RJ Lee Group Now the Only Lab Certified for Both NY ELAP-Approved Methods to Detect Asbestos in Spray-On Fireproofing containing Vermiculite (SOF-V)


(MONROEVILLE, Pa. – May 1, 2015) The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) has approved RJ Lee Group for Method 198.8—analysis of asbestos in Spray-on Fireproofing containing Vermiculite (SOF-V) by Polarized Light Microscopy. With this certification, RJ Lee Group becomes the first and only laboratory accredited to perform both New York state-approved methods: 198.8, the state laboratory method and Method LAB.055.1. Dr. Richard J. Lee, company CEO commented, “By offering our clients a choice of methods, we will provide contractors and developers more options in knowing whether they are dealing with regulated or non-regulated material so they can make decisions based on those findings.”

In June 2012, the NYS DOH determined that current methods for analyzing vermiculite-containing fireproofing materials might not reliably detect the presence of asbestos. The LAB.055.1 method was developed to determine whether SOF-V is an asbestos-containing material (ACM) in accordance with 10NYCRR 55-2.5, and was approved by NYS DOH on July 25, 2014. State method 198.8 was made available for testing in August, 2014 superseding previous state methods 198.1 and 198.6. As of November 1, 2014, either 198.8 or LAB.055.1 must be used to meet regulatory requirements.

In an effort to inform those in construction and renovation on how to determine the best method for analyzing their samples, RJ Lee Group produced a series of webinars explaining both methods in detail. The webinars are available on the company’s website.

RJ Lee Group is an industrial forensics laboratory headquartered in Monroeville, Pa. with a long history in developing analytical methods related to amphibole minerals. The company participated in the drafting of the Yamate method, as well as the EPA AHERA method, which was based on their own internal asbestos analysis techniques. For 30 years, they have been using scientific expertise, instrumentation and technology to offer support strategies and provide solutions to their customers.