March 28th, 2018 11:36 PM by Dan Howard
Two of the most significant impact items on environmental health today are new products and tighter building envelopes.
For a great example of what can happen in every day indoor air, review the MSDS for your favorite air freshener. It will be a page long list of organic chemicals that are plugged into an outlet and heated. The heat breaks down those chemicals into more chemicals.
We also deal with leftover chemicals from prior occupants of a building. These can range from the accidental spill to left over contamination from drug activity in a home. The source of indoor pollution can be spills, burying of toxic materials or pesticide on farmland that happened decades before the building was constructed.
There are also a host of toxins produced from poorly vented or unvented furnaces, hot water tanks or other fossil fueled appliances.
Another major potential impact on indoor health is EMF (electromagnetic radiation). Cell phones, electronic devices and microwave devices in everything from cooking to communication systems may affect our heath.
The Bottom Line in Environmental Assessments
The solution to Sick Building Syndrome is a process. It begins with a history of the building, its occupants and the very ground the building sets on. The former site of an old dump or factory could be a plan of multi-million-dollar homes today.
The next step is evaluating the construction materials and methods of the building with consideration of materials that may have been brought into the building envelope.
In the case of possible communicable biological contagions in the building, those need identified and the exposure risks and methods of transmission evaluated and included in the testing and remediation plan.
All these steps are critical to developing a plan to correct the contamination if possible. In some cases, the best advice for an individual would be to avoid a building, but a medical practitioner needs the information provided n the assessment to make that recommendation.
The final steps in the process are to remediate when possible and test the building when work is complete to assure success of the process.
In summary, investigate, discover, verify by testing, remediate and confirm success of remediation or disinfection work to provide a healthy environment for building occupants.