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Facts About the Air We Breathe and Testing for Airborne Pollutants

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides air testing services, sampling supplies and monitoring instruments to identify microbial and chemical contaminants.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

Many people with a healthy respiratory system rarely think about what is in the air they breathe. However, for the tens of millions of people who suffer from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), allergies and other breathing challenges, the quality of the air they are exposed to have a direct impact on their health and well-being.

Air is made up of a mixture of gases and particles that can vary by season, location, altitude, and various weather and atmospheric conditions. The primary component of air is nitrogen at about 78%. Nitrogen is followed by oxygen at approximately 21% and argon at almost 1%. Carbon dioxide, which many people recognize as a greenhouse gas, makes up only about 0.04%. There are also a number of other trace gases present in very small amounts. These include neon, helium, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and carbon monoxide, just to name a few. Water vapor is also a component that can vary significantly from less than 1% up to 4% depending on conditions.

People living near industrial areas or congested cities that are subject to high pollution levels may also be exposed to a number of additional substances. In the United States, the Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six common air pollutants, also known as “criteria air pollutants”. This group is comprised of carbon monoxide (CO), lead (Pb), ground-level ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM).

Particulate matter is a mixture of microscopic solids and liquid droplets that may include everything from, but not limited to, smoke, ash and soot to dust particles, allergens, acids and organic chemicals.

“Understanding how poor air quality can impact our health is important for all of us,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we offer comprehensive indoor and outdoor air testing services, sampling supplies and a wide range of air monitoring instruments. These tests and field instruments can be essential for identifying airborne pollutants and protecting the health and safety of people at home, school and in the work environment.”

EMSL recently sponsored an educational video that shares interesting facts about the air we breathe that can be seen at:

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

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 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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