Various science-based parameters may be measured to assess the quality of indoor air. Measurements fall into 3 groupings; particulate, environmental and microbiological. Any single one of these parameters measured in isolation may lead to misleading conclusions. As such, a complete program of assessment collects multiple values (CO2, CO, %RH, solid moisture, LUX, PM2.5 particulates, etc.), to form an accurate picture of the IAQ. External air tests are done in addition so that a valid comparison can be made on the day of assessment. Recently, the assessment of Carbon Dioxide levels (CO2 ) has been used as a way of assessing the effectiveness of building ventilation, to decrease the spread of COVID-19 (SARS CoV-2).
Exposure time to contaminants does matter
With energy-efficient buildings, the excellent sealing of the building often decreases the volume of external air that is “exchanged” into the building. This may impact staff and residents, by increasing exposure (time and concentration) to any chemicals, bacteria, viral materials or particulates from furniture, carpets, paints or other building components. A common example of this is Formaldehyde. This chemical may outgas from particle board furniture and fixtures, building up to elevated levels. Formaldehyde is a recognised human carcinogen (IARC- 2011, USA).
The increased use of central air conditioning and ventilation systems demands that these systems work optimally. Break-through of vehicle exhaust and other small particulate pollutants (PM2.5, PM10) may result in strained HVAC systems. Biosafety has the skills, qualified staff and validated test equipment to conduct timely and informative studies.
Understanding the Issues
Biosafety staff understand the issues in maintaining appropriate IAQ values. By understanding your unique site's challenges, our testing programs are then designed to focus on the required and informative measures. Intelligent, directed sampling is the only way to obtain cost-effective programs of investigation that will yield clear, actionable results. We have the skills to assess microbiological and chemical data, to give a complete picture of your situation.
Is mould an issue?
In buildings that have suffered leaks or water damage, the establishment of mould is not uncommon. Relatively simple testing programs can be done to locate, assess and recommend corrective actions. Ultimately, simply cleaning the surface will not solve the long term issue, the “root-cause” source of moisture incursion has to be identified and corrected.
For more information on mould remediation click here