Testing indoor air quality for biological contaminants

Conducting an indoor air quality assessment

Today’s client contacted us and asked us to carry out an assessment of indoor air quality in relation to selected biological and chemical contaminants. The building of interest was situated in an inner City of London and consisted of a bedroom and utility room on the lower ground floor. There was a kitchen and sitting room on the ground floor, two bedroom and a bathroom on the first floor and a lounge/office on the second floor. The property is surrounded by buildings of similar construction and use so there were no significant sources of industrial pollution in close vicinity to the building. At the time of our assessment there were no reports of any building occupants suffering adverse health symptoms. 

Testing indoor air quality for biological contaminants

What did we require samples of?

In order to complete our investigation we required samples of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and aldehydes, also samples of airborne moulds. Our surveyor used personal samplers fitted with TENAX anasorb thermal absorption tubes in order to collect samples of VOC’s and aldehydes. Sampling flow rates were calibrated prior to and after sampling using an FM 4Bios 510M Primary calibrator working flow meter. He then used a High flow 1600 air sampling pump in order to collect samples of airborne moulds onto Vesta Spore trap cassettes. This was done over a period of 10 minutes in which a total volume of 200 litres was collected. 

We also carried out moisture mapping using a Hydromette HB30 moisture meter and a Tramex moisture encounter plus. This was to help us locate areas with elevated levels of moisture within building materials and furnishings. 

Testing indoor air quality for biological contaminants

What did sampling and analysis reveal?

Sampling and analysis revealed that volatile organic compounds (VOC) and aldehydes were identified as present however only at a low concentration and is not considered to be significant for indoor air quality purposes and are very unlikely to cause any issues with the indoor air quality. Sampling and analysis also revealed that fungal spores were identified in the indoor air however only at low concentrations therefore the indoor air quality in respect to fungal contamination can be described as good. 

Visual inspection and Moisture mapping revealed that the property is not suffering from any active leaks in any of the indoor areas. The property had a normal humidity profile which is well within the comfort range for a home environment. Therefore moisture was not an issue within the property at the time of our assessment. 

In conclusion, the indoor air quality is not compromised by biological contaminants or fungal contamination therefore no remediation measures were necessary in this case. 


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