Boston, MA, January 21st
A district courthouse outside of Boston had to shut down operations and temporarily move to another facility in late 2019. The courthouse was undergoing repair activities that caused indoor environmental quality (IEQ) concerns expressed by court staff. According to an article by the Everett Independent
, an environmental assessment of the building found potential respiratory irritants, including dusts, chemicals and mold.
Anytime construction, repair, remodeling or demolition activities take place in an occupied building it can negatively impact the air quality and overall indoor environmental quality. Some IEQ issues, such as noise, may just be an annoyance, but other issues, such as exposure to airborne particulates, biological contaminants and gases could be a health concern.
Particulate matter (PM), such as dusts and fibers, are likely to be produced during construction and renovation activities. Nontoxic dusts are irritants that can exacerbate lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease. Materials that contain fibers, such as fiberglass composite materials or insulation, can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract when disbursed. Toxic dusts containing asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or lead could cause serious long-term health effects.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that chronic dampness from water intrusions can lead to increased bacteria, mold and other microbes in a building environment. Microbial-contaminated materials require special precautions prior to demolition to prevent biological dusts from dispersing into an occupied space.
“If construction activities include welding, cutting or brazing, potentially harmful fumes and gases could also be released into the air,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In addition, many new building materials, coatings and furnishings can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. VOC exposure may exacerbate asthma in those with the condition and cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat of building occupants.”
With a laboratory in Massachusetts and many more across North America, EMSL Analytical provides comprehensive air testing services for particulate matter, VOCs, dust, mold, asbestos, lead, PCBs and other potentially harmful substances frequently associated with construction activities in occupied buildings. EMSL offers easy-to-use IEQ test kits and air monitoring instruments. They have also sponsored an educational video about indoor environmental quality problems that can occur in occupied buildings during construction activities that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/jlprrODJSbA
To learn more about this or other IEQ, building science, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com
, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com
. For access to test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com
.About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 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.