALS Environmental’s financial resources, operating systems, and strong reputation will help us continue to expand our services to a broader array of customers,” said Christian. The CAS management team will remain in place under the new ownership, and Christian commented that customers are not likely to see any changes in the day to day operations of the laboratory.

Raj Naran, ALS Environmental Vice President – Europe and North America, states: “The technical expertise, reputation and service excellence that CAS has developed complements and broadens our existing USA based business. With the addition of CAS, ALS is well positioned in the USA environmental market as a premier provider of analytical services. In the future, we plan to further expand our market reach in the USA by providing clients with access to the combined services of CAS and ALS in a larger number of locations and a broader base of capabilities.”

About ALS Group

ALS Environmental is the U.S. environmental laboratory services group of Australian Laboratory Services, a unit of Campbell Brothers Limited, and by most measures, the largest environmental testing firm in the world. With extensive environmental, mineral and other analytical service businesses spanning the globe, the ALS Group overall has revenues approaching $1 billion (U.S.) and is the most rapidly growing environmental testing firm in North America.

For more information please contact Jeff Christian, Chief Operating Officer of CAS at 360-577-7222 or visit us at or

Four Columbia Analytical Laboratories Receive DoD-ELAP Certificates of Accreditation

Friday, February 19th, 2010

KELSO, Wash. – Columbia Analytical Services, Inc. announced today that four of its laboratories have met the requirements of the Department of Defense (DoD) Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) and each have been awarded a certificate of accreditation.

The recently accredited laboratories are located in Houston, Texas, Simi Valley, Calif., Rochester, N.Y., and Kelso, Wash. Columbia Analytical’s Houston facility is dedicated to high resolution analyses of analytes such as dioxin, furans and PCB congeners and the Simi Valley laboratory specializes in the analysis of ambient and indoor air pollution, stationary source emissions, process gas, and industrial hygiene samples. The Rochester facility, a full service laboratory, also offers air analyses and other specialized testing like that for perchlorate by LC/MS. The Kelso laboratory became DoD-ELAP accredited in November 2009 and specializes in non-routine, complex low-level analyses requiring a high degree of technical expertise.

The full scope of accreditation, including the list of analytes to which these accreditations apply, may be found on Columbia Analytical’s DoD ELAP webpage.

Columbia Analytical is an employee-owned, full-service environmental analytical laboratory testing network established in 1986 and headquartered in Kelso, Washington. Their expertise encompasses air, water, dioxin, biological, pharmaceutical, solid and hazardous waste analyses.

For more information contact Columbia Analytical at 360-577-7222 or visit their website at

Low Cost ‘Chinese Drywall’ Testing Available for Elemental Sulfur

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Chinese Drywall Testing for SulfurSimi Valley, Calif. — A low cost testing option is now available from Columbia Analytical for detecting elemental sulfur (S8) in bulk drywall. The testing focuses on orthorhombic cyclooctasulfur (elemental sulfur: S8), a unique marker compound found only in drywall which causes corrosion. The test costs approximately $100 per drywall sample, depending on your project.

Columbia Analytical’s proven method for elemental sulfur uses gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC/ECD) and allows for rapid turnaround of sample results. The GC/ECD analytical technique offers comparable sensitivity to the GC/MS method also offered by Columbia Analytical, but at a substantially lower cost.

The low cost GC/ECD analysis allows clients to screen a large volume of drywall samples quickly for S8. Because drywall used in home construction can be from mixed sources, submission of multiple samples from one suspect home may be done to reduce the risk of false negative results. In addition, confirmatory analysis of drywall for S8 by GC/MS is still available and may be performed on the same sample as the GC/ECD analysis.

Roughly 5g (approximately 2”x2”) of bulk drywall material is all that is required for this new GC/ECD analysis. Results are reported in units of mg/kg. A result higher than 10 mg/kg is typically indicative of corrosive drywall, making it easy to identify “bad drywall.”

Columbia Analytical’s Research & Development team began laboratory analysis on suspect drywall in spring 2008. They have since analyzed several hundred drywall samples from homeowners, home builders and developers, environmental consultants/industrial hygienists, government agencies and contractors, as well as, domestic and foreign drywall producers as part of their method development.

Columbia Analytical Services, Inc. is an employee-owned, full-service environmental analytical laboratory testing network established in 1986 and headquartered in Kelso, Washington. Their expertise encompasses air, water, dioxin, biological, pharmaceutical, solid and hazardous waste analyses.

For more information on the laboratory analysis of problem drywall, contact the Simi Valley laboratory at +1 805 526 7161 or visit Columbia Analytical’s website at

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Learn more about Chinese drywall testing

Columbia Analytical Develops Protocol for Testing Corrosion and Odor in Chinese Drywall

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Chinese Drywall Odor TestSIMI VALLEY, California — Columbia Analytical Services, Inc. announces it has established a reliable test protocol for identifying odor and corrosion problems in drywall. The tests identify problems with drywall, generally reported as “Chinese drywall,” that initially affected many homes in the southeastern United States.

“Our team has developed three technically superior and legally-defensible analytical tests related to the drywall problem,” said Michael Tuday, Director of Research and Development at Columbia Analytical’s Simi Valley, California laboratory. “We have been studying the issue and testing both foreign and domestic drywall samples since February, 2008, and are excited to have found a testing solution to isolate this problem.”

The Simi Valley laboratory confirmed that hydrogen sulfide is one of the major contributing agents causing the corrosion. With its characteristic rotten egg smell, hydrogen sulfide is a likely contributor to reported odors in affected homes. Other researchers have also identified iron disulfide (pyrite) and strontium sulfide as possible corrosion culprits, as well.

Researchers at Columbia Analytical also determined the drywall in question contains a naturally occurring allotrope of elemental sulfur and have developed a novel means of quantifying orthorhombic cyclooctasulfur (S8) in drywall via analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). In tests to-date, this sulfur allotrope is a unique and reliable marker in drywall products causing corrosion problems and has only been found in drywall imported from China.

Columbia Analytical has developed an innovative chamber test procedure for the measurement of hydrogen sulfide at ultra-low levels in suspect drywall. To confirm corrosivity, a jar test is used to document copper corrosion in the presence of test drywall samples.

These laboratory tests may be used to confirm visual home inspections and to demonstrate that corrosion effects are due to drywall and not other items in the home, such as carpets, cleaners, paints, or personal care products.

Columbia Analytical is an employee-owned, full-service environmental analytical network with laboratories and service centers nationwide. The company’s expertise encompasses air, water, dioxin, biological, pharmaceutical, and solid and hazardous waste analyses.

For more information about drywall testing, contact the Simi Valley laboratory at +1 805 526 7161 or visit Columbia Analytical’s website at

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Learn more about Chinese Drywall Testing

Learn more about Low Cost Chinese Drywall Testing…

Learn more about Chinese Drywall Problems

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Odor-Emitting Wallboard Raises Health and Safety Concerns

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Recent news reports suggest that wallboard may be causing odor problems and potential safety concerns for some homeowners, initially reported from Florida.

Certain wallboard materials in the presence of heat and humidity may emit odors, cause corrosion of wiring in homes and lead to health concerns.

Preliminary reports stated that the suspect materials came from China; however, state and federal health officials are currently researching numerous sources as well as any potential health hazards. Columbia Analytical has been performing analyses to support these efforts.

Columbia Analytical is one of a very few laboratories in the United States that can test for a wide range of compounds in air. Their expertise includes the testing of air samples or samples of the wallboard material itself. Please contact the laboratory at 805-526-7161 for more information or to obtain a quote.

Learn more about Chinese Drywall Testing

Naphthalene Air Sampling Presented at MGP USA Conference

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Columbia Analytical presented a technical paper entitled “Comparison of Naphthalene Ambient Air Sampling & Analysis Methods at Former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) Remediation Sites” during the Air Monitoring Technical Session at the MGP USA 2008: Third International Symposium and Exhibition on the Redevelopment of Manufactured Gas Plant Sites, September 23-25, 2008, in Mystic, CT.

MGP USA 2008 is the third international symposium in an on-going series, initiated in 1995, focusing on how the remediation and redevelopment of MGP sites is taking place today. The presentation was delivered by Ms. Alyson Fortune, an Air Quality Scientist with Columbia Analytical Services, with the paper co-authored by Leo Gendron, Senior Program Manager at ENSR in Westford, MA.

The paper included real world data from 105 co-located EPA TO-15 and EPA TO-13A samples; findings showed that the EPA TO-15 method consistently yielded higher concentrations of naphthalene than EPA TO-13A. “The findings in this paper are consistent with what our lab has seen anecdotally for 20 years”, Fortune said.

Read the Naphthalene Ambient Air Sampling abstract…

For those interested in the measurement of naphthalene in ambient air, please contact Columbia Analytical at 805-526-7161.

Air Sampling, Lab Analysis, and Data Evaluation Presented at AIH Conference

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

A Professional Development Course (PDC) entitled “Tools of the Trade — Vapor Intrusion Investigation for the Industrial Hygienist” was recently co-taught by Alyson Fortune of Columbia Analytical at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exhibition (AIHce), May 31-June 5, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minn. The all day interactive training course was presented by Alyson Fortune, Bharti Ujjani, CIH and Peter Granholm, CIH, PG along with Helen Dawson, PhD. from USEPA Region Eight.

Ms. Fortune taught the air sampling, laboratory analysis, and data evaluation section of the PDC. This section compared and contrasted the available air sampling media options for vapor intrusion, described in detail the concept of using helium as a leak testing tracer for soil gas sampling, and showed an example of a typical air laboratory report, which pointed out key features consultants should examine when reviewing vapor intrusion data.

In its first year, the Vapor Intrusion PDC was sold out and ranked in the top 25% of all PDCs. AIHce is a premier annual event for thousands of practicing industrial hygiene and environmental health & safety professionals.

Ms. Fortune is an Air Quality Scientist with Columbia Analytical in Simi Valley, Calif.

Test Available For Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contamination In Air

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Columbia Analytical Services, Inc. (CAS) is excited to announce the availability of an Air Petroleum Hydrocarbon (APH) method for indoor air, ambient air, sub-slab, and soil vapor analysis via a method by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

Originally written for application at Massachusetts hazardous waste cleanup sites, the APH method can be applied at any site nationwide where petroleum products are potentially impacting indoor or ambient air quality. This method was designed to complement and support the toxicological approach developed to evaluate human health hazards that may result from exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons.

In February 2000, MassDEP published the first draft of the APH method ( This same draft document is still in use today. “CAS had the honor of being one of the four original laboratories to contribute to the study, and we continue to work closely with MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup Indoor Air Workgroup and the ASTM Vapor Intrusion Task Group,” stated Alyson Fortune, CAS’ Air Quality Scientist.

CAS is a certified, full service chemical and biological analytical laboratory that has successfully served clients in all 50 states and around the globe. The CAS network is comprised of eight laboratories in Arizona, California, Florida, New York, Texas and Washington. “Specifically, CAS Air Quality Laboratory, which has over 2000 canisters in our inventory and nearly 20 years experience, specializes in the analysis of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, sulfur compounds and other hazardous substances in a wide variety of air and vapor matrices,” said Fortune.

For more information about the MassDEP APH method, please contact the Simi Valley Laboratory at +1 805 526 7161.

Columbia Analytical/Rochester Adds TO-15 VOCs Air Analysis Capability

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Columbia Analytical Rochester is making TO-15 VOCs analytical service available to its many clients in New York and surrounding states as a supplement to the comprehensive air analytical services offered by Columbia Analytical’s Simi Valley, CA laboratory. We were able to bring this niche service on-line quickly for our eastern clients with the acquisition of experience personnel and state of the art equipment from a former large industrial laboratory. Clients with smaller scopes of air analytical, volatile organics and/or fixed gases only, that are either extensions of large soil and water related projects or are part of limited air investigations will now be able to process their complete analytical needs through the local Columbia Analytical facility in Rochester. When projects are extensive and/or other specialty air analytical is required, Columbia Analytical / Rochester will continue to process samples through Simi Valley on behalf of its clients. In all cases the client will be informed of their laboratory options and the work will be placed only with their approval.

Air quality testing has been a core capability of Columbia Analytical Services for almost 20 years. Its Simi Valley laboratory is recognized as one of the premier air analytical facilities in the country, offers analytical solutions for almost any air quality investigation or monitoring program. Air and vapor matrices of every variety , including those from ambient source emissions, indoor air, landfills gasses, industrial processes, remediation and site fence-line monitoring, and soil vapors are routinely processed for consultants, industry, and government agencies. Simi Valley has one of the largest inventories of Summa Canisters and other air sampling media in the industry. Novel approaches to air contamination investigations are also a trademark of Simi Valley. They have led the air testing industry in developments of methods for microbial volatile organic compound analysis, odor identification and characterization, and product off-gassing and emissions.

Columbia Analytical Rochester, the second largest full service facility in the Columbia Analytical network of laboratories, performs the majority of its analytical workload at the CLP/fully validatable level. It has also recently added analysis of niche or emergent chemicals to its capabilities. Trace mercury by EPA Method 1631; explosives, PFOAs, and perchlorate by LCMS; metabolic volatile fatty acids (full range of light and heavy compounds); and hexavalent chromium by EPA Method 7199 are just some of the newly developed analytical services of this New York.

NCASI Method 99.02 Testing at Columbia Analytical

Sunday, July 4th, 2004

In support of MACT standards, CAS has been working with the National Council of Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) to bring NCASI Method 99.02 (Impinger/Canister Source Sample Method for Selected Compounds at Wood Products Facilities) on line. The procedure calls for a number of changes that will require careful communication between the source testers and laboratory personnel. Since the method is intended to be prescriptive, no modifications are allowed. Thus, CAS is bringing the laboratory portion of the procedure on line without modification.

Our laboratory in Simi Valley will be performing the canister portion of the procedure (i.e. gas analysis). The analysis is performed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The target compound list will generally consist of Methanol, Acetaldehyde, Acrolein, Phenol, and Propionaldehyde. In addition, Benzene will be required for many applications. The laboratory will also have the capability to analyze for the full suite of compounds included in Method 99.02.

Our Kelso laboratory is doing the aqueous impinger work, which includes Methanol, Acetaldehyde, Acrolein, Phenol, and Propionaldehyde by gas chromatography/flame ionization detection (GC/FID) fitted with a chilled autosampler. Formaldehyde is analyzed using a colorimetric procedure.

Simi Valley will prepare a spiked canister and ship it to the field with the other canisters. Kelso will prepare the field spike solutions for the impingers, as well as the internal standard spike solution. Note that two spike concentrations will be recommended in order to comply with the procedure because of the risk of not correctly predicting the appropriate concentrations of the source. Since the method allows for an alternative approach of preparing a high level and low level matrix spike, this probably will be the preferred practice for the impinger samples to avoid out of compliance matrix spike results. A single spike will be done for the gas sampling.