Indoor Air Quality Testing

Most people worry about the air quality outdoors, but the air inside your home can be 2-5 times more polluted. In some cases, it's 100 times worse!

We are constantly exposed to pollution, toxins, pesticides and gases. Most of the time, these toxins and pollutants get diluted into the atmosphere. But they can also find their way into our homes through tiny cracks in foundation walls and floors, through unfinished floors, windows, sumps, vents or gaps around pipes and drains. When pollutants get into our homes and can't escape they begin to accumulate, and in high concentrations, they represent serious health risks.

Three common pollutants include VOC, black mould, and radon.

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radon testing

MOULD

Every house has some degree of mould and bacteria, no matter how clean it looks. What's important is to keep the number of mould spores in your home low and prevent these germs from thriving in order to protect your health.

Mould overgrowth-especially when reproductive spores are inhaled-triggers respiratory ailments such as hay fever, nasal allergies and asthma, as well as rashes and eczema when it touches the skin. And if ingested, significant concentrations of toxic bacteria can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea and fever.

VOC

VOCs are chemical by-products found in many building supplies, products and materials. They can evaporate or off-gas into your home's indoor air for weeks, months and in some cases, even years after being installed in your home. For this reason, newly constructed homes and homes that have been recently renovated tend to have higher levels of VOCs. Furniture, paints, varnishes, cabinets, carpeting, treated wood, insulation, cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, air fresheners, furnishings and plastics all contain VOCs, as well as products made with adhesives, such as pressed wood, particleboard or MDF (medium density fibreboard).

RADON

Radon comes from uranium in the ground. When the uranium breaks down it produces a radioactive gas called radon. You can't see it, smell it or taste it but it's there, and it's always been there.

Breathing in radon over an extended period of time is a serious risk to your health because these tiny radioactive particles can get into your lungs, and when they release energy they can damage lung cells. Every year, more than 3,000 Canadians die from lung cancer caused by radon. Not too many people know this but radon is actually the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers-the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. And if you're a smoker and you live in a house with elevated radon levels (above the current guideline of 200 Bq/m3) your chances of developing lung cancer is one in three.

If you want to know the quality of your indoor air, it's best to hire a professional to look for potential issues around your home and test the indoor air. Our Healthy Home Quality Assessment includes a full home inspection, as well as a number of different indoor air quality tests, and thermographic scans.

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