Home and Workplace Indoor Air Quality

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people spend about 80-90 percent of their time indoors. This means that health risks related to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) may be greater than those caused by outdoor air pollution. Sometimes IAQ can be so poor that it causes people to feel sick or contract an illness.

There are many contributing factors poor IAQ from cigarette smoke, dust mites, pollen, molds, pet dander and carbon monoxide just to name a few. Workplace exposures to bacteria, chemicals, metal vapors, dust particles or smoke may cause health related issues.

Individual sensitivity varies tremendously from person to person, so there may be only one person in the household or workplace that may have a hypersensitivity to particular indoor pollutants. Indoor air quality plays a big part in your overall health. We recommend testing your air quality first to determine if the IAQ could be responsible for lingering health issues or to reassure that workplace air quality is safe for employees.

Final Grade Inspections’ Certified Indoor Air Consultants can sample your indoor air and send it to a professional laboratory for analysis. Every home or work site is carefully assessed at the time of  sampling in order to provide recommendations on how to address findings or next steps. Contact us today to book your appointment.

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), a term used to describe situations where the occupants of a building experience acute health effects that appear to be linked to the amount of time spent inside. Complaints can come from locations widespread throughout a building or an isolated room or zone. Symptoms can range from headache; eye, nose or throat irritation; a dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; difficulty in concentration; fatigue; and sensitivity to odors. People with SBS find relief from their symptoms when they are away from the exposure for a length of time.

Building-Related Illness (BRI), is the typical diagnosis when the occupant experiences symptoms of known illnesses that can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants. Some BRI symptoms include cough, chest tightness, fever, chills and muscle aches. While people with SBS find relief as soon as they are removed from the exposure, those with BRI may require extended recovery time after leaving the building. Other factors that contribute to SBS or BRI include inadequate or poorly designed or maintained building heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that can draw in pollutants from outdoor plumbing vents and even vehicle exhaust.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) found in synthetic materials use in modern building materials and/or furniture. These materials include but are not limited to adhesives, carpeting, upholstery and manufactured wood products, which may contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, methylene chloride and benzene. Other VOCs include paints, solvents, household cleaners, air fresheners and other fragrances.

Indoor Air Pollution Scale – Health Issues and Related Causes

See the following Health Canada websites: