Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assessment
An IAQ Assessment encompasses many aspects of air quality in the home and includes:
- A client interview to determine areas of focus or concern
- Use of scientific instruments to obtain instant IAQ readings
- Testing for biological contaminants – ie. molds, bacteria
- Testing of household dust for pollutants and allergens
- Testing for Formaldehyde and/or VOCs (chemical offgassing)
- Check for moisture problems or potential moisture sources
- Check heating/air conditioning system(s) for contamination
- Electronic check of gas appliances for gas leaks
- Measurement of Carbon Monoxide & Carbon Dioxide
- Lab analysis of air samples and surface samples
Lab testing available for:
- Mold spores, mold DNA (ERMI, HERTSMI-2 and mold mycotoxins)
- Mold in dust, furniture, mattresses, air, on surfaces
- Microbial VOCs (chemicals emitted by active molds)
- Sewer Gas
- Dust mite, mouse, canine, cockroach and feline allergen
- Bacteria Identification (air or surface)
- Pesticides, Heavy Metals
- Volatile organics such as formaldehyde, benzene, chlorine, ozone, naphthalene, toluene and many more.
Other Air Quality/Environmental Testing
Environmental pollutants are a risk we all face from day to day. Unfortunately, we can only limit or reduce our exposure to outdoor pollutants we encounter in our daily lives. The one area of environmental pollutants we can control is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Research indicates that we spend almost 90 percent of our time indoors, whether at home or work. With that being said, our risk from environmental pollutants is greater indoors than outdoors. Studies have shown that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, even in our most industrialized cities. This is especially concerning for those at higher risk because of age, health, or other physical conditions.
Because of these facts and considerations, our comprehensive programs to improve IAQ are focused on every potential factor that could impact your indoor air quality’s overall quality.
Odors are something we all experience from time to time and can be very elusive. To eliminate these odors properly, you must start with an understanding of what causes them. Odors can be caused by fungal growth, microbial volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as mold and bacteria, chemical vapors, or gases. These sources of odors can be affected by a variety of factors, such as temperature, humidity, rain, and airflow. An effective odor investigation includes a wide variety of tests to eliminate possible sources.
VOCs (Volatile organic Compounds) Testing
We use several methods to test for chemicals impacting the IAQ. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. They include various chemicals, some of which may have both short and long-term adverse health effects. Research shows that concentrations of VOCs can be up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors.
We use several methods to test for chemicals and identify the source of the VOC. One method involves sophisticated electronic equipment that measures the ppb (parts per billion) or ppm (parts per million) concentration of a specific chemical or gas. The other method is to collect ambient indoor air for a particular period of time into a specially prepared glass tube, then have the contents analyzed via gas chromatography. Both methods will allow us to identify the offending VOC, determine the concentration level, and understand where that concentration stands within the OSHA and NIOSH limits.
Pesticide testing is crucial to understanding the indoor health of an environment. We have testing options available that look at surfaces, air, and soil. Typically, if an area is suspected to be contaminated by pesticides, it can be verified by a simple swipe test. Other sources of VOCs such as fabrics (drapes, rugs, furniture fabric) can be sampled and sent out for analysis. Soil affecting the indoor environment can also be tested and analyzed for VOCs. Another method of testing we use is air sampling, which simply involves collecting samples of the ambient air for analysis.
Pesticide testing requires specificity. Labs do not test for a wide variety of pesticides. We must specify which family of pesticides we suspect (organochlorines, organophosphates, and pyrethrins) and require testing.
Proper water testing depends on the source of your water supply. There are different considerations for municipal water supplies and well water supplies. Municipal supplies can be tested for PH levels or lead contaminants. Well water should be tested for pesticides, nitrates, and bacteria.
Soil testing is best performed in areas most often used for daily activities, such as children’s play areas, gardens, yards, or outdoor patios. We look for the presence of lead, arsenic, and other metals.