What is considered good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
The qualities of good IAQ should include comfortable temperature and humidity, adequate supply of fresh outdoor air, and control of pollutants from inside and outside of the building. The quality of indoor air inside homes, offices, schools, and other workplaces is important not only for workers' comfort but also for their health.
When you need support to tackle occupant complaints related to noxious odors, health concerns or water intrusion issues, call American Environmental Group (AEG). Our industrial hygienists, scientists, engineers, and regulatory specialists can help you determine fundamental factors, define damages and develop corrective actions and prevention strategies. We will work closely with you to evaluate energy conservation options, monitor construction and renovation activities, and evaluate building materials and material installation practices. AEG routinely teams with architects, property owners/managers, engineers, and healthcare facility managers across the US.
We help you evaluate external and internal pollution factors, as well as evaluate design and maintenance of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. When appropriate, we conduct an indoor environment assessment, including environmental sampling and limited HVAC system examination. AEG performs sampling in accordance with NIOSH Sampling methods, EPA, OSHA, and recommended levels established by the EPA “California Human Health Screening Levels (CHHSL) for Indoor Air and Soil Gas.” AEG can help you identify, manage and resolve IAQ issues.
Potential Effects of Poor IAQ:
- Asbestos - If products containing asbestos are disturbed, the tiny fibers are released into the air. When they are breathed in, they can become trapped in the lungs and stay there for many years. Over time these fibers can accumulate and lead to serious health problems such as Asbestosis or Mesothelioma.
- Lead - Studies indicate that too much lead in the body can cause lasting problems with growth and development in children,. These can affect behavior, hearing, and learning and can slow the child's growth. In adults, lead poisoning can damage the brain and nervous system, the stomach, and the kidneys. Environmental laws have reduced lead exposure in the United States, but it is still a health risk, especially for young children.
- Carbon Monoxide - Pollution from internal and external combustion sources can inhibit oxygen uptake in the body that can cause illness and reduced productivity for occupants.
- Carbon Dioxide - Complaints of stuffiness, sleepiness, headaches, and loss of employee production can result due to inadequate fresh air and proper ventilation system design.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - Are released by copy/printer machines, common cleaners and adhesives, and paints that can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches and dizziness.
- Formaldehyde - Acute formaldehyde exposure can have toxic effects on the nasal cavity and/or throat if inhaled as well as the gastrointestinal tract if ingested in high levels as well as several other toxic effects. It can be released from new building materials such as carpeting and pressed wood products that use glues (particle board, hardwood, plywood paneling). These products may be used in home construction and renovations and are also often used to make furniture, cabinets, paints, adhesives, varnishes and floor finishes.
- Particulate Matter - Found in ventilation systems or from nearby construction activities, can cause itchy, red eyes, runny nose and other allergic reactions.
- Mold Contaminants - Mold can occur As a result of water intrusion events, excessive humidity, or other building system flaws, can trigger allergic response, asthma, and infections.
There are several other chemical compounds that may contribute to an unhealthy workplace or home without knowing where or what the direct source may be. AEG has the capability to perform testing for multiple compounds (over 65 compounds plus VOC’s) utilizing one instrument and sampling device.