Warning from NY State DOH regarding Pro-Lab

On Friday 9 Jan 09 I received the following from the Director of Regulatory Affairs at the NY State Department of Health.

A message has been sent to you via NACHI’s “Featured Inspectors” page.


Mr. Valosin: I am writing to you in my capacity as Director for Regulatory Affairs at the NYS Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center, wherein resides laboratory licensing programs for clinical and environmental laboratories.
I understand that NACHI, at the national level, has entered into an agreement with a Florida-based environmental laboratory (Pro-Lab, Inc) to distribute kits to NACHI home inspectors. See NACHI website for catalog containing Pro-Lab kits, some of which are used collect samples for testing that requires NYS certification as an environmental laboratory (e.g., asbestos, radon in air and lead in water). Pro-Lab does not hold NYS certification, but may refer samples of NYS origin to another lab that does hold our certification. Pro-Lab kits are also sold to the general public in home improvement stores in NYS. I am writing to ask for insights you can provide regarding NACHI’s dealing with Pro-Lab and their use of other, certified laboratories. Thank you in advance.

Betty Kusel

I replied that any agreement entered into by the management of our organization and a vendor is done for the “good of the whole”. As an InterNational Professional Organization, it is impossible for any agreement entered into to be in total compliance with the dictates of every Political and Governmental Entity, Organization, County, Parish, State or Province. Therefore, each member must determine the validity of any such agreement within the jurisdiction in which they do business.

My opinion and advice: For those of us doing business within New York State, it would behoove us to not use Pro-Labs for these particular tests until such time that they are licensed by NYSDOH to perform those tests*** or*** provide documentation to the Inspection Company that they, Pro-Lab, are sub-contracting such tests to Labs that are approved by NYSDOH and that documentation is acceptable to NYSDOH.

The communication from the State makes me question: If a Real Estate Transaction required an Inspection that included any of the cited tests, and Pro-Lab was the facility of choice, is the deal jeapordized? Are we, as inspectors, open to a problem if we used Pro-Lab?

I posed the following two queries to Ms. Kusel:

  1. Are they going to notify folks who have had such tests that were conducted by Pro-Lab that the lab is not licensed?
  2. Is the State going to have the tests removed from the shelves of places like Home Depot, Lowes and other home and builder supply stores.

When I get it, I will post the answers.

Thomas Valosin, President
NY Capital Region Chapter of InterNACHI

Meetings open to all -
Monthly, Second Wednesday, 6:30 PM
Kirkers Steak & Seafood House
Rt.9, Louden Road, Albany, NY


This is not the first time the DOH has made inquiries. It is definitely problematic to us, as an org, and to our inspector members.

When I teach Certified Well Sampler, I stress the importance to only use labs which are recognized and licensed to perform the tests in question by the State where the samples are taken, and the state in which you operate your business.

Thanks for posting the letter you received.

Is it customary Joe for single Home Inspectors to supply official responses to State Regulatory enquiries regarding INACH policy?

Hello Brian,

This was addressed to me in my position of New York Capital Region Chapter President. Here in the Cap Region we have a very active, respected and well known Chapter.
As Chapter President, I have on several instances been contacted as the local representative of the organization.
An officer of a Chapter is, by means of extension, a representative of the parent organization. Therefore, my reply to the DOH is not the equivalent of an individual member speaking for the organization.
I passed the information along to the membership and, yes, I did reply on behalf of the organization.
If you read my reply you will see that I did indeed defend the organization by informing the DOH representative of the worldwide scope of InterNACHI and the fact it is not possible to meet all requirements of all jurisdictions when a vendor relationship is established.
This in turn does put some responsibility on the individual member.
By use of this forum, affected members have been notified. I have made them aware of both the query and the reply. They can now, individually, decide upon their action.
It is not possible for Nick to field every single inquiry from outside organizations. In an organization having world-wide scope, as does InterNACHI, an initial contact from a local or state entity remains a local issue, as long as note was made to the upward chain of command. (Before I made the reply, I did give thought as to the applicability of so doing. You may not follow my line of thought…if a minesweeper skipper does not have to contact fleet operations before destroying a mine in the harbour…, so, okay, I can, in a non-confrontational way, reply.) Brian, I believe that is why there is in place a field organization. Local issues can be handeled on a local basis leaving Nick to handle the big picture. He entered into the agreement with Pro-Lab for the good of the whole organization. The majority of the membership is not concerned with the issue raised by NYS-DOH.
However, if indeed the agreement between InterNACHI and Pro-Lab was indeed InterNACHI OPERATIONAL POLICY, rather than a simple vendor - organization agreement, I can understand your expressed concern.

Best regards,
Tom Valosin

Sort of the same in Florida a few years back.
Up until a couple of years ago Pro Lab sold radon tests kits to inspectors in Florida and issued reports although they were NOT a Florida DOH Certified Radon Measurement Business. After the FL DOH went after them they became legal (FL DOH Certified). I still wonder if they check wether an inspector performing the test is legal (certified tech); I know Air Chek tries too. Always seemed strange to me with Pro Lab based in Florida and they didn’t know the Florida Laws for radon.

Your response is that of a representative of a group of local inspectors, and not of the parent org.

The pursuit of $$$$$ can make people blind!!!

Kinda what I thought Joe, :mrgreen:

Great information thank you! I will pass it along.


Can you imagine the “response” that would come from the parent organization?

“iNACHI will duplicate the State of New York’s health department laboratories and will provide its services free to all New York inspectors…thus putting the State of New York out of business. Assimilate or die, die, die…”

I hope you guys continue to deal with this, locally.:wink: