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Posted: June 7, 2010
National Environmental Testing Lab Now IDs Carbon Black with Electron-Microscopy
(Nanowerk News) San Air Technologies Laboratory announced today that it now has the ability to detect "carbon black and soot" in the environment and confirm its presence using electron microscopy that magnifies objects by a factor of up to 100,000 times - a step that goes well beyond conventional scanning technologies.
Carbon black and soot are the names insurance companies use to distinguish the dangerous microscopic particles within smoke from fires. Carbon black is a dangerous nano-sized substance that can cause lung disease and pose other health and environmental threats.
Soot is most dangerous in large-scale wildfires because it can be wind-borne farther than the smoke from a fire due to its microscopic size. It can end up being sucked into the heating and cooling systems of homes and commercial buildings.
"Carbon black and soot cause millions of dollars in environmental and health damage each year," SanAir President Sean McGlynn said, "and we are pleased to be able now to detect both carbon black and soot through electron-microscopy - a technology that goes well beyond the simple polarized light scanning methods many testers use to detect it. The light-scanning method is a good indicator, but not conclusive as to carbon black's presence in the environment."
Because of this and earlier-announced new testing capabilities, the Virginia-based environmental testing lab has increased its technical analysis staff by 20 percent and is looking to hire additional employees for its Powhatan County facility.
Since its founding in 2003, SanAir has grown into a full-service laboratory offering analytical and consulting services specialized in asbestos, bacterial detection and identification, environmental microbiology, Legionella, and materials testing.
Source: San Air Technologies Laboratory (press release)