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AUGUST, 2010


New CAM Requirements

As of July 1, 2010 MaDEP has added a new requirement for field personnel to specify a sample for matrix spiking when sampling solids at a frequency of one in twenty field samples.  The requirement is applicable to the following solid analyses: metals, hexavalent chromium, total cyanide, and physiologically available cyanide.

Question H on the MassDEP MCP Analytical Protocol Certification Form reads: “Were all QC performance standards specified in the CAM protocol(s) achieved?”   If a matrix spike is not indicated, the answer to the question is “no.”  If the matrix spike frequency has already been achieved for the site, note this in the comments section of the chain of custody and this explanation will be included in the case narrative.  

When performing a matrix spike in the laboratory, a known amount of the particular analyte is added directly to the soil.  The spiked soil is analyzed along side the rest of the samples.  Once the concentration found in the matrix spike is calculated, the native concentration is subtracted and a percent recovery is calculated.  This data is reported in the quality control section and discussed in the case narrative. The matrix spike helps to show whether or not the specific matrix exhibits any type of effect on the recovery of the analyte.  These effects can be beneficial when interpreting the final data.  

This requirement does come with a price tag and needs to be considered when preparing cost estimates.  The cost of a matrix spike is the same as an additional sample.  When ordering bottles, it is not necessary to request extra sampling bottles.  The volume of sample in a normal sampling jar is more than enough to perform the analytical parameter as well as a matrix spike.  When filling out the chain of custody, simply note in the comments field the ID of the sample you’d like to designate for the matrix spike.  

Additional details of this requirement can be found in section 1.5.2 for each of the analytical methods posted on the MaDEP’s website:  Please don’t hesitate to contact Resource Labs with any questions regarding these changes.  We are always here to help in any way we can.


Absolute Air Quality Helps Local Government

with Mold Problem

Absolute Air Quality (AAQ), Resource Laboratories’ Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) division, assists home owners and commercial clients with their IAQ concerns. Recently, a local town employee called asking for an IAQ investigation at their Town Office. Several of their employees were complaining of headaches, fatigue and allergy type symptoms (such as stuffy noses, sore throats, and difficulty breathing). Guy Sylvester and his team were called in by the Town Manager to investigate the complaints.

The IAQ investigation started out fairly routine, asking questions of employees: are you having symptoms at work only, or at work and at home? Are there particular areas of the building that employees are complaining or is it the entire building? Have any employees seen anything or smelled anything unusual? Bottom line is that many of the employees were complaining of health effects that are known to be associated with MOLD.

A thorough physical investigation is paramount to finding the source of a complaint. The entire building was investigated and when going through a routine exercise of pulling back baseboards to look for trapped moisture or signs of visual mold the AAQ team found something unusual. Mold was discovered behind the baseboard, which is not that unusual. However, when investigating the source of water it was discovered that there was a second layer of sheetrock between the aluminum framing of the building and the exterior brick. When sheetrock is put up directly on exterior brick, concrete walls or foundations an environment that is conducive to mold growth is created. The exterior walls sweat onto the sheetrock. Moisture, plus organic material (like the paper on sheetrock) will grow mold, and often times that mold will be hidden in wall cavities and under baseboards.

AAQ brought in a Board Certified Mold Remediation firm and a Board Certified Air Duct cleaning firm for the remedial action. The building is currently undergoing full remediation and clearance inspections on a weekly schedule. At this time, all complaints have ceased and employee health effects have gone away. The rebuilding of the facility is scheduled to be completed in the next month. It is unknown for how long there had been complaints in this building, but it is likely that this has been on ongoing issue for many years as the building was constructed in 1980. This was a tricky one to find as there was not any history of visible moisture intrusion into this building. However, the symptoms noted were very indicative of a possible moisture/mold related issue.


Absolute Resource Associates, Coming in 2011!

Have you heard the latest news?  We are excited to announce that, effective January 1, 2011, we are officially combining our environmental testing lab, Resource Laboratories and our indoor air quality division, Absolute Air Quality under one, new name:

Absolute Resource Associates!

Since we started Absolute Air Quality five years ago, we have seen the business grow from an entrepreneurial start to what is now a fully operating business unit.  There are times that we see an overlap of staff and services between the two brands, as we cater to the increasing and changing needs of our customers. In order to better manage our growth and allocate the appropriate resources to a given project, we decided it would be best to eliminate confusion for all by creating one name, one logo, and one brand that encompasses all that we do.

Aside from getting used to the new name, for our customers, the transition will be seamless.  We will still offer the same services, have the same processes, and the same personnel. In January 2011 our new website will go live, but even if you forget and use the old websites, you will be automatically redirected to our new website until you get used to using the new name. By the way, we are building features into the new website that will make your customer experience even easier, so stay tuned!

As always, we are here to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with this change, so please feel free to give us a call! We’d love the opportunity to speak with you further about our new name. We are confident that this change will bring great benefits not only to our company, but to yours as well.



The Resource Rambler is brought to you by your friends at

Resource Laboratories, LLC & Absolute Air Quality
124 Heritage Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801



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