26 Sep Environmental Health Labs
World Environmental Health Day & The Merit of Testing Labs
Every year on September 26th, the world comes together to celebrate World Environmental Health Day. This day serves as a reminder of the critical role environmental health plays in maintaining the well-being of both our planet and its inhabitants. As we approach World Environmental Health Day 2023, it is important to highlight the significance of environmental health labs in achieving a sustainable future.
Environmental Health Laboratories
Testing laboratories are at the forefront of environmental health initiatives, ensuring the quality and safety of our air, water, soil, food and manufactured products. Some laboratories conduct biomonitoring, which tests blood and urine for contaminants whilst others may be responsible for analysing environmental and biological samples for the presence and quantities of toxic substances including lead, pesticides, asbestos, and biological contaminants such as moulds.
These facilities also play a pivotal role in monitoring and measuring the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants to assess the impact of human activities.
In the context of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions, testing laboratories are instrumental in providing accurate data to track progress and evaluate the effectiveness of emission reduction strategies. Through advanced technologies and rigorous protocols, these laboratories provide vital insights that inform policy decisions and drive sustainable practices.
To ensure transparency and accountability, testing laboratories commit to a timed action plan, setting specific milestones and targets. They employ various metrics to measure emissions and other environmental indicators, utilising state-of-the-art tools and processes to gather robust data. This comprehensive approach facilitates effective reporting to stakeholders, enabling them to assess the impact of their initiatives.
Furthermore, feedback and improvement mechanisms are established within testing laboratories to continuously enhance their environmental health contributions. Regular audits and evaluations ensure compliance with relevant regulations and standards, while also encouraging innovation and knowledge sharing.
Environmental Health Lab Furniture
The lab furniture design must be suitable for the anticipated use. Robust furniture would be essential to accommodate the range of necessary testing equipment. Environmental testing could require water or air monitors and other meters or gauges to measure or analyse samples. It may be necessary to include an area for sample preparation within the lab area and balance tables may also be required.
It might be useful to include some mobile tables as they are useful to move heavy samples, such as soil, around the laboratory. The storage of equipment, samples and chemicals is also an important factor and sufficient storage should be incorporated into the laboratory layout at design stage.
Worktops for an Environmental Health Lab should be impervious to water and resistant to the chemicals required for the specific testing needs. In most cases Trespa TopLab Base would be suitable but if you need to use specific solvents, acids or alkalis it is best to contact us with details of the chemicals you plan to use. In some situations Trespa TopLab Plus would be recommended.
HVAC Requirements for an Environmental Lab
A suitable ventilation system will be required for any laboratory facility. Laboratory users should be consulted to determine the equipment required and functions to be performed in the laboratory.
Fume cupboards may also be specified and the appropriate ducting should be considered at the early stages of any laboratory design process.
The specification of the facility may require labs to be pressurised which reduces the presence of contaminants that can affect measurements and the results of any evaluations.
As we celebrate World Environmental Health Day 2023, we recognise the indispensable role that testing laboratories play in safeguarding our environment. Their commitment to sustainable practices, proactive monitoring, and progressive improvement help in fighting climate change and securing a healthier future for generations to come.
If you would like advice on layouts for environmental health lab design and fitout we would be very happy to help.
Sources and Further Reading:
International Federation of Environmental Health https://www.ifeh.org/wehd/