Commercial Indoor Air Quality Testing

Commercial Indoor Air Quality Testing in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Regions

Why Commercial Indoor Air Quality Testing Is So Important

Those responsible for owning and managing commercial buildings may wonder why investing in indoor air quality testing is important. After all, they have more pressing expenses to consider and other priorities to focus on. Well, the truth is that indoor air quality can have a profound effect on health, comfort, productivity and satisfaction among building occupants. Poor indoor air quality may contribute to various problems such as outlined below.

We provide Commercial Indoor Air Quality Testing services in the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions as well as covering most other areas in California including Sacramento, San Jose, Long Beach, San Diego and Oakland.

Your employees may experience and increased risk of respiratory infections, allergies, asthma and chronic diseases. This can be compounded with reduced concentration, memory, creativity and decision-making skills as well as lower morale, motivation and engagement among employees. This will result in higher absenteeism, turnover and liability costs for businesses.

On the other hand, having high quality indoor air can have positive impacts on your bottom line, see below for examples.

- Improved performance, efficiency and innovation.
- Expanded customer service and company loyalty, increased employee retention.
- Decrease in energy consumption and maintenance costs.

So how can you assess whether your indoor air quality is good or poor? To do so, professional testing must be conducted. This involves measuring and analyzing levels of pollutants and contaminants found within your environment such as outlined below.

Common contaminants include dust, mold, pollen and other allergens. Additionally, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals could be present.

Conducting indoor air quality testing allows you to identify sources and causes of poor indoor air quality in your building, and allow you to take necessary actions to eliminate or reduce these elements. For instance, by improving ventilation and filtration systems.

You might to have to adjust temperature and humidity levels, implement smoking policies, implement green cleaning products and educate and train both staff and tenants on indoor air quality issues.

Indoor air quality testing should not be treated as an isolated event. Rather, it should be undertaken on an ongoing basis to detect changes and ensure compliance with standards and regulations that affect your indoor environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), commercial buildings should conduct at least once every three years for indoor air quality tests.

Indoor air quality testing is not a DIY project. It requires the appropriate equipment, expertise, and experience for accurate results. That is why hiring a certified indoor air quality testing service provider to do the work on your behalf would be beneficial. These companies offer a complete professional solution.

For example, they will provide an extensive assessment of your indoor air quality conditions (IAQ), complete with findings and recommendations. They will also give you an action plan tailored to improve the air quality. They can also provide follow-up services to monitor their effectiveness.

A-1 Certified Environmental Services has been offering reliable and experienced indoor air quality testing services in commercial buildings for over 20 years. They provide high quality services allowing clean air quality for your employees. They will help you achieve optimal indoor air quality.

Contact THEM immediately to arrange indoor air quality testing! Our extensive experience allows us to address all your inquiries or address concerns quickly and efficiently. Call 888-217-2719 to book an appointment.

Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution in Commercial Buildings

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is of critical concern for commercial building owners, managers and occupants alike. Poor IAQ can have detrimental impacts on health, comfort and productivity of those working or visiting the building as well as its materials and equipment. Poor air quality will also increase energy costs.

What are the sources of indoor air pollution in commercial buildings, and how can these be identified and controlled?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of the primary sources of indoor air pollution in commercial buildings, suggest the following causes.

Combustion sources. These can include boilers, furnaces, water heaters, generators, fireplaces, stoves and vehicles that burn fuels like gas, oil, coal wood or kerosene to produce carbon dioxide, particulate matter and other harmful gases and other particles that contribute to air pollution.

Building materials and furnishings. This includes products like pressed wood products, carpets, furniture fabrics, adhesives, caulks, sealants, paint, varnishes, cleaners as well as chemicals which release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde or other chemicals which may irritate eyes, nose throat and skin.

Outdoor air pollutants. This list includes dust, pollen, mold spores, smoke, ozone and vehicle exhaust. All these can enter buildings through windows, doors, vents, cracks or HVAC systems and impair indoor air quality. This will potentially lead to allergic reactions or respiratory conditions for workers or residents.

Biological contaminants. This includes bacteria, viruses, fungi, mold, dust mites, animal dander, insects and rodents that thrive in damp or dirty places such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, carpet upholstery, HVAC systems or water damaged materials. This can easily lead to infections as well as asthma or allergy attacks.

Pesticides. This category encompasses insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides used to combat pests in and outside buildings. While such chemicals can help control pest populations inside or outside buildings, their presence contaminates the indoor air and poses health risks to both people and animals alike.

An effective way to identify and control sources of indoor air pollution in commercial buildings is through regular indoor air quality testing by qualified professionals. Testing measures levels of various pollutants present, compare them against recommended guidelines and identify any potential sources of pollution with recommendations for improving indoor air quality.

Indoor air quality testing in commercial buildings is beneficial not only to the health and well-being of its occupants, but also the performance and efficiency of systems and equipment in the building. By improving air quality in these commercial structures, building owners and managers can reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, enhance customer satisfaction levels and save energy costs. In other words, you can save both money and energy!

If you are interested in conducting commercial indoor air quality testing for your building, reach out to us now for a free phone consultation.

Poor Indoor Air Quality Effects on Employees and Customers

At first glance, you might not realize it, but the air inside a commercial building can have a major effect on your health and well-being. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can have negative consequences for both employees and customers of that facility, from minor discomforts to serious medical conditions. Here we explore some of these health effects of poor IAQ on employees and customers and discuss how commercial indoor air quality testing services can identify any issues which need to be addressed.

What are Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

Poor IAQ can have different effects on people depending on their sensitivity, exposure level and overall health status. Here are some common symptoms of poor IAQ.

Headaches, fatigue, irritation of eyes nose throat and skin (ENT&S), allergic reactions and allergic attacks as well as respiratory infections may lead to asthma attacks as well as nausea.

These symptoms can severely decrease productivity, performance and satisfaction of employees and customers alike, increasing absenteeism, turnover rates and health care costs significantly.

What are some serious health implications associated with poor IAQ?

Poor indoor air quality may result in serious health implications. These health effects may include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and neurological disorders. Any of these could have severe long-term repercussions for employees and customers of your company, in addition to a severe detriment to both your reputation and possible liability issues.

What are some sources of indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollutants come from various sources inside and outside your building, some of which include those listed below.

Combustion sources include furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, stoves, generators, vehicles and tobacco smoke. Also, many building materials and furnishings contain formaldehyde or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) amongst other pollutants.

Tips for Improving Commercial Indoor Air Quality and Employee Health
Tip Description
Use air filters and purifiers Air filters and purifiers can remove dust, pollen, mold, and other pollutants from the indoor air, improving its quality and reducing health risks.
Control humidity levels High humidity can promote the growth of mold and bacteria, as well as make the air feel stuffy and uncomfortable. A dehumidifier can help lower the moisture level in the air and prevent mold growth.
Improve ventilation Ventilation can bring fresh air into the building and remove stale air that may contain contaminants. Opening windows, using fans, or installing a mechanical ventilation system can improve air circulation and quality.
Use natural or low-VOC products Some cleaning products, paints, adhesives, and other materials can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can harm the indoor air quality and cause health problems. Using natural or low-VOC products can reduce the exposure to these chemicals and improve the air quality.
Keep plants indoors Plants can help purify the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They can also reduce stress and create a more pleasant environment. However, some plants may trigger allergies or attract pests, so choose them carefully and keep them well-maintained.

Other sources are cleaning products and personal care items such as detergents, disinfectants, aerosols and perfumes. Biological agents including mold, bacteria, viruses, dust mites, pollen and animal dander. Additionally outdoor sources include pesticides industrial emissions and traffic exhaust fumes.

Other sources can release pollutants into the indoor air through various processes, such as evaporation, combustion, infiltration and ventilation.

How can commercial indoor air quality testing assist in improving IAQ?

Testing commercial indoor air quality regularly with professional equipment and experts is a proactive strategy to guarantee high quality indoor air in your building. By conducting regular air quality tests, you can identify the types and levels of pollutants present in your indoor air. You’ll be able to locate their sources, evaluate ventilation system effectiveness, assess air filters' performance; and implement measures to reduce or eliminate pollutant sources.

Other sources can release pollutants into the indoor air through various processes, such as evaporation, combustion, infiltration and ventilation.

How can commercial indoor air quality testing assist in improving IAQ?

Testing commercial indoor air quality regularly with professional equipment and experts is a proactive strategy to guarantee high quality indoor air in your building. By conducting regular air quality tests, you can identify the types and levels of pollutants present in your indoor air. You’ll be able to locate their sources, evaluate ventilation system effectiveness, assess air filters' performance; and implement measures to reduce or eliminate pollutant sources.

How to Select an Appropriate Indoor Air Quality Testing Service Provider

If the air quality in your commercial building is cause for concern, hiring a professional testing service to test it will be beneficial. But which service do you hire? There are various factors that go into choosing an accurate indoor air quality testing service - here are some suggestions on making the right choice.

- Request references. It’s essential that you hear from former customers of the service you are considering gathering feedback about their experience. Ideally, ask for at least three references and contact each of them individually in order to ascertain how satisfied they were with the experience, how accurate and timely the results were, how professional and courteous their staff was, as well as if any issues or complaints were handled professionally or quickly. You could also check online reviews like Google, Yelp or Angie's List in order to gain additional insight.

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Commercial Indoor Air Quality Testing Los Angeles

- Compare Prices and Services. When it comes to getting the best value for your money, quality should never be compromised. When researching various services, compare their testing methods, equipment, reports, recommendations, follow up services, written estimates containing scope of work fees and terms and conditions. Beware services offering extremely low prices without enough time for review of contracts before you sign them.

- Choose a local service. When hiring services in your local area, choose services familiar with its regulations and standards that pertain to your industry and building type. Furthermore, hiring local can help prevent problems from developing with community groups or authorities and help avoid disputes altogether.

- Trust Your Gut. Ultimately, when choosing an indoor air quality service provider, the one you feel most at ease with is important. Communication must be easy and open with them with all questions answered satisfactorily. Furthermore, they should respect your concerns and goals and demonstrate genuine interest in helping to improve your indoor air quality. If any doubts or reservations exist regarding any service, don't be reluctant to search elsewhere for a company that best meets them.

Employing the services of an appropriate commercial indoor air quality testing service can make an immense difference for the health, safety, productivity and reputation of your business. By following these tips, you can find a service that fits both your needs and expectations as well as producing superior results.

What Are Indoor Air Quality Tests and What They Measure?

If you are concerned about the air quality in your home or office, an indoor air quality test could be useful in measuring its presence and concentration of pollutants, allergens, mold spores, VOCs and other hazardous materials in a building. Testing will help identify if indoor spaces meet standards for safe air quality as well as identify any dangers present that could compromise your wellbeing.

Indoor air quality tests come in various types and you should select one according to what it measures and your desired accuracy of results. Here are some of the more popular indoor air quality tests and what they measure.

An indoor air quality monitor is an electronic device designed to continuously test and report on levels of pollution in your home, such as particulate matter, chemical pollutants, humidity, temperature, formaldehyde and more. Some models feature a display panel that shows readings in real-time while others connect directly with an app on your phone or a smart home device. These indoor air quality monitors offer comprehensive insight into indoor air quality conditions as well as alert you of any changes or problems within them.

Mold Test. A mold test is an effective way of identifying the presence and type of mold in your home, which can cause allergic reactions, respiratory ailments and other health concerns. A professional can perform the testing by conducting visual assessments, taking humidity readings and collecting air or surface samples before sending them off for analysis in a lab. This will provide results from mold growth testing. It will help identify the source of contamination and recommend strategies on removal if that’s indicated. These are just some of the types of indoor air quality tests you can use to gauge different aspects of the quality of air in your home or office environment. By performing regular tests on this aspect of indoor air quality, you can ensure you're breathing safe, healthy air in both spaces.

How to Interpret and Utilize Indoor Air Quality Test Results

Have you taken the prudent approach and hired an independent testing service to perform a commercial indoor air quality test in your building? Now what? You may have received numbers and charts from them, how will you interpret them to improve health and comfort for both employees and customers alike?

In this section, we'll outline how to interpret and utilize the results of your indoor air quality test. Additionally, we’ll give some tips for communicating this data to stakeholders as well as taking any recommended actions.

Interpreting Your Indoor Air Quality Test Results

First and foremost, it's essential that you understand the results of an indoor air quality test. Depending on the nature and scope of your examination, various types of data could emerge. Here’s what you can expect.

Concentrations of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM), mold spores and more. Levels of temperature, humidity, ventilation and air flow, ratings of comfort, satisfaction and productivity from surveys or interviews.

Comparisons with industry standards, guidelines or benchmarks. You should get an identification of potential sources or causes contributing to poor indoor air quality and recommendations for corrective or preventative actions that might be required.

To accurately interpret your indoor air quality test results, it is necessary to consider them in context.

How well do your results correspond with acceptable or optimal ranges for each parameter? How does the variance in results across locations, times, or seasons in your building vary? And finally, do these results correlate with complaints or symptoms reported by occupants? How well does the results of the indoor air quality test correspond with your goals and expectations for indoor air quality?

By reviewing your results in context, you can identify both strengths and weaknesses of your indoor air quality as well as areas which need improvement.

Implement the Results of Your Indoor Air Quality Test

As soon as your indoor air quality test results have come back, use them to take appropriate action based on findings and recommendations by the testing company.

Some possible actions might include the following.

Adjusting or upgrading your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Installing or replacing air filters, purifiers, humidifiers or dehumidifiers. Cleaning or replacing carpets, upholstery, curtains or any materials which could harbor dust mites, mold or allergens.

Reducing or eliminating sources of pollution such as smoking, cooking, cleaning products, paints, solvents or pesticides. Increasing natural ventilation through opening windows and doors. Also adding plants for aesthetic improvements as well as improving air quality are some ways to keep air clean and quality high.

You consider training or educating staff and customers about good indoor air quality practices which will help enable your organization to keep the air fresh.

Your decision should be based on an economic evaluation that takes into account both its impact on indoor air quality as well as your budget and resources. Furthermore, follow-up tests or surveys should be conducted periodically in order to monitor and evaluate how effective your action has been.

Communicating the Results of Your Indoor Air Quality Test

Lastly, it’s necessary to communicate the results of your indoor air quality test to all the stakeholders, which could include any of these groups.

Your employees and customers who are directly affected by indoor air quality.

Your managers and owners who make decisions and allocate resources. Finally, your regulators or insurers who may require compliance with certain standards or codes.

Your competition and peers who may use your performance as a measure. Finally, you should think about your community who may appreciate your environmental and social stewardship!

To effectively communicate the results of an indoor air quality test, it’s important to use clear, simple language without technical jargon or acronyms in communicating effectively about indoor air quality. Use visual aids such as graphs, charts, tables or pictures that illustrate key points. You might even use stories or anecdotes that demonstrate benefits or consequences of good or poor indoor air quality.

Use positive and constructive language that emphasizes solutions over problems. Utilize feedback mechanisms like surveys, polls, quizzes or comments that invite engagement and input. By sharing the results of your indoor air quality tests in an honest and persuasive manner, you can establish trust with all stakeholders while motivating them to support your activities.

An indoor air quality test for commercial buildings can provide invaluable data that allows you to evaluate and enhance the health and comfort of its occupants. At the same time, this will improve your reputation and performance as a business owner or manager. Get in touch with us now - our professionals can conduct commercial indoor air quality tests with ease!

Best Practices for Improving and Sustaining Indoor Air Quality in Commercial Spaces

Now that you understand the significance of indoor air quality testing and how to assess it, you may be wondering what steps can be taken to enhance and sustain it in commercial spaces. After all, providing healthy and comfortable surroundings for employees, customers, and visitors is your goal - here are some best practices you can implement to achieve that end.

Ventilate your spaces properly. Ventilation involves the process of bringing fresh air into your spaces while simultaneously extracting stale air, helping dilute pollution concentrations and minimize exposure risk. You can do this by opening windows and doors, or mechanically by using fans, ducts, and vents. Always check outdoor air quality first before venting to prevent polluted or contaminated air entering from outside. Air purifiers may also help filter these particles from entering as well.

Control the sources of pollutants. Some common indoor air pollution sources include combustion appliances, building materials, furniture, cleaning products, pesticides, tobacco smoke and biological agents. You can manage these sources by opting for low-emission or natural products. Always remembering to follow manufacturer instructions and safety guidelines. Properly storing and disposing them when finished, as well as not smoking indoors. Exhaust fans or hoods can help vent out any pollutants released while cooking or heating activities are occurring.

Temperature and humidity levels must remain comfortable to protect indoor air quality by inhibiting mold, bacteria, viruses, dust mites and other biological agents from growing. They can also disrupt the comfort and health of occupants. You can control both by using thermostats, humidifiers, dehumidifiers or air conditioners. The ideal temperature range for most commercial spaces is between 68F - 78F (20°C - 26°C) while the ideal humidity range is 30% - 60%.

Clean your spaces regularly. A routine cleaning regimen will help remove dust, dirt, allergens and other pollutants from surfaces and the air. To do this, include vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting or wiping surfaces with natural cleaning products – these will all help remove these pollutants. Make sure any waste is properly disposed of and then wash your hands afterwards for hygiene purposes.

Inform others about indoor air quality expectations. Indoor air quality is a complex, dynamic issue that impacts everyone who occupies the commercial space. To educate yourself and others about it, reading reliable sources of information, attending workshops or seminars, joining online forums or groups or consulting with experts are effective means of education on this matter. Raising awareness among employees, customers, visitors, contractors, suppliers and other stakeholders about this subject is also beneficial as this will foster an atmosphere of health and safety within commercial settings.

Benefits of Routine Indoor Air Quality Testing for Your Business

At first glance, your commercial building may appear safe and healthy for employees and customers, but have you tested its indoor air quality (IAQ) recently? Indoor air quality refers to the condition of the air inside a building which influences health and comfort of its occupants. Poor IAQ may cause headaches, fatigue, eye, nose or throat irritation. In addition, occupants of the building may experience allergies, asthma attacks respiratory infections, even cancer among many other symptoms. Not to mention the productivity loss due to absenteeism and irreparable harm done to your business reputation by these conditions.

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As part of your business's overall environmental health efforts, conducting regular commercial indoor air quality testing for your business is of vital importance. Testing measures and analyzes levels of pollutants such as dust, mold, chemicals and other irritants present in your indoor air environment. By regularly testing, you can identify sources of pollution while also gauging ventilation system effectiveness and devising strategies to enhance the quality of your indoor environment.

Your business could benefit greatly from performing regular commercial indoor air quality testing. Here are a few of the benefits.

Reduced exposure to harmful pollutants can improve both employee health and customer wellbeing. By decreasing airborne pollutants in your indoor space, you can avoid or alleviate symptoms associated with allergies, asthma, respiratory infections and chronic diseases. Simultaneously you are improving employee morale and satisfaction - they'll love working and doing business in an airy and comfortable space!

Studies have demonstrated the link between poor indoor air quality (IAQ) and cognitive functions such as memory, attention, concentration and decision making. Your employees will work faster, smarter and better overall - and this translates into increased productivity and employee performance as well as better quality customer service. By improving indoor air quality levels, you can increase the mental abilities of workers which in turn will enable faster, smarter work that results in superior work product and service for your customers.

Reduce costs and liabilities of your business. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can damage both buildings and equipment in ways such as corrosion, deterioration, and malfunction. By testing and improving IAQ, you can prevent or minimize these damages and save money on repairs or replacements. You will also potentially avoid lawsuits from regulatory agencies or customers who allege it caused harm or violated their rights.

Increased reputation and image for your business. Conducting regular commercial indoor air quality testing for your company demonstrates your dedication to environmental responsibility and social accountability while drawing customers and employees who value health and safety. Many workers and employees prefer businesses which take care in maintaining optimal indoor environments for them.

As can be seen, indoor air quality testing for businesses is both a legal and smart investment. By regularly testing indoor air quality levels in your building, you can ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone working or visiting there while reaping other advantages like improved productivity, performance, cost savings and reputation enhancements.

Average Indoor Air Quality Levels in Commercial Buildings

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important factor for the health and comfort of building occupants. Poor IAQ can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, irritation, and respiratory problems. It can also affect the productivity and performance of workers. Therefore, it is essential to monitor and improve the IAQ in commercial buildings.

Parameter Recommended Level Common Sources
Temperature 20-24°C Heating and cooling systems
Relative Humidity 30-60% Moisture sources, ventilation, dehumidifiers
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) <1000 ppm Human respiration, combustion appliances
Carbon Monoxide (CO) <9 ppm Vehicles, generators, gas stoves
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) <500 µg/m3 Cleaning products, paints, solvents, carpets, furniture
Particulate Matter (PM2.5) <10 µg/m3 Dust, smoke, pollen, mold spores

To ensure optimal IAQ in commercial buildings, it is recommended to conduct regular testing and inspections by qualified professionals. Commercial indoor air quality testing can help identify and resolve any issues that may affect the IAQ and the well-being of the occupants.

Our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) - This section outlines Frequently Asked Questions that our team often receive.

Does OSHA conduct air quality tests?

OSHA does not set specific standards for indoor air quality (IAQ) but does offer guidelines and recommendations to assist employers and workers identify and prevent IAQ problems. OSHA investigates air quality by identifying sources of pollutants, evaluating HVAC systems, measuring employee exposure to contaminants as well as regulating workplace practices and responding to air quality complaints by performing physical examinations or interviewing employees.

What goes into an indoor air quality test?

An indoor air quality test involves measuring and analyzing the levels of pollutants which impact air quality in a building. As part of their test programs, pollution testing facilities typically test for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM), temperature, humidity, ventilation rate and mold spores. An indoor air quality test typically involves taking samples of air or surfaces with various devices. The samples are sent for analysis to a certified laboratory. Once processed by the laboratory, the results are compared against established standards or guidelines to assess any potential health or comfort issues that might exist.

What are OSHA standards for air quality?

OSHA air quality standards are regulations which establish limits for certain substances or contaminants to which workers in the workplace can be exposed, taking into account scientific research regarding health effects associated with pollution exposure. OSHA standards for air quality include the elements below.

Permissible exposure limits (PELs), set forth by OSHA, specify maximum airborne contaminants workers are exposed to in an 8-hour workday or 40-hour workweek. OSHA has established PELs for many substances such as benzene and formaldehyde.

Short-term exposure limits (STELs) set by OSHA represent the maximum levels of airborne contaminants workers can be exposed to for 15 minutes without experiencing adverse health effects, such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, without risking immediate health harm.

Ceiling limits set the maximum levels of airborne contaminants that workers can be exposed to at any given time. OSHA has set ceiling limits for certain substances with severe or irreversible health impacts such as methylene chloride, vinyl chloride and ethylene oxide.

Benefits of Commercial Indoor Air Quality Testing for Businesses
Improves health, comfort, and productivity of employees
Reduces absenteeism and turnover due to illness
Enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty
Prevents lawsuits and fines due to poor air quality
Saves energy and money by optimizing ventilation system

What are three major indoor air pollutants?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), here is a list of three of the major indoor air pollutants.

Particulate matter can take many forms, including dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander and fibers. Each particle can vary in size and can cause respiratory irritation as well as allergies, asthma and other health conditions.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde, benzene, and acetone are known to quickly evaporate at room temperature when introduced into paints, solvents, cleaners, pesticides or building materials containing them. VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, eye irritation and in some cases cancerous growths in cells.

Biological contaminants include mold, bacteria, viruses and fungi. Also, dust mites - organisms which thrive in damp or poorly ventilated spaces and can lead to allergic reactions, infections and asthma attacks.

What are the symptoms of poor air quality?

Poor air quality affects people differently depending on their sensitivity, exposure level and health condition. Here is a list of common symptoms of poor indoor air quality.

Eye, Nose, and Throat Irritations
Coughing, Sneezing, and Wheezing
Headaches and Drowsiness
Allergic reactions and asthma
Skin rashes and infections
Nausea and vomiting
Difficulty concentrating and memory loss
Mood changes and irritability

If any of these symptoms appear while indoors and improve when leaving or moving to another area, this could indicate that an issue with indoor air quality exists.

What is an acceptable VOC level for indoor air quality?

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are measured in parts per billion (ppb) or parts per million (ppm), depending on their concentration in indoor air. While there is no one-size-fits-all guideline or standard for acceptable VOC levels for optimal air quality. Different VOCs have different health impacts and exposure limits, making an overall standard or guideline impractical. Nonetheless here are a few general recommendations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that indoor VOC levels should not exceed 300 parts per billion for total VOCs (TVOCs) or 50 parts per billion for individual VOCs.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in the US has issued permissible exposure limits (PELs) for several volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in workplace environments. Formaldehyde's permissible exposure limit is 0.75 parts per million for an 8-hour time-weighted averages or 2 parts per million as 15-minute short-term exposure limits (STEL).

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an environmental rating system to encourage buildings to use low-emitting materials and products. LEED requires indoor VOC levels meet California Department of Public Health Standard Method v1.1-2010 or equivalent specifications.

What is the ISO Standard for Indoor Air Quality?

ISO, or International Organization for Standardization, is an international body which develops and publishes standards across various fields and industries. One such standard developed by ISO concerns indoor air quality - or more specifically the quality of the air in buildings where people reside, work or visit.

Indoor air quality has an impactful influence on health, comfort and productivity for its occupants. Poor indoor air quality may contribute to respiratory illness or worsen allergies, headaches, fatigue or materials damage as a result of poor air quality.

ISO Standard 16000-40:2019 is the key standard relating to indoor air quality testing for commercial purposes, describing requirements for an IAQ management system which helps organizations protect and enhance indoor air quality in an effective way.

Establish a policy and objectives for improving indoor air quality

An indoor air quality management system (IAQMS) includes several elements, including these below.

- Assessing indoor air quality aspects such as sources of pollutants, ventilation systems, occupant activities and expectations.
- Monitoring and measuring indoor air quality parameters, temperature, humidity, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Particulates Matter (PM).
- Implement operational controls and corrective actions to mitigate or reduce indoor air pollution.
- Conduct internal audits and management reviews to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the system.
- Communication to internal and external stakeholders regarding indoor air quality issues and successes.

By adhering to ISO standards for indoor air quality, organizations can reap many advantages:

- Improved health and well-being of occupants
- Enhance reputation and customer satisfaction
- Reduced Costs and Risks Related to Indoor Air Quality Improvement
- Compliance with regulations and best practices has increased significantly

CALL: 888-217-2719 to find out more on Commercial Indoor Air Quality Testing