Cinnaminson, NJ, May 15th, 2015
Most people spend the majority of their time in their home. Regardless of whether it is mansion or a typical family home, condo, duplex or apartment, it should provide a healthy indoor environment for everyone. Unfortunately, many homes have elevated levels of indoor pollutants that could cause health concerns or aggravate medical conditions that people already have.
These pollutants could be coming from chemicals, gases, microorganisms and other living things, as well as from additional sources. According to the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency (EPA), “Some pollutants cause health problems such as sore eyes, burning in the nose and throat, headaches, or fatigue. Other pollutants cause or worsen allergies, respiratory illnesses (such as asthma), heart disease, cancer, and other serious long-term conditions. Sometimes individual pollutants at high concentrations, such as carbon monoxide, cause death.”
There are a number of common indoor pollutants that people should be aware of so that they can minimize potential exposure risks. They include the following:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, are chemicals found in some household products, building materials and furnishings. VOCs evaporate into the air by off-gassing from materials that contain them.
- Radon is a radioactive gas that is formed in the soil and can enter indoors through cracks and openings in floors and walls that are in contact with the ground. It is considered to be a leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.
- Secondhand smoke comes from burning tobacco products and can cause cancer and other serious respiratory illnesses.
- Combustion pollutants are gases or particles that come from burning materials. In homes, the major source of combustion pollutants are improperly vented or unvented fuel-burning appliances such as space heaters, woodstoves, gas stoves, water heaters, dryers and fireplaces. Common combustion pollutants include carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
- Lead-based paints are still a problem in many older properties and as these paints age and deteriorate, or are disturbed, they can release dusts contaminated with lead into the air.
- Asbestos is another potential issue as it was used in the past in many common building materials. It too can become airborne as it ages or is disturbed.
- Mold thrives in conditions with high humidity or due to water damage. In fact, mold can begin to grow in as short as 48 hours on many materials when conditions are suitable.
- Common indoor allergens can come from dust mites, pet dander, pollen, cockroaches and rodents.
“The only way to know if a home has indoor air quality issues is to have it tested,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we offer a comprehensive range of indoor environmental quality testing services, sampling supplies and even user friendly test kits that can provide the answer.”
The view any of the test kits offered by EMSL, please visit at: www.EMSLTestKits.com. EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about air quality in homes that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/toEDGaHUAWk.
To learn more about this or other indoor air quality (IAQ), environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.