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Chinese Dryall Odor Investigation and Testing

Chinese drywall installed in new home construction in Florida and other Gulf states has been reported to emit a mixture of sulfur compounds resulting in foul odors and corrosion of copper wiring, coils, and piping. While the issues with Chinese drywall have only recently hit the national headlines, Eurofins Air Toxics Inc. has been working closely with investigators over the past year to identify and quantify the emissions responsible for homeowner complaints. To support these investigations, Eurofins Air Toxics Inc. has analyzed thousands of indoor air vapor samples for trace level sulfur compounds to determine the exposure and health risk for affected residents.

Additionally, Eurofins Air Toxics Inc. has developed several novel methods to determine whether a drywall sample is a source of the sulfur compounds in the home. The first method is a static headspace technique in which the vapors emitted from a drywall sample subjected to high humidity and temperature conditions are analyzed for trace level sulfur compounds.

The second method was developed to determine the concentration of elemental sulfur in the drywall. Initial compositional analysis of drywall by GC/MS suggested that the presence of elemental sulfur may be a means to identify the offending wallboard material. Based on this observation, Eurofins Air Toxics Inc. developed a HPLC/UV method for the quantification of elemental sulfur in drywall. This methodology was adopted from previous work published in scientific literature and provides reliable identification and quantification of elemental sulfur. Working in conjunction with investigators, significant numbers of drywall samples have been analyzed for elemental sulfur to provide a representative data set. The Chinese drywall samples have consistently yielded a positive detection of elemental sulfur as compared to the domestic drywall samples, providing a strong line of evidence for investigators.

Eurofins Air Toxics Inc. Expands Operations Dedicated to Air Testing

PRESS RELEASE
Date October 1st, 2008

Folsom, California – Air Toxics Ltd. announces the expansion of it’s Folsom, California laboratory. The Folsom location is dedicated to the analysis of air under a variety of regulatory programs and represents the largest single site air laboratory in the United States.

“The upcoming year will mark our 20th anniversary as a privately owned specialty analytical services company. The expansion represents an exciting opportunity for us to fundamentally re-design how we will meet customer needs in the future...” Air Toxics CEO Linda Freeman goes on to note “Many operational elements that were cornerstones over the past two decades are being redesigned. The new space and process systems will allow us to immediately increase our production capacity by 50% while providing improvements to customer service via expanded project management, sales and research facilities.”

Air Toxics has also launched an enhanced media ordering system to compliment its other industry leading information systems.

“lean process systems were used to design the new laboratory footprint and will very soon enable us to offer online ordering. Our design goal was to gain the ability to accurately commit to customer requests in real time. The approach maximizes our efficiency in managing what is probably the largest inventory of canisters in the industry on a global basis.” said Brad Mosakowski, President. “We are thrilled about our growth and the opportunities to present unique value added solutions to our customers.”

About Eurofins Air Toxics Inc.
Eurofins Air Toxics Inc. is the leading air testing firm in the United States. We are focused on quality, customer service, and superior electronic deliverables. These services are provided to a full range of clients throughout the world.

For more information on Eurofins Air Toxics Inc, please contact Brad Mosakowski at 800-985-5955 or visit the company’s website at www.airtoxics.com

Not all Tedlar Bags are Created Equal…

Figure 1. Faulty valve design
Tedlar Bags are commonly used for analyses of ppmv level VOCs and sulfur compounds. The trademark material exhibits low permeability to gases, good chemical inertness, and low off-gassing. Many vendors supply Tedlar bags, and the quality among vendors can vary significantly. Levels of background VOCs can be higher for some Tedlar bag types, and several sample introduction ports and valve designs can lead to sampling and analysis difficulties.

Recently, we noted a Tedlar bag equipped with an improperly designed valve which was missing a critical seal (Figure 1). When this valve is open for sample collection or during laboratory analysis, the bag contents are not isolated from the surrounding ambient air. As a result, the reported VOC concentration is likely compromised, and the laboratory chemist may be exposed to the sample during loading onto the analytical instrument.

When purchasing Tedlar bags it is important to ensure that the valve has a mechanism to not only inhibit vapor from leaking out, but to also restrict ambient air from leaking in. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to ask these questions of your Tedlar bag supplier. For your convenience, Air Toxics maintains an inventory of 1L, 3L, and 5L Tedlar bags from several qualified vendors. Please contact your Air Toxics project manager to inquire about purchase.