Over the past several decades, our exposure to indoor air pollutants has increased significantly due to a variety of factors. Today's construction of more tightly sealed buildings with reduced ventilation rates help us save energy, but these homes also increase the temperature and humidity level found within. Our lifestyles have also changed dramatically in the last 50 years – the use of synthetic building materials and furnishings, and the use of chemically-formulated personal care products, pesticides and household cleaners, have all become quite commonplace in our modern-day world.
Research indicates that people now spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Studies by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of human exposures to indoor air pollutants have shown that this exposure may be 2-5 times higher, and occasionally more than 100 times higher, than outdoor exposure levels. These studies offer cause for great concern.
If you are among the millions of people who suffer from allergies or asthma, poor indoor environmental quality could be triggering your symptoms. Previously nonexistent, sudden, or worsening respiratory problems, sinus congestion, headaches, nausea, mucous membrane (nose/eye) irritation, fatigue, and in some cases even joint aches, have been shown to be related to or caused by poor indoor air quality.
Odors are a key indication of a problem. Many irritating odors are organic in nature and are typically caused by bacteria, mold, mildew or fungus. Many porous materials common to the home, such as ceiling tile, fiberglass, and wood, are convenient places for the accumulation of disease-causing pollutants. The air ducts in your home or office provide necessary air circulation, but typically they can have mold, dust and bacteria.
Damp carpeting or wood, humidifiers and air conditioners can often harbor toxic microorganisms such as mold. Additionally, if you have recently moved into a newly constructed or renovated home, the off-gassing of furniture, wallpaper, particle board, adhesives, carpet, varnishes and paints are just a few of the things that could adversely impact your indoor environment. Changes in personal care products and other lifestyle changes, such as using a new perfume or air freshener, or even frequenting a new dry cleaner, can all affect your indoor environmental quality and your health as well.
By using various diagnostic equipment and performing tests, our home inspectors can determine the presence of pollutants, irritants or allergens, and identify possible contaminants.
We educate our client on preventive measures, and provide a valuable analysis of the home that may aid the health professional in evaluating and alleviating a chronic health condition. Our analysis can alert the client to the presence of contaminants inside their home that could be contributing to a poor indoor environment. We provide recommendations for corrective action to resolve an ongoing problem that in most cases can be easily executed.