Analysis for the Built Environment

What is analysis in the Built Environment:

We offer a variety of analyses for the Built Environment where sensitivity is required in understanding the composition and nature of various substances.

For example, lead, arsenic and other metals in paint, anthrax or gypsum in plaster, mould and more.

Why test:

Many substances in the built environment can cause serious harm if they are disturbed and you are exposed to them. For example:

Lead in paint if breathed in or ingested can lead to changes in your blood and have effects on your nervous system and kidneys.

Anthrax is a potentially fatal infection caused by Bacillus anthracis that is transmitted from animals to humans. In the built environment one of the main sources of anthrax risk is horsehair plaster, typically found in older buildings, and usually pre-dates the 1950’s.

Paint and wallpaper containing arsenic that becomes damp, can be metabolised to a volatile form of arsenic called arsene. This arsene can then be inhaled by the occupants of the building. Even if concentrations are low, prolonged exposure can lead to arsenic bio-accumulating in the body and subsequent sickness. 

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and other similar gases in insulating foams are ozone layer depleting substances, which is one of the driving causes of climate change. Many of these substances are banned or are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol because of how damaging they are to the ozone layer.

Who should test:

Depending on what you are testing for, below is a few examples of who might require testing:

  • Demolition workers
  • Building contractors
  • Anyone carrying out refurbishment works
  • Individuals doing DIY
  • Anyone concerned about mould growth
  • Insulators or Insulation removers

What we can offer:

Envirochem can offer a range of testing including:

  • UKAS accredited Lead and Chromium in paint testing
  • Arsenic in paint and wallpaper testing
  • Anthrax or gypsum in plaster
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in foam and polystyrene
  • Mould analysis
  • Tests for over 30 metals in paint

We can also attend site and sample for you or alternatively we offer self-sampling kits for you to sample yourself to send to us for analysis.

For more information call us on 01329 287 777 or fill out the form below:

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Lead and Chromium in paint testing

For many years lead and chromium based paints were used because of their strong colours, resistance to corrosion and speed of drying. Despite their useful properties these paints are in fact harmful, with lead being a particularly hazardous component of these paints. Unfortunately the uptake of lead into the body is very easy with a common pathway being as simple as dust via hand-to-mouth, making children common victims of lead poisoning. The effects of exposure to lead are devastating to young children, particularly those under the age of 6, with symptoms such as hearing loss, stunted growth, delayed development and nervous system damage.

Lead and chromium based paints were commonly used in buildings and homes built before 1978, when their use was outlawed. Lead and chromium based paints can be a whole range of colours such yellow, bright red, green colour or even a white. These sort of paints were used as both primers and top coats.

Paint samples that we receive are digested in Aqua Regia using microwave digestion and subsequently analysed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrophotometry (ICP-OES) using our UKAS accredited procedure (please note, Envirochem is only accredited for the analysis of Lead and Chromium in paint and not the sampling of lead and chromium in paint).


For more information on this and all our other services please call us on 01329 287 777 or fill out the form below.


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Envirochem offers a large range of Colourmetric Testing

Envirochem offers a large range of Colourmetric Testing. Colourmetric testing  can result in a wide variety of colour changes, for example we recently tested for chromium VI (chromate). These tests can be carried out on water or soil samples to find a variety of contaminants.


To contact Envirochem regarding our services please fill in the form below;

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Envirochem Now Holds UKAS Accreditation For Lead And Chromium In Paint

We are excited to announce that our laboratory is now UKAS accredited for Lead (Pb) and Chromium (Cr) in paint testing.

If you would like to read more about this please fill in the attached form or call Envirochem’s chemical department on 01329 287 777

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