Here are some things you should know about carbon monoxide and carbon monoxide indoor air quality testing. Knowing carbon monoxide levels can be an important part of indoor air quality testing.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced by the combustion of carbon based materials. Sources of carbon monoxide in indoor air include gas and oil appliances such as furnaces and fire places, vehicles, tobacco smoke and the infiltration of carbon monoxide in polluted outdoor air. Carbon monoxide is common indoor air quality contaminant in residential buildings and the workplace.
Often people assume their carbon monoxide is at safe levels because they have a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide detectors are designed to go off only when carbon monoxide levels are at very high concentrations. They are not designed to monitor air quality for carbon monoxide. They provide a warning if levels become life threatening but rarely will warn you at lower levels, even though the lower levels can cause respiratory problems, headaches and other symptoms. These lower levels are a common indoor air quality problem.
Some of the standards for carbon monoxide levels include current WorkSafeBC (OH&S Part 5) maximum allowable eight hour exposure levels for the work place is 25 ppm. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards ASHRAE 62-1989 “Ventilation of Acceptable Indoor Air Quality” lists carbon monoxide levels of 5 ppm as having the potential to cause complaints in a non-industrial establishment. Health Canada Exposure Guidelines section 4.A.3 acceptable short-term exposure ranges for carbon monoxide £ 11 ppm – eight-hour average concentration £ 25 ppm – one-hour average concentration.
If want to make sure you have good indoor air quality in your home or workplace carbon monoxide should be monitored. ABM Environmental can help with carbon monoxide testing or other more comprehensive air quality testing services. Call us for a phone consultation at (604) 568-5177 or fill out the Online Assessment Form to receive more information. See Indoor Air Quality to learn more about the ABM Environmental indoor air quality testing services.