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Moldy Odors Found in Many California Basements

Category Press Release
Publish Date 1/7/2014
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Moldy Odors Found in Many California Basements
Introduction LA Testing offers analytical services to help determine if musty basement odors are caused by mold contamination issues.

Garden Grove, CA, January 7, 2014

In some parts of California and the West Coast, homes and commercial buildings are constructed with basements. These basements are sometimes built as additional living areas or as an unfinished area that provides convenient storage and a place for a building’s utilities to be housed.

It is not uncommon for people with basements to complain of unpleasant musty odors.  This smell may be an indication of a mold problem as basements frequently suffer from water and moisture problems. Some compounds produced by mold have strong odors that are volatile so they can be easily released into the air. These compounds are known as microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs). These mVOCs are frequently the source of the unpleasant basement odor recognized by so many.

The health effects of inhaling mVOCs are largely unknown, although exposure to mVOCs has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. More research is needed to determine the possible human health effects from non-occupational indoor exposures to these compounds.

“If mold is growing in the basement, it could pose a health concern for not only people who spend time in the basement, but any airborne mold spores and mVOCs could potentially spread throughout the property through the building’s HVAC system or other means,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “At LA Testing, we offer services to help determine if mVOCs, mold or other contaminants are present in people’s basements to help determine the source of any indoor pollutants."

LA Testing recently sponsored an online video about basements, odors and mold that can be seen at:

To learn more about testing basements for microbial contaminants or other indoor air quality and environmental issues, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of indoor air quality and environmental testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.  LA Testing has laboratories throughout California to service commercial clients, government agencies and area residents.

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