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Airborne Pollutant Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 11/21/2016
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Strong Odor at Police Department Results in Employee Complaints to State Officials
Introduction EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides indoor air quality testing services and sampling supplies to identify mystery odors, sewer gases and other airborne pollutants.

Cinnaminson, NJ, November 21, 2016

Recently, several complaints for safety and health hazards were filed with the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Program regarding strong odors and potentially dangerous gases at a police department in Virginia. The complaints were investigated and the source of the odors is believed to be due to cracks caused in a disposal line from renovation activities taking place in the building.

Mystery odors in an indoor environment can cause health concerns for building occupants. These same odors can lower property values, and in commercial and institutional settings may result in lower productivity, increased absenteeism and higher turnover rates.

Depending on the cause, exposure to mystery odors may cause irritation, allergies, and in some cases, may even trigger asthma. In high concentrations, some gases can cause more severe health concerns since many chemicals are known carcinogens, and in extreme circumstances, could even be an explosion hazard.

“While this case was determined to be the result of sewer gas, exposure is a concern due to the unpleasant odor, health effects associated with breathing toxic gases and even potential asphyxiation concerns if found in high enough concentrations,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases that can be present at varying levels depending on a number of circumstances.”

To identify indoor air quality issues due to mystery odors or sewer gas, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers comprehensive testing services, sampling supplies and air monitoring equipment. Air testing can often help to pinpoint the cause of an odor by analyzing its chemical composition. Test results can then be instrumental for developing corrective action plans to eliminate the problem.

EMSL has sponsored an educational video about exposure concerns to sewer gas that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/3mRydjd6uQQ.

To learn more about testing for sewer gas or other indoor air quality, environmental or occupational issues, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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