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Construction Activities in Occupied Buildings and the Potential Impact on Indoor Environmental Quality

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify airborne contaminants and pollutants during construction projects.


Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

Anytime construction activities take place in an occupied home or building, it can lead to a wide range of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) concerns and even potential health issues. This is due in part to the fact that construction and renovation projects can adversely affect building occupants by the release of airborne particulates, biological contaminants and gases.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that particulate material, such as dusts and fibers, are likely to be produced during construction and renovation activities. Nontoxic dusts are irritants that can exacerbate lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease. Materials that contain fibers, such as fiberglass composite materials or insulation, can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract when disbursed into the air. Toxic dusts containing asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or lead can cause serious long-term health effects.

NIOSH also reports that chronic dampness from water intrusions can lead to increased bacteria, mold and other microbes in a building environment. Microbial-contaminated materials require special precautions prior to demolition to prevent biological dusts from dispersing into the occupied space. Another example of biological contamination is an accumulation of bird or rodent droppings. In either case, uncontrolled disturbances could spread potentially allergenic or infectious dusts.

If welding, cutting and brazing activities are part of the construction process, potentially harmful fumes and gases can be released into the air. A number of building materials, coatings and furnishing can also release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Building occupants with VOC exposure may report disagreeable odors, exacerbation of asthma, irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, headaches and drowsiness.

“Even issues with changes to the HVAC system, noise, lighting and vibrations due to construction activities can cause problems for people living, working or going school in a building undergoing construction activities,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we help to protect building occupants and workers during these types of projects with comprehensive air testing services for mold, asbestos, lead, PCBs and other potentially harmful substances. We even offer easy-to-use environmental test kits for many common IEQ issues.”

EMSL has also recently sponsored an educational video about indoor environmental quality problems that can occur in occupied buildings during construction activities that can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5p1oBxX9sA.

To learn more about EMSL’s IEQ testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email  info@EMSL.com . To access indoor environmental quality test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
 


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 construction
 silica
 toxic dust
 PCBs
 VOCs


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