Specialty Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Testing
What are VOCs?
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure is asssociated with a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air.
Cleaning supplies, building materials, paints, and glues are the most common household items that may emit VOCs.
How are VOCs Harmful?
The risk of health effects from inhaling any chemical depends on how much is in the air, how long and how often a person breathes it in. Scientists look at short-term (acute) exposures as hours to days or long-term (chronic) exposures as years to even lifetime.
Breathing low levels of VOCs for long periods of time may increase some people’s risk of health problems. Several studies suggest that exposure to VOCs may make symptoms worse in people who have asthma, children, elderly persons, or those who are particularly sensitive to chemicals. It is hazardous to apply standard occupational exposure limits to everyone.
VOCs refer to a group of chemicals. Toxicity and potential for causing different health effects varies by type of chemical and sensitivity of the individual person as previously mentioned.
What Can Be Done To Mimize VOC Emission?
Much like addressing mold issues, problems with VOC are resolved by finding the source of the emission followed by devising ways to minimize its emission in the future. Knowledge of building science, particularly ventilation and air flow, are particularly useful when diagnosing these problems.
Prairie Environmental Consulting has the equipment necessary to test for VOCs in commercial and residential buildings in South Dakota. The tests will show which VOCs are present in the air, and once the specific VOCs are known, the products that are most likely to be off-gassing can be deduced. Finally, strategies to increase ventilation, alter air flow patterns, and minimize further VOC emission can be implemented.
Formaldehyde Testing in South Dakota
Ventilation Testing in South Dakota
Ventilation testing in commercial and residential buildings can be done by testing the concentration of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the building. CO2 acculumates in a building as a result of human exhalation. If the CO2 concentration is too high, one can assume that the building is not adequately ventilated, putting occupants at risk for exposure to VOCs or other compounds in the air. This testing is done with a CO2 meter and datalogger. Prairie Environmental Consulting has the ability to do this type of testing.
A recent investigation by the popular CBS news show 60 Minutes indicated that the flooring company Lumber Liquidators has been selling Chinese-manfactured laminate flooring that contains and off-gasses a large, potentially unsafe amount of Formaldehyde.
Symptoms of Formaldeyde exposure include eye, nose, and throat irritation as well as headaches.
Prairie Enviromental Consulting has the ability to test for this potentially dangerous chemical and interpret the laboratory results in a way that is easy for the client to understand.
Methamphetamine Testing in South Dakota
Prairie Environmental Consulting, LLC has the ability and equipment necessary to conduct methamphetamine testing in South Dakota. Please contact for more information.