Indoor Air Quality Assessments 

As a member and affiliate of the following organizations, Ultimate Environmental Solutions INC follows the standards and procedures for IAQ investigations and testing as recommended by the:

 

(IAQA) Indoor Air Quality Association, (EPA) United States Environmental Protection Agency, (ASHRAE) American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc., and (OSHA) Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The research of indoor air quality is ongoing. There are no current governing regulations on the procedures to measure toxins and/or acceptable exposure limits. However, these organizations are leaders in the IAQ Industry with the education and experience set guidelines for better Indoor Air Quality. Ultimate Environmental Solutions implement these guidelines as part of their company policy. 

Visual Inspection

A visual inspection is the most important initial step in identifying a possible contamination problem. The extent of any water damage and mold growth should be visually assessed. This assessment is important in determining remedial strategies. Ventilation systems should also be visually checked, particularly for damp filters but also for damp conditions elsewhere in the system and overall cleanliness. Ceiling tiles, gypsum wallboard (sheet rock), cardboard, paper, and other cellulosic surfaces should be given careful attention during a visual inspection. 

Laboratory Sampling

An expert will collect samples for laboratory analysis. These may include:


Air Samples: The investigator collects samples of the air to determine if hidden sources of mold are present in the building. The simplest type is called “spore trap technique” in which a known quantity of air is drawn across a sticky surface. Spores in the air adhere to the sticky surface. 

 

Bulk/Surface Sampling: A piece of the building material or furnishing suspected of housing mold growth is cut out and sent to a laboratory. The sample can either be inspected under a microscope or cultured in a growth medium. Bulk samples are usually collected from visibly moldy surfaces by scraping or cutting materials with a clean tool into a clean plastic bag. Surface samples are usually collected by wiping a measured area with a sterile swab or by stripping the suspect surface with clear tape. Surface sampling is less destructive than bulk sampling. 

 

Dust Collection Samples: Samples of settled dust are sometimes collected to see how much and what types of fungi are in the dust. 

Tape Lift Sample: A piece of cellophane tape is placed on a surface containing discoloration that is suspected to be mold. A trained mycologist using a microscope is a laboratory can confirm the sample. 

 

Wipe or “Swab” Samples: The investigator wipes a smooth surface with a cotton swab which is then placed in a growth media.
 

Air Monitoring

Air sampling for fungi should not be part of a routine assessment. Since decisions about appropriate remediation strategies can usually be made on the basis of a visual inspection. In addition, air-sampling methods for some fungi are prone to false negative results and therefore cannot be used to definitively rule out contamination. 

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