What Does an Indoor Air Quality Test Measure?
Because we spend much of our time indoors, the quality of the air we breathe in our homes, workplaces, gyms and other indoor spaces, is important to our overall health and well being.
What Is Indoor Air Quality Testing and Why Is it Done?
Indoor air quality testing is a way to determine whether your indoor spaces meet indoor air quality standards.. Professional air quality tests measure indoor air for things such as allergens, mold, radon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other pollutants. Administering these tests professionally will determine whether the quality of your indoor air is safe or dangerous. When conducted by professional laboratories, the results will tell you exactly what pollutants are in the air at your home, business location or office.
As a result of decades of poor chemical waste management, and because many harmful chemicals do not break down rapidly, there has been a steady buildup of toxic chemicals in our soil and groundwater. More recently, we have discovered that some volatile chemical vapors have been seeping up through the soil and collecting below buildings. These toxic vapors have found their way into buildings through cracks in foundations, sewer systems, ventilation ducts and other means.
Some of these chemicals are undetectable and others are easily confused with common household products, meaning that most people live or work unaware of the danger. This is why it is so important to contact an environmental lab about getting a professional air quality test done in your home, office or business.
How Is Indoor Air Quality Testing Done?
Air quality inspections and testing work to identify three types of pollutants:
Biological pollutants in our indoor air include bacteria, pollen, mold, dander, and dust mites. Even if your own home or office don’t have plants or pets in them, many of these biological pollutants can be carried indoors through open windows or by guests or employees. Mold can be a hidden danger behind walls, in attics, basements or crawl spaces. A professional air quality inspection will identify whether any of these biological pollutants are present at levels that could pose health issues for occupants.
2-Chemical or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
VOCs are organic chemicals emitted as gasses from common household products or processes or from the presence of radon. Most of the time we can smell them but not always. Common sources of indoor VOCs are cleaning agents, disinfectants, air fresheners and paints. VOC contamination can be from outdoor air pollution or from soil vapor intrusion. Determining whether VOCs are present is one of the most important reasons for indoor air quality testing. This is because VOCs are exceptionally dangerous substances that must be kept at the absolute minimum levels possible, indoors.
These are gasses resulting from ignition/combustion, including carbon monoxide from fireplaces or other heating sources, and secondhand smoke from smoking. They are very dangerous pollutants and carbon monoxide is odorless. Keeping these out of your indoor spaces is essential to improve indoor air quality.
Tests themselves are conducted by professionals from environmental laboratories. These lab engineers have years of experience as well as highly advanced technology and equipment. Air samples are collected on site and then sent to the laboratory for testing. The best labs have fast turnaround times and will help you interpret the results to gain a full understanding of what pollutants are present and at what levels.
Why Indoor Air Quality Tests Are Important
To improve indoor air quality standards in your home, office or business, a professional air quality test will provide you with the numbers on the exact levels of pollutants inside your home, office or business. While some of these pollutants may be just mild irritants, others will need to be completely removed. Ensuring that serious indoor air pollutants are identified and removed from inside your building is why these tests are important. By taking all necessary precautions to ensure you and your loved ones stay healthy and free from potential indoor hazards, you will improve health and gain peace of mind.
Consistent, continuous, data-driven indoor air quality monitoring is the best long term solution! Conducting a thorough indoor air quality check as a baseline for your business, office or home will inform you of what can be done, what must be done and what goals can be set for your property.
Once your baseline has been identified, you must put into place a clear plan for ridding your property of any and all causes of indoor air pollution. Installing an indoor air quality monitoring system is an excellent next step to improve the indoor air quality for all your employees/tenants or family.
Torrent Laboratory has continuously invested in new methods, technologies and advanced procedures for air quality testing and monitoring. Torrent supplies data for a range of air testing methods including NIOSH, OSHA, ASTM, and EPA Air Compendium Methods (TO, CO, IO). We have invested in the most technically advanced air quality testing laboratory equipment in order to provide highly accurate, fast and reliable results. Our engineers and customer service representatives will help you meet all of the indoor air quality standards set by federal, state and local laws. But we will not stop there. We will also offer expertise, guidance and recommendations for any and all of your indoor air quality testing and monitoring needs.