Radon & Indoor Air Quality Testing
Radon & Indoor Air Quality Testing by Certified, Licensed Professionals
Have you ever considered that your home could be making you sick? Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections and even lung cancer and chronic lung diseases, such as asthma. People with compromised immune systems, or who already have lung disease, are at an even greater risk.
What’s The Culprit?
Indoor air quality can be significantly affected by contaminants such as cleaning supplies and household chemicals, dusts, molds or fungi, bacteria and viruses, gases, vapors, formaldehyde, pet dander, radon, carbon monoxide, asbestos, lead, secondhand smoke and even cockroaches. While this is even not a comprehensive list, it’s obvious that there are many potential sources that can affect the quality of your indoor air. When one or more of these potential hazards are present, it is not uncommon for people to report one or more of the following symptoms:
- Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin
- Shortness of breath
- Hypersensitivity and allergies
- Sinus congestion
- Coughing and sneezing
What can you do?
Testing for and eliminating or reducing the following sources of indoor air pollution is the first step:
- Radon. This odorless, colorless gas comes from the soil, well water or building materials, and can lead to lung cancer. While the EPA’s radon zone map can hint at your general risk, air-quality testing is the only way to be sure.
- Tobacco smoke. It’s best to not allow smoking in your home, especially around children, infants or toddlers. If smoking indoors can’t be avoided, open windows and use exhaust fans.
- Mold, pollen, dander and fungus. Keep your home as dust-free as possible. Use vented fans in your kitchen and bathrooms; vent your clothes dryer outdoors; clean humidifiers and refill them daily with clean water; empty water trays in air conditioners, dehumidifiers and refrigerators; clean and dry (or remove) water-damaged carpets; and keep your basement dry.
- Carbon monoxide (CO). This gas can cause symptoms such as fatigue, impaired vision and headaches, and can be fatal. Keep gas appliances properly adjusted; install outdoor vents for furnaces and gas stoves; open flues when using your fireplace; and have a trained professional inspect, clean and tune-up your central heating system annually. Installing a CO detector is also very important. Be sure to test the detector regularly and replace batteries annually.
- Formaldehyde. This chemical found in pressed wood, plywood and particle-board products and urea-formaldehyde foam insulation can cause eye, nose and throat irritation and respiratory problems. Use lower-emitting “exterior-grade” pressed wood products and look for formaldehyde emission testing on wood products labels. Run the air conditioner and dehumidifier and increase ventilation after bringing home formaldehyde-containing products.
- Asbestos and lead. Asbestos can be found in low-grade, deteriorating, damaged or disturbed insulation, fireproofing, acoustical materials and floor tiles. Long-term exposure can lead to cancer and lung disease. Lead can cause many health problems, especially in children. Leave lead-based paint undisturbed if it is in good condition. Use trained and qualified contractors for control, removal and cleanup.
If you think that you or your family has symptoms related to indoor air pollution, be sure to talk to your doctor and seek out a qualified home inspector to know for sure.
Total Home Inspection Services offers comprehensive air quality testing by certified professionals.
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