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5 Important Factors to Consider When Choosing Environmental Labs and Services

The Role of Environmental Labs

The role of environmental labs has grown over the past several decades as we have recognized the dangerous and sometimes tragic effects of industrial pollutants in our air, soil, water, plant life, birds, animals and human health. In order to protect our environment, ecosystems, personal health and planet, more and more stringent restrictions have been legislated by municipalities, state governments and the federal government. Environmental testing laboratories work to detect pollutants in our air, soil, water, food, etc., and have become indispensable in our efforts to clean up our environment.

The Importance of Environmental Testing

There can be no denying the vitally important role that environmental labs and testing services have played and will continue to play in making our communities safer by cleaning up our environmental pollutants. Identifying toxic levels of pollutants including heavy metals, pesticides, PAHs, Dioxins and many other toxic substances that pose threats to living organisms and human health is an important legacy. The continuation of these efforts will increasingly make all or our lives safer and healthier for generations to come.

Types of Environmental Testing

Environmental Testing is performed on soil, water, air and foods. All of these can contain hazardous amounts of pollutants that threaten human health as well as the overall health of the environment and planet. Each State has regulatory level guidelines of a long list of dangerous pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum guidelines that must be met nationwide and states either follow those guidelines or perhaps set more stringent standards. If, in the process of testing, excessive levels of a pollutant are identified these pollutants must then be removed and disposed of properly. The guidelines for these processes are also clearly delineated and carefully overseen.

5 Important Factors When Choosing Environmental Labs and Services

So what should someone who needs to test their soil, water, food products or indoor air quality know when they are choosing an environmental lab for testing?  These five factors are the most important to be aware of as you work through this process.


Not all certifications are created equal. All the labs in your state must be certified by the state to do required environmental tests in your state. The standards are very high, but they do not reach the level of some other certifications. The Department of Energy (DoD) and the Department of Defence (DoD) also certify labs for the environmental testing they must do in various states. Their certification process is more stringent and requires a higher level of degreed chemists, lab experience, up to date testing equipment and lab performance history in order to meet their certification requirements.  

2. Reputation

It is vital to know the experiences of others with a laboratory and their overall reputation for accuracy, timeliness and cooperation with their customers. Reading reviews, researching the environment testing laboratories in your state or region, and getting word of mouth recommendations from environmental workers and others who work with various labs can help you discern the most reputable environmental labs.

3. Scope of Testing

It is vital that you know what the scope of an environment labs testing includes. Not all labs have a good history with testing for certain chemicals or microorganisms. Match the pollutant you need to identify with a lab that has a long history of accurately testing for that pollutant.

4. Turn Around Times

Learning that your water supply or soil needs to be tested for a dangerous pollutant that threatens the health of your workers, family or community is a scary situation. Waiting a long time to know the truth of the situation can be anxiety producing. If you find yourself in that situation, you will want to know your results as soon as possible. That is why turnaround times (TATs) are very important in the environmental testing industry. Look for a testing lab that has produced a strong history of fast turnaround times for it’s clients.

5. Customer Service

Perhaps the most important factor in choosing the right environmental testing laboratories is finding one that gives its clients exceptional customer service.  A lab that walks with you and your team throughout the entire process. Look for a lab with service representatives with lots of experience who listen well and offer solutions to problems when they arise. Look for a lab with highly qualified chemists who have years of experience with the testing procedures and methods needed to get the results you are seeking.


When you must find and use environmental testing labs and services it can be a very scary and anxious time. Partnering with a lab that meets all the above factors will give you peace of mind and will help you walk through the process confidently. Torrent Laboratory is at or near the top of the list on all of the above mentioned factors. 

Serving California and Hawaii, Torrent Laboratory is the leading environmental testing laboratory for certified water, soil, and air testing and analysis. We also offer testing services in all three disciplines (inorganic, volatile and semi-organics, and microbiology), and deliver advanced sampling, testing, and reporting methodologies.

Guided by the principles of Six Sigma, Kaizen, and Lean Thinking, our full-service lab offers the fastest turnaround times in the industry, CA ELAP, Department of Defense (DoD ELAP) Department of Energy (DoE EALP) and National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Certification (NELAC) certification, as well as unparalleled customer service.

Torrent Laboratory provides the region’s most advanced capabilities:

  • Fastest TATs in the industry
  • Gold standard certifications
  • Unrivaled technical and customer support
  • Unparalleled on-time performance
  • Impeccable quality
  • Competitive pricing

The environmental testing lab that has—and does—it all.