air monitoring, indoor air quality, Edmonton, Sherwood Park

Indoor Air Quality

During the winter season, most people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. Air quality pollutants such as dust, dirt, and gaseous fumes from household chemicals can accumulate to levels that may pose health and comfort problems.

JADA Solutions (HSE) Inc. has experts with the ability to investigate, test and correct Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems such as mould, bacteria, chemicals, allergens, asbestos and lead.  If employees or building occupants are complaining of poor air quality or increased illnesses such as colds, flu, asthma, weakness, burning eyes, itching skin, rashes, sore throats, allergies, lethargy, or headaches, then there is a possibility this could be Building Related Disease or Sick Building Syndrome.

JADA Solutions (HSE) Inc. offers a complete range of air quality services, from initial assessments to complete evaluation programs – or emergency response to any situation. We can develop practical, cost effective solutions for your Indoor Air Quality concerns, including MSDS Review (WHMIS), general Indoor Air Quality parameter monitoring (carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, temperature, relative humidity and airborne mould), work site assessment and review of site processes and work procedures.

JADA Solutions (HSE) Inc. uses a step-by-step approach to Indoor Air Quality assessments including:

Initial Assessments

A one-day to one-week investigation of the indoor environment and may include the following actions, depending on the situation:

  • Identify complaints through preliminary discussion with occupants and building services personnel;
  • Thorough inspection of HVAC Systems and occupied spaces;
  • Direct reading instrument testing for temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide;
  • Limited testing for highly suspect agents such as mould, bacteria, chemical, insects and dusts;
  • A formal report identifying problems and recommended corrective measures, OR recommendations for additional tests based on initial findings.

Pending the results of the preliminary investigation, further investigation may be warranted to confirm a problem hypothesis. In many investigations, further investigation is not required to identify the problem cause and solution. In 70-80% of cases we can identify the problems in this assessment. In cases where further investigation is required, its scope is outlined based on the findings of the preliminary investigation.

In-Depth Studies

Where situations cannot be resolved by an initial assessment and the extent of the problem is greater than anticipated, an in-depth study would be performed. Each situation is unique, but the following are some of the tests that could be performed:

  • Extensive examination of the interior of the HVAC System including opening ductwork and test for moulds, bacteria or chemicals;
  • Testing and analysis of airborne bacteria/fungi (Bioaerosols), Mycotoxins or Endotoxins;
  • Particulate assays – microscopic identification of fibers, pollens, fungi or asbestos;
  • Chemical assays – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), specific chemicals and identification of unknowns;
  • Indoor allergens – dust mites, cat and dog dander, cockroach allergens, endotoxins;
  • Final formal report identifying problems and solutions

Mould Assessments

As the issue of mould contamination becomes an increasingly greater concern to society, our clients need the right advice on how to manage the risks related to mould in buildings. As such, JADA Solutions (HSE) Inc. provides mould assessments, using both non-intrusive and intrusive investigative techniques, in a variety of settings including residential, office and industrial.

Mould can grow indoors behind walls, above ceilings and underneath flooring. Even though mould is a natural occurring fungus, mould that grows indoors can have serious health effects for many people. There are many mould types that can cause a variety of symptoms such as skin rashes, nose bleeds, itchy and watery eyes, breathing difficulties, migraine headaches, to name a few.  Some moulds are extremely toxic such as Stachybotrys Chartarum.

Mould needs moisture, even high relative humidity, together with a nutrient source (for example: drywall, carpeting, dust) to grow. If you have had a roof leak, basement leak, condensation on windows, even an overflow of a sink that was not cleaned up properly within 24 hours of its occurrence, you could have mould growth.

Indoor mould can be detected through air samples, and bulk samples that are sent to a laboratory for culturing and identification.  Most importantly, a proper air quality assessment using instrumentation is also required; this will provide you with important information on the location, and potential for hidden mould growth issues, as well as the cause of the problem.  An indoor mould investigation will often tell you the species of mould, whether it is toxic and how much of it is in your home. More importantly, it will be able to guide you in getting rid of your mould problem.

A home or office does not have to have visible evidence of mould growth for there to be a potential toxic mould issue.  This is why it is important to have a proper mould assessment done to determine if you have a mould growth issue and where.

A typical mould assessment consists of:

  • Visual Inspection: of the building for evidence of moisture intrusion and visible signs of mould growth;
  • Viable Laboratory Sampling: by way of drawing air (living mould spores) into an  agar strip that will grow active mould spores; and/or,
  • Non-Viable Mould Sampling: by way of drawing air (dead mould spores) into a spore trap which will identify mould spores that have either died, dried up or have been killed by a biocide.

In addition to assessments, JADA Solutions (HSE) Inc. can also provide abatement specifications and tender documents, abatement supervision and inspection, and final clearance inspections and testing, if required.

Our experience has helped our clients manage the risks associated with mould in buildings, minimize liability and demonstrate due diligence. Our experience and knowledge have been gained through the successful completion of numerous challenging assignments, and by being involved in some of the most significant projects, in the field of mould assessment and abatement, that have been carried out in the Province of Alberta.