April 2015
Indoor Environmental News
Identifying Indoor Allergens & Pollutants that Could Impact People with COPD 
According to a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey conducted in 2011, approximately 5.4% of residents in Texas had been told they have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) by a healthcare professional.  That equates to over 1.3 million residents of the state that are afflicted by a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and in some cases asthma.  The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute reports that COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 120,000 American lives each year. More than 12 million have been diagnosed with the condition, but another 12 million are likely to have COPD and don't know it. 


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, tobacco smoke is a key factor in the development and progression of COPD, although exposure to air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors, and respiratory infections also play a role.


"There are a number of common indoor allergens and pollutants that can aggravate conditions for people suffering from COPD in addition to tobacco smoke," said Hollis L. Horner, President, Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc.  "These may include everything from elevated levels of mold, dust mites, and pet dander to fragrances, formaldehyde, and other volatile organic compounds.  At IEC, our indoor air quality professionals identify indoor allergens and pollutants that can cause or aggravate a host of health issues. Air testing and building inspections can pinpoint problems in order to develop solutions so that building occupants are not exposed to substances that can aggravate COPD or cause other respiratory and health issues."


IEC has sponsored an educational video about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, indoor allergens, and pollutants that can be seen here:

COPD - Indoor Allergens & Pollutants
COPD - Indoor Allergens & Pollutants


To learn more about IEC's indoor environmental quality testing and consulting services, 
 please visit www.iecinc.net , email ncancino@iecinc.net or call (877) 432-8378.



Is it Spring Allergies or Indoor Air Quality Issues Causing Running Noses and Itchy Eyes across Texas? 

Last month ushered in the official start of the spring season.  After a long and chilly winter in many parts of Texas and the Gulf Coast, people are enjoying outdoor activities and opening doors and windows that have been kept shut for months.


During this time of year, trees and plants begin to bloom and release large amounts of pollen into the air.  Moist weather and warming temperatures can also result in elevated levels of mold in the outdoor air.  Pollen and mold spores can travel great distances, especially during windy spring days.  This also means that people who suffer from allergies to pollen and mold are beginning to showing signs of sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes. 


These air quality contaminants can be a concern to both people enjoying the outdoor weather and even those indoors as outdoor allergens can often enter a building through open doors and windows and even on people's clothes. 


In many cases, it's not just outdoor pollen and mold causing allergy sufferers' reactions this time of year.  The spring thaw and seasonal rains also cause moisture issues in many homes and buildings.  In structures with roof leaks or wet basements and crawl spaces, this can quickly result in the growth of indoor mold and even elevated levels of dust mites.  Any of these, at elevated concentrations in an indoor environment, can cause an allergic reaction in some people or trigger an asthma attack in those who are sensitive to exposure and have the condition.


The indoor air quality (IAQ) experts at IEC offer air testing, inspection and consulting services to identify a wide range of indoor allergens, pollutants and their sources. If air sampling identifies a problem, it can then be addressed to help those who suffer breathe easier.


To learn more about IEC's allergen and IAQ testing and consulting services, 
please visit www.iecinc.net , email ncancino@iecinc.net or call (877) 432-8378.