Taking Local Environmental Action

At Suburban Testing Labs, we strive to protect public health and preserve our environment in everything we do.  And that purpose extends beyond lab testing for our clients.  

The Environmental Action Committee (EAC) at Suburban Testing Labs is a group of employees that come together initiating actions to reduce our negative environmental impact. The EAC is committed to promoting positive environmental change by creating a culture of mindfulness, volunteerism, and sustainability. They achieve this through local events, process improvements, and the continuing education of our team.

Established in April of this year, the EAC Committee is led by Lorren Walker of our Administrative Team.  Lorren recently coordinated our EAC’s first multi-day volunteer event: cleaning up the shores of the Tulpehocken Creek.

“I’m really excited that we have people that are willing to clean-up our local area, and care about our environment immediately around us,” said Walker.  “It really puts into practice what we preach.”

The clean up occurred along the Tulpehocken Creek from the Blue Marsh Lake area down to the City of Reading.  Volunteers collected trash along the waterway and walking trail.  Suburban Testing Labs offers 16 hours of paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to every employee to encourage staff to get involved in their community.

“It feels great supporting our Purpose right in our own back yard,” said Sara Stump, Marketing Director at the laboratory.  “The best parts were spending time with team members, and seeing parts of the trail I never experienced before.  I loved it!”


The Chemistry of Color

by: Beth Brandt, Environmental Professional – Technical Resource – Customer Service Advocate, Suburban Testing Labs 

Fall is such a beautiful time in Pennsylvania. I enjoy the crisp weather, the apple and pumpkin-related treats that are readily available, and the beauty of Mother Nature as she reveals her glorious landscape of colors in the changing trees. And, as a chemist, I’m also fascinated with the chemistry behind the colors of the changing Autumn Leaves.

As most of us know, Chlorophyll is the chemical that gives plant leaves their green color. Plants require warm temperatures and sunlight to produce chlorophyll – in autumn, the amount produced begins to decrease, and the existing chlorophyll is slowly broken down, diminishing the green color of the leaves.


Carotenoids and Flavonoid pigments are always present in leaves, but as chlorophyll is broken down in the autumn, their colors come to the fore. Xanthophylis, a subclass of carotenoids, are responsible for the yellows of autumn leaves. One of the major xanthophylis, lutein, is also the compound that contributes towards the yellow color of egg yolks.

Cartenoids can also contribute orange colors. Beta-carotene is one of the most common carotenoids in plants, and absorbs green and blue light strongly, reflecting red and yellow light and causing its orange appearance. It is also responsible for the orange coloration of carrots. Carotenoids in leaves start degrading at the same time as chlorophyll, but they do so at a much slower rate; beta-carotene is amongst the most stable, and some fallen leaves can still contain measurable amounts.

Unlike the carotenoids, anthocyanin synthesis is kick-started by the onset of autumn – as sugar concentration in the leaves increases, sunlight initiates anthocyanin production to turn leaves a red color. The purpose they serve isn’t clear, but it’s been suggested that they help protect the leaves from excess light, prolonging the amount of time before they fall.


About the Author…Beth is an Environmental Professional, Technical Resource and Customer Service Advocate serving as Sales Manager for Suburban Testing Labs since 2013.  She has over 25 years of industry experience, and enjoys engaging in technical discussions, presenting topics of relevance, and networking.  Visit her LinkedIn Profile to connect, or email her at bbrandt@suburbantestinglabs.com. 

We’re Falling For You

One of our Core Values is Building Relationships, and during this COVID-19 epidemic, it’s been difficult on our client services and sales teams to not see our clients at events, conferences, and meetings as we usually do.  Since Autumn is in the air, we thought we’d show our clients how much we love them by sharing the warmth of the season with a giveaway!  AND – to make things even better, we are giving away TWO Suburban Swag Baskets.  

Enter to win this Suburban Swag Basket before midnight on Tuesday, October 13th, and you could win:

  • Manatawny Stillworks Whiskey (imagine a hot toddy by the fire!)
  • Yeti Rambler Mug in Copper
  • Magnolia Hearth and Home Candle Sticks
  • Suburban Testing Labs T-Shirt (You Specify the Size)
  • Pumpkin Serving Dish
  • Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel Squares
  • Decorative Cocktail Napkins, Hand Towels and Basket

Suburban Testing Labs is dedicated to providing high quality data, at fast turnaround times, with excellent customer service.  We love our clients, and can’t wait to see you all in person again soon.  In the meantime, enter to win one of these two baskets today!

Enter to win by midnight on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.