Ft Lauderdale Indoor Air Quality Testing in Ft Lauderdale

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Below is some information on two of the most important indoor pollutants found by our Ft Lauderdale indoor air quality testing firm.
Indoor pollutants discussed include:

1) Carbon monoxide because it is a common yet deadly problem,

2) Volatile organic compounds because they are ubiquitous (everywhere) in modern indoor environments, thus a very common source of air quality problems when levels become elevated.

Carbon Monoxide Carbon Dioxide and VOC’s

Carbon monoxide is a very serious concern in regard to indoor air quality, the reasons are two fold:
1) It is commonly produced by fuel burning devices in buildings.
2) It is 250 times more reactive than oxygen when it comes to binding with hemoglobin in blood cells.
When inhaled carbon monoxide can result in adverse health problems including dizziness, light headiness, shortness of breath, and nausea.

Exposure to carbon monoxide can simply cause a person to feel sleepy, and at high levels exposure can next lead to a coma or even death. Carbon dioxide results in more accidental poisoning fatalities in the United States than any other poison. A skilled indoor air quality investigator should check for this gas if combustion devices such as gas stoves,gas water heaters, oil burning house heaters or other combustion devices are present. One must keep their eyes open for potential dangers related to this colorless odorless killer.

Carbon monoxide poisoning and even CO related deaths are far more common than many people realize, here are details on two examples we have dealt with:

1) While our Ft Lauderdale indoor air quality testing consultant was preforming an investigation at a large Palm Beach home our consultant observed a gas powered whole house emergency generator located only a few foot from an open window.
Use of the generator with windows open could have resulted in large amounts of CO entering the home.

2) In a small Fort Lauderdale Florida home while conducting indoor air quality testing several potentially problematic holes were observed by this air quality consultant, these holes were in the exhaust pipe above a gas water heater in the garage. This exhaust pipe was intended to vent fumes containing un  healthy gases including carbon monoxide to the exterior, however these holes were allowing the fumes to enter the garage. In addition holes were observed in the garage wall very near the water heater, these holes could have allowed contaminated garage air into the home. This was the worst possible combination of holes and could have easily resulted in carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon dioxide does not typically appear in indoor air at levels that would result in negative health effects. Despite not directly being a harmful indoor pollutant its levels are often tested by air quality consultants. If not harmful why is it tested? Because  elevated levels of carbon dioxide lets us know that a building is not taking in adequate levels of fresh outdoor air to simultaneously flush out both harmless carbon dioxide and a whole host of more problematic indoor pollutants.
In other words if ventilation of fresh outdoor air is low and carbon dioxide levels are high as a result then levels of many other indoor pollutants will also be high. It is common knowledge that buildings will low levels of fresh outdoor air and high levels of carbon dioxide are more likely to be associated with indoor air quality health related complaints. In such buildings we expect to find more dust, more, volatile organic compounds, and more musty stagnant air. It is cheaper and easier to test for carbon dioxide than for each and every potential indoor air pollution component.
Carbon dioxide levels should be no more than 700 ppm higher than outdoor levels.

Volatile Organic Compound Levels

VOC levels in indoor environments more important than the individual VOC’s is the fact that the dozens of VOC’s are typically floating around indoors. When these VOC’s are added together you get total VOC levels, such cumulative levels must not be ignored, and you must consider the cumulative effects of several chemicals added together and not just look at the individual levels of compounds. It would not be surprising for a sensitive person to get sick when considering total levels when the levels of the individual components may not be unusual. Such as the case with a female client in a high rise condo in Aventura Fl. She did not have any one indoor air chemical that was at problem levels, but this lady had so many chemicals from so many sources in her air that when considered all together they were a concern. This is very common with both commercial and residential indoor air quality testing in Ft Lauderdale.

In addition many chemicals may have synergistic effects thus the sum of the parts is more that the individual parts, in other words chemicals sometimes mix together to make more potent mixtures than you started out with.

The World Health Organization has defined the sick building syndrome as an excess of work related irritations of the skin and mucous membranes and other symptoms, including headache, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, reported by workers in modern office buildings. In 25 percent of the investigations of apparent outbreaks of such symptoms, a specific cause can be identified, such as microbial contamination of humidification systems or the accumulation of motor-vehicle exhausts. The remaining 75 percent of outbreaks are unexplained and are considered to be due to the sick building syndrome.
The above is from an article titled

The Effect of Varying Levels of Outdoor-Air Supply on the Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome
Richard Menzies, Robyn Tamblyn, Jean-Pierre Farant, James Hanley, Fatima Nunes, and Robert Tamblyn
The new England Journal of Medcine

Volume 328:821-827
March 25, 1993
Number 12

Have unusual sulfur, chemical, musty, animal or unidentifiable odors in your commercial or residential building?
Suffering from nausea, dizziness, headache or allergy like symptoms?
You may need the services of a local Ft Lauderdale indoor air quality testing company provided by our IAQ testing firm or a mold inspector to conduct air testing and investigations designed to aid in identifying possible reasons for and solutions to sick building syndrome or even various common building related illness issues. A home in Key Biscayne of an office in Palm Beach we can help.

We provide Ft Lauderdale indoor air quality testing in Ft Lauderdale along with answers, legal support, and consultation services, in regard to:
Humidity issues, water intrusion problems, bacteria, chemicals and gases including formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hundreds VOC’s or volatile organic compounds, odors, dust mite allergens, cat, dog, and cock roach allergens, and of course allergenic or toxic mold spores in your air.
You must always let us know in advance what your specific needs, concerns, or problems are.

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