Indoor Air Quality Testing
Since most daily life puts us indoors, it is important to provide an office or work environment with good air quality. Indoor air quality is important not only for overall worker health, but also to improve comfort in the workplace and to show that the environment is both safe and healthy for people to work in. Poor indoor air quality may typically produce headaches, eye and throat irritation and can cause or increase respiratory symptoms such as coughing, breathing difficulty, or a full-blown asthma attack. Indoor contaminates can also cause cancer and other diseases such as Pontiac Fever and Histoplasmosis.
Improvements in energy efficiency can have a negative impact on indoor air quality. In some instances, overly tight buildings have been shown to have indoor air quality concerns simply because there is a lack of adequate fresh air ventilation. Other conditions can also contribute to poor air quality. These may be related to activities occurring inside the building (or in the case of a past building renovation, activities which previously occurred in the building), such as improperly vented combustion sources, poor dust control or cleaning practices, smoking, the release of volatile organic compounds from building materials (including furnishings, carpet, paints, woods, and other substances), improper storage or use of chemicals, personal hygiene, or pesticide applications. Other problem conditions may arise in a building from other concerns, including moisture intrusion, sewage backflow, and excessive humidity.
IAQ Investigations should take a holistic approach to evaluate multiple potential concerns, ultimately identifying the underlying cause(or causes) of the problem(s). A key factor is understanding the nature of the complaints by interviewing building occupants. In general, solutions must be approached analytically and scientifically to find more successful, cost-effective measure(s) to address the underlying indoor air quality complaint. ECS will often recommend outside resources to assist with corrective measures to find the most effective means of addressing the problem. It is important to note, however, that there are some instances where our investigation does not find an environmental concern. In these instances, we will stand behind our findings and report the data. There are numerous studies that show poor indoor air quality perception can be influenced by social factors, poor working conditions, lack of comfort and/or space, etc. and are not necessarily related to an environmental factor.
ECS provides the following IAQ testing services:
- Sick Building / Indoor contaminant studies (including asbestos, formaldehyde, mold, soot, dust, volatile organic hydrocarbons, and formaldehyde)
- Unknown contaminant identification
- Mold and moisture intrusion diagnosis – initial and post remediation testing, including remediation protocols, building envelope review, cause and origin diagnosis
- Bird droppings (histoplasmosis) sampling
- Gray and/or black water contamination testing, including remediation protocols
- Legionella / Pontiac Fever sampling
- Ventilation studies
- Methamphetamine contamination sampling
- Radon exposure sampling
- Moisture intrusion / infrared camera surveys
- LEED credit testing and analysis
- General Industrial Hygiene consulting
Please contact us with any questions regarding indoor air quality testing.