Determination of Odour Complaints, Health Concerns and Indoor Air Quality Problems

CASSEN Testing Laboratories offers specialised services geared towards solving difficult odor and health issues in air. Indoor air quality has become a matter of increased concern due to the design of energy efficient buildings which reduce the amount of fresh air drawn into the building. Many airborne organics exist in indoor environments due to building materials, consumer products, personal activities, cigarette smoking, mold growth and poorly vented heating appliances etc. In working environments, the sources can be extensively more diverse and complex. Complaints of odors, headache, eye, nose and throat irritation, as well as other health problems are common and widespread, which subsequently have impacts on the productivity and quality of life. In many cases, the sources causing the odors or health ailments remained unsolved. This is mainly due to complexity of many situations and expertise required to understand the airborne organics in indoor environments and their respective levels. With CASSEN’s expertise, we can recognize the unusual patterns, odorous compounds, microbial (MVOC), VOCs from emission sources as well as the chemical reactions taking place. All these findings will be included in the report to allow better understanding of the results.

CASSEN’s report includes identification of the top 35 compounds in order of descending concentrations, their semi-quantitative concentrations, as well as total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentration. TVOC value is an important measure of total airborne organic concentration since using our technique, over 200 compounds are detected. The report also includes common sources, odor description and exposure limits. General health effects can be included if requested.

The air sample is obtained using active or passive sample collection using a sorbent tube and analysed by Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatography/Mass spectrometry (TD/GC/MS). The technique provides parts per billion (PPB) detection of a wide array of VOCs , capturing most compounds that instigate indoor air quality problems and help to solve these problems successfully. CASSEN’s in-depth knowledge, extensive in-house database, and the experience in solving thousands of cases of indoor air quality problems will provide useful interpretation of the VOCs determined. This analysis provides a valuable tool for the solving of indoor air quality problems.