Forensics Services Overview

AGAT Laboratories' forensic testing reconstructs environmental events after they have occurred. We investigate for fire cause and characterization, contamination detection, spill response, and highly precise identification of substance and source. We use defensible scientific methods to differentiate between highly complex compounds in the environment, resulting in a fine-grained and comprehensive understanding of the chemistry and substances present.

Our Forensics lab results are used in many applications:

  • Biogenic determination
  • Chemical properties determination
  • Arson investigation
  • Spill characterization
  • Source attribution and assignment of liability
  • Release aging
  • Understanding severity of contamination
  • Analyzing regulatory compliance requirements (e.g. for remediation or reclamation planning)
  • Rapid evaluation and acceleration of site closures, thanks to precise response planning and targeted action
  • Clean up strategy and cost reduction
  • Restoring productivity of land
  • Detecting health and safety concerns
  • Detecting legal issues
  • Advanced risk assessment

Get precise risk assessment, and faster incident resolution, all from a greater depth of understanding about your environmental contaminants

Find out if forensic analysis could help your investigation:

GCxGC Analysis

AGAT Laboratories is the premier commercial lab in North America equipped to offer GCxGC analysis. Our state-of-the-art GCxGC analysis explodes biometric signature recognition into multi-dimensional fingerprinting capable of far more precise identification of compounds, potentially even identifying the geologic formation, and producer, of a given hydrocarbon.

All of our forensics lab services can benefit from our multi-dimensional GCxGC analysis. GCxGC expands on characterization data to provide a second dimension to all traditional GC analytical packages for a truly comprehensive result. An analogy comparing 1-D GC (below in white) with 2-D GC (heat map below) can be made with biometric signature recognition and much higher resolution fingerprint analysis—enabling the ambiguous to become certain.

GCXGC methods can separate biogenic and petrogenic compounds providing unambiguous answers with multiple lines of evidence to support a definitive site assessment. This data helps our clients by providing ecologically relevant site assessments, enabling protection of sensitive site receptors.

GCxGC provides complete testing of multi, variable, and unknown constituent releases or products in releases—including PAHs—to estimate physicochemical properties, help characterize environmental persistence and degradative processes, and monitor environmental fate and toxicity over time. Using GCxGC, we can create a unique product profile, enabling better source attribution, potentially even to the specific refinery, geological formation, or gas station the product is from.

Our GCxGC lab service can provide:

  • Spill characterization through full fingerprint analysis providing comprehensive source determination
  • Accelerated site closures through identification of potential biogenic interference with multiple lines of evidence
  • Release aging using advanced degradation and weathering analysis of petroleum and fuel spills
  • Advanced risk assessment, made more comprehensive and complete through a second dimension of separation

Find out if forensic analysis could help your investigation:

Our Accreditations

Laboratory accreditation provides formal recognition to competent laboratories, thus providing a ready means for you to find reliable testing and calibration services that also meets your service needs.

AGAT Laboratories is accredited, licensed or approved for specific analyses by the following agencies:

  • The Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA)
  • The Standards Council of Canada (SCC)
  • Enhanced Water Quality Assurance (EWQA)
  • Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC)
  • Ministère de l’Environnement et de l’Action en matière de changement climatique (MDDELCC) 
  • Nova Scotia Environment

AGAT Laboratories is accredited by CALA and SCC, for specific tests, to the following standard:

  • ISO/IEC 17025:2017 

AGAT laboratories is certified to the following standard:

  • ISO 9001:2015

The Accreditation Process

World-wide, many countries rely on a process called Laboratory Accreditation which includes specific criteria and procedures as a means of determining technical competence. Specialized technical assessors conduct a thorough evaluation of all factors in a laboratory that affect the production of test or calibration data. The criteria is based on the internationally accepted standards of ISO/IEC 17025, which are used for evaluating laboratories throughout the world. Laboratory accreditation bodies specifically use this standard to assess factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise and accurate test and calibration data.

AGAT Laboratories is accredited, licensed or approved for specific analyses and ensures:

  • Validity and appropriateness of test methods.
  • Suitability, calibration and maintenance of test equipment.
  • Technical competence of staff.
  • Testing environment.
  • Sampling, handling and transportation of test items.
  • Quality assurance of test and calibration data.
  • Traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards.

To ensure continued compliance, accredited laboratories are regularly re-examined to ensure that they are maintaining their standards of technical expertise. These laboratories may also be required to participate in regular proficiency testing programs as an on-going demonstration of their competency.

Find out if forensic analysis could help your investigation: