particulate matter analysis

Particulate matter

Particulate matter, suspended particulate matter, dust particles, fine particles, total suspended particles (TSP), are terms that identify the group of substances sospende in air (fibres, carbon particles, metals, silica, liquid or solid pollutants).

Particulate matter is the pollutant that today is considered to have the greatest impact in urban areas, and is composed of all these solid and liquid particles dispersed in the atmosphere with a diameter ranging from a few nanometersi to 500 and more micrometers.


Opening the windows frequently is one of the basic hygiene rules which were well known to our grandfathers. Unfortunately today this practice creates more problems than it solves.
Opening the windows can only let the outside polluted air in, disperse precious warmth in winter and let hot air in in summer!

Radon, dust, allergens, toxic gases and hundreds of chemical substances would accumulate in the environment due to the continuous release from paints, furniture, clothing, building materials, pets and even our own body.
Soon our house would become a gas chamber even more polpute than the air of a big city!


LABORAD srl offers to its clients the possibility to verify the quality of the air in their homes assessing the presence of PM10, PM7, PM5 and PM2,5 toghether with several other pollutants (radon, chemical substances, hydrogen sulfide).
Its experts can give solutions designed especially for the environments that need to be purified and to ensure clean air for your home!


 Ask an expert for a free evaluation.



Radon and radioactivity

There are several radiation sources in nature. In addition to cosmic and terrestrial radiations, also building materials (expecially cement, tuff, granite, basalt or porphyry) used for building our homes contain radioactive atoms, like the food we eat everyday.


Radon is a radioactive gas, heavier than air, particularly abundant in some areas of Italy, coming from underground and/or building materials. It accumulates in basements and in lower stories of the building, often together with other gases (carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, etc.).
It is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, so it’s impossible to feel its presence in the air, water or food without proper equipment. It comes mainly from soils with an high content of Uranium/Radium such as tuff, pozzolan, some granites and volcanic rocks. Radon 222, the main isotope of this gas, is the product of the decay of Uranium 238. While the other element of the radioactive series are solid, Radon is a gas so it can seep through cracks, pass through porous materials, dissolve into water and penetrate this way into the buildings also through water pipes. Once it’s accumulated, Radon can be breathed and can continue the radioactive serie inside the body, damaging health and increasing the risk of developing lung cancer. Epidemiological studies released by World Health Organization (OMS) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have scientifically established the carcinogenicity of this gas.

It is impossible to reveal the presence of Radon gas without the help of proper equipment. It is however possible to presume its presence in a building when one or more of these conditions is verified:
– Buildings located in high risk regions due to soil geomorphology.
– Buildings built on tuff rich soils, volcanic rocks or near active or inactive volcanos.
– Buildings built using tuff, volcanic rocks or pozzolanic cements.
– Underground spaces, basements or low stories of the building not equipped with proper air ducts on ground level.
– Buildings built without proper insulating basement.
If one or more of these situations applies, there is the suspect of a high radioactive risk condition due to the presence of Radon gas in the air. In these cases, or if in doubt regarding the nature of the soil in which the building was built or which materials were used, it would be appropriate to request a specialized technical assistance.
LABORAD srl performs home inspections for Radon gas providing a certificate of suitability of the building or suggesting the best remediation techniques.
The data produced undergo quality control through the constant participation to international comparison circuits that guarantee excellent quality of results.


BfS Radon comparison Certificate


The main cause of the concentration of Radon inside the buildings is the gas released from underground. Once it’s in the building, Radon is breathed with air causing serious damages to the respiratory tract. The decay of the cas, in fact, releases alpha particles (Helium nuclei constituted by two protons and two neutrons) that can cause serious damages to the DNA of epithelial cells. From Radon decay (Uranium 238 decay chain) a series of solid radioactive particles is formed, which can build up in the lungs as heavy elements that keep on emitting radioactivity and damaging the lung epithelium. A large amount of DNA damage can effectively cause cancer. Being the second cause of lung cancer after tobacco, Radon represents a serious risk factor for 1 million buildings in Italy. It is calculated that about 10-30% of the lung carcinoma are due to Raodn. Once the expert confirms the presence of the gas in the building, the exposure to the gas must be immediately reduced using remediation systems that, if well designed, are generally simple and not expensive.



The regulations on radioactivity in all European Union countries is based on the European Commission Recommendation of 8 June 2000, n. 2000/473/Euratom that establishes that art. 36 of Euratom pact regarding the control of the environmental radioactivity degree to measure population exposure is respected (G.U.C.E. series L, 27 July 2000, n.191).

Italian law establishes with D.Lgs. 17 March1995, n. 230 (ordinary supplement n. 74, to Gazzetta Ufficiale n. 136, 13 June) the respect of Euratom rules 80/836, 84/467, 84/466, 89/618, 90/641 and 92/3 on ionizing radiations.

Regarding risk arising from Radon exposure, italian law protects only workplaces (D.Lgs. 26 May 2000, n. 241), while on homes the European Community recommendations apply. In this situation the recommendations give “suggested values”, or values of Radon concentration that shouldn’t be exceeded. Below the “suggested values” the situation is considered acceptable. Recently the acceptable Radon levels have been reduced by the WHO.



radon buildingThere are many instruments capable of measuring radioactivity and evaluating radioactive pollution or to measure Radon gas. They work basically on the effects that radioactivity has on some substances, such as the impression of photographic solutions, the excitation of luminescent substances of the ionization of gases, liquids or crystals in presence of radiations.

These instruments are used to:

– keep the dose of radiations absorbed by each individual under control;

– measure the levels of irradiation or radioactive contamination in the environment, in things and in human bodies;

– keep constantly under control the levels of irradiation or radioactive contamination in the environment and in things, with the possibility to record the measured data;

– give detailed informations on the type of radioactive source and the level of radioactive pollution.

The measuring unit for radioactivity is the becquerel (Bq) .

A sample containing radioisotopes is characterized by its radioactivity level, expressed as number of decays of radioactive nuclei for time unit:

1 becquerel = 1 Bq = 1 decay per second.

Measuring unit for Radon gas

When measuring Radon and its radioactivity in air it is generally measured as Bequerel per square meter (Bq/m3): a Bq/m3 is equal to the decay of one atom of Radon in a square meter of air every second, producing another radioactive atom (in the case of Radon 222 it’s Polonium 218) and one alpha particle (alpha radiation). In the anglosaxon system the Picocurie/liter (pCi/L) is still used, and it’s the measuring unit for Radon in the USA.



Counters are the instruments used to detect and measure radioactivity in the environment, in things and in people. There are two kinds of counters: the scintillation and the ionization kinds. The scintillation ones work on the luminescence produced by radiations that hit specific mineral compounds. The ionization ones work because there is a different electric conductivity in a gas when it is ionized by a radiation.

For the measurement of Radon dosimeters are used (trace dosimeter, scintillation dosimeter, etc.) that must be left in the environment for periods of time ranging from a few hours to a year. Since Radon emission is very variable, due to climatic and seasonal factors, short detections should be avoided. These detections, in fact, usually give bad representation of the average annual levels and can lead to insufficient or inappropriate countermeasures. Measurement with inappropriate instruments, such as Geiger-Muller counters (that measure beta and gamma radiations but not alpha) should be avoided. Measurement longer than 1 month must be performed with passive dosimeters that allow to evaluate with certainty the presence of Radon gas and the average level of radioactivity it generates. In case the presence of gas in the building is confirmed, other investigations are needed to find the source of the gas (basement or building material) before beginning mitigation and remediation.

Radon is present in Italy with an average concentration in buildings of 77 Bq/m3. Limit values are:


  • 148 Bq/m3 maximum level advised by EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) over which remediation is necessary;
  • 200 Bq/m3 maximum level advised by EU for new buildings;
  • 400 Bq/mmaximum level advised by EU for old buildings over which remediation is necessary;
  • 500 Bq/m3 maximum level on workplaces (D.L. 241/2000)

Over those values it is necessary to proceed to remediation.

• Self-measurement kit with Kodak LR115 film (mean error ± 20 %, minimal exposure time 2 months) € 38,00 + VAT *
Self-measurement kit with ionizing chamber with fast electret (mean error ± 5-6 %, minimal exposure time 1 month) € 90,00 + VAT *

Self-measurement kit with ionizing chamber with ultra fast electret (mean error ± 5-6 %, minimal exposure time 48 hours) € 180,00 + VAT *
• Radon detector Ramon 2.2 (mean error ± 20 %, minimal exposure time 48 hours) € 260,00 + VAT *

* Additional shipment and handling fee: courier € 9,00 , insurance € 5,00 + VAT
Shipment costs for returning to the laboratory are on the client.

Laboratory analysis and certificates are included in the cost of the kit.
toxic substances

Toxic gases, formaldehyde, VOC

Our homes are designed as increasingly airtight environments, with highly insulated windows and ceiling. This has strongly reduced the ventilation with external air, favoring the action of pollutants and micro organisms, that this way can proliferate inside the building and are distributed in the environment.


A home doesn’t breathe just through doors and windows, but, like skin, through all its structure: floor, walls, ceiling. The elements that block the breathing are walls with thermal insulation, walls covered with paint and plastic resins, synthetic wallpaper and adhesives, tar waterproofed roofs.
If doors and windows have also seals and double glazing, ventilation is reduced by 10%.

The materials commonly used today in construction, sometimes hide some dangers: cements and limes are often mixed with synthetic compounds to gain better and faster hardening; the air spaces inside the walls are filled with foams, insulating and sound absorbing materials of chemical origin. The materials used for flooring, tile adhesives and some paints give a great contribution to domestic pollution; the synthetic materials used in plastic floors and in laminated surfaces of furniture, after some time can release in the air some polluting particles in form of volatile substances that can enter the body with breath.

The exposition to volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as solvents or formaldehyde can lead to:

  • neurosensory fatigue (headache, olfactory discomfort)
  • conjunctival and respiratory mucosa irritation
  • increase in allergies, both respiratory and cutaneous (airborne dermatitis)
  • neurobehavioural effects
  • suspected increased frequency of tumors

If you want to check the quality of air in your home, ask the expert for a free evaluation.

underground gas

Underground gases


Several places on Earth are characterized by massive emissions, chronic or paroxysmal, of underground gases. Sometimes these emissions are limited and easily identifiable, as in the case of sulphur emissions and smokers, whose activity is mainly an emission of steam and sulphurous gas.
In other cases, emissions are dispersed in a wide portion of land, are often not perceptible and hardly identifiable without proper equipment. Protection from this last kind of emissions is of crucial importance, as they act in a subtle way and are usually unexpected. Composition of the gas mixture realeased in the atmosphere is often variable, but is generally constituted by some main gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) hydrogen sulfide (H2S), Helium (He) and Radon (Rn).


The City of Marino, as well as some other cities listed in Attachment 1, has long been known to have, in some areas, big emissions of toxic and/or asphyxiating gases from the ground. For this reason the local health authority and the city council have issued some orders to guarantee the safety of residents and workers.

Our staff can take care of the assessment of the concentration of radon gas, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide and can verify the presence of radioactivity in households, releasing a certification with the result of the analysis.

For informations and for a free evaluation, ask the expert.



Services for private



Among the different factors that affect the “quality” of the environments in which we live and then on the well being of people, the quality of the air we breathe, of the water we drink and the presence of chimica, electromagnetic, radioactive (i.e. Radon gas) or acoustic pollution are of crucial importance.

Some indoor pollutants (particulate matter, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur, benzene, electrosmog, noise, etc.) are linked to the outdoor environmental pollution, but most of them are produced inside the buildings themselves (volatile organic compounds – known as VOC, COV or SOV, Radon, mold and bacteria, formaldehyde, radioactivity, etc.).

LABORAD srl provides an accurate assessment of your houses, with professional measurements and integrated assessments over time, using the most advanced technologies in the field, and, thanks to the expertise of its staff, provides solutions to restore a comfortable life environment to safeguard the health of those who live in it.


pollution remediation

Home remediation

Remediation is a process that tends to restore healthy conditions of a building that, after environmental analysis, resulted polluted. The type of remediation obiouvsly varies according to the type of pollutant that affects the building.
The most frequent types of remediation are:

– Remediation from electromagnetic pollution
It is accomplished by posing shielding materials between the source of pollution (antenna, electroduct, substation, transformer, electrical panel, a particular electric or electronic device) and the house or the workplace. The material, whose characteristics, type, size and position must be chosen accordingly with frequency, direction of origin and intensity of the electromagnetic field vector, can be of different kinds. Some materials are available in our “Buy online” section. It is always recommended to ask the advice of an expert and to evaluate the type of material to install after measurements and a careful assessment of the problem that must be solved.


– Remediation from Radon gas
Reduction of the concentration of Radon inside a space can be obtained by two lines of intervention:
  • reduction of Radon entry
  • removal of already infiltrated Radon.

The use of ventilation, for example, is effective in eliminating the gas already in the building, but it is often impossible for energy saving reasons. On the contrary, pressure variation between inside and outside of the building or the use of collection and discharging systems before the gas enters the building can prevent the accumulation of Radon indoor. The construction of insulating foundations (with different designs based on the structural needs of the building) or the introduction of perforated drainage pipes are some of the measures that prevent the environment from becoming an unsafe place. Every solution still has to be carefully calibrated by a qualified expert according to the characteristics of the building and the Radon efflux measured. Also the effectiveness of the method must always be confirmed through post-mitigation measurements.

– Remediation from formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds or chemical agents

Several chemical substances accumulate within a building because of the continuous release by parts of materials present inside the building itself, such as furniture, building materials, paints, etc. Sometimes the area surrounding the building is polluted and such substances can enter from the outside. The type of remediation varies significantly for the origin and the type of the pollutant. Our experts are available to help you through the design and the realization of the most effective remediation systems now available.

For more information or a free advice you can contact one of our technicians in the section: Ask the expert.


electrosmog at home

Elettrosmog at home

When the levels of electric or magnetic field exceed those of the natural background, electromagnetic pollution, or “electrosmog”, occurs.
With the advent of the industrial era, artificial electromagnetic fields caused by the advancements in technology (production, transport and distribution of electric energy, telecommunications, electronic devices) added to the natural background.
In some fields, such as telecommunications, there was such a development that in several areas of the globe the background levels were exceeded of millions or even of billions times, worrying even the international scientific community that started several studies to evaluate the possible effects on health of this form of pollution.

To measure precisely the level of the electromagnetic field we are exposed to every day, at home or at work, allows to evaluate the risks and to take the appropriate precautions to protect our health.


In the last years several studies linked the prolonged exposure to low frequency electromagnetic radiations (ELF) with the onset of child leukemia. Radiofrequences (RF) are instead known causes for localized hyperthermia causing damage, in high doses, to slightly vascularized tissues, such as the lens of the eye. However, a lot of work is yet to be done, expecially regarding RF, to directly correlate the exposure to ELF or RF with the onset of different pathologies (including cancer, headaches, insomnia, depression, some immunological and reproductive disorders and defects in fetal development).
Emerging evidences suggest however that some attention should be paid by keeping specific precautions, while waiting for the definitive demonstration of the dangers of non-ionizing radiations.


Trying to identify a situation of electromagnetic risk without adequate knowledge and proper equipment is always very dangerous. It is however possible to decide to ask for the help of an expert.
First, it is necessary to evaluate whether there are in a 500 meters span from the place of interest electrical substations, electroducts, power lines transmitting antennas or high power industrial establishments. If present, they can represent a presumed, but not certain, cause of electromagnetic hazard.
Unfortunately it is often very difficult to distinguish hazardous devices from harmless ones, and it’s even more difficult to recognize the presence of structures that can be placed underground (such as electroducts or electrical substations) or inside the walls of a building.
When in doubt, we suggest you not to ignore the problem, but to collect as many clues as possible and present them to an expert of the field.

Likely sources of electrosmog at home that must be kept under control are:

  • Computer
  • Cell phones
  • Household appliances and wiring
  • Microwave ovens
  • Lamps and fixtures
  • Amateur radio stations
  • Military, non-military and marine radars
  • Radioalarms and answering machines
  • Cell towers and radio links
  • Alarms
  • Home telephones and cordless devices
  • TV
  • Electric blankets
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, networks

In any case, we strongly suggest you to mistrust self-proclaimed professionals that offer to consult, with or free of charge, without:
– releasing a written and signed report;
possessing certified measurement equipment that are regularly calibrated.

For free suggestions you can contact one of our technicians in the section ask the expert.


In case a source of pollution has been already found, you can solve the problem with proper shielding.

Water analysis

Water analysis

Water is the main component of every human being, is consumed constantly and more than any other food. Water has also the function of cleaning and sanitizing, thus contributing to prevent diseases and ensuring a better quality of life, as long as the water used is healthy and clean. Otherwise, it can contribute to the spread of disease, becoming an excellent vehicle for transmission.
The increasing industrial activity and consequent production of waste is a source of POLLUTED WATER with toxic or carcinogenic substances. The quality of drinking water must be then verified often through chemical, physical and microbiological analysis of water.

The manager of water services is responsible for water quality till the water-meter; for public places and in general places where water is supplied to the public (restaurants, hotels, hospitals, condos) the manager or the administrator must ensure that the quality of drinking water is mantained till the faucet.



LABORAD srl provides water analysis through standard procedures, examining the main microbiological and chemicals parameters in water. The specimen can be sent to the laboratory or one of our technicians can collect it under sterile conditions at the client.

Routine control – Chemical analysis











pH units

> 6,5 and < 9,5

Electric conductivity

/cm at 20°LimitiC








Free Chlorine










Routine control – Chemical analysis




Total coliforms U.F.C./100 ml Absent

Escherichia coli

U.F.C./100 ml Absent
Total bacterial load at 36°C U.F.C./ml 10


Other analyzed parameters:

Physico-chemical parameters:
Oxidation, Dry residue at 180°, dissolved oxygen, calcium hardness, magnesium hardness, Bromine, Calcium, Chlorine dioxide, cyanuric acid, Fluoride, Hydrazine, Magnesium, Nitrites, Nitrates, Ozone, Phosphate, Phosphorus, Potassium, Silica, Sulphates

Iron, Manganese, Nickel, Silver, Zinc, Hexavalent Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Molybdenum

Legionella spp.: The research of this bacterium is compulsory in hotels, tourist facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, spa facilities, and is recommended for all structures with plumbing older than 30 years.

Radon, Thoron (Becquerel / L): upon measurement of high levels of radioactivity in the water analyzed it can be assumed that similarly high values of radioactivity from radon are present in the air of the environments where such water is used, especially after shaking, steaming or heating.

More parameters can be considered, in addition to the standard ones listed, upon request from the client.



The D. Lgs. 31/2001 is the current Italian national legislation, that regulates the quality of waters destined to human use in order to protect health from the negative effects of water pollution.

D. Lgs. 31/2001 fixes the quality standards for a series of parameters measured in waters destined to human use, dividing them in three categories:

· Microbiological (Enterococci, Escherichia coli – see “Allegato 1, Parte A” of the law).

· Chemicals (pesticides, Mercury, Nitrates, Arsenic, etc. – see “Allegato 1, Parte B” of the law). These elements and compounds are toxic or harmful for health; even if the possibility of acute toxicity occurs only in case of massive contamination from these pollutants, many of them (i.e. heavy metals) can accumulate in the organism and have long term harmful effects on health.

· Markers (pH, hardnes, odour, colour, turbidity, Aluminium, etc. – see “Allegato I, Parte C” of the law). Several of these parameters are a natural characteristic of drinking water, other are instead determined by the treatment of the water (i.e. chlorine is a residual disinfectant). It is then necessary to verify the organoleptic qualities and physico-chemical proprieties of the water and also the effectiveness of potabilization treatments.


– Waters destined to human use are all those waters, treated and untreated, for drinking, preparation of food or beverages or other domestic uses, regardless of their origin, whether supplied by an aqueduct, a tank, bottles or other containers.

electromagnetic pollution shield


Once the presence of electromagnetic pollution in an environment is certain, the next step is to find the source of the pollutant and the route by which electromagnetic radiations penetrate in the environment.

Next, after verifying that the source respects the limits established by current laws, some technical and legal solutions to solve the problem can be designed.


LABORAD srl assists its clients in the legal route for remediation of not legal situation or, when it is needed to proceed for preserving health, in the design and manifacturing of shielding systems able to guarantee proper protection from pollutants.
The low costs of the materials provided by new technologies make the protection of environment from electromagnetic radiations unexpensive, using shielding systems for windows, walls, pavements, etc., providing an appropriate protection from a further increase of electrosmog levels.

air analysis

Air Analysis

In our cities air quality is determined by several seasonal or climatic factor, by vehicular traffic conditions and industrial activity.
In closed environments, due to the reduction of air change rate caused by energy saving policies, the concentration of pollutants can be dozens of times higher than the already polluted outside air.
LABORAD srl does assessments of air quality by extensive monitoring and integrated evaluations over time, using the most advanced technologies in the field.
LABORAD srl has also fixed monitoring stations based on NDIR (nondispersive infrared sensors) technology that ensure a constant protection over time in a totally automatized way and with no need for manteinance. The stations can also be integrated with the ventilation system of the building, allowing significant savings in conditioning and ventilation costs through a controlled air change that avoids unnecessary energy expenses.

Among the several factors that affect the “quality” of the environments in which we live and the safety on workplace, thus affecting people well being, the microclimate and chemical and radioactive (especially due to Radon gas) pollution are of crucial importance.

Some indoor pollutants are linked to the outdoor pollution, but most part of them are produced inside the buildings themselves. Several studies have demonstrated that indoor pollution levels are often higher than outdoor ones, especially for VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). The building material and furnishing, furniture, carpets, upholstery and adhesives used for their installation, office equipment and several product such as those used for cleaning but also cigarette smoke release VOC in indoor air.

Another important polluting factor for indoor air in building is Radon gas, a radioactive gas released from underground and from building material that causes cancer in human (i.e. lung cancer). The release of alpha particles and their decay in radioactive products such as Polonium inside the lungs causes DNA mutations and favors the onset of cancer: Radon is considered the second cause of lung cancer in Italy, with cigarette smoking being the first one. To measure Radon concentration in a building allows to take action in order to maintain its level within a safe limit for health.

Among the pathologies caused by the exposure to indoor agents, the most frequent ones are characterized by irritations and neurosensory symptoms that induce sickness, discomfort of the occupants and a negative perception of air quality. Exposuire of skin and mucosas of eye, nose and throath to airborne pollutants can cause irritations in the site of contact.

The main chemical compounds responsible of irritative reactions in nearby environments are formaldehyde and other aldehydes, volatile organic compounds (VOC), substances present in cigarette smoke, and artificial mineral fibers.
The intensity of the response of the organism to the irritative effect depends on some microclimatic factors, such as temperature and humidity. Also artificial mineral fibers, especially glass wool, can be responsible of irritative effects on skin. In some buildings epidemics of dermatitis due to mineral fibers have been observed, especially on occasion of maintenance work on insulating panels or after contamination of air ducts caused by broken pipes and penetration of the insulating material in which they were covered.

For a free evaluation of air quality (air pollution measurement) in houses or workplaces, for making measurements of general pollution or just to verify the safety of your systems (workplace safety, risk evaluation and assessment or safety training), you can contact one of our  technicians in the section “Ask the expert”.

Useful links
Italian Health Ministry – Prevention Department [in italian]:

La tutela e la promozione della salute negli ambienti confinati