Indoor Air Quality Testing
“The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly from those that are highly toxic, to those with no known health effect.”
Today’s clients want to know if their family is breathing in any harmful contaminants that might be beyond basic mold testing. They read on the internet that Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can bring about symptoms that can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea* — something that a basic mold inspection might not find. VOCs may also cause damage to your liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals, and some are suspected to cause cancer in humans. This is nothing that you want to play around with. However, Volatile Organic Compounds are common in the indoor environment.
Volatile organic compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids.* VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and/or long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to 10 times) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.
Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes, and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products. Fuels are made of organic chemicals. All of these products can release VOCs while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored. It is important to store household products containing potentially harmful chemicals in sealed containers. Use the products and then store them away to minimize exposure
We use state-of-the-art equipment such as the Graywolf Multi-Gas PID monitor to survey information about total volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity. These indoor air quality monitors can give us instant readings on the spot while we are doing the inspection from as many different locations as we think necessary. If you’re interested in having tests done beyond mold assessments and investigating your exposure to VOCs, contact Culley Enviro.
*From the EPA Publication “Volatile Organic Compounds Impact on Indoor Air Quality.
Culley Enviro uses several different measuring and testing methodologies to determine what potential health hazards may be in your indoor air and compares it with standards that are used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Hazard Agency (OSHA), and American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
Here are a few key questions to ask yourself:
- What’s the problem or purpose? Odor, physical symptoms, real estate transaction, monitoring, simple curiosity?
- Is the problem present all the time or is it specific to a particular location/time/activity?
- Have any new products, activities, or environmental conditions been introduced recently?
- Is the effect limited to one person or is everyone affected?
- Do you need an overview of the VOCs or more detailed chemical information?
Culley Enviro offers a wide range of sampling and analysis options to address your indoor air concerns.
One of the most trusted devices used to monitor indoor air quality is GrayWolf’s PID Meters. A photoionization detector or PID is a type of gas detector. Typical photoionization detectors measure volatile organic compounds and other gases in concentrations from sub parts per billion to 10 000 parts per million (ppm). The photoionization detector is an efficient and inexpensive detector for many applications.
They are highly accurate, easy to use, and ideal for both quick spot checks and continuous monitoring in commercial buildings or residences. The sensors within the meters provide reliable readings on a variety of factors such as total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, temperature, and humidity. GrayWolf Meters provide a comprehensive solution for indoor air quality monitoring. With an extensive range of sensor options available, GrayWolf meters are designed to measure the most important factors affecting air quality including volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and more. Their easy-to-use interfaces enable quick and simple configuration for specific monitoring applications such as industrial or commercial buildings. All measurements are digitally logged for further analysis, saving time and resources compared to manually recording the data.
ENTHALPY LABS INDOOR AIR QUALITY
In addition, Culley Enviro utilizes pumps and adsorption tubes from Enthalpy Labs. as part of our overall IAQ testing program, combining it with other instruments to provide a full range of monitoring solutions. With their accuracy and ease of use, they are essential tools in ensuring that indoor air quality is within safe levels. Enthalpy Labs. pumps and adsorption tubes are designed to measure formaldehyde, VOCs, ozone, benzene, NO2 and more in a variety of indoor environments.
At Culley Enviro we use this combination of GrayWolf Meters and Enthalpy Labs pumps as an integral part of our IAQ testing program so that clients can rest assured that they are not experiencing exposure to toxic chemicals. Our team of experienced technicians ensure that all readings are taken accurately and that any recommendations made to improve indoor air quality meet the highest standards. By working with both device manufacturers, Culley Enviro is able to provide accurate and reliable testing solutions for clients in a variety of environments. No matter what your specific circumstances are, our team of experts can help you assess your indoor air quality and make sure that it meets the highest standards of safety. Our commitment to providing dependable and comprehensive solutions for IAQ testing means that you can have peace of mind when dealing with any potential health hazards in your home or workplace. With our experienced staff, trusted device manufacturers, and reliable monitoring solutions, Culley Enviro is a valuable option in indoor air quality testing. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you ensure that your indoor air is of acceptable standards. We look forward to hearing from you!
WHAT’S THAT SMELL? Our sense of smell can be amazing and annoying at the same time. Many of us can detect certain odors that are annoying, bothersome, and can even make us sick. More importantly determining the source of the smell can drive us crazy! We come into contact with many scents all throughout our day. What happens if the odor is in our home or work environment where we spend a majority of our time? Some VOCs can be odorless but many do have an odor & odor threshold. To remove the source of the offensive odor we must first find what it is coming from.
An odor, smell, scent, or fragrance is caused when one or more volatile chemicals enter our nasal passages and are detected by specialized receptors. These can be interpreted as pleasant or unpleasant, as well as variations in description such as flowery, spicy, ethereal, acrid, musky, etc.
Our knowledgeable technical staff and solutions-based analyses can help to determine the point source odor and vapor problems. Enthalpy offers varying levels of odor detection/solution analyses from our Survey line of products to our 500+ compound Comp-Air report.
Let us help you determine which analysis option best matched your application.
Agencies such as the EPA and the National Cancer Institute are stating that above certain levels of formaldehyde in the air (0.1 ppm or 100 ppb) individuals may experience adverse health effects. But how do we know the levels of formaldehyde in our environment?
When formaldehyde is present in the air at levels exceeding 100 ppb, some individuals may experience adverse effects such as watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation. Some people are very sensitive to formaldehyde, whereas others have no reaction to the same level of exposure. In addition to the immediate symptoms, formaldehyde is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen, known to cause cancer in humans, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
One of the complicating factors in formaldehyde investigations is the variety and number of sources. There are a surprising number of sources in various building materials, everyday products, and natural processes. Let our team of experts help you identify potential sources of formaldehyde.
Solving poor indoor air quality mysteries can be quite a task. There are many possible sources within our indoor environments contributing to the chemical makeup of the air we breathe. When there has been recent construction or a new process implemented, we can usually gain a better handle on what is causing the IAQ issue. How can you be sure that you have narrowed down the culprit?
Material off gas analysis can help determine which product is creating the concerning VOC’s we find in the air. Chemical specific and full spectrum analyses are available. Enthalpy can analyze both solid and semi-solid materials; such as flooring, carpet, insulation, clothing, furniture, bedding/mattresses, etc. This valuable data can then be cross referenced with the VOC air analysis to determine if the chemical signatures or fingerprints are the same.
Providing detailed analysis of the air and material source will allow the cleanup/containment work to begin. Contact us for assistance with planning your upcoming project or to learn more about bulk material off gassing.