What is air quality testing?
Assessment and evaluation of indoor air quality
Indoor air quality has a major influence on the health, comfort and well-being of building occupants. Poor air quality has been linked to Sick Building Syndrome, reduced productivity in offices and impaired learning in schools.
As people in Europe spend at least 90% of their time indoors, their total exposure to many air pollutants largely depends on their indoor exposure. These pollutants include volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide, particulate matter and fibres, and biological particles such as bacteria, fungi and pollen.
Pollutant sources include outdoor contaminants from traffic and industry, which enter buildings by infiltration and through ventilation systems, and indoor contaminants from burning fuels, candles and tobacco, and emissions from building materials, furnishings, cleaning products, electronic equipment, toiletries, people and pets. New building products can be particularly important pollution sources.
Pollutants’ impacts on health depend on their toxicity, concentration and exposure period, and range from odour to irritation to serious toxic effects.
Moulds are microscopic fungi that live on various surfaces when the environmental conditions are suitable. They produce large quantities of spores that become readily airborne and quickly spread in the indoor environment. Mould spores are a natural part of any environment and can be present in large quantities at certain time of the year. Certain types of mould are specifically toxic to humans and can cause severe allergies and even asthma.
The most common type of toxic mould is Stachybotrys Chartarum which is commonly known as the black mould. This mould likes wet cellulose fibres (wall paper, decorative items etc) and can grow on wall surfaces, under ceilings, window edges and between ceramic tiles. One strain of Stachybotrys mould is known to produce a poisonous toxin that is fatal to animals, whereas another type is known to be fatal to infants by causing bleeding lungs.
Another common type of toxic mould is Memnoniella which is commonly found along with the toxic black mould. Some types of Memnoniella mould develop toxins which are very much like those formed by Stachybotrys and can be equally harmful to health of humans and animals.
Air quality testing for mould spores is important because poor indoor air quality can lead to negative health effects and reduced quality of life.
How does it work?
The results of the air quality test will reveal whether or not there are any pollutants present in the air as well as the concentrations in which they are found. Based on the results of the air quality test, we will be able to recommend an appropriate course of action or remediation.
Over the past several years,indoor air quality (IAQ) has been a much debated and publicized topic, especially as it concerns public health. The EPA estimates that we spend approximately
90% of our time indoors, and further studies indicate that indoor air in some commercial settings is up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Airborne particulates come in a variety of forms ranging from animal dander, plant pollen, and airborne bacteria, to fiberglass, asbestos, and combustion particles. Motionless, human beings alone shed up to 500,000 particles(0.3µm) per minute. When active, this level can reach up to 45,000,000 particles per minute. Humidity and temperature play a significant role in the generation rate of these pollutants. To properly identify and troubleshoot IAQ problems, Mould Busters use a tool that not only reads particle concentrations, but also provides insight into the environment that causes pollutants to grow.
Why Particle Counts Matter
Different locations have varying levels of acceptable particulate concentrations, driven primarily by health and comfort concerns (i.e. homes, offices, paint booths) or contamination (i.e. hospitals, food and beverage plants, cleanrooms). Excessive levels can result in medical conditions such as Sick Building Syndrome, lower productivity, contaminated product, or all of the above.
Maintaining acceptable air quality levels may not only lower the costs associated with downtime, but also reduce or remove costs associated with expensive fixes in the future.
Check the air you breath, Book the air quality testing today.