Indoor Air Quality Test

Indoor Air Quality

Whether you have allergies or asthma or you just want the air you are breathing in your home everyday to be clean and healthy; we have the best options for you and your air purification needs.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their ‘introduction to indoor air quality’, talks about Respirable Particles*.

EPA Information on Respirable Particles Health Effects

The EPA states in Health Effects of Respirable Particles: Eye, nose, and throat irritation; respiratory infections and bronchitis; lung cancer. The EPA information goes on to advise on the steps that can be taken to ensure that indoor air quality is maintained or corrected.

Steps to Reduce Exposure to Respirable Particles for Better Indoor Air Quality – per EPA

  • Vent all furnaces to outdoors; keep doors to rest of house open when using unvented space heaters.

  • Choose properly sized woodstoves, certified to meet EPA emission standards; make certain that doors on all woodstoves fit tightly.

  • Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up central heating system (furnace, flues, and chimneys) annually. Repair any leaks properly.

  • Change filters on central heating and cooling systems and air cleaners according to manufacturer’s directions.

Your Indoor Air Quality Test

The technicians of Diaz Heating and Air will come to your home and perform an indoor air quality test.

This test allows the technician to determine the severity of particles in the air inside your home.

Once this is determined, we can go over various options with you on purification systems. These options are all tailored to fit your budget, the size of your home and the level of purification needed.

More Information on Indoor Air Quality and Defining Respirable Particles

*The University of Toledo has a section of their website devoted to their Air Pollution Research Group at (http://www.eng.utoledo.edu/aprg/). On this page (http://www.eng.utoledo.edu/~akumar/IAQ/TEXT/RPS.HTML) they define Respirable Particles as follows:

Respirable Particulates

A collective group of fine solid particles, aerosols, mist, smoke, dust, fibers and fumes are called Respirable particulates. The main indoor respirable particulates are Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) and fibers.

Sources of Respirable Particulates

The main sources of respirable particulates are outdoor air, tobacco smoke, wood combustion, and other sources. Tobacco smoke contributes to nearly 20 mg / m3 of daily respirable particulate concentration per pack of cigarettes. Sources of indoor concentration of fibers is due to the presence of carpets, curtains, insulation and asbestos.

Health Effects

Respirable particulates such as ETS and Asbestos are classified as class A carcinogens, which is a rating used by the US EPA.

Following is basic information on pollutants and sources of Indoor Air Pollution from the EPA:

Nitrogen Dioxide

The two most prevalent oxides of nitrogen are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO). Both are toxic gases with NO2 being a highly reactive oxidant and corrosive. The primary sources indoors are combustion processes, such as unvented combustion appliances, e.g. gas stoves, vented appliances with defective installations, welding, and tobacco smoke.

(Further data: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/no2.html)

Pesticides

According to a recent survey, 75 percent of U.S. households used at least one pesticide product indoors during the past year. Products used most often are insecticides and disinfectants. Another study suggests that 80 percent of most people’s exposure to pesticides occurs indoors and that measurable levels of up to a dozen pesticides have been found in the air inside homes. The amount of pesticides found in homes appears to be greater than can be explained by recent pesticide use in those households; other possible sources include contaminated soil or dust that floats or is tracked in from outside, stored pesticide containers, and household surfaces that collect and then release the pesticides. Pesticides used in and around the home include products to control insects (insecticides), termites (termiticides), rodents (rodenticides), fungi (fungicides), and microbes (disinfectants). They are sold as sprays, liquids, sticks, powders, crystals, balls, and foggers.

In 1990, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that some 79,000 children were involved in common household pesticide poisonings or exposures. In households with children under five years old, almost one-half stored at least one pesticide product within reach of children.

EPA registers pesticides for use and requires manufacturers to put information on the label about when and how to use the pesticide. It is important to remember that the “-cide” in pesticides means “to kill”. These products can be dangerous if not used properly.

In addition to the active ingredient, pesticides are also made up of ingredients that are used to carry the active agent. These carrier agents are called “inerts” in pesticides because they are not toxic to the targeted pest; nevertheless, some inerts are capable of causing health problems.

(Further data: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pesticid.html)

  • To find out if your home indoor air quality is being affected by Nitrogen Dioxide or Pesticides click here to make an appointment for an indoor air quality test

Lead

Lead has long been recognized as a harmful environmental pollutant. In late 1991, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services called lead the “number one environmental threat to the health of children in the United States.” There are many ways in which humans are exposed to lead: through air, drinking water, food, contaminated soil, deteriorating paint, and dust. Airborne lead enters the body when an individual breathes or swallows lead particles or dust once it has settled. Before it was known how harmful lead could be, it was used in paint, gasoline, water pipes, and many other products.

Old lead-based paint is the most significant source of lead exposure in the U.S. today. Harmful exposures to lead can be created when lead-based paint is improperly removed from surfaces by dry scraping, sanding, or open-flame burning. High concentrations of airborne lead particles in homes can also result from lead dust from outdoor sources, including contaminated soil tracked inside, and use of lead in certain indoor activities such as soldering and stained-glass making.

(Further data: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/lead.html)

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.

(Further data: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html)

  • To find out if your home indoor air quality is being affected by Lead or Carbon Monoxide gas click here to make an appointment for an indoor air quality test

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is an important chemical used widely by industry to manufacture building materials and numerous household products. It is also a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes. Thus, it may be present in substantial concentrations both indoors and outdoors.

Sources of formaldehyde in the home include building materials, smoking, household products, and the use of un-vented, fuel-burning appliances, like gas stoves or kerosene space heaters. Formaldehyde, by itself or in combination with other chemicals, serves a number of purposes in manufactured products. For example, it is used to add permanent-press qualities to clothing and draperies, as a component of glues and adhesives, and as a preservative in some paints and coating products.

In homes, the most significant sources of formaldehyde are likely to be pressed wood products made using adhesives that contain urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins. Pressed wood products made for indoor use include: particleboard (used as sub-flooring and shelving and in cabinetry and furniture); hardwood plywood paneling (used for decorative wall covering and used in cabinets and furniture); and medium density fiberboard (used for drawer fronts, cabinets, and furniture tops). Medium density fiberboard contains a higher resin-to-wood ratio than any other UF pressed wood product and is generally recognized as being the highest formaldehyde-emitting pressed wood product.

Other pressed wood products, such as softwood plywood and flake or oriented strand board, are produced for exterior construction use and contain the dark, or red/black-colored phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resin. Although formaldehyde is present in both types of resins, pressed woods that contain PF resin generally emit formaldehyde at considerably lower rates than those containing UF resin.

(Further data: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/formalde.html)

Biological Pollutants

Biological contaminants include bacteria, molds, mildew, viruses, animal dander and cat saliva, house dust, mites, cockroaches, and pollen. There are many sources of these pollutants. Pollens originate from plants; viruses are transmitted by people and animals; bacteria are carried by people, animals, and soil and plant debris; and household pets are sources of saliva and animal dander. The protein in urine from rats and mice is a potent allergen. When it dries, it can become airborne. Contaminated central air handling systems can become breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and other sources of biological contaminants and can then distribute these contaminants through the home.

By controlling the relative humidity level in a home, the growth of some sources of biologicals can be minimized. A relative humidity of 30-50 percent is generally recommended for homes. Standing water, water-damaged materials, or wet surfaces also serve as a breeding ground for molds, mildews, bacteria, and insects. House dust mites, the source of one of the most powerful biological allergens, grow in damp, warm environment.

(Further data: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/biologic.html)

Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. EPA and CPSC have banned several asbestos products. Manufacturers have also voluntarily limited uses of asbestos. Today, asbestos is most commonly found in older homes, in pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, and floor tiles.

Elevated concentrations of airborne asbestos can occur after asbestos-containing materials are disturbed by cutting, sanding or other remodeling activities. Improper attempts to remove these materials can release asbestos fibers into the air in homes, increasing asbestos levels and endangering people living in those homes.

Asbestos is defined as a group of impure magnesium silicate minerals which occur in fibrous form.

(Further data: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/asbestos.html)

  • To find out if your home indoor air quality is being affected by Formaldehyde, Biological Pollutants or Asbestos click here to make an appointment for an indoor air quality test

Should You Get an Indoor Air Quality Test?

Every home does not have pollutants. But, if you or any of your family experiences symptoms such as those noted by the EPA; eye, nose or throat irritation, respiratory infections, or bronchitis symptoms … perhaps it’s time to find out.

Call us at 916-429-2072 or (530) 756-7770 or (209) 474-5800.
Or contact Diaz Heating and Air for a professional indoor air quality test in your home.

We’ll be there in hours, not days.

List of Cities We Service:

Antelope, Arden, Auburn, Cameron Park, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Diamond Springs, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove , Foothill Farms, Fair Oaks, Florin, Folsom, Galt, Greenhaven, Granite Bay, Gold River, Laguna, Lincoln, Lodi, Morada, Natomas (North & South), North Highlands, Orangevale, Placerville, Pocket, Rancho Cordova, Rio Linda, Rosemont, Roseville, Sacramento (North, South, East, and West), Shingle Springs, Sloughhouse, Stockton