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Indoor Air Quality in the Mid-Atlantic States

If you need indoor air quality testing/sampling assistance as discussed in this article, call us at 1-800-344-4414 or e-mail us at info@atlenv.com for details and a free estimate.

Written By:  Robert E. Sheriff, MS, CIH, CSP, President
February 24, 2020

 

Indoor Air Quality in the Mid-Atlantic States

Indoor air quality is an issue in the Middle Atlantic States (VA, MD, DE, NJ, NY, PA, and CT) simply because 30% of the U.S. population lives and works there!  Further, it truly has four (4) seasons.  Floods and mold in the spring, heat, and humidity in the summer, pollen, ozone, hurricanes in the fall, snow, sleet, and ice in the winter.  Indoor air quality in our homes, transportation, offices, and factories can vary radically from season to season even day to day as much, if not more, than anywhere else in the country.  Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a critical issue in this region of the U.S.

While we close up our homes, offices, and public buildings to stabilize the indoor environment, we are trapping whatever is in the air:  mold, dust, bacteria, chemicals, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, paint solvents, cleaners, process chemicals, bacteria, sewer gas, heat, humidity—the list can go on and on.  A host of symptoms—and diseases—can result from where we spend most of our lives—indoors!  All these factors result in a high probability that Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) will be an important factor in the Middle Atlantic States.

What Studies Show

Many studies are now in progress to show that rigid indoor environmental control not only exposes us to many agents trapped indoors but our buildings, especially offices and public buildings, are the mechanisms for spreading illnesses from person to person.  Believe me, it’s not just the airlines that allow close contact germs to spread from person to person.  Building-Related Disease (BRD) is not just a descriptive items for illnesses that are spread inside commercial buildings.  It’s a fact!

We may be making progress minimizing germ spread in our public bathrooms with hands-free toilets, sinks, soap dispensers, blow dryers, and automatic towel dispensers but have failed to address germ transmission from keyboards, desks, and the air quality in our buildings.  The “Green” Building movement has resulted in many improvements—but also other hazards—regarding Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). 

Mold

Mold is one of the most prevalent of indoor air quality problems.  Buildings without a minimum of outside air tend to allow temperature and humidity to rise to where many molds can find ideal growth conditions:  elevated temperature (75°F and more), moisture/humidity and food for growth such as sheetrock, ceiling tiles, accumulated settled dust, latex paint (latex can be material rubber from trees or an oil-based product) all of which can create an ideal growth environment for molds.

Yes, molds come from outdoors, but most humans’ immune systems are able to tolerate these background levels.  When they find an ideal indoor mold growth environment to sustain steady growth, many people (estimated at 10-20%) cannot tolerate these elevated levels leading to allergies, asthma, upper respiratory irritation, skin reactions, and possibly more.  All because of the poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Is there a solution?

There is no simple answer to preventing or correcting such problems. The solutions are as varied as the causes. Indoor Air Quality Specialists, Industrial Hygienists, Toxicologists, and Allergists have the skills collectively to identify, diagnose and correct.  No one single profession can address all IAQ problems.

Atlantic Environmental has almost 40 years of experience in addressing Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems from mold, to bacteria, to chemicals and beyond.  We can provide a free quote to address your particular problem.  Contact us at 800-344-4414 or at info@atlenv.com.

We provide sampling of indoor air quality in the Mid-Atlantic states. See all of the states we provide services for; New Jersey NJNew York NY, (New York City)Pennsylvania PAConnecticut CTDelaware DEMassachusetts, (Boston) MARhode Island RIWashington DCWisconsin WIMaryland MDMichigan MIIllinois (Chicago) ILVirginia VAIndiana INGeorgia (Atlanta) GAAlabama ALNorth Carolina NCSouth Carolina SCTennessee TNTexas (Dallas, Ft Worth) TXOklahoma OKDCArkansas AR, Florida FL. We can service most other areas of the U.S. but with some added travel charges.

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