January 2015
Indoor Environmental News
Preventing Indoor Air Quality Issues during Construction  
Last month, The Southeast Texas Record published an article about a new home builder being sued by a League City woman's insurance company.  According to the article, the lawsuit claims that the builder's negligence caused multiple water damage events that have totaled over $70,000.


Water damage can not only harm building materials and personal belongings, but it can also result in the growth of mold and even structural damage.  To help prevent cases like this, Indoor Environmental Consultants offers regularly scheduled inspections during various phases of construction in residential, commercial and institutional buildings.  These inspections specifically target and identify conditions that could impact a structure's indoor air quality (IAQ) due to water damage events and other issues.  Observation reports are provided to the construction manager and architect by IEC so that recommended remedial actions may be implemented before the condition is obscured or actually causes problems.


"Water intrusion during construction is an inevitable aspect of new construction," said Hollis L. Horner, President, Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc.  "Rain, humidity, dew and other moisture sources can impact building materials in all phases of construction, from materials delivery and storage to open air construction prior to a building's enclosure.  With any moisture intrusion comes the possibility of mold growth which can be quickly amplified by potential design or construction defects."


IEC also offers proactive baseline testing services prior to building occupancy which can help to insure that the indoor air quality has not been impacted by construction activities.  Pre-occupancy testing includes total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, formaldehyde, lead, cypermethrin, total fungal bioaerosols, large and small airborne particulates, radon and ozone.  Temperature and relative humidity measurements are also recorded to insure the appropriate functioning of the HVAC system.  This testing is not only useful in verifying acceptable indoor air quality for the health and safety of the building occupants, but can also establish a defensible position to assist in any potential future litigation against the project's architects and builders. 


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.



Texas Indoor Air Quality Professionals Identify Legionella Risks 

Recently, multiple media outlets have reported on the tragic case of a Texas newborn who developed Legionnaires' disease and passed away early last year.  The infant was born during a water birth that some health experts believe may have exposed the child to the bacteria that causes the disease.


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Each year, between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease in the U.S. However, many infections are not diagnosed or reported, so this number may be higher." Legionnaires' disease can exhibit symptoms like many other forms of pneumonia, so it can be hard to diagnose at first. Signs of the disease can include a high fever, chills and a cough. Some people may also suffer from muscle aches and headaches.


Legionnaires' disease is caused by a type of bacteria known as Legionella.  It is found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found in cooling towers, hot water tanks, plumbing systems, decorative fountains and hot tubs.


People can get Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in a mist or water droplets that have been contaminated with Legionella. Fortunately, it can be identified proactively by testing water sources.  If an outbreak has already occurred, testing can help to quickly pinpoint the source of the pathogen to prevent further infections.

IEC provides Legionella and other indoor air quality (IAQ) testing and consulting services for residential, commercial and institutional properties across Texas and the Gulf Coast.  To learn more about IEC's services,  please visit www.iecinc.net, email ncancino@iecinc.net or call (877) 432-8378.