Debunking Common Myths About Air Quality Monitoring
1. Introduction to the importance air quality
The truth is that poor air quality is not just a problem in congested cities – outdoors. Poor air quality is also a problem in our homes, at our workplaces and at many indoor facilities. Indoor air quality is increasingly important since we are spending so much more time indoors, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indoor air quality is vitally important for our health. Dust, pollen, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold, Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), tobacco smoke, CO2, viruses, germs and even asbestos are just some of the pollutants found in our indoor spaces. These pollutants pose health issues for all of us, but particularly for those with asthma and other lung problems, the elderly, those with underlying health issues and those with compromised immune systems. Breathing these pollutants can lead to lung problems, illness, heart disease and a wide range of other health problems, including cancer.
2. What is air quality monitoring?
Air quality monitoring is a way for big apartment complexes, businesses, factories and other large indoor spaces to regularly and/or continuously monitor the air quality in their facilities. Air quality monitoring techniques begin with air quality testing to identify any and all potential problems and their causes. Then, after doing the top priority fixes to improve indoor air quality, air quality monitors are installed in critical areas to continuously monitor and check the air quality and identify if, when and where pollutants are entering the building(s).
Only when your facility understands the causes, the entry points, the potential harmful effects, and the proper techniques for mitigating every air pollutant from your facility will your air quality monitoring techniques be able to work properly to keep everyone safe. And only then will you know the peace of mind that comes from doing all the right things to keep your indoor air quality excellent!
3. Why is air quality monitoring important?
There are lots of reasons why air quality monitoring is important, not the least of them is to safeguard the health and safety of your employees, tenants, customers, visitors, etc. It is prudent, ethical and wise to safeguard human health. It is also best for your business if you keep your customers, employees, tenants, etc., healthy and happy. Imagine if your business had problems with customers repeatedly encountering unpleasant odors in your facility. They would be unlikely to return. Or imagine dealing with numerous chronic illnesses among your employees over a period of time; only to discover that they had been inhaling pollutants in your facility that made them sick. There are many possible scenarios and all of them are unpleasant.
Besides those motivating reasons, it is also the law. Heavy penalties can be levied on businesses, apartment complexes, factories and public venues that fail to comply with local, state and federal laws for indoor air quality monitoring.
4. Air Pollution Myths
– Air pollution is an outdoor problem
The most prominent of the air pollution myths is that it is only an outdoor problem. Outdoor pollution makes its way indoors through windows, structural cracks, ventilation systems, and even soil vapors through the foundation. But there are also culprits on the inside of buildings. Stored cleaning chemicals, mold from dampness and humidity, particulate matter and dust from the work you do or from old ventilation systems, asbestos from old insulation, heavy metals from old paint on walls, CO2 from furnaces or air tight spaces, and the list goes on and on. Air pollution is everywhere and it easily becomes more concentrated inside of buildings.
– You don’t need to monitor if you have indoor plants
Another of the dangerous indoor air pollution myths is that monitoring is unnecessary if your facility has lots of indoor plants to clean the air. This is not to say that you shouldn’t have indoor plants, they actually do provide a lot of great benefits for indoor environments. However, they do not remove very many pollutants quickly. Toxins, dust, mold, mildew, VOC’s, PAHs and asbestos are just some of the pollutants not rapidly absorbed by plants. Instead these pollutants will continue to create health problems until they are detected, removed and monitored.
– You don’t need to monitor if you keep a clean workspace
These myths may all help with certain pollution problems, like dust from a dirty workplace. And again, there is nothing wrong with keeping your indoor environment clean of messes, dust, trash and other things. However, cleanliness will not prevent most of the very serious potential pollutant problems you may encounter in your indoor facility. So, what can you do?
The best thing your business could do is follow a threefold process:
- First, hire the best environmental testing laboratory you can find to thoroughly test your indoor air for as many potential pollutants as possible.
- Second, discuss with the lab how to clean up any and all pollutants from your indoor space.
- Third, figure out how to most effectively monitor the indoor air quality at your facility to make sure that your indoor air quality remains as pure as possible.
Air quality analysis is rapidly evolving; a result of increasing environmental awareness and growing demand for accountability in meeting air quality standards. Torrent Laboratory has made significant commitments to air testing and analysis through consistent investments in new methods, technologies and advanced procedures. As a result Torrent Lab has the most technically advanced air quality testing laboratory equipment. In addition Torrent Lab’s expert chemists provide clients with extremely accurate, fast and reliable results. Our superb customer service will also work with you to identify the very best methods of clean up and provide you with the most advanced air quality monitoring techniques and equipment.