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Indoor Air Quality Testing

Public attention and concern has increased significantly over air quality, both indoors and out. The condition of the air we breathe is of the highest concern, and the sources of impaired air quality are numerous.   

As we spend a significant amount of time indoors, both at work and at home, the quality of air inside our living and work spaces is paramount to our health. Alpha Analytical provides air testing services to identify and differentiate suspected chemicals that may lead to identification of the sources of exposure in the indoor environment. Whether your investigation  involves fuels, solvents or cleaning products, VOCs from construction materials or from unidentified chemical sources: Alpha Analytical has the IAQ methods and technical expertise to assist you in developing a strategy and executing a sampling plan that delivers results quickly and efficiently.

There has been much concern and negative publicity about the quality of air in schools. The EPA has established threshold air concentrations for use in these buildings that are used as a benchmark to evaluate whether there is a problem. Following these guidelines, Alpha Analytical has successfully tested many high profile projects by delivering solid, quality data. Our ability to respond to and turn around projects quickly has enabled our clients to take immediate action to make school buildings safer. 

Cases of sick build syndrome--whether it’s a school, office or residential building--have been on the rise. Symptoms that have been described include; headaches, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, eye and nasal irritation, and runny nose. There are many potential chemical causes of these symptoms such as construction materials, activities within a building, vapor intrusion and ambient air quality.

Of special concern includes long-term indoor exposures to low-level volatiles. Although these have no short-term health effects, breathing certain chemicals  long- term may pose a significant health risk. These exposures may be from ambient sources or subsurface vapor exposures.  In the occupational workplace, exposures are regulated by OSHA by chemical, activity and Industry.

Customer Service & Technical Expertise For Challenging Projects

Our air team of experts is world-class. When you hire Alpha Analytical, you will be working with the best equipment, as well as the industry's leading experts. Our team knows air and we are confident your experience with Alpha's air analytical services and support will be beneficial to the positive outcome of your project. Alpha provides extensive project-level technical support in all areas relating to air testing for IAQ, and we encourage you to reach out to our specialized team of experts as a resource. Our goal is to exceed your expectations by having your project run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Air Testing Methods For Indoor Air Quality

EPA Method TO-15 for Volatile

This is the most popular method used to test for a broad range of organic compounds. This testing method is flexible and applicable to a broad range of organic compounds. The only limitation is the volatility of the compound and the ability to recover it the specified sample collection container. Common fuels, solvents and many volatile hazardous pollutants are covered by this method.

MassDEP APH

This method was developed to characterize hydrocarbon products in indoor air. Fuel products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, and kerosene are a mix of compounds, many of which have no published health risk exposure values. This testing process reports hydrocarbon ranges separated into aromatic and aliphatic compounds for which inhalation risk values have been published. In addition, the method reports the typical risk-driving compounds for petroleum investigations.  

At Alpha Analytical, in addition to volatile compounds, we test for the following substances in the air: 

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Aroclors, homologs, and congeners. PCBs are not typically considered volatile compounds, in the air, PCBs are more likely to be found associated with particulates.  PCBs were sold as mixes (Aroclors) for different applications and their component signatures change over time in the environment. Since testing for Aroclors (the products) is problematic, testing for the structural groups (homologs), or directly for the 209 compounds (congeners), sometimes makes more sense for health risk evaluations.    

Metals: These are tested for as particulates (a component of dust in air). This test method  calls for  drawing a known volume of air through a filter then analysis for the metals of interest on the filter.  . The volume of air and filter type depends on the goal of the sampling and analysis. For example, construction sites are typical sources of samples. 

Mercury: Mercury is the only volatile metal and is only volatile in its native state. It may also be present in particulates, such as mercuric salts. When testing for mercury in the air, the client defines what should be reported, volatile  or total mercury. The sample is collected on sorbent media by pulling a known volume of air through the tube, the media is digested and the result is reported. 

Sulfur Compounds: The human nose is very sensitive to this group of compounds, so if they are present, you will smell them. Hydrosulfide is a typical target compound found in landfills. Sampling and the shipping sample protocols to the laboratory are critical in getting quality data. 

 

Contact Alpha Analytical today for your upcoming Air Testing project.

To speak to one of our technical experts please fill out the form to your left. 

Thank you. 

  

 

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