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Are New Furnishings Causing Chemical Exposure and Indoor Air Quality Concerns?

EMSL Analytical provides air testing services and sampling supplies to measure volatile organic compounds to protect building occupants.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

Recently, the Washington Post published an article about the threat posed to people in their own homes due to indoor air pollution. The report specifically looked at exposures to chemicals such as formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that off-gas from a number of furnishings, flooring products and building materials into the air people breathe indoors.

VOCs include a wide range of chemicals, some of which may have short-term and long-term adverse health effects. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.”  The agency states that concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors, and can be up to ten times higher than outdoors. 

“Recently renovated buildings and new construction often have the strongest odors due to VOC off-gassing from new building materials, finishes and furnishings,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The chemical levels in the air will typically decrease over time, but just how long it takes depends on a number of factors, including if they are reintroduced through such common products as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, pesticides and aerosol sprays. Exposure to elevated levels of these chemical compounds is a concern for everyone, but children and people with respiratory ailments, such as asthma or COPD, are often especially sensitive.”

To identify VOCs, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers a wide range of testing services, all of the sampling supplies necessary and field monitoring instruments. If test results indicate the presence of high VOC concentrations, steps can then be implemented to reduce exposure risks. EMSL also provides product off-gassing services to manufacturers and regulators to measure VOCs emitted from materials in a controlled environment. 

To learn more about EMSL’s VOC testing or other indoor air quality services and monitoring instruments, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 43 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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