Indoor air quality is a challenge. It can affect employee productivity and health.
Yet, complaints can be non-specific and sometimes similar to those from colds, flu, stress and allergies. It can initially be difficult to determine if problems are caused by sources or conditions in the building, and what can be done to remedy the complaints.
The good news is that a common cause of complaints is often a simple lack of maintenance. Every response should start with an inspection of the air handler unit(s) servicing the area of complaint. Sometimes, pre- and inner-filters of the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system have exceeded their useful life. Putting HVAC maintenance and inspection on a firm schedule is an easy and inexpensive fix. The HVAC inspection can be performed either by Ellis or (even better) by the building’s professional maintenance staff.
Proper initial testing is also an easy and inexpensive starting point. This will often include placing a “Q-Trak” monitor in the area of complaint. A Q-trak measures and records concentrations and trends in carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature and relative humidity. CO2 concentrations of 1,000 ppm or more produce complaints of stuffy air, itchy eyes, etc. As with most indoor air quality issues, elevated CO2 levels are most often traced to problems with the building's HVAC system.
Many times the investigator must consider all the factors that relate to indoor air quality to identify possible contaminants and stressors which could be responsible for the reported complaints and effects. This requires a process of identifying and eliminating numerous potential contaminants, sources and other factors in the hope that the true causal factor will eventually be identified. It requires time and patience on the part of both the building owner and it occupants.
In any case, indoor air quality is a serious issue, and depending on the results of its initial investigation, Ellis may also recommend and perform testing for the following contaminants:
ultrafine dust particles emitted from printers and copiers
respirable and nuisance dust, usually from nearby construction activities
hydrogen sulfide (sewer smell)
fecal contamination (E. coli & Enterococcus), most often performed following a sewage leak and cleanup
damaged lead paint
volatile organic compounds (VOCs), emitted from chemical processes - SUMMA-type canister or TEDLAR bags
formaldehyde, a contaminant associated with urethane insulation, preservatives and embalming processes
other contaminants, depending on site specific needs
Depending on the targeted contaminant, Ellis will partner with CalScience Laboratories, EMSL, LA Testing, Silliker Labs, and other local and national AIHA- and NVLAP-accredited laboratories.
Ellis Environmental; your best choice to answer your indoor air quality questions.
Ellis has worked with major studios, universities, property managers and lenders in California since 1994. Our longevity with valued-but demanding clients is a testament to the quality and efficiency of our work.
Ellis hires only those individuals with degrees in environmental science or industrial hygiene. This helps insure that (a) correct testing media and methods are used, and (b) testing, sample preparation and transport are performed correctly. In short, you want only an expert testing the environment that you and your employees must live in every day.
Duane Behrens brought 15+ years of construction management and environmental testing experience to Ellis when he formed the company in 1994. Many of these years were with Versar, Inc. one of the largest, most respected names in environmental and industrial hygiene services. Prior to that, he acted as construction manager and owner's representative on many complex municipal construction projects.
Ellis is the smart, affordable choice.
Southern California Indoor Air Quality Testing
Are you in the field and need a COST ESTIMATE or a quick ANSWER to a question?
Call us at (310) 544-1837 and speak to a certified industrial hygienist. Or, scroll down and complete the mobile-friendly form for a fast estimate!
In the meantime, some quick facts about us to let you know you’ve come to the right place:
Ellis was founded in Southern California in 1994.
We’ve administered more than $62 million in abatement and demolition projects.
We work for some of the most demanding (and recognizable) studios, hospitals and universities in Southern California.
While we do many things, we specialize in asbestos, lead, mold and IAQ testing.
The process of working with us is simple:
TEST: Ellis provides the testing and analyses required as the first step in any renovation project. We’ll let you know if abatement is required.
PROCURE QUOTES: If abatement is required, we can create a clear and simple work plan to show to bidding contractors. When the scope of work is clear, bids are lowered.
ADMINISTER THE PROJECT: After bids are received, you will need an experienced advocate to manage the process on a daily basis on your behalf. This will include pre-abatement and post-abatement inspections, monitoring of adjacent areas during the work, final inspection and clearance sampling.
Ellis Environmental -- your best choice to avoid costly mistakes and delays.