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The Many Ways Compulsive Hoarding Can Impact Indoor Environmental Quality

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services, sampling supplies and easy-to-use test kits to identify indoor environmental quality exposure risks and hazards.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

Compulsive hoarding is estimated to affect between two and five percent of the population. That equates to six to 16 million people in the United States alone that are compulsive hoarders.

Compulsive hoarding is a pattern of behavior where the excessive acquisition of items and the inability to discard items can result in a person’s home being overrun with clutter.  While compulsive hoarding can have numerous negative social consequences on a person, it can also create safety concerns while causing or exacerbating a number of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) issues. These IEQ issues range from exposure risks to mold, bacteria, odors, dusts and particulate matter (PM) to ventilation and humidity problems.

These properties could have water damage that is out-of-sight and supporting the growth of mold. The longer a leak in a building develops or plumbing goes on, the bigger the mold problem in most circumstances.

Keeping a home clean can also be a real challenge for hoarders. This frequently means a buildup of dust and particulate matter. In some hoarding situations, household garbage or waste from pets may be present. This creates odor issues, attracts insects and rodents, and could support the growth of mold and some potentially dangerous types of bacteria.

“Exposure to strong odors or elevated levels of mold, particulate matter, dust, dust mites, pet dander and rodent and cockroach allergens can all cause respiratory issues,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “For people that already suffer from an existing lung disease, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this exposure could significantly aggravate their condition.”

Providing IEQ testing services, sampling supplies, test kits and air monitoring instruments to identify these types of exposure concerns are the laboratory scientists at EMSL Analytical, Inc. They also recently sponsored an educational video about compulsive hoarding and IEQ that can be seen at:    

To learn more about this or other indoor environmental and air quality testing services, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email . For access to 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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