16 Jul 2020


EDLab at Pure Air Control Services is the First Accredited Environmental Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Testing Facility

Environmental Diagnostics LaboratoryEnvironmental Diagnostics Laboratory at Pure Air Control Services, Inc., state of the art world class environmental microbiology laboratory was awarded accreditation from A2LA on June 10, 2020 for testing environmental SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus). This virus is the causal organism for COVID-19. COVID-19 was declared a world pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. A2LA is a non-profit accreditation body dedicated to the formal recognition of competent testing and calibration laboratories (including medical laboratories), biobanking facilities, inspection bodies, product certification bodies, proficiency testing providers, and reference material producers. A2LA has over 3,700 actively accredited certificates representing all 50 US states and more than 50 countries.

What is Coronavirus?

Corona VirusCoronavirus is a sub-microscopic entity containing lipoprotein and genetic material known as single stranded Ribose Nucleic Acid (RNA). It is identified as an infectious virus to humans and can be a potentially life-threatening. According to an estimate, the current world human population is over 7.8 billion out of which over 13 million people have been reported with COVID-19. Presently, more than 575 thousand deaths have been reported. Although a little over 7.5 million people have recovered from COVID-19, there are still currently no cures, specific treatments, or vaccines. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials for evaluating potential treatment options within governmental and non-governmental agencies.

Environmental Coronavirus

Information on the environmental spread of the virus is crucial, especially when businesses bring their employees back to work and public and private organizations are coming back to service. To provide a secure environment devoid of coronavirus risk is the priority for opening the economy again. EDLab started receiving an exceedingly high number of requests both from public, private, and individual levels to test environments for the presence of the COVID-19 virus. As an environmental laboratory, we welcome the opportunity to provide environmental testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus in the interest of society. As a matter of fact, air and surface testing for this virus provides a vital clue on the hygienic conditions of the surrounding environment to ascertain the safety of the occupants.

Testing for Environmental Coronavirus

“Environmental testing for SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) is an essential and important component to understand the spread of this pandemic through the environment. The test result helps in focusing efforts to prevent dissemination of the COVID-19 virus across indoor environments or occupiable spaces” says Dr. Rajiv R Sahay, FIAS, CIAQP Director Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory,  “Our RT-qPCR (Reverse Transcription Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction) based testing procedure is a highly sensitive test to detect COVID-19 virus from environmental samples within a few hours after the laboratory receives specimens.”

Dr. Sahay explains in this process that the RNA is converted into DNA. The DNA is allowed to multiply exponentially with the help of enzymes and a thermocycler. Finally, an identification is made based on their molecular characteristics.

In response to the pandemic, enhanced efforts to promote health and hygiene through environmental coronavirus testing will improve confidence in the recovery endeavors, thus helping in stabilizing the economy. Several residential and commercial properties have been abandoned in absence of routine activities. Non-utilization and lack of maintenance of building structures creates problems linked to physical, environmental, and biological damage. These damages include but are not limited to structural damage, microbial growth (virus, bacteria, mold, mites, etc.), moisture intrusion, irregularity in temperature, perception of odors, allergens, pest issues, and others. Enhanced productivity is only possible with hygienic practices and working in a safe work environment.

Some simple and basic environmental tests may validate the hygienic status of an occupiable space. Environmental coronavirus testing is valuable to ascertain presence or absence of this infectious agent to avoid any concern of the occupants. In case of a positive coronavirus scenario, remedial or corrective action must be initiated to appropriately address any such issue. The proper management of health and hygiene conditions ultimately enhances productivity that leads towards the path of economic recovery.

For more information to get started testing for environmental coronavirus please call 1-800-422-7873 or email us.