Adam Collin | Published On : 10/18/18 8:20 AM
Technology has soared where today regulation-grade, low-cost sensors are used to amplify and report the air quality outside. But have you ever wondered what actually happens when we breathe in the air inside the house, office or any indoor place? At times, the indoor air is more polluted than outdoor. This convinces for indoor air quality testing and it is imperative as home is the place where every person spends most of the time inside.
In case we sense an air pollution problem in our homes, the primary thing that should be done is to calculate the level of contamination. Indoor air quality testing needs to be carried out but the process must be strategic and selective. Amplification of pollutants serves fruitful when you are suspecting a specific contaminant. Considering the scenario the air-quality tests for home are of different levels of accuracy and the cost. In the market there affordable do-it-yourself kits. Who does not want pocket friendly ways to curtail the cost yet manage to get rid of pollutants present in the air.
Quality Testing of Indoor Air and Contaminants
Human unluckily fail to test all kinds of indoor pollutants at the same time. It is highly expensive to conduct test for several but depending upon your choice of air quality test kits to can conduct the test for contaminants to a major extent. The EPA details the usual indoor pollutants suspected to present in the indoor air of you home are as follows:
- Biological pollutants:g. mold, dander, pollen, dust mites, and bacteria.
- Chemical pollutants: comprise of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as: formaldehyde, and the other chemical pollutants like lead and radon.
- Combustion pollutant: such as carbon monoxide and tobacco smoke. By chance, VOCs and other chemical pollutants might end up from combustion.
Indoor Air Quality Testing by Nature of the Pollutant
Biological Pollutants: As per the EPA some of the biological pollutants are responsible for allergic reactions such as: hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis, and kinds of asthma. Viruses and toxins from microorganisms advance via air also can cause disease.
Symptoms include: Sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
Testing for Biological Pollutants
Testing for biological allergens is not suggested. With a feeling of likely suspect contaminants that is responsible for your indoor air pollution. After taking all the preventive measures, if you feel the same symptoms then only indoor air quality testing might be attempted.
The Major Biological Pollutants are discussed below:
Mold:Mold is the fungus that gave us our first antibiotic. Mold is responsible for the growth of both indoors as well as outdoors and can easily enter your home through doorways, windows, and vents, or be carried indoors by clinging to clothing or shoes. According to the CDC reports who are sensitive to molds, they can easily cause nasal stuffiness, irritation of the throat, coughing or wheezing, or eye irritation. At times the healthy people can also face upper respiratory symptoms, wheeze, and cough.
House Dust Mites:
Dust mites is found in mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets, and curtains. It is found in every home irrespective of keeping it clean. Dust mite allergens are one of the most powerful of the biological allergens and can be an asthma trigger. Asthma triggers in general may cause symptoms like coughing, tightness in the chest, wheezing, and breathing problems.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) details the the methods to minimize dust mite levels, comprises:
- Implement a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep humidity level at about 50% or below.
- Wrap mattress and pillows in allergen-impermeable covers
- Clean the bedding in hot water to kill all the dust mites.
- Use vacuum cleaners to remove allergens also bring damp rag and use to remove dust
The test kit currently runs at $49.95.
The tiny pollen grains that can easily enter your nose and throat that can end up with a respiratory allergy called hay fever.
The common symptoms of hay fever comprise of:
- Sneezing and Coughing
- Itch in eyes, nose, and throat
- Red and watery eyes
Precautionary Measures of Increased Pollen Exposure comprise of:
- Staying inside the house (especially from 5:00 am to 10:00 am). This is the time when the pollen c when outside pollen count is highest.
- Prefer to keep the doors and windows of car and home close.
- Choose to dry your clothes in the dryer not handing outdoor in the sun.
- Try not to have grass or trees in your yard that disperse high pollen levels.
The testing service is running for a price of $75.
General Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): The NIH describes the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases, due to their volatile nature. At home we need different kind of chemical products that gives out organic compounds when exposed to use or even when stored. The VOCs detected products are paints, cleaners and disinfectants, stored fuels, wood preservatives, and dry-cleaned clothing. Some other products that can contain VOCs are building materials, furnishings, office equipment, and graphics and craft materials.
The NIH reports that if the VOCs are exposed for a long time it might cause damage to kidney, liver, and central nervous system. Short-term exposure to volatile organic compounds just might end up with eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, loss of coordination, allergic skin reactions, memory impairment, and nausea.
The EPA has recommended some tips to curtail the VOCs levels in the home that are listed below:
- Maximum ventilation and provide fresh air while using products that release VOCs.
- Read and follow the precautions that is mentioned on product labels.
- Put to trash the unused or less used old chemicals safely. Prefer buying the needed quantity that is used and over soon.
- Avoid the exposure of benzene. It is also present in environmental tobacco smoke, stored fuels, paint supplies, and auto emissions.
Home testing kit for VOCs runs for $130.74.
Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a famous VOC, it affects when the chemical is released and blends in the air that we breathe. The EPA indicates that formaldehyde is commonly found in the manufacturing of urea-formaldehyde resins. It is also present in the building materials and insulation, household products like glues, permanent press fabrics, paints, and paper products. The chemical is also used as a preservative in some medicines, cosmetics, and other personal care products. The adverse health effects of formaldehyde range from eye, nose, and throat irritation to neurological effects and increased risk of asthma and allergy symptoms.
The Home Air Check formaldehyde test kit runs at $94.44.
Lead: Lead is one of the few elements that becomes a dangerous exposure when used the lead-based paint that is not removed properly by scraping, sanding, or open-flame burning.
This helps lead to mix with the air and this chemical can enter the body when a person breathes or swallows lead particles. According to the CPSC and EPA lead can affect all over the body at high levels. it can also cause convulsions, coma, and even death, and at lower levels. It affects the brain, central nervous system, blood cells, and kidneys. For fetuses and growing young children. Lead can affect as delay in physical and mental development, lower IQ, shorter attention span, and behavioral problems as well.
To minimize the lead exposure follow the below tips:
- Maintain dust free and clean play areas.
- Make children wash their hands prior meals and sleep.
- Often wash the toys and soft animals.
- Regularly mop floors and wipe window ledges with a warm-water solution of powdered dishwasher detergent.
Tips and tricks to curtail the level of lead:
- Do not remove lead paint yourself.
- Wipe feets in the doormats and enter home.
- Change clothes immediately if you work with lead once you are home also wash the clothes separately.
The 3MLead Check test kit runs between $10 for two swabs and $22.50 for eight swabs. The other test kit is the D-Lead® Lead Paint Test Kit that runs for $36 for seven tests.
Radon: Radon is derived from radium- the second ingredient that causes lung cancer especially in United States. As per EPA reports moves up from the ground into homes through cracks and holes in the foundation. It risks the health of those who are living with radon stem from breathing radioactive particles that gets trapped in the lungs and can result in tissue damage, that might lead to lung cancer over a lifetime.
The Radon test kit runs for $15 per short-term and $25 per long-term test kit.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke: The source of Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is cigarette, pipe, or cigar, as well as the smoke exhaled by the smoker. ETS reduces the respiratory health of children in case parents smoke in the presence them. The smoke might result to the risk of respiratory tract infections like pneumonia and bronchitis.
The air quality test kits for tobacco smoke at $103.24 per kit.
Carbon Monoxide (CO):
Carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that at high concentrations is a common combustion component that causes unconsciousness and even death. The CPSC and the EPA reports that the pollutant sources include unvented kerosene and gas space heaters, woodstoves, fireplaces, and gas stoves. The high concentrations, CO can be fatal. At lower levels, CO causes symptoms like headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, confusion, and fatigue. The common symptoms of CO poisoning are sometimes confused with the flu or food poisoning.
The carbon monoxide alarm is available for $38.74.
For more information over indoor air quality testing you can connect with the inhouse professional experts of www.phladvisor.com. The team is competent is capable to assist you in all possible ways they can.