Huntington Beach, CA, July 14th, 2020
Earlier this year, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released “Maintaining Acceptable Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) During Construction and Renovation Projects.” Published in the agency’s Workplace Solutions series, it discusses a myriad of air quality issues encountered during construction, renovation, demolition or repair projects.
Specifically addressed were problems involving airborne dusts, gases, organic vapors, microbiological contaminants and odors. For example, particulate matter (PM) is often produced during these projects. Nontoxic dusts can exacerbate lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). Materials that contain fibers, such as fiberglass composite materials or insulation, can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract when disbursed into the air. Toxic dusts containing asbestos, lead or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) could potentially cause serious long-term health concerns.
If welding, cutting and brazing activities are part of the construction process, potentially harmful fumes and gases can also be released into the air. A number of building materials, coatings and furnishing will also release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Building occupants with VOC exposure may report disagreeable odors, exacerbation of asthma, irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, or headaches and drowsiness.
In buildings where there has been chronic dampness from water damage or elevated humidity levels there may also be microbial growth. Mold and bacteria on building materials require special precautions prior to demolition to prevent biological dusts from dispersing into the occupied space.
“Construction activities taking place in an occupied building, or even a residential home, can lead to a wide range of IEQ concerns and potential health issues,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “At LA Testing, we’re here to help with IEQ laboratory testing services, sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits and air monitoring instruments. These services and tools can help to identify exposure risks to protect building occupants and workers during these types of projects.”
LA Testing has also sponsored an educational video about IEQ problems that can occur in an occupied building during construction that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/jlprrODJSbA.
To learn more about indoor environmental quality testing or to request sampling supplies and air monitoring instruments, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. To access 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 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.