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Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality
Indoor Air Quality

What is IAQ testing?

  • Indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades due to factors such as energy-efficient building construction and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners.
  • The indoor air concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor air.
  • IAQ testing determines the amount of pollutants in the environment and identifies what is present and possibly detrimental to the health of the occupants.

Why is IAQ testing important?

  • Amendments to the Criminal Code set out in Bill C-45 (Health & Safety Negligence) came into effect March 31, 2004. Not providing, ensuring and investigating the status of indoor air quality in a workplace can result in criminal charges against the directors of a corporation, organization as well as sole proprietors and individuals.
  • Other major problems with IAQ, such as, sick staff, chronic fatigue, and absenteeism leads to reduced productivity and employee performance, which also affect bottom line profits.

What causes Poor IAQ?

  • On average people spend over 90 percent of our lives indoors. Consequently, everything that is in our indoor air, including pollutants, allergens, VOCs, toxins–and even mould spores may be breathed in.
  • Breathing in these harmful contaminants over an extended period of time can impact a persons life and well being.
  • Sources of poor IAQ include:
    • Products of combustion such as carbon monoxide
    • Particulate matter
    • Substances of natural origin such as radon
    • Biological agents such as moulds,
    • Various volatile organic compounds
    • Inappropriate ventilation

Health effects

  • The potential impact of indoor air quality on human health include symptoms:
    • irritation of the eyes, nose or throat,
    • headaches,
    • dizziness,
    • fatigue or respiratory diseases.
  • Airborne Contaminates Include:
    • Mould – Symptoms including but not limited to: runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat, dry skin, recurring colds, dry mouth, nausea, flu symptoms, difficulty breathing, excessive sneezing, consistent coughing & phlegm build-up, constant headaches & migraines, sinus infection, asthma attack, memory loss, bleeding lungs, death.
    • CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) – Symptoms include: rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, clumsiness, emotional upsets, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, collapse, convulsions, coma, organ failure and death.
    • VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) – Symptoms and affected parts include: eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination; damage to liver, kidney, central nervous system, conjunctival irritation, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, and dizziness.
    • CO (Carbon Monoxide) – Can cause sudden illness and death. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, confusion, loss of consciousness and death.
    • Odour – Typically not a health hazard, however, they may interfere with Quality of life due to the lingering smell.
    • Radon – Over 25,000 people die in North America as a result of Radon each year. Health Canada reported that “16% of lung cancers deaths in Canada are attributable to radon exposure.


  • GEP will consult with you to identify what the assessment will include personalized to each particular case and it needs.
  • Commonly, an indoor air quality consultation includes the collection of air samples, the determination of air flow, and indoor moisture levels.
  • A detailed report of findings from a third-party laboratory, will include remediation recommendations to resolve the problem.
  • Contact GEP to schedule a free consultation to determine what type of contaminants are of concern and what is the most effective type of testing you need to achieve your goals.

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