214-533-7445 (text or call) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people have not connected their health symptoms to poor indoor air quality (IAQ). The end result are people who experience headaches, coughs, muscle pain, upper respiratory problems and other unexplained illnesses that their doctor can’t find the solution to.
When an individual suspects a building related cause for an illness, they contact us. We confirm the presence of common contaminants, locate the source and make recommendations for improvements.
IAQ investigations and testing are recommended and encouraged by such organizations as theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American Lung Association, State Health Departments and many more organizations.
Choosing the Right Inspector
The first question that needs to be answered, is who is qualified to do indoor air quality testing.
- The individual needs to be licensed in the fields that require licensing. This would include asbestos, lead (metal) and mold. If your inspector doesn’t have these licenses, than you should look elsewhere.
- A lot of air-conditioning companies advertise for indoor air quality. First, they don’t have the measuring equipment to do a inspection. Secondly, they are biased, in that they want to sell you some of their products. Thirdly, installing their equipment recommendations won’t help in the vast amount of situations.
- Air duct cleaning companies also count themselves as indoor air quality professionals. The problem is, that EPA says it doesn’t help.
- Last on the list is mold inspectors. They seem to think that testing the air for mold is indoor air quality testing. It’s not. It’s mold air testing.
The IAQ Process
To answer this question, we take around 60 to 70 air test throughout the home or office. We compare the outside to the inside. We compare one room to another.
You will be asked about any health symptoms you or another have been experiencing. A visual assessment will also be performed, because sometimes the inspector’s eyes are the best too.
We find out if someone would be considered in a sensitive group. What type of person would be in a sensitive group? Persons with allergies, asthma, autoimmune disease along with very young or very old individuals. Folks with COPD, cancer, HIV, lung damage or other immune deficits, would be placed in the highly sensitive group.
When the testing is completed, the inspector will give you a preliminary verbal report before leaving. The inspector will need to do some research and enter measurement into a computer, before the final written report is issued. The research and computer work is where most of the time is spent. Within 48 hours, you should receive your final report via email. If samples were sent off to the laboratory, then 48 hours after we receive the results.
What Is Tested?
The IAQ testing will test your indoor air for the following most common contaminants that cause illnesses according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- PM10 – Coarse dust particles. Particles between 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter are referred to as “coarse.” Sources of coarse particles include mold spores, pollen, dust mites, insect parts,crushing or grinding operations, and dust stirred up by vehicles traveling on roads.
- PM2.5 – Fine particles (PM2.5). Particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter are called “fine” particles. These particles are so small they can be detected only with an electron microscope. Sources of fine particles include all types of combustion, including motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, and some industrial processes.
- Nitrogen Dioxide
- Sulfur Dioxide
- Carbon Monoxide
- Carbon Dioxide
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Relative Humidity
Before the Testing
When performing an indoor air quality test, most people want to clean up the area before the inspector arrives. This is the exact opposite what needs to be done. The testing needs to be in a normal livable condition. By vacuuming, dusting and spraying air freshener, it can give false numbers.
48 hours before the test, all windows and exterior doors should remain shut, including the garage door. It is fine to walk (drive) in and out through the exterior door, just don’t leave them open. If possible, no showers, no oven or stove top use 4 hours before the testing. If not possible, be sure to let the inspector know of any cooking and/or showering that has taken place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does testing cost?
$495 Residential & $595 Office or Commercial for the average size home and office. The price is associated with the expensive testing equipment being used. It is important to understand that testing does not give a hypothesis and does not include a visual assessment. It is testing the air only for the most common contaminants. Additional services can be provided, but the first step is to see if there is a problem or not.
Q: What happens during the testing?
The amount of time to test the air is relatively short. Once we’ve tested the air, we will give you preliminary verbal report. However, we have to take the information back to the office and download the information. A final report will be emailed to you, usually within 48 hours.
Q: What type of health symptoms are caused by poor indoor air quality?
Nose: Runny, Irritated or Stuffy
Ears: Hearing Loss
Throat: Cough, Phlegm or Sore
Headache or Eye Pressure
Muscle Pain or Soreness
Lethargy or Loss of Energy
Wheezing or Chest Heaviness
Sinus and Hay fever like symptoms
Diarrhea and Nausea
Asthma and Allergies
Shortness of Breathe
Cardiac or Stroke
Dizziness or Vertigo
Q: I’m the only one that seems to have problems. Am I going crazy?
No. The vast majority of time, only one individual feels signs of illness. The reason is, that one person is more sensitive to a particular contaminant, where others are sensitive to other contaminants. It just so happens that the contaminant you’re sensitive too is the same one that is in your building.
Q: I’ve been to the doctor, but they don’t know what the problem is. Can you still help?
Many general physicians don’t specialize in environmental causes, but once they understand what the contaminant is, they can be better equipped to help out. There also are doctors that do have this specialization of environmental medicine that you may want to see.