Indoor Air Quality Testing with
Why indoor air quality testing?
Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs
While all VOCs have the potential to be harmful, there are a few common VOCs that can be particularly dangerous: Formaldehyde, benzene, and phenol are classified as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For a complete list of all 188 HAPs, click here to visit the EPA website.
Molds are microscopic fungi that can be found almost anywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Molds can grow on wood and insulation, in carpet, and even behind walls where they can continue to grow undetected. When excessive moisture accumulates in the home, mold growth will often occur. This moisture build-up can stem from plumbing leaks, from condensation in air conditioning and heating systems, or from ground water penetration. If damp or wet drywall becomes moist and is not dried out within two days, mold can be suspected to be growing within the walls, even if it is not visible.
When mold is in an active growth phase, it releases gases into the air called Mold Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs). Not all of these gases can be detected by smell.
When mold is present in large quantities, it can present a health hazard, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems in people who have sensitivities to mold. Molds produce allergens that cause hay fever-type symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and skin rashes. More severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. In addition, molds can trigger asthma attacks in people with asthma and who are allergic to mold. Some people with chronic lung illnesses can develop mold infections in their lungs with prolonged exposure to mold in the home.
Formaldehyde is a chemical commonly used in building materials and numerous household products. At room temperature, formaldehyde vaporizes into the air, potentially causing serious health problems. It is also a by-product of combustion processes. When you burn things like natural gas, wood, gasoline, or tobacco, formaldehyde gas is released into the air. The most significant sources of formaldehyde in homes are: pressed wood products like particle board, plywood paneling, and MDF (medium density fiberboard); foam insulation; carpets; drapery fabrics; resins; glues; cigarettes; and un-vented, fuel-burning appliances like gas stoves or kerosene heaters.
Health effects of formaldehyde are eye, nose and throat burning and irritation; nausea; skin rashes; and breathing difficulties in some people. High concentrations of formaldehyde can trigger asthma attacks. Formaldehyde is also considered a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance), classified as a Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) by the EPA.
The tobacco smoke test option of Home Air Check looks for specific chemical compounds known to be present in secondhand smoke, sometimes referred to as environmental tobacco smoke or passive smoke.
With Home Air Check, we offer an an advanced, accurate test that identifies over 400 VOCs, formaldehyde, growing mold, and secondhand smoke that may be lurking in your home's air.
To find out more, please contact us or call us at (610) 992 1252.