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formaldehyde Archives - Baxter Environmental Group Inc

Trapped With Contaminants

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Indoor Environmental Quality, Radon | No Comments

Save on the Energy Bill or Save on Your Health Bill?

New homes, schools, office buildings, and more are being built as airtight as possible in an effort to save on energy, and to be able to better control the indoor environment.

But if the indoor environment isn’t properly controlled, contaminants such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO), and radon can build up and circulate throughout the house.

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The Chemical Known as Formaldehyde

By | Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

Exposure to Formaldehyde can have serious health effects. It can lead to respiratory trouble, eye, nose and throat irritation, and other symptoms. It was classified as a carcinogen in 2004. But, exposure is difficult to limit because it is naturally present in the environment in varying amounts.

In 2015, CBS 60 Minutes reported on elevated formaldehyde levels from composite wood flooring manufactured in China. This caused widespread concern and confusion for people who had laminate flooring in their homes and buildings. Combustion sources and environmental tobacco smoke typically increase the concentration indoors as well.

Are you wondering how you can reduce your exposure??

  • Source Reduction
  • Proper Ventilation
  • Temperature and humidity control

These methods can result in acceptable levels. When using, or introducing products that are known to contain formaldehyde, let the products off gas (The release of volatile organic compounds and other chemicals off new, manufactured items) outside of the living space beforehand.

Ozonation and other remediation techniques involving energetic radiation have been used in reduction efforts but sometime prove counter-productive by generating different harmful by-products or simply more formaldehyde.

The healthiest indoor air is that which contains the minimum number of VOCs possible. The best way to reduce these are source reduction and ventilation improvements.

Why Filter the Air We Breathe

By | Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

afraid to go home

 

Why Filter the Air We Breathe?

Air filtration systems have become more important over the years as our society has become better at making our homes more energy efficient.  Lack of natural ventilation means contagions can get trapped in our homes and stay in the air longer.

 

Bacteria ranges in size from 0.1 microns to 1.5 microns and cause illnesses such as strep throat and pneumonia.  Viruses are as tiny as 0.05 microns to 0.1 microns and cause infections such as colds and flus.  We bring these in our home where they get trapped by our energy efficiency.

 

Carpets trap dust and mold spores.  Damp carpet allows for growth of mold.  New carpets can emit volatile organic compounds.

 

Other agents of the release of volatile organic compounds include plastics, finishes on furniture, vinyl wall decals, dry cleaned clothing, moth balls, and cleaning products.

 

Pressed wood furniture can be a source for formaldehyde.  Mattresses, pillows, cloth furnishings, and stuffed toys can become traps for dust and pet dander.  Pets can contaminate the environment with pet dander, saliva, urine and bacteria.  Cigarette smoke contains 40 known carcinogenic compounds.  And then ventilation systems can be a source of biological contaminants.

 

SHOULD I BE AFRAID TO GO HOME?

 

With a proper HEPA air filtration system, the air you breathe in your home can be pure and clean.  HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air.  HEPA filtration media is tested and proven to be 99.97% efficient up to 0.3 microns.  HEPA filters are constructed in such a way to allow air to pass through but particulates are stopped.

 

When selecting an indoor air filtration system, make sure that it includes a HEPA filter and that it is sized properly for the room you are installing it in.

 

Then, you do not have to be afraid to go home and breathe freely.