Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) at Pure Air Control Services was awarded accreditation from A2LA on June 10, 2020 for the testing environmental SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus). This is the virus that causes COVID-19. A2LA is a non-profit accreditation body dedicated to the formal recognition of competent testing and calibration in 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.

Coronavirus 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.

Information on the environmental spread of the virus is crucial, especially with the reopening of the economy and educational institutions, among others. Providing a safe environment and minimizing coronavirus risk a top priority. Environmental testing for SARS-CoV-2 also provides vital information on other underlying indoor environmental conditions.

“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.

Since the pandemic started many commercial properties have been unoccupied. Non-utilization and lack of maintenance of these buildings creates problems linked to environmental and physical degradation. When baseline conditions deteriorate microbes like bacteria, fungi and viruses begin to proliferate. If not properly dealt with, these contaminants pose threats to returning occupants.

Environmental coronavirus testing is a valuable tool for risk assessment to determine the presence or absence of this infectious agent. The proper management of indoor environmental conditions alleviates concerns and ultimately ensures occupant wellbeing. EDLab is proud to be accredited environmental coronavirus testing and is ready to help those in need. For information please visit http://www.edlab.org
Article Source: https://amaalliance.org/covid-19_news/?rkey=20200722FL69711&filter=20349