Air Quality Testing
Indoor air pollutants can pose serious health risks so it only makes sense that you have knowledge of the air quality in the building, school or home where you spend much of your time. Indoor air quality is regulated by many industries, though there are no set standards by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for overall indoor air quality. The General Duty Clause of the OSHAct however does require employers to provide workers with a safe workplace free of known hazards which could cause death or serious injury. Poor indoor air quality has been connected to concerns such as headaches, irritation in the ear, nose, throat and lungs, fatigue and trouble concentrating. Diseases such as asthma have been linked to poor indoor air quality and exposure to some indoor pollutants, such as asbestos or radon, could result in lung cancer.
Just what are some indoor air pollutants or contaminants? Mold, cleaning supplies, pesticides and other airborne chemicals, dust from manufacturing processes, construction or building renovation, airborne metals, exhaust fumes and pest droppings are some pollutants which can affect health. Exposure to asbestos or radon are indoor pollutants which could result in lung cancer.
Unfortunately, there is no single test for all possible air pollutants so each situation has to be evaluated individually. EQ Inspectors can help evaluate your office, building or home to try and identify possible contaminants and provide air sampling testing options available. Our inspector will evaluate possible sources of contaminants, the building ventilation system, possible problems with humidity or temperature in the building and the building’s heating and cooling system among other items and areas specific to the situation.
What are the primary causes of poor indoor air quality? Any process, action, system or equipment which release gases or particles into the air can produce poor indoor air quality. Mold is a well know problem for indoor air quality and so-called Sick building Syndrome is often the result of mold growth in the building’s central heating and cooling systems. High temperature and high or low humidity can also increase the concentration of some pollutants. Droppings from pests such as mice, bats and rats can result in air quality problems. Low ventilation in a building is often an underlying issue for poor indoor air quality and should always be evaluated where there is a known or suspected problem. Some building materials, furnishings and air fresheners can release pollutants continuously. Improperly venting of malfunctioning appliances can be a very dangerous origin or indoor pollutants.