Huntington Beach, CA, July 13th, 2021
In a typical year, people spend up to 90% of their time indoors at home, school, and/or work. During the past year and a half, many people spent even more time in their homes due to COVID-19 concerns and the closure of so many schools and businesses.
While many people feel safe and secure indoors, there are several common hazards and indoor pollutants that could cause issues in many residential, commercial, and even institutional properties. The following list includes some of the more common indoor environmental quality (IEQ) problems regularly uncovered by building science and industrial hygiene professionals.
- Carbon Monoxide – This odorless and colorless gas can build up indoors and poison people who inhale it. It is produced during the burning of wood and combustion of fossil fuels and can come from sources such as fireplaces, stoves, furnaces, generators, water heaters, and even lanterns.
- Mold – In buildings that have suffered water damage or elevated humidity levels, mold can begin to grow in as short as 48 hours. Mold can cause or exacerbate respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma. It can even result in infections in rare cases.
- Bacteria – Many types of bacteria can be found on surfaces and sometimes even in the air. From E. coli and Legionella to a growing number of drug-resistant superbugs, such as MRSA and C. diff, many can cause potentially serious health issues.
- Allergens – Everything from pollen and mold spores to latex, rodent, cockroach, and dust mite allergens are frequent contributors to indoor air quality (IAQ) issues that can cause respiratory problems for building occupants.
- Radon – In some parts of California, and across many regions of the country, elevated radon levels can be found indoors making it a potential invisible threat. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.
- Formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – Many building materials, furnishings, and products used indoors emit VOCs. Exposure may have short- and/or long-term adverse health effects.
- Asbestos – This mineral fiber was added to many building materials and products in the past to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, sometimes decades after exposure.
- Lead – Many homes and buildings constructed before 1978 contain lead-based paints. As these materials age and degrade, or during renovation, remodeling, and demolition activities, they can become airborne and settle on surfaces as dust, putting building occupants at risk for lead poisoning. Lead can also be found in the water in some homes and buildings due to it leaching from plumbing materials and fixtures that were used in the past.
LA Testing’s California laboratories offer testing services, sampling supplies, test kits, building inspection tools, and air monitoring instruments to identify a wide range of microbial, chemical, viral, and radiological exposure risks. LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about common exposure hazards lurking indoors that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/u7K8RVwbRAQ.
To learn more about IEQ testing services, sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments or inspection tools, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com, or call (800) 755-1794. For access to test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash, and smoke damage, particulates, and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health, and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego, and Ontario.