Indoor Air Quality Services
Maintaining the health of a building’s indoor environment is critical to maintaining the health, happiness and well-being of its occupants. The air building occupants breath indoors should be of high quality to ensure their comfort, health and well-being while they live and work safely, efficiently and distraction free. RHP professionals provide clients with sophisticated and cutting-edge indoor air quality (IAQ) services and consulting, analytical sampling and testing, forensic detection, and risk management solutions.
Contributing Pollutants to Poor Indoor Air Quality
Common complaints of indoor air pollutants that can directly affect occupant comfort, health and productivity and contribute to poor indoor environmental air quality, create health concerns and questions, and may lead to claims of sick building syndrome (SBS) include those from biological pollutants, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), lead (Pb), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), indoor particulate matter, asbestos, mold, and secondhand smoke. Sick building syndrome claims arise in situations where building occupants experience health effects they or their physicians link to time spent within a built environment/building without the identification of a specific illness or cause.
OUR RELATED SERVICES
Indoor air pollution sources releasing gas or particulates are the primary causes of poor indoor air quality and can lead to indoor air quality concerns. Sources of common indoor air pollution include fuel-burning appliances, tobacco products, building materials, cleaning products, excess moisture, and contributions from outdoor air pollution.
Exposure to indoor air pollution short term can be uncomfortable and over time can cause adverse impacts on the health of building occupants that may potentially lead to acute onset of symptoms commonly including headaches, dizziness, and fatigue and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Remember in sensitive individuals symptoms may sometimes occur after a single exposure. Longer-term health effects can also occur years after exposure and can include respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer.
Understanding and controlling indoor air pollutants can help reduce the risk of indoor health concerns and perceived connections to a whole host of symptoms and conditions.
RHP’s Core Indoor Air Quality Services
Knowledge of the built environment is a core tenet in providing comprehensive IAQ services to an array of commercial and industrial structures and commercial building environments. RHP professionals provide solutions for clients with typical and unique needs based on the age, size, layout and intended use of their structure or building. RHP experts carry decades of experience, training and understanding of the built environment. Responses to client concerns, complaints and requests are based on reliable, defensible and understandable data and work products rooted in sound science. RHP utilizes state-of-the-art monitoring and testing equipment when conducting commercial use/commercial residential use air quality testing.
Our core IAQ services include:
Ventilation Assessments and Engineering Solutions
Complete a thorough audit of the building’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system performance including assessment of system configuration, analysis of hourly air change rates (ACH), evaluation of filtration efficiency and capability (based on Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings), and inspection of system air supply and exhaust.
RHP can validate building ventilation and HVAC performance in reducing indoor air pollutants to improve indoor air quality using safe and state-of-the- art testing methodologies. Validation methodologies include the use of tracer gas (SF6), and DNA tagged tracer particles with physiochemical proprieties closely mimicking those of infectious aerosols (such as SARS-CoV-2) to aid in the identification of “hotspots” or areas where additional filtration or dilution ventilation is may be needed to further reduce indoor air pollutants.
RHP’s recommendations for ventilation or indoor air quality improvements can be implemented in conjunction with your building engineer and/or your engineering contractor.
Navigate individual susceptibility to varying odors and pollutant concentrations, evaluating possible indoor and outdoor environmental odor sources, collecting real-time measurements for common air pollutants (e.g., VOCs, formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and determining the magnitude of possible pollutants in relation to documented odor thresholds.
Occupant Comfort Assessments
Measure and evaluate building occupant comfort parameters including relative humidity, air temperature, carbon dioxide and air velocity and comparing results to best practice guidance from governmental and professional organizations such as the USEPA and ASHRAE.
Work with skilled and trusted engineering and HVAC contractor partners and referrals to accompany our building ventilation assessment and indoor air quality services for aspiring or confirmed LEED V4.1 designed buildings.
Quickly respond to the emergence of claimed pollutants in the air (e.g., asbestos released during agitation of building materials, gas released during construction activities, smoke from damaged buildings, or identification of mold during flood restoration), to assist contractors, building owners, and occupants with identification of the indoor air polluting source, proper response and risk removal procedures, and any follow-up actions to avoid future emergencies.
OSHA Compliance Audits
Evaluate possible sources of indoor air pollutants and complaints and conduct commercial and industrial air quality testing to compare exposure levels with regulatory and best practice guidance. Although OSHA has not developed IAQ standards, OSHA does have standards on ventilation and on specific indoor air pollutants (asbestos, lead, carbon monoxide, etc.).
Through the collection of visual site observations, compilation of moisture information using state-of-the-art moisture detection equipment, and analytical airborne and surface samples, RHP applies the standards and field guidance outlined by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) when conducting mold investigations, developing remediation protocols and providing recommendations based on findings.
Indoor Air Quality in Public Buildings
The built environment has many different building configurations and ventilation designs based on user preference and function and may be found to be inadequately ventilated. Evaluating, validating and improving the ventilation and indoor air quality of buildings can have a number of instant and long-term benefits including:
- Improved occupant comfort and health
- Removal of allergens
- Reduced business risk and liability
- Reduced risk of infectious disease transmission
- Improved productivity and employee confidence
- Elimination of odors
- Lower operating costs by increasing efficiency.
Avoiding significant indoor air quality problems may reduce potential legal costs, aid in avoiding negative publicity, and improve time lost due to building shutdowns.
Indoor Air Quality in Industrial Facilities
Beyond common IAQ concerns and pollutants found within occupied office and commercial spaces, industrial facilities may have unique and wide-ranging IAQ issues due to their industrial processes and compounds, chemicals, and biological materials and contaminants connected with particular industrial operations. RHPs Certified Industrial Hygienist have extensive knowledge on industrial contaminants from a broad range of chemicals and compounds (e.g., volatile organic compounds) and can provide focused guidance on identifying sources, magnitude, and risk of exposures of both employers and employees including industrial air quality testing.
Indoor Air Quality in Residential Homes
Whether an old or new single-family home, apartment or townhome, there are numerous ways to evaluate and assess IAQ. Poor indoor air quality can be exasperated by inadequate ventilation and unsuitable humidity and temperature. Identification of the indoor pollution sources, if any, and evaluation of the ventilation within the home can help to improve residential IAQ and occupant comfort.
Learn More About Our Indoor Air Quality Services
RHP Risk Management’s Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH), public health scientists and certified safety professionals have extensive knowledge and expertise to assist clients in navigating seemingly straight forward or complex IAQ projects including assessment of building ventilation system performance, measuring ambient temperature and relative humidity, measuring and calculating air exchange rate (air changes per hour (ACH)), monitoring for indoor air pollutants, reviewing air filtration efficiency, and assessing local exhaust ventilation. In addition, RHP has trusted engineering and HVAC contractor partners and referrals to accompany our building ventilation assessment and indoor air quality services and recommendations, if needed.
Contact our industry experts today to learn more about our IAQ consulting services