Indoor Air Quality Testing

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a measure of the presence of absence of contaminants or odors, in the air we breathe within the walls of a residence or commercial structure.  Whether it is the air in our home or our work space, Indoor Air Quality is a vital part of the quality of our life. Elevated levels of air contaminants including chemicals such as the 10,000+ possible Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) PCH (PhenylCycloHexane-new carpet odor), Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide, Radon or Formaldehyde or particles and spores such as mold or mildew, fiber glass, plaster dust, carbon soot, etc., all contribute to making the air we breathe unacceptable.


Poor IAQ occurs when air contaminants are present in the air of a building, in quantities that would present a risk to the health of occupants or otherwise (think odors) make it uncomfortable to occupy the premises. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 30% of all commercial buildings have significant indoor air quality problems. With modern day construction techniques, residential properties are built to prevent the intrusion of all fresh air from the outside environment, thereby allowing contaminants to accumulate in the indoor air, which causes discomfort, respiratory distress or illness. Boston Environmental Engineers can survey your home or work area, recommend appropriate testing protocols, provide analysis and in most cases identify the contaminant and source of the problems or odors.


Indoor air quality is affected by various types of contaminants in the air. Some contaminants that pollute our indoor air are gases. These indoor air contaminants are generally classified as toxic chemicals. The toxic chemicals include combustion products (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen); while VOCs from household solvents, paint solvents and thinners, gasoline and fuel oil vapors, perfumes and fragrances, are commonly used and found in our homes and businesses.  Other semi-volatile organic compounds such as the pesticides and herbicides frequently used around our homes, work spaces, gardens and plants although less volatile are more toxic than the VOCs; while RADON is a naturally occurring radioactive gas emitted from the rock and ledge that infiltrates the foundations of our building.


Other air pollutants can be found in the form of particulates such as dust, asbestos, soot, and particles from building materials and furnishings, including fiberglass, gypsum powder, paper dust, lint from clothing, carpet fibers, etc.  Lastly and most frequently, bioaerosols are frequently found in the air and include mold spores, mushroom spores, pollen, animal dander, cockroach and rat allergens, dust mites, bacteria and insect parts, etc. All these contaminants can adversely affect indoor air quality and health.


To evaluate the IAQ of the air of your home or work space, Boston Environmental must determine the scope of the complaints of the individual/s who are experiencing the problems (suspected to be air quality related).  Once defined, as best possible by the building occupant, a testing protocol is established to test for the presence in the air of the most likely culprit, much as a physician would discuss symptoms with a patient to determine whether a throat culture, or blood test should be his/her initial test.  When the contaminant is identified, then all efforts are focused on discovering the source of the problem.


Boston Environmental can measure, monitor and analyze the toughest indoor air quality problems and then provide you with cost effective solutions to remedy the problem/s.  Boston Environmental does not conduct remediation work, as we see this as a conflict of interest. Our preferred solution is to prepare a remediation plan, as part of our report to the client, and then refer the client to a list of competent vendors whom we have found to be experienced and capable.


If you suspect you have indoor air quality problems in your residence, or commercial, or industrial buildings, please contact Boston Environmental and we will send an engineer to investigate the indoor air quality in your building.