Fire Investigative/
Combustion Byproducts Analysis

 

Fire Investigative Testing - Combustion Byproducts

Fire investigative testing is used to determine the presence of fire residues (char, black carbon/soot, and ash). The results are often used to determine the extent of property damage caused by smoke at locations (residential, industrial, or wilderness) to address sourcing, liability, and assist with remediation of contaminants. Testing can be done after a fire event in order to determine what areas might have been impacted, or the testing can be used during or after a cleaning or remediation in order to guide professionals in their remediation efforts.   EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers a comprehensive suite of testing services for combustion by products, from simple presence or absence analysis through potential sourcing analysis using advanced chemical and microscopic techniques.  Techniques include but are not limited to, Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), epi-Reflected Light Microscopy (RLM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), etc.  Additional consultation regarding interpretation of the results and regulations is provided free of charge by senior scientists.
 

In order to best serve the wide range of client needs with the most appropriate, and affordable, service possible, EMSL offers a wide range of Combustion Byproduct Analysis products. The tests offered are listed as level one through level four.  The information we provide increases with each level of analysis as well as the investigative specificity and scientific rigor in how the byproducts are identified.   Samples may be obtained using different media types, but the analytical technique can be dependent on the media used, so contact an EMSL sales professional or see the sampling guide linked below for information.

 

General Sampling information

Samples may be taken from various surfaces (TV’s, computer displays, plastic, furniture, windows, mirrors) and by air (PVC pre-weighed cassettes, Zefon air-o-cells, 25 mm 0.45 micron pore size MCE cassettes, Zefon CSI cassettes).


Surface Sampling  (Alcohol prep wipes or Tape Lifts):

•  TV, computer, plastic, furniture, mirror, refrigerators

•  Avoid painted surfaces
 

Microvacuum (25mm 0.45 micron or 0.8 micron pore size MCE cassettes):

•  Top of interior door frame, window frame, floor corners, door tracks, attic areas


CBP Level I (Analysis by Optical Microscopy for presence of opaque particles associated with combustion byproducts, Qualitative Method) Level 1: ASTM D6602-13 (Mod); Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), Stereomicroscopy, epi-Reflected Light Microscopy (RLM)
• Sampling media may include alcohol wipes, tape lifts, or air samples.


CBP Level II (Analysis by Optical Microscopy with (TEM) Transmission Electron Microscopy confirmation, Semi Quantitative Method) Level 2: ASTM D6602-13 (Mod); Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), Stereomicroscopy, epi-Reflected Light Microscopy (RLM), Transmission Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (TEM/EDS)

• Sample media preference of alcohol wipes or air samples.

CBP Level III (Analysis by Optical Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) or Transmission Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (TEM/EDS) Quantitative Method) ASTM D6602-13 (Mod); Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), Stereomicroscopy, epi-Reflected Light Microscopy (RLM), (SEM/EDS),(TEM/EDX) ASTM D3849, ASTM D6602-13

• Sampling media may include bulk sample, tape lifts, alcohol wipes, or air samples.


CBP Level IV  (Analysis by Optical Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) or Transmission Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (TEM/EDS) Quantitative Method) ASTM D6602-13 (Mod); Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), Stereomicroscopy, epi-Reflected Light Microscopy (RLM), (SEM/EDS),(TEM/EDX) ASTM D3849, ASTM D6602-13 and pH measurement of bulk samples or wipes

• Sample media, bulk or wipe only.

Techniques Employed
Industries Served