Air quality testing is performed because air within our homes and workplaces can often be more polluted than the outdoor air in Metro Vancouver. It can be a cumulative effect of many small problems or one single contaminant that cause an indoor air quality problem. Indoor air quality testing can be conducted for many different potential contaminants. ABM Environmental provides indoor air quality testing and assessments throughout Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Air quality testing can be performed on residential houses, condos, offices and commercial buildings.
Mold Air Quality Testing
The most common contaminant in homes and buildings in Metro Vancouver is elevated levels of mold in the air. Certain mold species contain mycotoxins and adversely affect the indoor air when aerosolized. ABM Environmental can detect the exact levels of mold, identified by mold type, through analysing the indoor air.
Carbon Dioxide Air Quality Testing
Carbon Dioxide concentration in the indoor air can provide a good indication of the ventilation rate and air quality of an indoor space. Carbon Dioxide is generated indoors primarily through human occupancy. Carbon dioxide levels tend to become elevated in areas with inadequate ventilation. This problem can become worse as more people are located in smaller areas with limited ventilation.
Carbon Monoxide Air Quality Testing
Carbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless toxic gas that is produced as a result of incomplete burning of carbon containing fuels. Motor vehicle emissions, gas heaters, gas stoves and cigarette smoke are all sources of carbon monoxide. At low concentration levels, it can cause headaches, nausea, disorientation, and fatigue. Carbon monoxide detectors placed in buildings typically are not designed to detect levels below 30 ppm and will not alarm until levels are above that level. Adverse reactions to carbon monoxide can start at much lower levels.
Volatile Organic Compounds Air Quality Testing
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are chemicals that contain organic compounds and produce chemical vapours into the air. When the organic vapours are produced or off gassed in an indoor environment they can build up in the indoor air and negatively impact air quality. All buildings contain a large variety of Volatile Organic Compound sources such as building materials, furniture, plastics, cleaning products, combustion sources and office equipment. People can have reactions to VOCs at low concentrations.
Formaldehyde Air Quality Testing
Many building materials and consumer products emit formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known irritant to people. Symptoms include dry or sore throat, nosebleeds, headaches, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, nausea, dizziness, breathing problems, and eye irritation. Formaldehyde can trigger asthma attacks, and it is a known carcinogen. Building materials and materials used in furniture such as plywood, pressed wood products, adhesives, paints, and wood finishes may contain formaldehyde.
Dust & Particulates Air Quality Testing
There is always some level of dust and particulates in the indoor air. Excessive levels of particulates can cause allergic reactions, such as dry eyes, nose, throat, and skin irritation, coughing, sneezing and respiratory difficulties. Small particles that reach the lower regions of the respiratory tract are responsible for most of the adverse health effects. Indoor particles come from both indoor and outdoor sources and can be drawn into the building via infiltration and outdoor air intakes.
Relative Humidity Air Quality Testing
Relative humidity is one of the best indicators of indoor air quality. If relative humidity is too low it may lead to symptoms such as dry eyes, nose and throat, and increases in respiratory illness. Relative humidity levels that are too high can give rise to stuffiness, headaches, and fatigue. If relative humidity levels are persistently high, the risk of mold problems will increase and this will in turn cause adverse health effects.