As I think about the meaningful work we do in the restoration industry, it’s all centered around creating or restoring a healthy and safe environment. And a large part of the healthy and safe environment Service Team of Professionals impacts involves the indoor air quality.
Breathing is essential. In fact, I am often reminded that I’m not truly breathing. When I take a yoga class, for instance, and am reminded to really breathe – I realize I haven’t really been breathing for days. Intentional deep breathing has numerous health benefits like lowering stress and improving the cardiovascular and immune systems.
Indoor Air Quality
The way we breathe matters as does the air quality we breathe. Contaminants in the air, such as mold, directly increase the risk of health problems especially for immunocompromised people. In fact, the EPA warns, “health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.”
How do you determine the quality of air?
Air quality testing is not inexpensive (but then neither are potential medical bills). Testing the air is usually recommended if anyone in the specific area develops reactions such as runny nose, cough, and potentially breathing problems that are made worse in that area. There are DIY air quality tests, but STOP strongly recommends hiring a professional company that conducts indoor air quality testing. The equipment and training required of these companies is pretty remarkable, and the reliability and reporting the customer receives is worth the cost.
Can everything in the air be tested and diagnosed?
Indoor air quality testing generally cannot diagnose every contaminant or allergen in the air. While the testing is extensive, there is no air quality test for
SARS-CoV-2, for example. In these cases, if there is a potential area exposed to airborne viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 or measles (Rubeola), other controls like the level of cleaning and disinfection are determined by the risk of exposure. Controlling the environment in these cases is key.
On the other hand, the type and level of mold can be tested and identified. If someone is experiencing symptoms of mold allergens or toxicity, the air quality test results will likely be beneficial to give to the health care provider to help determine a potential cause, or source, of the symptoms.
How can I control the air quality?
While it may be impossible to control all particles in the air, there are several steps you can take to maintain better air quality.
- Maintain adequate ventilation in the building by introducing outdoor air through windows or heating and ventilation intakes.
- Consider using an air cleaner, preferably with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter and maintain the filters according to the air cleaner’s manufacturer instructions.
- Maintain a dust and debris free environment as much as possible.
- Maintain the humidity in the environment between 30 and 60%.
STOP Metrowest is an IICRC Certified Firm – safe, quality, and compassionate service is our priority! We provide rapid mold assessment and remediation in Framingham MA or other Metrowest MA communities like Sudbury MA, Holliston MA, and Westborough MA. Call STOP MetroWest at 508-841-3082.
For more information, visit our webpage at STOP Metrowest.