Air quality testing in Toronto is not something that you do regularly or should do at home, but there are some contaminants that affect air quality. Home air quality tests are important because indoor air pollution may be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. That can increase your risk of problems like asthma and other lung diseases, blood pressure and heart problems. Indoor air pollutants come from things like mold, mildew, dust mites, bacteria, and pesticides. Some of the contaminants found inside have been linked to cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Contaminants that Affect Air Quality
As homes and buildings are built with better indoor air quality in mind, many contaminants that affect air quality are often found in older buildings. Inch By Inch Inspections has compiled this list of some contaminants that affect air quality and your health:
Mold - The highest impact on indoor air quality comes from biological contaminants like bacteria, fungi and mold spores. Mold is one of the main contaminants that affects indoor air quality. Mold spores affect indoor air quality and have been linked to respiratory problems. Some mold produces mycotoxins that can cause health problems even in small doses. Although mold is often found in older buildings, it can also be found in newer buildings if there is a water leak or high humidity levels.
Radon - This odourless, tasteless gas is produced through the decay of uranium in the ground and in high concentrations can be dangerous. Radon is released naturally from the earth's crust. Cracks and other openings in the foundation can allow it to enter a home and pollute indoor air quality, making it dangerous for you, your family and your pets. Indoor air quality testing in Toronto services can be taken to detect its presence.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, like paints and cleaning products. They can be found in a variety of indoor spaces like homes, offices and schools. Some VOCs are more toxic than others and can cause health problems ranging from eye and throat irritation to nausea, dizziness and liver damage. The EPA has set standards for the acceptable levels of VOCs in indoor air quality.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) - CO is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced when fuel is burned. It can be found in high concentrations indoors near sources of combustion like fireplaces, wood stoves and unvented kerosene heaters. Inhaling large amounts of CO can lead to headaches, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and even death. The EPA has set standards for the acceptable levels of CO in indoor air quality.
Lead - Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body over time and can cause serious health problems, including brain damage, learning disabilities and seizures. Although lead-based paint was banned in 1978, it is still present in many older homes and buildings. Lead can also be found in some drinking water supplies and soil near highways.
Asbestos - Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once used in a variety of building materials because of its heat-resistant properties. Unfortunately, exposure to asbestos fibers can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Although asbestos has been banned in Canada since 1990, it is still present in many older homes and buildings. If you suspect that there may be asbestos in your home or workplace, it is important to have an asbestos inspection conducted by a certified professional.
Home Air Quality Tests
The presence of these indoor contaminants are often overlooked and ignored but can have lasting effects on the comfort and health of occupants. Any spaces like basements, garages, attached porches, and crawlspaces can be sources of contaminants. Performing indoor air quality testing in Toronto will help you detect its presence so you can mitigate the problem and ensure the health of your family and employees. Contact Inch By Inch Inspections today to book our home air quality testing services in Toronto and the GTA.