Articles Of Interest
Does Temperature & Relative Humidity Effect Your Exposure to SARS-CoV-2
What you need to know about measurable fluid dynamics versions having been established to anticipate air-borne exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus(Coronavirus)from a coughing individual in an aerated room,(allowing fresh air flow for 20-60 minutes)in your environment, home, etc. The 3 versions used were three common interior air temperatures as well as family member relative humidity.
Quantile regression (measured test results) was used to suggest whether these have a statistically significant result on air-borne direct exposure. Results recommended that evaporation has a vital impact. Dissipation leads to respiratory bits, specifically those with preliminary diameters between 20 and 100 μm(micrometer), continuing to be airborne for longer.
In a mechanically aerated space (allowing fresh air flow for 20-60 minutes), with every one of the associated facility air activity and turbulence, enhancing the relative humidity might result in decreased airborne direct exposure. Nonetheless, this result might be so tiny that other elements, such as a small change in proximity to the infected person, might rapidly respond to the effect. The effect of temperature on direct exposure was extra complicated, with both favorable and also unfavorable relationships.
Consequently, within the series of problems researched here, there is no clear support on exactly how the temperature must be regulated to decrease direct exposure. The results highlight the value of airflow allowed, face treatments as well as keeping social distancing for minimizing direct exposure, is still a sure solution in avoiding air-borne exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus(Coronavirus).
Indoor Air Quality and COPD
Reasoning: Indoor air contamination is a flexible threat aspect for respiratory morbidity in COPD. The impacts of indoor air pollution, in addition to the effects of treatments, to enhance indoor air quality, on cardio morbidity in COPD stay unidentified.
Purpose: To establish the association between indoor particulate matter(PM) and also heart rate irregularity(HRV), a step of heart-free function linked to cardiovascular morbidity and also death, in addition to the impact of house air cleansers on HRV.
Methods: Former cigarette smokers with moderate-severe COPD were recruited from a six-month randomized controlled test of a mobile air cleaner intervention, to undertake a combined assessment of both in-home particulate matter (PM) and also heart rate variability (HRV), utilizing 24-hour Holter monitoring, at as much as 5-time factors. The primary results were heart rate variability (HRV) actions tied to cardio morbidity Standard Deviation of Normal-to-Normal (heart rate) (SDNN)root mean square of successive differences between normal heartbeats and (RMSSD).
Dimensions as well as Outcomes: 85 individuals added 317 heart rate variability (HRV) dimensions. A two-fold increase in household particulate matter (PM) 2.5 was connected with decreases in Standard Deviation of Normal-to-Normal (heart rate) (SDNN) root mean square of successive differences between normal heartbeats (RMSSD). The best effects were observed with ultrafine particles(<100 nm) root mean square of successive differences between normal heartbeats (RMSSD) and also among obese individuals. Participants randomized to the active air cleaner saw enhancements in root mean square of successive differences between normal heartbeats (RMSSD) however no Standard Deviation of Normal-to-Normal (heart rate) (SDNN), contrasted to the placebo group.
Final thoughts: This is the first US research study to describe the association between house particulate matter (PM) and autonomic heart function amongst individuals with COPD and the prospective cardiovascular wellness benefits of house air cleaners.
Essential Oils Safely
Although they're extensively thought of to be safe, you should always talk with your medical professional to see if you do not have an allergy. Essential oil diffusers might release unstable organic substances, which can intensify asthma signs and symptoms. Essential oils can and might cause an asthma attack.
Even if something is all-natural doesn't always mean it's safe. Plants and natural items consist of many bioactive compounds that might harm your wellness, as well as vital oils, which are no different. Nonetheless, when breathed in or incorporated with a base oil for usage on your skin, many essential oils are considered ok, and safe to use.
Some research studies show that essential oil has properties that can battle viruses, relieve influenza signs, as well as increase your well-being during illness. A 2010 study took a look at a common oil mix of clove, wild orange, and cinnamon. Its application lowered insemination viral bits by 90 percent
Also when diluted, a crucial oil can trigger a negative response if you utilize way too much or use it too often. That holds true even if you're not allergic to or have a slight reaction to them.
Is likely to be safe for many people when used in food quantities. It possibly won’t cause any harm or effects when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or breathed in as aromatherapy short-term for medical functions. Seldom, lemongrass oil might cause a breakout of skin irritation when applied to the skin.
A lab mouse study released in 2014 revealed that lavender necessary oil has all-natural anti-inflammatory features. It may help people with bronchial asthma by decreasing the swelling of the air passages.
Additionally, studies suggest that oil battles respiratory system infections by killing microorganisms, viruses, and fungi. This is why you can find it in the saline nasal wash application. It additionally causes the tiny hair-like filaments in your lungs (called cilia) that sweep out mucus and particles from your airways to move faster. This can also fight infections.
In closing natural essential oils may be safe, and useful. It’s always best to check with your Doctor for any allergy you may have before using.
Sensitivity To Chemicals We Breathe
We are becoming sensitive to chemicals. More people are developing a loss of tolerance to chemicals. Whether in our food, drugs, or the air we smell. A surprising amount of just U.S. citizens up to the high 30’s % are developing these symptoms. These are mostly overlooked by the medical industry, but further research is needed to inform the citizens.
Studies are being made about this sensitivity to chemicals, and the intolerance developed in individuals. Testing different situations where chemicals are released will help in determining which chemicals are causing these symptoms. Some releases from garden products, mold, air fresheners, pesticides, and more.
VOCs ( volatile organic compounds ) such as gasoline, paints, pesticides, some personal care products, aerosol sprays, cleaners, room deodorizers, and even new furniture, carpets, beds, and more. these are all chemicals most people are exposed to on a daily bases. SVOCs ( semi-volatile organic compounds ) included pesticides. cleaning agents, personal care products, additives to vinyl flooring, furniture, clothing, cookware, food packaging, and electronics. Again these are items we all are exposed to on a daily bases.
This potential to exposers of these chemicals is why the need for testing is so important to our public health. These results should be informative, and insightful to our medical professionals, the science community, and those with the ability to make policies that affect us all. With this information, we will be able to decrease harmful, and unnecessary exposure, and help prevent the reactions of sensitivity, and the loss of tolerance people are experiencing.
What Are Some Solutions/Options For Air Fresheners
An objective of air fresheners is to give an extra pleasurable interior atmosphere: to give a fragranced mixture right into the air or to mask an existing air quality problem. That a majority of the population, in lots of countries, utilize air fresheners is an indicator of their appeal as well as their desired impacts. Nevertheless, the use of air fresheners can include unexpected effects and threats to the interior setting and also human wellness.
If an interior environment has undesired smells, after getting rid of the resource, remedying the cause, or increasing airflow (such as opening a home window or using an exhaust fan) may assist to remove the source of the smells, yet without utilizing an air freshener to mask the smell. However, remaining to utilize air fresheners and raising mechanical air flow to lower contaminant levels might not be optimal, as the air freshener exhausts can be dispersed to various other parts of the structure or outdoors, along with prospective higher power usage and also costs.
Using an air freshener can develop or worsen interior air quality trouble by including a chemical mixture in the air. A scent in a product is not meant to clean up the air or reduce air contaminants. Although some air fresheners make claims of being able to get rid of odors, decontaminate the air, or minimize allergens, these cases might not be feasible to verify. When makers of these items were gotten in touch with, none were able to offer any type of data, research studies, or various other info to validate their air freshener claims. Action from the business was that the information asked for was either private or exclusive.
Fragrance-free policies have been applied in workplaces, schools, health centers, as well as various other interior atmospheres, worldwide, This includes using: Scent, candle lights, or reed diffusers; Fragrance-emitting tools of any type of kind; Wall-mounted tools, similar to fragrance-emitting tools, that operate instantly or by pressing a button to give deodorizers or anti-bacterial. Plug-in or spray air fresheners; Restroom or toilet blocks; other fragranced deodorizer items.
Fragrance-free plans receive strong support from the United States populace checked, 53.2% would support a fragrance-free policy in the work environment (compared to 19.7% that would not). Hence, 2.7 times even more people would vote indeed for a fragrance-free work environment than not. Also, 54.8% would favor that healthcare facilities and healthcare experts be fragrance-free (contrasted to 22.4% that would not). Therefore, almost 2.5 times more people would elect yes to fragrance-free health care facilities and also specialists than no.
As a factor to consider, after air fresheners are detached or gotten rid of from an area, the air contaminants might not quickly disappear. Air freshener substances can be adsorbed on walls, furnishings, and also surfaces, as well as be reemitted into the indoor air setting. A study is required to show any factors that affect the lingering of air freshener chemicals from an interior setting after the air freshener is no longer in operation. This has relevance for the implementation of fragrance-free policies, as the interior air environment might still consist of scent substances even after the scent items are removed or terminated.
A question with air freshener usage is whether the regarded advantages are exceeded by the prospective costs to individuals as well as public health, and also profits. As research studies show, clients like fragrance-free to fragranced environments, so making use of air fresheners as well as aromatic air systems may hinder as opposed to bringing in some customers. Also, using an air freshener can posture possible liability, if it sets off adverse or possibly disabling health and wellness impacts in individuals. Lastly, from a social viewpoint, "used fragrances," or indirect direct exposure to air fresheners raises concerns alongside used cigarette smoke.
Safe, Natural Alternatives To Paraffin-Based Candles
Candle lights add to the warmth & environment of a residence, however, some candles can contribute to an interior air pollution problem by sending out particulate issues (candlelight soot) into the air. Candle air pollution not only stains the wall surfaces, ceilings, and also components of a home it can likewise pollute the airflow system's ductwork. This is particularly true of air ducts built from fiberglass "duct board". It shows up that petroleum-based (paraffin) candles, as well as scented and/or fragrant candle lights, are the worst offenders. The majority of candles on the marketplace today are made from paraffin wax or a mix of paraffin as well as various other waxes. Paraffin is a derivative of oil. When shed they launch cancer-causing contaminants such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and also residue right into the air. The discharges from paraffin candles contain many of the same contaminants generated by melting diesel fuel. It is like launching a diesel engine inside your home!
Aromatic candles may activate allergies. The signs include scratchy as well as watery eyes, aching throat, blocked nasal passages, frustrations, hives, skin irritabilities as well as asthma-like conditions. Individuals with asthma as well as respiratory allergic reactions may experience a lot more serious responses.
If the light-colored fabrics in your house begin to look rather drab or grey, if plastic products in the house start to accumulate a dark movie, if your digital tools have discolorations, particularly around vents (ie. computers, disc drives, etc.), if the television or computer monitor screen is covered with a thin dark residue that rubs out with a tidy cloth (this film will appear darker than routine household dirt on a clean towel) you might have an IAQ (Indoor Air Top quality) trouble arising from candlelight residue.
Gel candle lights are additionally petroleum-based. Although there are urban legends flowing online that assert they take off; that is not really a trouble. The glass container can shatter from excessive warmth (yet not blow up) and also they can send out the same contaminants as paraffin candles.
Soy candles usually last 30% longer than petroleum-based candles. Soy candle lights shed slower as well as cooler, are non-toxic, much less likely to cause allergies, clean up with soap and also water, and also generate very little residue. This has a tendency to make them extra animal as well as child-friendly than traditional candles. Soy candles are identified explicitly, so if it does not say Soy on the label, it isn't. Soy candle lights have a more nontransparent appearance as well as usually have a creamy-colored film.
Beeswax is returning to appeal. Beeswax is much less likely to set off allergies. It normally does not create toxins or residue when melted. It tends to be a lot more expensive than paraffin candle lights yet also burns longer. Do check out the labels, as some producers may have added paraffin.
How To Look For Mold On Surfaces And Properly Clean
Shine a flashlight at a shallow angle across a surface. Things that may not be visible if the light is pointed directly at the surface, like dust and hair, will now be visible. If the substances appear like an even field of snow, it is most likely dust. If there is clumping, like the leavings from a pencil eraser, it may be microbial growth. Most hard surfaces can be cleaned using the technique below. Depending on the amount of growth, the porous material may need to be replaced. When in doubt, call a Florida licensed assessor.
The mold that grows on the surface of a material can be cleaned using a paper towel dampened with a solution that makes the towel “tacky”. This solution can be a few drops of dish soap in a cup of water, glass cleaner, or a Lysol™ cleaning wipe depending on the surface to be cleaned. Do not use a bleach solution. The mold might sense a chemical attack and sporulate to save itself. Also, spray or dampen the cloth, do not spray the colony. The physical act of spraying can cause the colony to sporulate. If necessary, the area can then be sealed with a product like Kilz™ or Zinsser BIN™ and re-painted.
Please note that a Florida-licensed mold assessor is different than a Florida-licensed mold remediator. We hold both licenses, however, it is against the law to assess and remediate the same property as it is a conflict of interest. The assessor determines if there is an issue and if there is, they determine the scope (or extent) of the problem. We have intervened several times when a remediation company wanted to do thousands of dollars of unnecessary work. We have also identified areas of a home that were affected that the remediation company was unaware of. The remediation company removes the mold. Then the assessor performs clearance testing to be certain the remediation company didn’t miss anything.
Just How Do Air Freshener Exhausts Impact Human Wellness?
Air fresheners can add to humans' direct exposure to primary and also secondary air contaminants. Air freshener direct exposures, also at reduced degrees, can actually be related to a series of damaging health and wellness results, that include migraine headache frustrations, bronchial asthma assaults, taking breath trouble, respiratory system problems, mucosal signs, dermatitis, baby looseness of the bowels, earache, neurological troubles, as well as ventricular fibrillation.
Current populace researchers have actually checked out the occurrence and also the sorts of wellness results related to air fresheners. In a study of the United States populace, in a country-wide depictive example, about 20.4% of the populace reported illness when revealed to air fresheners as well as deodorizers. Details wellness results consist of the following: 9.5% record respiratory system troubles, 7.6% mucosal signs and symptoms, 7.2% migraine headache frustrations, 5.7% skin issues, 4.7% bronchial asthma assaults, 3.2% neurological issues, 2.7% cognitive troubles, 2.7% stomach issues, 2.6% cardio troubles, 2.4% bone and joint troubles, 1.8% body immune system troubles, as well as 0.7% various other illness.
In a study of the Australian populace, in a country-wide depictive example, 16.4% of the populace experience wellness issues when subjected to air fresheners and also deodorizers. Certain health and wellness impacts consist of the following: 9.1%, respiratory system issues, 6.2% mucosal signs and symptoms, 4.2% migraine headache frustrations, 4.8% skin troubles, 4.5% bronchial asthma assaults, 2.2% neurological issues, 1.9% cognitive issues, 1.5% stomach issues, 1.9% cardio issues, 1.6% bone, and joint troubles, 1.8% body immune system troubles, as well as 0.5% various other.
Previous research studies of the United States populace discovered that 17.5% - 20.5% of the basic United States populace (in 2002-2003 and also 2005-2006, specifically), as well as 29.7% - 37.2% of asthmatics (specifically) reported migraines, taking a breath with troubles, or various other health issues when revealed to air fresheners or deodorizers.
While epidemiological as well as poisoning researches disclose web links between air freshener exhausts as well as wellness impacts, even more, the research study is required to comprehend just how and also why specific active ingredients, mixes of components, or additional response items could be connected with the recognized wellness impacts. On top of that, even more, the study is required to comprehend the ramifications of low-level direct exposures, especially for delicate as well as susceptible populations.
Along with population-based research studies, details air freshener chemicals (VOCs such as acetaldehyde, SVOCs such as phthalates, as well as ultrafine bits) sent out from air fresheners have actually been connected with damaging impacts on the neurological, cardio, breathing, reproductive, immune, as well as endocrine systems, and also with cancer cells. Acetaldehyde, which can be both an additional as well as a key exhaust from air fresheners, is connected with both intense as well as persistent risks to the breathing system and also is categorized as a cancer-causing dangerous air toxin in the United States.
Just How Do Air Freshener Exhausts Impact Our Interior Setting?
Air fresheners can add to interior dangers, both via straight exhausts as well as second response items. Within our interior structures as well as various other interior settings, making use of air fresheners has a solid influence with high interior degrees of terpenes, benzene, and toluene, as well as completely unstable natural substances.
A remarkable research study of the impacts of various air fresheners on interior air top quality, located that air freshener usage caused a high focus on solvents as well as scent substances in the space setting. Discharge amounts went beyond 2 mg/unit per hour for 6 known solvents (35.5 mg/unit per hour for ethanol) and also for 6 usual/known scent substances (9.1 mg/unit per hour for limonene). Therefore, along with a high focus on aroma compounds, air fresheners can produce also a greater focus on odor-free solvents, which might be tough for individuals to spot.
In the comprehensive EFFECT task (Discharges, Direct Exposure Patterns as well as Wellness Impacts of Customer Products) in the European Union, they took a look at air freshener exhausts of alpha-pinene, formaldehyde, as well as limonene, as well as designed the resulting interior air focus. An electrical air freshener produced interior air focus of formaldehyde, which stands for 40% of the Globe Wellness Company's suggested restriction of direct exposure.
In a research, a plug-in air freshener sent out d-limonene, dihydro myrtenol, linalool, linalyl acetate, as well as b-citronellol at 34-180 mg/day over 3 days while air focus balanced 30-160 mg. Exhausts by air fresheners utilized inside can likewise move outdoors, influence outside air top quality, as well as add to photochemical smoke. In The golden state of California in the late ’90s, air fresheners released approximately 7.5 tonnes/day of VOCs, converting to 230 mg/day per individual VOC exhaust.
Where Are Air Fresheners Being Utilized?
Air fresheners are utilized throughout culture, by people, organizations, as well as sectors. Normal interior locations with air fresheners consist of the following: centers as well as structures such as workplaces, colleges, medical facilities, churches, movie theaters, shops, resorts, wellness clubs, bathrooms, and also dining establishments; transport such as planes, flight terminals, cars and trucks, taxis, buses, trains, terminals, as well as watercraft; homes and also treatment centers, consisting of residences, apartment or condos, homeless sanctuaries, detention centers, senior treatment and also daycare centers, and also many other various public locations.
The international market for air fresheners goes beyond the United States at $10 billion, and also is rising in the majority of nations. Europe is the biggest market, and also Asia is the fastest-expanding market. Air freshener use is enhanced by as much as 8.8% every year in Korea.
Of the basic populace checked in the United States, 72.8% use air fresheners as well as deodorizers at the very least once a week, as well as 57.9% are revealed to air fresheners and also deodorizers from others' usage at the very least 1 time a week. An earlier record suggested that air fresheners are made used in virtually 75% of people's houses. In a European populace study, air fresheners (spray, electrical, and also passive) are utilized by 39%, 40%, as well as 30% (specifically) of the checked populace at the very least 1 time a week in residences, as well as by 94%, 92%, 89% (specifically) at the very least 1 time a month in residences.
Keeping in mind the dangers of indoor air fresheners is a consideration we should all practice. Being mindful, and considerate of people in the assortment of environments where these air fresheners are used is important. Having the air quality tested in these environments is a very good idea for the wellness of the population.
Dangers Of What Air Fresheners Are Releasing
Research of air fresheners in Germany discovered the highest possible discharges rate amounts of the following substances: ethanol, di propylene, glycol monomethyl, ether acetate, limonene, benzyl acetate, dihydro myrtenol, iso-alkanes, linalool, linalyl acetate, gamma-terpinene, di propylene glycol isomers, myrcene as well as beta-pinene, Of these, limonene as well as linalool are detailed as prospective irritants.
Air fresheners produce over 100 various chemicals, consisting of unpredictable natural substances (terpenes such as alpha-pinene, limonene, and also beta-pinene; terpenoids such as linalool as well as alpha-terpineol; ethanol, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and also xylene) and also semi-volatile natural substances (such as phthalates).
In this very same research, one of the most usual VOCs given off (in at the very least fifty percent of the items) was the following: limonene, linalool, myrcene, beta-pinene, alpha-pinene, linalyl acetate, dihydro myrtenol, geranyl acetate. Hence, the substances with the highest possible discharge amounts (over 1000 μg/ system h) as well as most usual in the items were limonene, linalool, myrcene, beta-pinene, and linalyl acetate, as well as dihydro myrtenol.
Air freshener exhausts can likewise respond with interior oxidants, such as ozone, hydroxyl radicals, as well as nitrate radicals, to create a variety of oxidation items. Main discharges such as terpenes can easily respond with ozone to produce additional contaminants such as formaldehyde as well as acetaldehyde, glycol ethers, totally free radicals (such as hydroperoxy as well as alkyl peroxy radicals), and also ultrafine bits.
In a research study of VOC exhausts from air fresheners in the United States, consisting of sprays, gels, disks, oils, and also solids, one of the most typical VOCs (in a minimum of fifty percent of the items) were the following: limonene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, butanol, methyl, acetate, carene isomer, ethyl butanoate, ethanol. Of all VOCs released, around a quarter are identified as dangerous or possibly poisonous under several government regulations in the United States, as well as all air fresheners evaluated released several of these substances.
Exhausts from air freshener items have actually been researched all over the world. Of the research that took a look at several kinds of air fresheners (e.g., sprays, gels, solids, disks, oils, cartridges, diffusers, evaporators; both energetic as well as passive), results show that all sorts of air fresheners have the prospective to give off the high focus of unstable natural substances. The make-up of the scent mix is likely a lot more prominent on exhausts than the sort of shipment system.
Air Freshener Hazards
1. Air fresheners are used throughout society.
2. Air fresheners, also called environment-friendly as well as natural, can produce possibly unsafe chemicals.
3. Less than 10% of air freshener active ingredients are usually disclosed to the general public.
4. Over 20% of the basic US population report damaging wellness impacts from air fresheners.
5. Fragrance-free interior settings are supported by a major amount of encouragement, and support.
Air fresheners are prevalent within interior-built settings, such as workplaces, institutions, real estate, transport, hotels, health centers, care facilities, and a variety of private and also public structures. Air fresheners are designed to impart a scent to the air environment or to mask odors, with the intent of developing a pleasing indoor room. However, regardless of the intent, air fresheners can release and also produce a variety of possibly harmful air contaminants that can impair air quality. Also, so-called environment-friendly and also natural air fresheners can give off dangerous air toxins. Air freshener components are mainly unidentified as well as undisclosed, owing to regulative defenses on consumer item active ingredients as well as on scent formulas. In research studies, less than 10 percent of all volatile components are normally divulged on air freshener tags or material safety and security information sheets. From an interior air quality perspective, air fresheners have actually been shown as a key resource of unpredictable organic substances within buildings. From a wellness viewpoint, air fresheners have been connected with damaging results, such as migraine headache headaches, bronchial asthma assaults, mucosal signs, baby disease, as well as breathing difficulties. This write-up investigates the seeming mystery that products made to boost the interior environment can position unplanned and unknown threats. It checks out the science, health, and policy perspectives, and also offers recommendations and research directions.
When Is It Important To Have Your Home's Air Quality Tested?
What is that weird odor in my home????
These are often the hardest to locate. There are several tests available that help determine the quality of the air you are breathing in your home. Unfortunately, there is no “1 sample to tell everything in the air” test. We must tell a lab what we are looking for, so the inspection is the most important part of the air quality investigation. We look for many things in an investigation. Some of the things we look for include how close vegetation is to the house. We check if the slab is higher than the ground. From the ground, we see if we can see any potential issues in the roof. We also look for penetrations in the home that could allow moisture to intrude. Once inside we check the temperature and relative and specific humidity. This can help us determine the effectiveness of the HVAC unit. We look for present and signs of past moisture intrusion. We check for moisture around plumbing, windows, and the HVAC system. We Inspect the HVAC to look for growth on coils and, with the owner’s permission, a small inspection hole can be put in the plenum of the HVAC unit. A small camera can then inspect the inside of the plenum to see if there is visible suspected microbial growth in the plenum. A thorough moisture survey includes inspection with a thermal imaging camera. This camera shows temperature differences. A colder temperature could indicate moisture somewhere it shouldn’t be. Sometimes issues are brought in with new furnishings or a myriad of other possibilities. We tend to ask a lot of strange questions to figure out where these odors may be emanating.
Odors come from a lot of materials we bring into the home. Some of the stranger sources we have found include a new laundry detergent that was next to both the garage door and the HVAC return. Each time the garage door opened, it allowed moisture to accumulate in the powder and it became reactive. This as well as the fact that they were wearing the product on their clothes, was causing the homeowner and their children to react with coughing and difficulty breathing. We have also found strange odors emanating from new black-out curtains and once from canvas-covered picture frames. An indoor air quality company may not be able to guarantee they will find a source for the weird smell, but an experienced company will have resources to fall back on to help in the search.
Is Your Home Making You Sick?
If you are living in your home and notice that you either have allergy symptoms or respiratory issues while in the house, but these symptoms go away when out of the home, it’s time for an indoor air quality inspection. Even residences that do not contain a foul or unfamiliar odor can be concealing potential health risks.
Often people assume mold is the issue. Often it is and we can test for mold if that seems like the most likely culprit. However, sometimes it is something unexpected.
There are several allergens that do not have any odor. These are present in the air and may also trigger adverse side effects, but still do not have any outward detectability by human senses. There is a state-of-the-art allergy test that takes one million liters of air over a 5-day period. It tests for enzymes that can trigger the most common allergies. It looks for elevated levels of 2 types of dust mites, 2 pollens, rodent urine, cockroach parts, cat and dog, and several common molds.
Then, there are volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs. These VOCs are released by way of the use of a product or process. Put another way, they are health hazards that accompany the use of common household products and processes. We have found elevated levels of formaldehyde, benzene, and other VOCs some of which came from common household items or building materials. We have also found fiberglass in the air from tears in ducts or insulation intruding from the attic. This was causing skin and breathing irritations for the homeowner.
The cause is not always obvious. There was a secure office in a secure building that, after 2 years in the office, had employees being taken to the emergency room with breathing difficulties. The tests they had commissioned for mold came back not elevated. We tested for VOCs. During testing, we asked a lot of questions. It came to light that there had been an ant infestation 3 months prior. The pesticide company placed a mild ant poison above the drop ceiling. The company did not realize that the drop ceiling was an open return to the HVAC. The tenants had been breathing in poison. As a side note, from the VOC test results, we realized from the chemicals present that the bathroom that was in a common area was part of the HVAC system for this office. This meant the secure office was not as secure as they believed it to be.
Causes for air quality complaints can come from many different sources. When you suspect your home or business may be making you sick, it’s important to have an experienced, and knowledgeable air quality testing company visit the property.
When Is It Important To Have Your Home's Air Quality Tested?
Most of us realize the importance of having a home inspection before purchasing a property. This can be a critical step in the home-buying process because it can reveal hidden dangers. The home inspector looks at each component in the home to see if it is functioning. Among the things they check is the plumbing, the electrical systems, the HVAC system, the windows, and the roof. They are looking for functionality. What they may not see is how these systems work together as a whole, impacting the quality of air in the house. Although a home inspector may check some of the same things a mold assessor checks, they may be interpreting the results differently.
If you’re going to purchase a home, a moisture/mold survey can be important. Often, when selling a home, the seller makes cosmetic changes to improve the appeal of the home. These cosmetic changes often hide issues, especially when the home is owned by a house “flipper”. We once inspected a home that had recently been renovated. Everything on the surface looked great, but there were high levels of mold in the air. Luckily, we were able to discover the source without destructive testing. In the HVAC return, the wood box the HVAC unit was sitting on was contaminated with mold. Since all the air in the home flowed past this area, the air in the home had elevated mold readings. This was a relatively easy fix. Once the box was replaced, the readings lowered to “normal ecology”. In another home, we found a large area of mold under the stairs. This was an area very difficult to access. In this instance, the spore trap air sample was not elevated. However, we noticed a very small amount of growth at the bottom of the HVAC unit and kept inspecting until we discovered the growth that covered the underside of the stairwell. This repair would require a Florida-licensed mold remediator to remove the growth. The owner had not disclosed the problem because she had the HVAC unit replaced and didn’t realize there had been growth under the stairs. The point is, that hidden growth can be in the property you are about to purchase, and a home inspector may not find it.
A mold assessment is especially necessary if you or a member of the family is in a demographic that may have a higher probability of sensitivity. These groups include infants, the elderly, chemotherapy patients, someone with immune issues like lupus, fibromyalgia, MS, or lime disease, or a respiratory illness like asthma or COPD. Also, if you are purchasing the home to be a rental, you won’t know if a potential renter has sensitivities to microbial growth. An extra inspection could save you money and heartache in the long run.
Dangers of Living in a Moldy Environment
The dangers of living in a moldy environment might not be obvious or even understood at first. But, once you have a basic concept of it, it becomes critical to fix the problem as soon as possible. This is due to the fact that mold is far more than just an eyesore. It actually can be quite harmful to people and pets in some forms. It is also an indication of excess moisture that can lead to property damage. So, read on to learn more about the risks of living in a moldy environment and what you need to know, and do.
Generally speaking, by the time mold is visible, there are thousands of spores in the environment and there is often a moldy or musty odor. Although many people believe that all mold gives off a strong odor, this isn't always the case. But, in most instances, mold does emit an unpleasant odor that can easily permeate through most of a home.
It is important to note that if mold is emitting an odor, it usually indicates active growth. Active growth means there is water where there shouldn’t be water. For instance, if a small leak occurs in the false wall between a kitchen sink and the exterior, mold can grow visibly undetected for weeks, or even months. This excess water may be doing content and structural damage. The resulting microbial growth could affect the health of occupants.
Mold is, of course, the growth of colonies from spores, which often occur in moist and dark environments. Usually, warm air is another principal component of spawning mold spores, as is the partial or complete absence of preventative measures, such as routine cleanings and proper environmental controls. Most people are familiar with mold occurring in areas such as bathrooms, mudrooms, basements, and even kitchens. The “warm air” mentioned above isn’t always necessary, as you may have noticed mold growing on food left too long in the back of the refrigerator. In Florida, we often see growth in furniture when the air is too humid, but not necessarily too warm.
The dangers of living in a moldy environment range from mild to severe. This is because not all people have the same reaction to mold spores. Some people may have no obvious reaction while others may have serious health risks associated with exposure. In fact, long-term mold exposure may lead to very serious medical problems for some individuals.
A moldy environment and exposure to it can, for some people, result in several health-related issues, such as respiratory problems, skin irritation, congestion, cough, shortness of breath, sinus infections, and throat infections. Mold exposure may not just cause an allergic reaction, it could lead to other problems such as abdominal issues, muscle aches, joint pains, and other conditions, like fever and asthma.
How to Deal with a Moldy Environment
The best and most effective way to treat mold is through professional mold services. Call a professional, Florida-licensed, mold assessor to determine if there is an issue and how severe the issue is. They can make recommendations about possible preventative measures in order to stop it from reoccurring in the future.
The assessor should then be able to recommend multiple remediators in your area to choose from. A professional mold remediation service will follow a protocol (a set of instructions) the assessor provides to remove the growth from the space. After the mold is removed, and before any build-back of walls, etc, the assessor should perform a post-remediation verification (PRV) or clearance test. This will verify that the restoration company has returned the property back to “normal ecology”. This is especially important when selling a property to show that the disclosed mold growth has been properly dealt with.
The Importance Of Testing For Mold In Your Home
The importance of testing for mold in a house is the difference between peace of mind and being open to a slew of serious problems. When most people think of mold, they think of a small, maybe persistent, annoyance in a place like a shower. Or, even somewhere outside on the exterior of a property. But, it can, unfortunately, be a much more severe issue. So much that it can cause you a lot of time, money, worry, and stress.
The importance of testing for mold in your home is not just to discover whether the spores are present or not, but for a much wider variety of reasons. This is especially true if you are purchasing a resale property, or even doing construction. It's also a good idea for sellers who don't want unexpected surprises to pop up and completely just derail an otherwise viable transaction. Here's why:
- Mold can affect your and your family’s health. Not everyone is affected by mold, and different molds can affect individuals differently. But, there are types of mold that can lead to serious medical conditions, including respiratory problems.
- Mold can seriously detract from your quality of life. Even in cases where mold is benign and doesn’t affect you, it may affect your family and guests.
- Mold can negatively impact the value of your home. Regardless of whether a mold issue is benign or it is dangerous it will have a negative impact on the value of your property. This is particularly true if you're trying to sell a house that has a mold issue as buyers will certainly object to its presence and demand remediation.
Mold can be a telltale sign of unseen structural damage. Something people often don't associate with mold is a very serious issue, which is the structural integrity of a property. After all, mold requires destructive elements in order to form and those same elements can wreak havoc on the internal materials, including the walls, and the roof.