Why Use an Accreited Lab?

April 15, 2021 | Blog Post
The newly mandated Federal Cal TB 117-2013 law makes choosing accredited testing for your fabric even more significant. Accredited testing has a multitude of benefits that will assure you that your fabric is safe for the home and workplace.

Benefits

Accredited testing will reduce the risk of producing, distributing, or receiving faulty items; this will protect you and the product from causing a potential injury or death. By picking an accredited lab you will avoid costly retesting that comes when testing is not performed correctly.
 
Furthermore, accredited labs receive international recognition; results will be accepted in different markets and regions.
 
One of the biggest benefits of using an accredited lab is that the results are admissible in court. If an injury or death occurs involving a product that’s been distributed you yourself will not be found at fault because you had an accredited test performed to assure the reliability and safety of the product and a legal document stating this. By completing accredited testing for that product, it has been proven you have done everything in your power to ensure the safety and reliability of the product.

What Separates an Accredited Lab?

When it comes to excellence for laboratories internationally, the bar is set by the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. ISO/IEC 17025 specifies the general requirements for the competence, impartiality, and consistent operation of laboratories and is the standard that accrediting organizations, like the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), use to evaluate laboratories globally. Labs seeking accreditation are audited to ensure that they possess, among other characteristics, the following:

  • A robust quality system & quality assurance procedures
  • Precisely calibrated and properly maintained testing and environmental conditioning equipment
  • Experienced, proficient, and highly trained staff
  • Accurate recording and reporting procedures using the most current and relevant testing procedures

Certificates from accredited labs can be looked to with confidence to make sound judgments during the design process or to properly assess and mitigate risk when selling or specifying products in the marketplace.

What About Non-Accredited Labs?

In contrast, non-accredited labs aren’t required to adhere to any of the standards listed above. They can place their fabric samples that may or may not be cut to the right size on a potentially non-calibrated machine in environmental conditions that don’t meet the specifications of the test standard and then interpret the results however they’d like.

The situation above is a worst-case scenario and is not always what occurs in non-accredited labs however the questions that arise with non-accredited test results are precisely the reason that such results cannot be used in a court of law.

Utilizing a laboratory accredited to perform the test method needed removes the uncertainties. In a field claim or the event of a catastrophe, you’ll want to be able to provide an accredited result proving that proper testing was done before selling or specifying a fabric into the marketplace.

Differences

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