Indoor air quality analysis
Many chronic diseases – which cannot be transmitted – such as asthma or allergies are directly linked to a degradation of indoor air quality (iaq). Thus air quality analysis is becoming more and more mandatory for public access buildings (PABs) in order to preserve public health and safety. Several gases can be present indoors in working or living spaces. To correctly detect and monitor levels of exposure to different gases in PABs it is important to understand their presence. These gases are mainly emitted because of:
- The presence of a chemical pollutant – like benzene or formaldehyde – exhausted while using building materials like paints or insulating foams.
- The building’s age. Institutes for hygiene at work and studies of indoor air quality shed light on the negative effects on health induced by formerly used substances.
- The new high-quality constructions standards related to insulation and tightness that are designed to recycle rather than renew indoor air.
PAB indoor air quality testing: Targeted gases
Carbon dioxyde (CO2) is naturally present at low concentrations in the air; it is colorless, odorless and heavier than air. This gas directly effects human health with headache, tiredness… While people gather themselves in a poorly ventilated space like an office, a classroom or a small room in a public-access building, the level of carbon dioxide rate in the air will grow.
Benzene is the most dangerous indoor air pollutant. Current standards tend to limit its diffusion in buildings open to the public. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies benzene as a category 1 (R25) carcinogenic agent. When ingested or inhaled, this organic compound is harmful to the breathing tracts – especially for lungs (R65) – and the eyes (R36) as well.
Formaldehyde is highly toxic if inhaled. This irritant gas can cause burns (R34). For a long time the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has been classifying formaldehyde in group 3: non-classifiable for its carcinogenicity. However, after series of studies in 2005, formaldehyde was finally classified as a group 1: proven carcinogenic agent.
Perchloroethylene is a very toxic organic vapor that can be present near dry cleaning installations. Classified as a 2A (R40) substance by the CIRC, it can also be irritating to the eyes and breathing tracts, and can cause headaches and dizziness.