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Construction Projects in Occupied Buildings and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

The building science professionals at Clark Seif Clark help to protect workers and building occupants from exposure hazards and concerns.

Chatsworth, CA – WEBWIRE

We’ve witnessed numerous avoidable incidents where contracting firms released environmentally significant materials into indoor spaces during construction projects.

Virtually every residential, commercial and institutional property will undergo some type of remodeling, renovation or construction activity during their usable lifetime.  Frequently, property owners and managers do not have the ability, luxury or foresight to completely or partially vacate these buildings slated for disturbance.
Construction activities in an occupied home, school or building can present a range of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) concerns and result in potential occupant and construction worker health issues if the proper precautions are not utilized.  The resultant IEQ issues are often caused by the release of airborne particulates, biological contaminants and/or gases.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that particulate material, such as dusts and fibers, are likely to be produced during construction and renovation activities. Nontoxic dusts are irritants and 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. Toxic dusts, containing asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or lead, can cause serious long-term health effects. Chronic dampness from prior water intrusions can lead to increased bacteria, mold and other microbes. If not handled properly, these microbial-contaminated materials could disperse into the air and other parts of the building.
“At Clark Seif Clark, we’ve witnessed numerous avoidable incidents where contracting firms released environmentally significant materials into indoor spaces during construction projects,” said Derrick A. Denis, V.P. of Indoor Environmental Quality at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “By the time these preventable problems are recognized and rectified, the end result for the owner and the construction firm often include injured occupants, exposed workers, damaged reputations and significant cost impacts. These may include regulatory citations, insurance deductibles, attorney fees, expedited environmental testing costs, accelerated remediation fees and costly project delays. In many cases, the building is evacuated as a result of the improper handling of environmental issues, which is the situation the owner and contractor were trying to avoid in the first place.  These needless risks, costs and headaches could have been prevented if qualified environmental professionals were called in to assess the building before construction work began and to monitor the ongoing work to ensure IEQ controls were in place and functioning.”
CSC offers comprehensive indoor environmental quality assessments, inspections, audits, testing and monitoring services before, during and after construction activities. They also recently sponsored a video about IEQ in occupied buildings undergoing construction that can be seen at:
To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, industrial hygiene, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 807-1118. 
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues.  CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest.  The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.

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