What to Know About Air Quality Testing in Boston MA

What to Know About Air Quality Testing in Boston MA

For homeowners and business owners, recent events in the news have drawn new attention to the importance of air quality testing in Boston MA. Air quality testing measures the indoor air quality or IAQ of a building. It is also known as indoor environmental quality or IEQ. There are several things that can negatively impact a business’s indoor air quality including a lack of ventilation or fresh air, poor upkeep of HVAC systems, an excessive amount of water due to leaks or high humidity, activities including construction or remodeling, and various contaminants inside as well as outside of the building.

Employees of a business or those who live within a house with air quality problems may feel that the area is hot and stuffy. They may also notice unpleasant or must odors. Some may also incur symptoms within a building with poor IAQ, but those symptoms go away when they leave the building. These symptoms can include allergies like a runny nose or watery eyes, headaches, or feeling tired. Other symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, or a persistent cough can be signs of more serious IAQ issues.

There are a variety of air quality tests in Massachusetts that can be run to verify the quality of indoor environments—either in a home or a business. Tests will include reviewing temperature in the building at different points, humidity level, and overall air flow. Testing should also include an inspection of ventilation and HVAC systems. Inspectors should also complete a thorough walkthrough of the building. They will be looking for signs of water damage, pest droppings, and dirt. Any standing water or noticeable water leaks must be addressed, because this can lead to the growth of fungi or bacteria, which can pose serious health risks to residents and workers.

Air quality testing will include testing for contaminants such as dust, mold spores, radon, and other dangerous chemicals. While there are no specific tests that are required to be run by homes or businesses on regular tests, there are often IAQ tests that must be run before occupancy with the purchase of a new or old house or office building. Furthermore, failure to be proactive in these measures can lead to health complications. For employers, this could pose a serious liability, if warning signs are not heeded.

When working with a mold remediation specialist or air quality testing company, you want to make sure that their tests results are being verified by an independent third party. These external labs can run further tests to verify the level of contaminants in the air. Furthermore, these tests should be run not only before any work begins, but when work is completed as well. It is important that the air quality tests in the beginning show us where the problems are or what problems we are facing. When work is completed, we should know that the indoor environmental quality has noticeably approved. If the tests come back with issues, then the work is not yet completed. This does happen from time to time, because likely causes of contamination were found and addressed, but further, underlying issues that were not previously detected will continue to persist. In such a case, the mold remediation company or environmental quality specialist should be able to continue with detection and improvement measures.

Improving indoor air quality in Boston is not always a straight forward process. With the age of some buildings and the different levels of care owners have taken during that time, there can be a variety of issues. Sometimes, it is like peeling an onion, one problem is found and corrected and then another pops up. The fact is, without dedication to maintaining proper indoor air quality, we can face a number of health issues. Some of these issues can be little more than a nuisance, but they will only grow worse over time. Furthermore, those who have weakened immune systems already—small children and infants, the elderly, those with medical conditions such as cancer or asthma can be impacted more severely and sooner than anyone else working or living in the same place. If you are moving your business into a new building or your family into a new home, one of the pre-purchase or pre-lease tests you should seriously consider is air quality testing. In Boston, MA these tests are not always required, but they are certainly recommended.