Huntington Beach, CA, August 22nd , 2018
The Los Angeles Daily News recently published the article, “How indoor air pollution can be as dangerous as outdoor smog in houses, schools near Southern California freeways.” It discussed the alarming increase in asthma rates and other respiratory diseases over the past several decades across the state.
One particular focus of the article was on areas with a high incidence of these diseases and a look at likely environmental culprits. The article states, “One factor that stands out in study after study is proximity to freeways, rail yards, ports, warehouses and freight corridors known as local hot spots. These hot spots extend to inside people’s homes, as well as in schools, daycare centers and other institutional facilities.”
A major pollutant frequently associated with these areas that can come from vehicle exhaust and other sources is known as particulate matter or PM. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes particulate matter as a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.
The EPA reports that exposure to such particulates can affect both the lungs and the heart. People with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by exposure. The agency states that numerous scientific studies have linked exposure to a variety of health issues, including:
- premature death in people with heart or lung disease
- nonfatal heart attacks
- irregular heartbeat
- aggravated asthma
- decreased lung function
- increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing
“Because particulate matter is so small, it can be inhaled and cause serious health problems,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Particles less than 10 micrometers (PM10) in diameter pose the greatest problem as they can get deep into people’s lungs and some may even get into the bloodstream.”
To identify air quality hot spots and other areas of concern, LA Testing offers particulate matter analyses using electron microscopes and other advanced instrumentation. The air quality specialists also provide particle counters and other air monitoring and testing equipment for both sale and rental. LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about particulate matter pollution and exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/iHq24-bIUJ4.
To learn more about outdoor or indoor air quality (IAQ) testing or other environmental, occupational, health and safety services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to indoor environmental 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 ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, 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 and San Diego.