Air Testing by US Cleanblast

Details on sampling are located in the scope of work.

  • Airborne Particulates
  • Airborne Mold Spores (Air-o-cell)
  • Bioaerosols
  • Swab or Bulk Sampling
  • Rug Sampling, mold spores
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Temperature
  • Relative Humidity
  • Ozone (O3) levels
  • Combustible Gasses, H2S, O2 levels
  • Formaldehyde
  • Total Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Volatile Organic Compounds & (MVOCs)
  • Moisture Content

US Cleanblast follows sampling guidelines provided by IAQA guideline IAQA01-2000 and ACGIH Bioaerosols Assessment and Control. (IAQA-Indoor Air Quality Association, ACGIH-American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists). Samples collected will be evaluated against samples collected from outdoors and non-complaint area.

Which Laboratories Do We Use for Air Testing?

All of our bioaerosol analyses are performed by EMSL Laboratories of Cherry Hill, N.J. EMSL Laboratories is the industry leader in bioaerosol analyses. EMSL has AIHA EMLAP accreditation (American Industrial Hygiene Association – Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program). EMSL provides advanced analytical testing procedures for the analyses of fungi, bacteria, pollens, endotoxins, mycotoxins, legionella, allergens, mycobacterium and viruses.

All of our environmental testing is performed by EMSL Laboratories of Cherry Hill, N.J. EMSL offers comprehensive support in the analysis of drinking water, groundwater, air filter deposits, wastewater, particulates, metals, herbicides, UST profile, volatile organics, priority pollutants, explosive residue, semi-volatile organics, minerals, pesticides, microbiology, radionuclides, fuels, mining chemicals, and CLP Compounds.

Expert testimony is available for all analytical work performed by both labs.

Sampling results will be compared to existing IAQ guidelines, or laboratory recommended levels.

There are currently standards in place to ensure workers are not overexposed to contaminants in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have determined a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for most commonly encountered contaminants in the industry. However, similar standards have not been established for office environments. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ANSI/ASHRAE 62-1989 Standard), it has become customary to use one tenth of the industrial limit as an acceptable IAQ guideline. In addition, ASHRAE has established comfort standards for temperature levels thought to be acceptable to eighty percent of a building’s population.

To date, there is no data that supports a threshold limit or dose-response relationship for exposure to fungal aeroallergens. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), as well as other occupational heath related associations, have not established permissible exposure levels (PEL’s), recommended exposure limits (REL’s), or other limit values for aeroallergens.

Our Air Testing Methods

AIR-O-CELL Cassettes
AIR-O-CELL cassettes manufactured by Zefon International, or equivalent, cassettes will be utilized for collection and analysis of a wide range of airborne particulates including, but not limited to, bioaerosols (mold spores, pollen, insect parts, skin cell fragments, etc), fibers (e.g. fiberglass, cellulose, etc) and inorganic particulates (e.g. ceramic, fly ash, combustion particles, copy toner). Air will pass over cassette collecting airborne particulates. Collection is performed with a Zefon High Volume Quiet pump at a flow rate of 15.0 liters per minute for 3-10 minutes, depending on how clean or dirty the environment being tested. Calibration is performed with a 0-30 LPM rotometer.

BIOAEROSOLS (Airborne Fungi)
To quantify the extent of airborne microbial contamination, the Zefon High Volume Quiet Pump manufactured by Zefon International will be employed. Impactor being used is an Aerotech 6 Viable Microbial Particle Sampler manufactured by Aerotech Labs. Collection is performed at a flow rate of 28.3 liters per minute for 3 minutes. Calibration is performed with a 0-30 LPM rotometer. Malt Extract Agar (MEA) will be used as a culture media to determine fungus, CFU counts, and characterization.Samples are submitted to a subcontracted microbiology laboratory, Environmental Testing Associates, Aerotech Labs or Mycotech Biological for incubation and analysis. Culture plates are incubated for 7 to 10 days. Results are reported in colony forming units per cubic meter of air (CFU/m3).

VENTILATION (Carbon Dioxide)
Carbon Dioxide will be sampled using a continuous air-sampling monitor manufactured by Fluke, model 975 Airmeter. Specs: Non-dispersive infrared sensor. Range 0 – 20,000 ppm.

Carbon Monoxide will be sampled using a continuous air-sampling monitor manufactured by Fluke, model 975 Airmeter. Measures CO from 0 –10,000 ppm.

Temperature and relative humidity will be sampled using a continuous air sampling monitor manufactured by Fluke, model 975 Airmeter. Also a Raytek Infrared thermometer with laser point will be used for accurate zone temperature readings.

Monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will be performed utilizing a Direct Reading Portable Instrument by RAE Systems, model MultiRAE IR TVOC data logger. This instrument is not specific for individual organic compounds and measures Total VOCs. Examples of gas detected: methylene chloride, acetone, naptha, perclorethylene, trichloroethylene and other VOC solvent vapors. **If our VOC meter detects a VOC gas, an in depth VOC test will be done at an additional charge.

MVOC & VOC Sorbent tube or Suma canister test
Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds, or MVOCs, are volatile organic compounds that are by products of primary or secondary microbial metabolism. The list of compounds that are produced by microorganisms is expansive, however the following compounds have been employed as indicators of microbial contamination. 1-octen-3-ol / Geosmin / 3-methyfuran / 3-methyl-2-butanol / 2-pentanol / 2-hexanone / 3-octanone / 2-octen-1-ol / 2-methyl-isopropryl-3-methoxypyrazine / 3-methyl-1-butanol / 2-heptanone / 3-octanol / 2-methyl-2-butanol.

Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are just one compound of potential indoor air pollution. Exposure to VOCs in most indoor environments is inevitable. Many common building materials, furnishing and numerous products used indoors emit these chemicals. Exposure to VOCs may result in both short term and long term health effects. Most information on health effects is related to individual compounds and not the mixtures that are commonly found in indoor environments. There are over 50 VOC analytes that are analyzed.This method is applicable to air samples. A Gilian HFS-513 air sampling pump will be used to draw 200cc of air for 240 minutes across a sorbent tube. Tube is then frozen and shipped to our lab for analysis. The absorbent material is solvent extracted and analyzed via Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry. Test results take 7 – 10 days. Calibration is performed using a 0-800cc rotometer.

This method is applicable to air samples. A Gilian HFS-513 air-sampling pump will be used to draw 1.5 lpm of air for 10 minutes across a DNPH tube. Method used for analyzing tube is EPA TO-10A.

Monitoring of combustible gases (LEL), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and oxygen (O2) levels will be performed utilizing a continuous air sampling direct reading portable instrument, an Alert-Max. This instrument is not specific for individual combustible gases and measures all combustible gases. Examples of combustibles: Hydrocarbons, Halogenated Hydrocarbons, Alcohols, Ethers, Ketones and other gases.

Moisture content will be measured at random locations. Some of these locations may include: above ceiling tiles, janitorial closets with sinks, basements, sump pump rooms, and suspect water intrusion areas. Moisture content will be measured with a Delmhorst Moisture Meter model BD-2000. Meter is capable of reading plaster / concrete, gypsum and wood.

If a visual is made on suspected mold/fungus, a Bulk or Swab sample will be collected. Bulk sample is collected and placed in a zip lock bag. Swab sample is a sterol media that is wiped directly in contact with the suspect fungus then place in a sterol vile.

Total respirable particulate counts are performed to determine airborne particulate concentrations. Measurements are taken using a hand held laser particle counter manufactured by ARTI model HHPC-6. The counter is NIST calibration certified once a year. The size of particulates sampled were .3 microns, .5 microns, .7 microns, 1.0 microns, 2.0 microns, and 5.0 microns. Particulates represented with this type of sampling are called secondary contaminants and can make there way deep into the lungs. Particles 10 microns and greater tend to settle out in the environment while particles .3 micron to 5.0 microns tend to stay airborne for longer periods of time. Also these size particulates are associated with mold spore size.

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