IAQ is a term which refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. IAQ can be affected by gases, including carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOC's) and microbial contaminants such as mould and bacteria, that can induce adverse health conditions.
IAQ not only affects the health and mental well-being of the people who occupy it, but also the ongoing efficiency of the building.
The internal cleanliness and condition of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning HVAC systems is critical in helping to prevent cross contamination of mould and bacteria from room to room. Poorly maintained ventilation systems are also the major factor for poor indoor air quality.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) are a large group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. While most people can smell high levels of some VOC's, other VOC's have no odour. There are thousands of different VOC's produced and used in our daily lives.
Some examples of sources of VOC's are:
The risk of health effects from VOC’s exposure in the short term can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea / vomiting, dizziness and worsening of asthma symptoms. Long term, high levels of VOC’s exposure have been recognised as carcinogenic and causing damage to liver, kidneys and the central nervous system.
Our technicians are trained to investigate the IAQ problem by sampling both the air and surfaces of the indoor environment. These samples are analysed by a NATA approved independent laboratory. We then provide a detailed report which includes a recommended remediation plan. This is communicated to the client, outlining the process in order to provide a successful outcome.
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Building Related Illness (BRI) are usually the result of undetected mould and bacteria problems which have developed over time, out of site.
When mould is able to create an ideal environment, which usually results from the introduction of moisture such as condensation, water leaks, flooded floors, poor drainage, and storm events then treating the visible mould on the surface is pointless unless the underlying problem is also resolved.
Correct mould remediation often involves removing affected building materials and fixing the water issue at the source.
Research has shown that people who live in places such as, mining camps, aged care facilities, hotels, etc… and work in places such as, offices, medical centres, childcare, schools, etc… with air conditioning ducted systems, are at 50% greater risk of falling ill and become affected by respiratory infections and depression than those who live and work in naturally ventilated environments.