Huntington Beach, CA, April 27th, 2022
Throughout California, countless people take on do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement projects each year. Many of these projects can save money for a homeowner with the skills to successfully complete the job, but there are a number of potential hazards they may encounter.
In addition to issues with building code compliance, laws, permits, ladders, sharp tools, and electrical and gas hazards, a homeowner taking on one of these projects could face a myriad of hidden exposure risks. One of these dangers is asbestos. Until the 1970s, many building products used in homes contained the mineral fiber. Asbestos fibers could be released into the air if these materials are disturbed. Exposure is known to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Another common exposure risk is lead-based paints which were also used for decades. Many homes built before 1960 contain heavily leaded paint and some homes built as recently as 1978 also contain lead-based paint. While exposure to lead is harmful to everyone, children are especially vulnerable.
Yet another issue is mold. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold is very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Exposure to elevated levels of mold can cause respiratory issues, allergies, and even trigger an asthma attack in some people with the condition. Some types of mold can also cause fungal infections in people with a weakened immune system.
“Even if none of these are encountered, the introduction of new materials and finishes used for the project could expose building occupants to elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “With laboratories across California, LA Testing is here to help homeowners. We provide testing services for mold, lead, asbestos, VOCs, and many other substances frequently encountered during home improvement projects. LA Testing also offers sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, air monitoring instruments, personal protective equipment (PPE), and a number of building inspection tools.”
Several years ago, LA Testing sponsored an educational video about DIY home improvement projects and potential hidden dangers that can still be seen at: https://youtu.be/N1ZiWkH1SUk
To learn more about indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services, sampling supplies, and products, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ 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 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.