Indoor Air Quality Testing

Consider hiring Integrity Home Evaluation Services for your indoor air quality testing. This ensures you and your family are protected.

Indoor Air Quality Testing

There are three different Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) tests that we offer:

Why Get An Indoor Air Quality Test?

Your home’s air quality has as much to do with comfort as it does your health. You may not be able to see them, but indoor air pollutants exist and they are all around you. Harmful chemicals and toxic agents can spread throughout the air in your home and begin to impact your health. And because it’s often invisible, you may not have considered testing for it.

The causes of indoor air pollution varies from region to region, house to house, and even room to room. Contaminated air trickles in from the outside, but it also comes up from a variety of indoor air sources like construction materials, consumer products, mold, insects and pets. Some pollutants in the air are especially harmful for children, the elderly, and those with underlying health problems.

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  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Nasal Irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer

VOC’S

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) 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 up of organic chemicals. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.

Some organics can cause damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system. Many  of these VOCs are  known to cause cancer.

Symptoms associated with exposure include:

  • eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea
  • allergic skin reaction
  • labored breathing
  • bleeding from the nose
  • fatigue
  • dizziness

Not all VOCs have all these health effects, though many have several.

HOW ARE YOU EXPOSED TO VOC’S?

 Lifestyle

  • cleaners and disinfectants
  • wall coverings
  • furniture and furnishings
  • upholstery, fabric materials
  • moth repellents
  • air fresheners, and other scented products (candles)
  • cosmetics, perfumes, deodorants

Building Materials

  • paints, paint strippers, varnishes, finishes, and stains
  • adhesives, caulks, sealants, and coatings
  • vinyl flooring, carpet, pressed wood products
  • plumbing adhesives and sealants

Activities

  • tobacco smoke
  • dry-cleaned clothing
  • arts and crafts products – glues, permanent markers, photographic solutions, etc.
  • wood burning stoves
  • office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper
  • stored fuel oil, gasoline for lawn care or recreational equipment
  • carrier solvents for pesticide/insecticide applications

Other

  • vehicle exhaust
  • wood burning
  • oil and gas extraction and processing industrial emissions
  • Freons from air conditioner or refrigeration appliances

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling (pickle-like odor) chemical that is present both indoors and outdoors (occurring naturally). Formaldehyde is volatile, and will readily convert to a gas from a solid or liquid state.   It is released into the air from many products inside the home.

When an item gives off formaldehyde, it is released into the air through a process called off-gassing. High humidity and high temperatures can speed up and increase the release of formaldehyde from products and surfaces. In some spaces such as manufacturing and commercial buildings, formaldehyde vapors may reach dangerously high concentrations.

Indoor levels of formaldehyde should be as low as possible, assuming that you cannot get indoor levels below background amounts (outdoor levels).  According to research from the California Environmental Protection Agency (2004), levels of formaldehyde in conventional homes average about 20 ppb, while levels in manufactured homes the average is about 40 ppb.

Symptomatic irritations can occur with low levels of formaldehyde exposure, especially in people who are sensitive to the chemical compound.

HOW ARE YOU EXPOSED TO FORMALDEHYDE?

Common Sources

  • products that contain urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins
  • products that contain phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resins (lower concentrations of formaldehyde than UF resins)
  • composite wood products (i.e., hardwood plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard
  • softwood plywood, flake or oriented strand board
  • pre-finished engineered flooring
  • building materials and insulation
  • glues and adhesives
  • bonding agents and solvents
  • paints and coatings
  • lacquers and finishes
  • textiles
  • disinfectant cleaning products and soaps
  • preservatives
  • some synthetic fabrics (permanent press)
  • some cosmetics and personal products (some hair sprays)
  • pet care products
  • combustion byproduct such as tobacco smoke and fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, kerosene space heaters and fireplaces)