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Indoor Air Quality - IAQ, Radon, Volatile Organic Compounds - VOC.
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What is IAQ or Indoor Air Quality?

IAQ or Indoor Air Quality is a term that relates to the comfort and health of a buildings occupant. IAQ also takes into consideration radial impactions such as industries that could be causing poor air quality of the property. IAQ is a study of what contaminants and at what concentrations are within and around a structure and how those contaminants relate to the occupants. There are many contributing factors to poor Indoor Air Quality which could be caused by adjacent operations/processes or possibly the use and design of the property you currently occupy.

What can cause poor Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor Air Quality can be affected by painting or renovation and construction projects, new carpeting, processes within the property, such as metal or chemical trades, pest control, and deodorizers. Printing or copier machine uses poor HVAC, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Animal activities such as nesting or infestation, water damage or leaks/mold, construction projects in your area such as road or city services. smoking, air traffic, vehicle traffic such as major boulevards or adjacent freeways, fires and many other potential sources of contaminants that could impact the Indoor Air Quality of your building.

Can Indoor Air Quality issues be dangerous?

Poor Indoor Air Quality is broad relating to the condition of the interior and how chemicals or contaminants can cause illness or discomfort. If a person who is subjected to a reoccurring exposure to an odor or phenomena the matter should be investigated. Never assume that since you don't experience the complaint that the problem does not exist. Especially within the work environment a person might leave on sick leave or ask to be accommodated due to their illness or discomfort. Keep in mind that contaminants are often regulated as to permissible exposure limits and it is within everyone's best interest to ensure that the environment is healthy.

I seem to be sick and I don't know why?

Unexplained illnesses can sometimes be related to poor Indoor Air Quality. To try and pinpoint the possibility try and remember, so as to narrow the search, if there had been any changes within your environment. Maybe there is a process that recently began or maybe a certain time period of each day might have certain activities that could be affecting you. Look at the situation objectively, gather facts and try to narrow the field of research as much as you can. This will help a consultant on targeting the possible area of concern and therefore provide a more coherent explanation of your situation. When investigating an environment for contaminants or VOC's, Volatile Organic Compounds a consultant has many tools at their disposal to investigate the issue however this can be elusive. Not all unexplained illnesses are related to poor Indoor Air Quality and you should always seek a physician to check your vitals and perform a blood panel referred to as a "well body check." Take your symptoms seriously and don't dismiss them however be calm about finding an answer to the problem and understand that some unexplained issues of health concerns may require patience and research to find an answer. Remember that a consultant is trying to diagnose the problem based upon your statements and how they relate to an indoor environment and what is impacting it.

How can I find a fair and professional Indoor Air Quality Consultant?

There are many service providers in the Southern California area that offer services of Indoor Air Quality assessments. As with anything, ask questions, search for information either word of mouth or a social site that may have information of a consultant. If they seem to not answer your question or you simply don't feel a connection call multiple consultants and ask them questions. Write down a few questions that you want to ask see what is their availability to your needs; can they get to you in a reasonable amount of time. Is the consultant knowledgeable and presents themselves in a professional manner. Does their quote seem to be much lower than other consultants, are their hidden costs, what do they provide, will they give you a report of their own or simply forward the laboratory results.

If I had construction work completed on my property can that cause poor Indoor Air Quality?

Depending on what type of project it was; what type of materials were used such as paints, glues, carpeting, possibly furniture, varnishes, stains of which all can be emitting VOC's, Volatile Organic Compounds. Synthetic materials are vast within our society from the materials that we use many have chemicals that may emit odors during high temperature or simply "off-gas" for a period of time. Often these chemicals or Volatile Organic Compounds can adversely impact an environment and cause many ailments to headaches, skin rashes, nausea, blurred vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy or feeling tired all the time and many other complaints.

Is this all I need to know?

No, a study in to Volatile Organic Compounds or poor Indoor Air Quality can reveal processes that may have been in place for years and only recently had there been complaints. Look at all possible avenues that may have contributed to these concerns. Develop a written recent history of events that may have changed the property. Before beginning a project do a little research in to the chemicals that might be associated with what you are doing such as asking for a Material Safety Data sheet, MSDS. Is this chemical available in low VOC's concentrations or call the manufacturer and ask questions about their product and go on the internet and do some investigative work and see if there have been comments posted about a specific chemical or product chances are someone may have experienced that same problem and found a solution. Your health is important don't be too eager to dismiss any possibility.