Laboratory Services

Laboratory Services

Environmental Forensic Analytical (EFA) Laboratories specializes in Japanese asbestos analyses. The laboratory is centrally-located in Kanda-Jimbocho, Tokyo. EFA is a joint-venture between Earth-Appraisal Co., Ltd. and Forensic Analytical Laboratories Inc. Earth-Appraisal is one of the leading environmental engineering and consulting companies in Japan and Forensic Analytical is one of the most prestigious asbestos environmental laboratories in the United States. The combined experience of the two firms makes EFA a leader in Japanese asbestos analysis and management.

EFA offers a full suite of asbestos analytical services which meet both Japanese and western asbestos standards. EFA analytical services include PLM, PCM, TEM and gravimetry methods. EFA uses only the most current analytical methods described by the Japan Industrial Standards Board (JIS), the US EPA, NIOSH, ASTM and ISO. EFA maintains the rigorous quality assurance program specified by the US National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP Code: 500068-0) which encompasses all facets of the analytical process including sample receipt; chains of custody; internal sample tracking; sample preparation & analysis; quality control & data review; final analytical report review; issuance of customer reports; and, storage of archived samples.

Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) Laboratory Services

The phase contrast microscopy (PCM) method is used to determine fiber concentrations in air. EFA commonly performs PCM analyses for contractors and clients who require both area and/or personnel monitoring during asbestos removal projects. All asbestos analyses are performed in strict compliance with the NIOSH 7400 Method Counting Rules A or the Japanese Ministry of Environment Announcement 93.

Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) Laboratory Services

EFA’s polarized light microscopy (PLM) method is used to determine asbestos fiber concentrations in bulk building materials and soils. In addition, PLM is used to determine asbestos concentrations in serpentine rock by California Method 435 and in building materials by NESHAP methods. Standard turnaround time for all PCM and PLM samples is two days. EFA also offers faster turnaround times at additional cost.


EFA uses gravimetric techniques to achieve a lower analytical sensitivity and to remove inferences from bulk material matrices. Gravimetry is an extremely valuable tool for determining low asbestos concentrations in bulk materials. The method most commonly uses ashing and acid washing of bulk samples to remove organic and soluble binders. These binder materials interfere with accurate asbestos quantifications.
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) Laboratory Services
The most definitive method for analyzing asbestos is Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). The TEM method provides both absolute mineral identification and low method sensitivity. The EFA transmission electron equipment includes a Phillips Model CM12 and a Hitachi model 600AB microscopes, both of which are equipped with energy dispersive spectrometers (EDX). All TEM sample preparation is performed under in HEPA-filtered clean room hoods to prevent sample contamination.

EFA offers a variety of other analytical protocols for determining asbestos fiber concentrations in air samples, including AHERA and Yamate. The laboratory also provides a number of specialized TEM asbestos analytical services, including microvac, quantitative bulk weight percentage and drinking water analyses. EFA’s TEM laboratory provides the most accurate, reliable and legally-defensible data for sensitive asbestos quantifications.  Standard turn around time for all TEM samples is five days, with faster turnaround times available at additional cost.

Customer Service

EFA is Japan’s most advanced asbestos laboratory providing convenient and reliable analytical services matched with state-of-the-art instrumentation, experienced professionals, uncompromising quality and a commitment to excellence. EFA provides solutions with the highest quality, speed and cost effectiveness available in Japan.

Other EFA value-added services include:

  • Two day standard turnaround time for most PLM and PCM analyses
  • Five day standard turnaround time for most TEM analyses
  • Rush service available on PLM, PCM and TEM analyses
  • Electronic reporting
  • Providing a wide array of sampling media
  • Bulk and atmospheric sampling services
  • Technical support from Japanese and international industry leaders