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Preventing Building Occupant Exposure to Chemical Odors and Other Inhalation Irritants

The building science professionals at Clark Seif Clark provide inspections, testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate chemical and microbial exposure risks.

Chatsworth, CA – WEBWIRE

Reducing exposure to chemical odors in homes, schools or commercial buildings will almost always result in improved perceived conditions and can result in a healthier indoor environment.

Odorous compounds are often the impetus for indoor environmental quality (IEQ) dissatisfaction reported by building occupants. Offensive chemical odors can be produced by both organic and inorganic compounds. A few common examples of odorous chemical sources include sewer gas infiltration from dry p-traps, improperly mixed cleaning agents, improperly applied pesticides, applications of specialty coatings in unventilated spaces and more. Exposure to some of which, at high enough concentrations, could be a health concern.
One of the most common causes of IEQ complaints involves exposure to odors and airborne irritants from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes VOCs as organic chemical compounds with a composition that makes it possible for them to evaporate under normal indoor atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure.
VOCs are such a frequent issue in offices, industrial facilities and even homes because so many products used by industry and found in indoor environments contain them. A few examples include caulks, sealants and coatings; adhesives; paints, varnishes and stains, wall coverings; cleaning agents; fuels and combustion products; carpeting and vinyl flooring; fabric materials and furnishings; air fresheners and other scented products; and personal care products like perfumes, shampoos and other items.
“Additional sources of indoor VOCs could include polluted outdoor air entering a building, vapor intrusion from contaminated soil or groundwater from below, and even microbial volatile organic compounds from the growth of mold or other microorganisms,” said Derrick A. Denis, Vice President of Indoor Environmental Quality for Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “Reducing exposure to chemical odors in homes, schools or commercial buildings will almost always result in improved perceived conditions and can result in a healthier indoor environment.” 
Identifying and resolving indoor environmental quality issues caused by VOCs and other airborne pollutants is the specialty of the building science and industrial hygiene experts at Clark Seif Clark. They offer comprehensive IEQ assessments, inspections, audits, testing and monitoring services. If issues are found, their professionals can recommend ways to mitigate or eliminate the concern. CSC also recently sponsored an educational video about chemicals, odors and IEQ that can be seen at:
To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, building science, 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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