Environmental Testing

SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name for the virus that causes coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) in humans. Omega Environmental Services is now offering SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) surface and in air environmental testing. Omega utilizes a multistep approach to deliver fast results, while saving our clients money. Unlike other companies, Omega Environmental Services will send an Industrial Hygienist onsite to conduct the environmental testing. Testing starts with the use of an ATP direct-read bio-luminescence meter to measure the cleanliest of surfaces in the space (description below). Followed by SARS-CoV-2 air and surface sampling.


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a laboratory-based method that measures the amount of viral RNA present on a sample. The mechanism behind the PCR is simple. An enzyme named reverse transcriptase converts SARS-CoV-2 RNA strands to complementary DNA strands. Once converted, the DNA strands are placed into a solution with free nucleotide (building blocks for DNA), Taq polymerases (protein responsible for DNA replication), DNA primers (specific to SARS-Cov-2) and other molecular components essential to the reaction. The reaction begins with the denaturing of DNA, which is the process of separating double stranded DNA fragments by heat into single stranded DNA fragments. Denaturing is followed by the annealing stage, which is the binding of DNA primers and Taq polymerases to single stranded DNA fragments. The annealing stage is followed by extension stage. The extension stage is where the Taq-polymerase joins free nucleotides to form a commentary DNA strand. The three stages are repeated 30 times resulting in billions of copies of the DNA strand.  Each time a DNA strand is replicated a fluorophore (fluorescent chemical compound) is release emitting light. The thermocycler (PCR machine), is also equipped with a luminometer, which measures the amount of light produced during the reaction to estimate the amount of SARS-Cov-2 present in the sample. If replication exceeds a cycle threshold established by the laboratory the sample is determined to be positive for the SARS-Cov-2.


The ATP direct-read bio-luminescence meter measures the cleanliness of a surface. Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP is a molecule found in all living cells. Since ATP is found in all living cells, it can be used as a surrogate to measure the efficacy of cleaning. If a surface is cleaned correctly, there will be no to little ATP present on that surface. The bio-luminescence meter utilizes Luciferase an enzyme found in fireflies to measure ATP. When Luciferase interacts with ATP it produces light, which is measured by bio-luminescence meter, the amount of light produced is directly correlated to the amount of ATP present on the surface.


Omega Environmental can collect two types of SARS-Cov-2 samples, air and surface samples. Surface samples are conducted by swabbing a 25 cm2 area on the surface that is being tested. Air samples are collected using a linear oscillating pump in conjunction with a 0.3 μm Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filter housed 37 mm cassettes. The pump pulls the air from the surrounding area into the cassette where any airborne virus particulates are captured. The samples are collected at a flow rate of 15 liters per minute (LPM), for 2 hours, totaling 1800 liters. Once sampling is complete, surface and air samples are shipped to an independent laboratory for analysis.

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