Westmont, NJ, April 27th, 2010
When unpleasant odors are noticed in properties the source of the problem is not always readily apparent. Two common sources of unpleasant odors in buildings include off-gassing from mold and sewer gases improperly vented. Both problems can be fixed, but only after the source is identified.
Sewer gas is primarily methane, but can include a host of other gases that may include ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and other substances. They are a normal part of modern sewage systems, but their presence in indoor environments is not. Sewer gases cause not only odors, but can also be dangerous to occupant’s health and in extreme situations could be a fire hazard.
Usually plumbing traps and vents prevent sewer gas from entering structures, but these can malfunction. Also for buildings with HVAC systems that bring outdoor air into the structure, if that are placed too close to sewer vents, can pull escaping sewer gas back into a building. Exposure can cause respiratory irritation and other negative health effects.
Mold also creates odors that at times can be confused as sewer gas. Mold can emit a musty or earthy smell in properties with microbial growth. When odors from mold are found in buildings occupants are almost certainly being exposed to mold spores that can cause allergenic and toxigenic reactions and be a source of infection for people with weakened immune systems.
EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s largest indoor air quality testing laboratories, has expertise in all types of odor and air analysis. “Occupants and property owners need to be able to identify the source of the odor to fix the problem,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President for EMSL Analytical. “EMSL’s scientists are available to help find solutions.”
To learn more about IAQ testing or other testing needs please visit www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, food and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.