A & B Environmental Services, Inc. Expands Capacity For Microbiological Analyses

 In Analytical Testing

A & B Environmental Services, Inc. dba A&B Labs is expanding its microbiological analytical services to aid in verifying the effectiveness of surface cleaning.

A & B Environmental Services, Inc. dba A&B Labs is expanding its microbiological analytical services to aid in verifying the effectiveness of surface cleaning.

Proper cleaning of surfaces and the application of approved biocides is critical to helping prevent the transmission and spread of Coronaviruses. Testing of selected surfaces following cleaning and application of EPA approved biocides can be done to verify the effectiveness of the cleaning procedures.

At this time there is no clear indictor to determine the presence of active viruses on surfaces, however testing for live, viable bacteria is being used as a surrogate. If the application and cleaning with biocides to the surfaces has eliminated the live bacteria then it is presumed that any viruses on the same surfaces have also been eliminated. The caveat is that the biocides used are approved by the EPA as effective against both bacteria and Coronaviruses.


After cleaning and application of an approved biocide, select surfaces can be sampled by qualified personnel for the presence of viable bacteria. The surfaces should include primarily frequent touch points since these surfaces are most likely to have bacteria and viruses. These commonly include, but are not limited to, door knobs, locks, door push bars, door edges and jams on the side opposite the hinges, stair and ramp handrails, countertops, cupboard handles, drawer pulls, appliance handles, light witches, toilet seats and flush handles, faucet handles, soap pumps, table and desktops, telephones, computer keyboards, touch screen monitors and mouse, elevator buttons, credit card keypads, vending machine buttons, equipment controls, chair armrests and gas pump handles.

Sterile sampling media, primarily swabs and sponges, are used to wipe surfaces to collect bacteria. Swabs are preferred for small areas such as keyboards, door handles and drawer pulls while sponges are better for larger areas such as desk, tables, countertops, and chair arms. For sponges, the area tested should be about 1 square foot.

After sampling, the media is returned to the sterile container which is provided in the sample kit and labeled with a unique ID number for transport to the lab. There is a 48 hour maximum holding time between the time of the sample collection and when it must be placed into cultures in the lab.

Reporting and Turnaround Time

Cultures will be analyzed for Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC). This is an analysis for a wide range of viable bacteria. The culture time is 48 hours. The report will be issued with results in Colony Forming Units per Swab (or Sponge). Reports will be issued in 2 working days from receipt of the samples by the lab.


A & B Environmental Services, Inc. dba A&B Labs is an independent, minority owned analytical testing laboratory located east of downtown Houston in an approximately 17,000 square foot facility. Since 1988, A & B Labs has provided quality analytical testing services for environmental, air, industrial hygiene, microbiology and food analyses to our clients from diverse industries. We are passionate about our work and understand our customer’s needs.

Additional Related Services

A & B Labs has qualified, degreed environmental professionals and microbiologists who can go to building locations and collect the samples after the application of biocides for 3rd party testing and analysis. Please contact us for pricing and availability of this service.

Technical Questions / Additional Information

Please view our full list of accreditations on http://ablabs.anterstech.com//accreditations.

If you have any technical questions or need additional information, please contact Mr. Lane Voorhies at lane@ablabs.com.

If you require pricing and turnaround time information, please contact your sales representative or send an email to info@ablabs.com.

You can also call us at 713-453-6060.

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