Tag Archives: mites

Indoor Air Quality Testing For Mold, Mold & Other Air Problems

picture of black mold releasing mold spores, black mold health risksHere is an article that discusses indoor air quality testing for mold, mold air filter and mold air cleaning.

Additionally, 10 and potentially harmful air problems that can arise.

I have also included a a couple of videos (one is towards the bottom) That one discusses how to use a mold test kit to check the air in your home for mold spores.

Video: What Is Indoor Air Quality?

VIDEO: Indoor Air Quality Information

Dealing with a black mold problem? Learn more about how to kill black molds as well as discover what they are.

10 More Indoor Air Quality Problems

Mold And Water Damaged Building Materials

When leakage occurs it results in the growth of mold that in turn results in the release of pungent smelling and irritating volatile organic compounds, and allergenic black mold spores into your air.

Persons with allergies or asthma often have reactions to such contaminates in the air while others may have no reaction at all. People with compromised immune systems may even contract infections from some molds. Fungal infections can be a product of a person’s poor health than of the environment they are in.

Mold Air Filter & Mold Air Cleaners

However, in addition to other mold allergy reactions and health problems, recent research has shown that mold is the primary cause of Chronic Sinusitis. As mold problems can vary greatly from one home to the next, investigate possible solutions.

An complete environmental mold treatment kit that is part of a mold reduction protocol, consists of several components designed to work together to reduce airborne mold. More information on this follows:

A safe air treatment solution dispenses a botanical cleansing agent throughout a room to effectively reduce mold and other harmful contaminants that you would otherwise inhale.

Quality HEPA room air purifier filters a lot of dirty moldy air quietly. enough not to disturb a conversation or your sleep. Updraft air exhaust gives you more air cleaner efficiency by cleaning all the air in a room, not just what is close to the machine.
The Vent Filtration Kit is a simple and basic environmental control. A high-grade mold air filter, polyester, filters dust and mold coming out of the duct work. Easy to install, just cut the filters to the size of your incoming air vents. A purifying spray is used each day on the above vent filter and this will help eliminate mold from coming into a room.

Remember! Always wear a N-95 rated mask in rooms where the mold counts are high like the basement or garage or when working outside.

Indoor Air Quality Testing For Mold

Many private testing labs offer mold test kits for detection of presence of molds, mold-toxins and their spores on different surfaces and in the household air samples. Mold tests are usually divided into two categories: air and surface.

It is always a good idea to take at least one surface sample and one air sample from your home as single type sampling alone would not accurately portray the extent of mold growth.

Remember that when looking to buy a mold testing kit, the prices may seen to vary quite a bit.

Some test kits come with a full lab report included while others simply supply the single mold kit and charge for the lab report should you have mold growing in the dish.

Dust Mites And Particulates

Air contaminated with excess particles can also cause negative reactions. Some particles cause direct irritation when levels are elevated.

In the case of house dust, people do not typically have a direct allergenic or irritation related reaction. Common dust is as much as 80% dead human skin cells thus the dust itself is not seen as a forging invader by your body.

When people have allergic reactions to common household dust it is not the dust causing the problem but allergenic proteins found in dust mite feces.

Today there are clean and natural ways to kill dust mites & fleas and keep them away. Used as a spray or in a carpet steamer machine, these are absolutely fatal to mites & fleas. Plus, these products are completely natural and harmless to your loved ones and your pets.

Particles counters can be used to measure airborne particulates, particle counters are highly sensitive scientific instruments that use an internal laser to count particles passing through it that are of a predetermined size range.

Good quality pleated filters at your AC unit return can help reduce dust, also use a good quality vacuum that is equipped with a HEPA filter. A bad vacuum cleaner will remove dust from your carpets then blow it into your face!

Carbon Dioxide

High carbon dioxide levels are not typically a direct threat to human health in home and commercial properties. High carbon dioxide levels usually indicate a lack of adequate outdoor air being introduced into the building. Dust, chemicals, body odors and other indoor air pollutants often build up along with carbon dioxide in poorly ventilated buildings, and it is these other indoor pollutants that result in indoor air quality complaints and health complaints.

According to Parat and others ‘A properly maintained and operated mechanical ventilation system can reduce indoor Bioaerosols concentrations by limiting infiltration of outdoor Bioaerosols and by diluting those from outdoor sources’ ( Parat et al., 1994, 1996 ).

According to American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE 62-89 Outdoor air supply into the building should be at least 20 cubic foot per min per person in offices and thus help maintain carbon dioxide levels below 1000 ppm.

Newer requirements recommend levels no more than 700 ppm higher than outdoor carbon dioxide levels. Outdoor air that is being introduced into a building must meet the US EPA National Primary Ambient Air Quality Standards is short it must be clean or it must be properly filtered.

In conclusion, letting clean dry outdoor air into homes and commercial buildings can help dilute and flush out indoor pollutants.

Carbon Monoxide

WARNING: Carbon monoxide can rapidly rob your bloods ability to properly absorb oxygen thus it can be deadly. If carbon monoxide levels at your property are dangerously high then emergency measures such as immediate evacuation may be deemed necessary. Even if slightly elevated, further investigation by a qualified, licensed specialist is recommended and appropriate repairs or other measures may be needed.

The leading cause of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in homes is automobile exhaust escaping from garages, however improper combustion of fuel in gas appliances, improper ventilation of combustion gases to the exterior, and cracked heat exchangers are also important sources of carbon monoxide exposure.

At low concentrations, the health effects are fatigue in healthy people and chest pain in persons with heart disease. At higher concentrations it causes impaired vision and coordination problems, headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea. It can cause flu like symptoms that clear up after leaving home. Carbon monoxide is fatal at very high concentrations.

Average levels in homes without gas stoves 0.5 to 5 ppm.

Levels near properly adjusted gas stoves are 5 to 15 ppm.

Near poorly adjusted stoves 30 ppm or higher.

The above information is from http://epa.gov/iaq/co.html
If you have an attached garage, or any types of gas burning appliances or devices in your building or home have it checked for carbon monoxide. Make sure that gas appliances are working properly and properly vented to the exterior.

VOC’s

Volatile organic compound also known as VOC’s are common indoor pollutants composed of organic chemicals that evaporate into the air easily, they often cause chemical odors, respiratory irritation, headache, and other indoor air quality related complaints. At certain high levels they can be dangerous.

These chemicals are released by paints, paint thinners, varnish, new carpets, new cabinets and furniture that contain particle board, household cleaners and air fresheners, fuel gas, improperly vented combustion devices, photocopier machines, blueprint machines, and many other sources. Refrain from the excessive use of household product that contains chemicals.

Purchase paints and new carpets with low emission levels of voc’s. Solid wood cabinets and furnishings contain less voc’s than those composed of particle board type materials. When using chemicals or when installing new carpets, paints, cabinets, and other furnishings let the property air out in a safe and reasonable way. Healthy buildings will typically contain less than 1 ppm or even less than .5 ppm.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a common volatile organic compound that results in lots of indoor air quality problems, it is found in glues used in the manufacture of particle board, wood veneers, wood furniture, plywood, and other wood products.

It is also found in some spray-on insulating foams. These resins slowly give off formaldehyde over time. Formaldehyde is one of the more common indoor air pollutants. At concentrations above 0.1 ppm in air, formaldehyde can irritate the eyes and mucous membranes, resulting in watery eyes.

If inhaled, formaldehyde at this concentration may cause headaches, a burning sensation in the throat, and difficulty breathing, as well as triggering asthma symptoms.

The above recommendations made in regards to other volatile organic compounds also applies to formaldehyde.

Sewer Gas

Hydrogen sulfide it the gas that produces rotten egg or sulfur like odors in well water, sewer systems, rotten eggs, and other areas where water and organic compounds have a lack of oxygen.

Hydrogen sulfide odors may lead to complaints of foul odors and also eye & throat irritation cough and shortness of breath. According to wikipedia “.0047 ppm is the recognition threshold, the concentration at which 50% of humans can detect the characteristic rotten egg odor of hydrogen sulfide.”10 to 15 ppm is the borderline concentration for eye irritation.

Drain pipes have letter u shaped curve that traps water, you have seen this under your sinks, and this trapped water is intended to keep sewer gas from backing up from the sewer system and into your home. Make sure that drains such as basement floor drains, sink drains, and even toilet bowls etc contain some water. If the water evaporates from a drains p trap then sewer gas will back up into the building.

In vacant properties anaerobic bacterial may invade your water heater and produce sulfur gas odors in your drinking water, in properties with well water similar bacteria may invade your well water system and create strong sulfur odors. The latter two conditions are annoying but are typically thought of as harmless and can be repaired by a plumber or well water service company.

No2

Nitrogen dioxide is composed of nitrogen and oxygen atoms, incomplete combustion in vehicles or gas burning appliances can create this pollutant and improper venting of such combustion gases from gas appliances, loading docks, and parking garages, can result in the gas entering into the indoor environment.

Nitrogen dioxide is a respiratory irritation. If you have any types of gas burning appliances or devices in your building or home have the property checked for nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and other combustion gases. Make sure that gas appliances are working properly and properly vented to the exterior.

O3

Ozone is a fresh smelling oxygen molecule composed of 3 oxygen atoms, the oxygen we breathe is made of just two oxygen molecules. In the upper atmosphere ozone blocks out harmful UV light thus protecting living organisms below, at ground level ozone is an air pollutant that can have harmful effects on our respiratory system in fact ozone is a constitute of smog pollution. Asthmatics are especially at risk from the effects of heavy ozone exposure.

Despite claims of safe levels of fresh smelling ozone emitted by ozone producing machines, some ozone machines have been found to produce ozone at too high of a level, that may result in respiratory irritation in some persons.

It is true that ozone can break down smoke, odors, and other air contaminates but the break down product follow the most basic laws of physics and thus does disappear from existence but instead these products have end up in the air where some of them can serves as irritants to sensitive persons.

For more info please visit: EPA.gov

Radon Gas And Testing

Last but not least on or list of 13 sinister Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems is radon, a colorless odorless gas that finds its way into buildings through cracks in the foundations. If a building is negatively pressurized then that negative pressure can cause radon to be actively sucked into the building.

Radon is unheard of in some areas such as South Florida; in other areas such as New England radon is common. Radon is a carcinogen or cancer causing agent. Often persons living with radon will have no clue that the problem exists till it is to late. Even in non smokers radon causes lung cancer.

If you know of a household where a non smoker developed lung cancer you should suggest that the home or the victim’s previous residence be tested for radon gas. According to the EPA and the surgeon general radon is responsible for 15,000 deaths a year.

Here is the video about indoor air quality testing for mold using a mold test.

More air quality news and mold information from the blogosphere

Stop Breathing Mold Spores And Allergens

Most powerful HEPA Air purification unitIf, in the morning, you awake to a runny nose, itchy and swollen eyes, or have frequent sneezing, you may be reacting to airborne contaminants. Our indoor air is loaded with microscopic dust mite allergens, mold spores, animal dander, viruses, dust, bacteria and more.

New York Law Requires Landlord Disclosure Of Environmental Test
Under any circumstances, the indoor air quality test results must exceed either the NYSDH or OSHA guidelines in determining whether the owner or landlord must provide notice of the test results under the new law. Mycotoxins, public disclosure and toxic mold.

Indoor Air Quality And Schools: Summer School For Mold & Mildew
Addresses information about indoor air quality, mold, remediation, testing, HVAC, ventilation and the important role clean, fresh air plays in classroom environments.

Why Test For Mold?
On the flip side, sampling has also helped me locate indoor mold growth problems that have cost thousands of dollars to remediate, all to the benefit of the clients’ health and indoor air quality.

Mold Air Filter For Your Health
While there is no air cleaner that is 100% perfect in removing pollutants and allergens a “True” HEPA filter can, if properly installed, remove 99.97% of particulates such as dust, pet dander, smoke, and mold.

How Buying Better Air Filters Trap Mold Spores And Dust Mites
Some pleated air filters enhance the performance of their filters electrostaticly. Nordic Pure and Filtrete filters don’t support the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew or mold.

Why You May Necessitate A Home Air Purifier

Some of the most everyday things you want your home air cleaner to take care of are dust, pet dander, mold spores, and even smoke.

By: Daryl Watters –

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Daryl Watters has a bachelors degree in education for teaching biology and general science and is a certified mold inspector, certified home inspector, and certified indoor environmentalist providing building inspections in South Florida since 1993. For more information visit www.floridamoldinspectors.us