Laboratory Services

PINNACLE CONSULTANTS

Laboratory Services

Pinnacle Consultants LLC laboratory provides PLM (Polarized Light Microscopy) for asbestos bulk samples, PCM (Phase Contrast Microscopy) for asbestos air samples, and Fungal Spore Analysis for mold spore trap (air) and direct exam (tape) samples.  All analysts are certified and have extensive experience in analyzing these types of samples.

The lab is accredited by NVLAP 200718-0 (National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program) for asbestos bulk analysis, accredited by AIHA LAP-102946(American Industrial Hygiene Association) for Environmental Microbiology, and maintains proficiency with AIHA for the PAT (Proficiency Analytical Testing) program for fiber counting by NIOSH method 7400.

Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) utilizes a stereoscope and PLM microscope to determine the presence or absence of asbestos in bulk building material samples. The presence of the six different types of asbestos can be determined using this method.

The six types are chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite. Each type has its own unique characteristics.  Point count analysis by PLM determines, with more accuracy, the percentage of asbestos in a bulk sample. To qualify for point counting, a sample must be able to be ground to dust (i.e. plaster, joint compound, or non-silicone window caulking). The sample is pulverized and mounted on a series of slides.

Phase contrast microscopy (PCM) is the analysis of filter samples from air cassettes. A section of the filter is cut from the air cassette and placed on a slide for analysis under the PCM microscope. Fibers are counted on the fields and the concentration of fibers is determined from the count totals. This method counts all fibers present that meet the criteria for counting, regardless of fiber type.

Spore trap analysis is a primary form of testing when testing indoor mold levels. The air that is pulled into the pump is trapped in a specially made cassette that contains an adhesive slide. Fungal spores and other airborne particulate matter are deposited onto the adhesive slide, which is then analyzed under a microscope. The analysis includes identification to genus or group of all fungi present and quantification to spores/m3.

A direct exam allows for the determination of the presence of fungal spores as well as what types of fungi are present. The direct exam may reveal spores that have not yet become airborne. Different techniques are utilized for the direct examination of tape lifts, bulks, and swabs.

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