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Indoor Air Quality

Sources of Issues

Asbestos

  • Naturally occurring fiber mined from rocks
  • Known carcinogen
  • Used in over 3600 different materials
    • Insulation
    • Roofing
    • Building materials
  • Popular due to fire resistance, strength, impervious to chemicals and doesn’t conduct heat or electricity

Biological Contaminants

  • Mold, Bacteria, Viruses
  • Although these are always present, an excess can lead to poor IAQ
  • Caused by water intrusion, stagnant water, and contaminated sources
  • Control humidity and temperature which can contribute to colonization

Chemical Contaminants from Indoors

  • Many materials emit a certain level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • VOCs are organic compounds that have a high vapor pressure and easily form vapors at normal temperature and pressure.
    • Adhesives
    • Carpeting
    • Manufactured wood products
    • Copy machines
    • Cleaning products

Temperature

  • Too hot, too cold
  • This is a perception source. Subjective to the individual

Humidity

  • To humid, too dry
    • High humidity can promote biological sources
    • Low humidity can dry the mucus membranes leading to discomfort

Lead

  • Lead was discovered as an impurity when silver was mined. In pure form it's a heavy, soft bluish metal.
  • Used in paints, fuels, piping seams.
  • Popular due to it's high density, resistance to corrosion, malleability and ductilility, and low melting point.
  • Made paints colorful, corrosion resistant, self-cleaning (chalks), durable and fast drying.

Inadequate Ventilation

  • Fresh air must be introduced to indoor air to limit the build up and recirculation of carbon monoxide and odors

Radon

  • A radioactive gas released from the normal decay of uranium in rocks and soil.
  • It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air.

Chemical Contaminants from Outdoors

  • Exhausts, plumbing vents, building exhausts (bathrooms or kitchens)
    • Fresh air intakes may be placed in an area where the intake recirculates the exhaust from a nearby vent.
    • Fresh air intakes may be in an area of heavy exhaust fumes from vehicles, generators, etc and the intake recirculates the exhaust.

Light

  • Too bright, not bright enough

Noise

  • Too loud
  • Distracting

Odor

  • Odor can be an indicator of potential problems
    • Sewer gas backup
  • Odor can also be a perception source. Obvious, but not harmful

 

Speak to one of our project managers today by phone or e-mail for a confidential, no cost evaluation of your site.