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Sep
12

Signs of Toxic Mold

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Mold is everywhere in the outdoor environment. There are over 100,000 identified species of mold out there, and not all of them are toxic. Some are even used in medicine! So how do you know which ones are dangerous and which are okay? Generally speaking, you don’t want any form of mold growing in your home. Here at Purely Green Environmental, we’re dedicated to providing quality toxic mold testing for your home.

Keep it Outside

As stated above, mold is bountiful in outdoor environments. The fungi are necessary for a balanced ecosystem but can wreak havoc once inside. They thrive on cellulose-based objects, like wooden furniture or a wet carpet. Not only can the spores take over your space, but they can also become a health hazard when airborne. Inhaling mold spores can cause respiratory issues like coughing and trouble breathing.

Moisture Problems

Mold is a result of excessive moisture in your home and can be present in any area where water isn’t given a chance to dry. Studies show that up to 50% of households have unknown moisture problems – each of which has the potential to explode into a mold epidemic. Performing routine air quality tests for toxic mold is important to keeping your home healthy.

Importance of Air Quality Testing

The good news is that early identification can drastically reduce the cost of remediation. Additionally, once the source of moisture is resolved, there is less of a chance for the mold to come back. This means that you only need to address the problem once if you do it right. The experts here at Purely Green will perform both an initial assessment and post-remediation assessment to ensure all the toxic mold is removed from your home. We can even provide quotes and recommendations for remediation specialists so you can choose the one that’s right for you.

Toxic mold removal is extremely time sensitive. Identifying mold growth in its early stages means that it’s concentrated in a smaller area, so there is a smaller remediation cost. Additionally, you can probably avoid drastic and costly measures if the problem is caught early. Call (603) 886-0345 to speak with a mold testing expert here at Purely Green.

Aug
25

Best Time for MA Mold Testing

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Mold can be present any time of the year – especially in New England. Our unpredictable weather means that there is no “perfect” time for mold to appear. But understanding the conditions that can allow mold to flourish in your home can help you be prepared 365 days a year. Additionally, performing regular MA mold testing will minimize the effect possible mold has on your health and home.

What Conditions Cause Mold?

Mold spores thrive in a dark, damp environment. Areas like basements, attics, and crawl spaces make the perfect environment for growth. With that in mind, wet seasons like spring and summer have the highest rates of problems. Mold season is considered to be from spring to late fall and peaks in July. In colder temperatures mold can go dormant, but it doesn’t “die” like other living organisms left out in the cold. It will quickly become active again once the weather warms up.

When Should I Test?

Although mold can cause problems in every season, your mold problem is likely to be at its worst in the summertime. This means you should schedule MA mold testing for your home during the warmer months. We can help you identify and remedy problems that have already occurred as well as prevent them from getting worse. Calling earlier in the season allows you time to “mold proof” your home before the humidity and high temperatures hit.

What Should I Do If I See Mold?

If you identify mold in your home, it’s best to contact a remediation specialist as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem and allowing it to flourish will only make it more difficult to eradicate. Additionally, you will be exposing yourself and your family to potential harm. Once the remediation is complete, the experts here at Purely Green will perform a post-remediation test to ensure the mold is eliminated.

No matter the season, it’s important to address mold issues sooner rather than later. Our staff is dedicated to educating our customers and providing them with the tools necessary to know exactly what’s going on in their home and to feel safe. For more information, call (603) 886-0345 to speak with one of our MA mold testing experts.

Aug
12

The Six Steps of Our MA Air Quality Testing

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Here at Purely Green Environmental, we take a somewhat different approach to air quality testing. Backed by degrees in both chemistry and biology, we use our scientific backgrounds to do more than identify the problem. We will also provide solutions to resolve and prevent it from recurring. Our education instilled a comprehensive and systematic way to solve problems, and our MA air quality testing is no different. We use a step by step process to make sure we find the source of the contamination and use the correct procedures to fix it.

Gathering Information

The first step to solving any puzzle is to gather as much information as you can. We listen to our customers and understand that you know your home better than anyone. Our expert staff wants to know it all – your home’s history, any potential ventilation problems or water damage, and even any symptoms a family member is experiencing. This data will help in your overall assessment and developing the best course of action.

Visit the Scene & Test the Evidence

Every good detective knows you have to visit the scene to gather information firsthand. You can think of our MA air quality testing experts like mold detectives – they try to find the suspect before it causes any additional damage. This usually takes 1-4 hours, depending on the size of your space. They keep their eyes open for signs of water damage and mold growth. Our staff will also perform lab tests on air samples taken from your home to determine the presence of airborne contaminants.

Solve the Problem

Once the results are in, we’ll convey them to you in the easiest way possible. This allows you to understand what caused the mold growth and how to fix it. Our team also provides you with quotes for remediation specialists in your area so that you can find the best service for your home. After remediation is complete, our team returns to your home and completes a post-remediation assessment.

It’s important to feel safe and comfortable in your home. Let us help you get that peace of mind. For more information, call (603) 886-0345 to speak with a member of our team.

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Jul
29

Dangers of Black Mold in Boston MA

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Here at Purely Green Environmental, we’re trained to identify the signs of black mold in Boston, MA, allowing you to remediate the problem and feel safe in your home. If you suspect your home may have a mold problem, call someone sooner rather than later. Delaying remediation can cause the damage to be exponentially worse.

What Does Mold Look Like?

Mold is abundant and grows easily outdoors, but finding mold indoors can be cause for concern. If you can visually see the mold  or you smell something musty, it’s possible you have growth in your home. There are various types of mold, characterized by a fuzzy, leathery, or cottony texture, and can be white, gray, green, pink or black.

What Are the Dangers of Black Mold?

Black mold in Boston, MA is especially dangerous because of its toxicity to human health, as well as the potential for structural damage. Black mold releases spores as it feeds on organic material. This food can be a range of building materials, including insulation, drywall, or carpet. Damage to drywall and insulation can cause your home to become less insulated, raising heating and cooling costs year round. Your home is susceptible to this type of damage if its exposed to too much moisture and is unable to dry correctly.

Black mold can also be expensive to have removed, so the sooner you identify the problem, the less opportunity that it has spread.

Concerning your health, black mold inhalation traditionally causes respiratory problems, such as coughing and sneezing, as well as eye irritation. Headaches and fatigue can also be symptoms of black mold exposure. As in building damage, more prolonged exposure can cause more severe health problems.

If you suspect your home may have a mold problem, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Consider an air quality assessment from the professionals here at Purely Green Environmental to diagnose your black mold in Boston, MA properly.

Jul
15

Importance of Formaldehyde Testing  

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Air quality testing in Massachusetts from Purely Green EnvironmentalMore and more people and organizations alike are being more conscious of what kinds of chemicals they come into contact with and in what form. Formaldehyde is a chemical commonly found in embalming fluid and cigarettes, but it can be present in other products as well. At Purely Green Environmental, we perform a variety of air quality assessments, including MA formaldehyde testing, to ensure our clients that they are living in a safe and healthy environment.

What Is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde at room temperature is a colorless, gaseous substance that is flammable and odorless. It is commonly used as an adhesive in pressed wood and as a bonding agent in some glues. It can also be found in a variety of shampoos, nail polishes, different types of ink, deodorant, and even paper towels. But most people’s exposure to the chemical comes from polymers that are used in materials used to build and furnish homes.

What Are the Effects of Exposure?

Prolonged exposure can cause serious health issues, and that is why MA formaldehyde testing is so essential for your home. It can cause respiratory problems such as coughing and sneezing, as well as nausea and headaches. It can also be a skin and eye irritant and a carcinogen.

Where Is It Found?

Formaldehyde presence is more substantial with the use of new furniture and in newly built homes but will diminish over time. To speed up this process, consider opening your windows for a few minutes, allowing fresh air to circulate your home. You can also minimize your exposure by not allowing people to smoke in your house, use exhaust fans as much as possible, and choose products with low or no formaldehyde levels.If you’ve purchased textiles like curtains, wash them before use. You can also place your furniture in a non-living space, like a patio or garage until it no longer has a chemical smell. 

The professionals here at Purely Green Environmental are dedicated to providing you with highest quality MA formaldehyde testing. Call us at (603) 886-0345 to learn more or to set up an appointment.

May
29

Four of the Pollutants Houseplants Absorb To Improve Air Quality

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air quality testing in MassachusettsToo often when we provide air quality testing in Massachusetts, we discover numerous pollutants that are dangerous and compromise the health of those living in each affected space. Since particles are impossible to see, it’s not easy to maintain air quality without the help of an expert. However, there is one small thing you can do to make an impact: buy house plants. Surprisingly, some houseplants can absorb pollutants that would be harmful if spread. There are plenty of low-maintenance options, from spider plants to bamboo palms. If you haven’t invested in plants yet, you may want to after realizing which pollutants can get managed better with them.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is very common in homes. It’s one of the most common pollutants found indoors and often causes nasal or eye irritation, it impacts allergies and asthma and also has neurological effects in some cases. Its popularity in building materials and furniture makes it a threat to indoor air quality that cannot go unaddressed.

Benzene

This pollutant is often part of vehicle exhaust systems, cigarette smoke, detergents, and more. Even small levels of exposure can lead to unconsciousness, headaches, dizziness, and other unfortunate side effects that compromise health. Along with formaldehyde, it is considered a human carcinogen.

Xylene

Rather than a carcinogen, xylene is a toxic solvent. Xylene is present in paints, thinners, gasoline, and more. Whether you expose yourself to xylene for a short or long period, the effects are enough to warrant air quality testing in Massachusetts. Short-term exposure can cause dizziness, headaches, and other irritations. Long-term exposure ushers in dangerous side effects like liver damage or respiratory failure in some cases.

Trichloroethylene

Much like xylene, trichloroethylene can appear in household items. Some of the most common are wood stains, finishes, paint removers, cleaners, and more. It is a carcinogen as well with substantial impact. Minimal exposure to trichloroethylene leads to throat irritation, nausea, and other adverse effects that are similar to those of formaldehyde or benzene.

It may be a bit frightening to consider how many chemicals can affect air quality, but it’s excellent that houseplants like peace lilies, Boston ferns, or other plants can absorb them. While only thorough air quality testing can diagnose and repair any indoor air quality issues, plants can sometimes lessen the impact of dangerous pollutants. For expert air quality testing in Massachusetts that will provide the answers you need, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.

May
14

Why A Visual Inspection Matters During Mold Testing

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mold testingThough it is multi-faceted and should get handled by experts, mold seems relatively straightforward. It’s visible, you know where it is, and most people know how mold looks. So, why does a professional visual inspection or mold testing matter? Well to start, experts like Purely Green Environmental know what to do when dealing with mold. Also, we have enough experience to make a visual inspection so much more than a simple glance at surroundings.

 

Knowledge

To the uninitiated, all mold probably looks similar. However, that is not true. There are a variety of species and sizes that experts know and study. Our expertise and attention to details serve us well during a visual inspection so if we see something suspicious, and we know that is an important place to sample. We’ll be able to identify what you’re dealing with and understand what growth patterns could occur.

Insight

As you hire an expert for mold testing, they will guide you through the process and share information with you that helps you become more aware of your surroundings. As such, you’ll learn more about mold and how to spot it. No one can become an expert overnight, but a bit of insight can help you determine how severe a mold problem is when you need to get help.

Growth patterns

Since people like Purely Green Environmental know all about mold, they understand how it grows and behavioral patterns of each type of mold. While it may seem like the mold is designated to one area, the growth pattern may go beyond what you see. A thorough visual inspection can lead to the reduction of mold in all areas of a space, not just what you see in front of you.

Solutions

It’s easy enough to guess that cleaning up mold and moving on with your day is a concrete solution. However, that may not be the proper solution for the problem at hand. Visual inspection provides a complete picture of the mold in your home that enables an expert to present a plan that addresses every facet of growth and gets rid of the mold for good.

While visual inspections seem pretty straightforward, only an expert can provide clarity and insight into the condition of your home. For quality testing and solutions, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773 and see what we can do for you today.

Apr
30

Four Things To Do When Air Quality Is Poor

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Air quality testing in MassachusettsThe air in your home is ingested every day by all of those who inhabit the space. It’s crucial then that you take the time to assess air quality every so often to ensure that what you breathe in is healthy and safe for everyone. If you notice yourself getting sick, struggling to breathe, or something of the like, you probably know it’s time to think of a solution to make the air around you healthier. Purely Green Environmental is happy to provide air quality testing in Massachusetts, so bear that in mind and follow these suggestions.

Assess Your Habits

Have you ever thought about what you may be doing to contribute to air quality? We all have habits and routines that we get used to, but some can be damaging. Smoking, not cleaning often, and using low-grade equipment (ineffective humidifiers, for example) are just a few of the habits people pick up that can leave a lasting mark.

Call An Expert

Thanks to the rise of DIY culture many people call themselves experts. However, there is no substitute for honest and knowledgeable professionals like Purely Green Environmental who can provide proper air quality testing in Massachusetts to fill in the blanks and offer solutions. We’ll be happy to help you and provide suggestions, so you don’t see this issue return.

Make the “Green” Switch

There’s no doubt that when we shop for cleaning supplies or similar items, we don’t aim to buy things that are dangerous on purpose. Still, we encounter plenty of hazardous chemicals on a daily basis without even realizing it. As you use cleaning products that have toxic chemicals, you pollute the air with them. Take the time to research green alternatives so you can have confidence that the products you use are environmentally-friendly. We suggest Purely Green Home Products.

Check Ventilation

As air travels in and out of your home, it should get appropriately ventilated. If your ventilation systems are faulty, the air can quickly become much more stagnant and unhealthy. That’s why a visual inspection from a professional is critical.

If the air quality in your home is fair or poor, you do need to make some changes, but you don’t have to panic. Call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773 for unbiased and detailed air quality testing in Massachusetts.

Apr
23

Professional Mold Testing vs. DIY

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mold testingIt seems that in almost every corner of the internet there is a tutorial aimed at the average person to help them accomplish everyday tasks. It’s not hard to see why going DIY is appealing: you get to save money, have complete control over the process, and gain some experience throughout the project. That’s well and good for something like altering clothing or learning how to play an instrument, but is a bad idea for something as serious as mold testing. It is far better to invest in professional testing from Purely Green Environmental than to try and figure it out yourself.

GOING DIY: Lack of subject knowledge

HIRING A PROFESSIONAL: Valuable education and experience 

While it’s not too hard to scour the internet for essential mold facts, it doesn’t compare to the years of dedication and study professionals gather over the years. A professional company will have every bit of knowledge you need to eradicate excess mold and improve air quality – not just bits and pieces.

GOING DIY: Errors can be detrimental

HIRING A PROFESSIONAL: A trusted, well-executed process

Unless you’re an expert in the field, there’s no way you could have the same knowledge about mold testing as a professional. So, when you attempt to get rid of mold yourself, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll make mistakes along the way. Using incorrect solutions can have serious health consequences.

GOING DIY: Household or easily found supplies

HIRING A PROFESSIONAL: Quality, effective equipment

There are indeed some well-made products on the market for consumers, but they are not nearly as effective as the equipment and solutions that professionals have at their disposal. When we come to test mold and assess your home, we have all of the necessities and access to the best tools to access the problem.

GOING DIY: More time, effort, and money spent

HIRING A PROFESSIONAL: A finite cost that eliminates the problem

Spending more and more on DIY mold removal goes hand in hand with errors. If you continue to make the same mistakes, you’ll have to keep spending money to try and solve the problem. However, when you hire Purely Green Environmental, you’ll only pay for the service you need that provides a sustainable solution. Isn’t that better than wasting time, money, and effort?

People have become enamored with the simplicity and effectiveness of doing things yourself, but there are some cases where it simply does not work. For mold testing guaranteed to provide the correct results, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.

Mar
28

“Non-Toxic” Scented Products Emit Toxic Chemicals

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Air quality testing in Massachusetts from Purely GreenFrom hair products to laundry detergents to diapers, we live in a world of fragrance that might be making us sick and impacts results from air quality testing in Massachusetts, suggests a new study, even when those scents come from products that claim to be natural and pure.

In an analysis of 25 of the most commonly used scented products — including ones labeled “organic,” “natural” or “non-toxic” — scientists identified at least 133 chemicals were wafting off of them. A quarter of those chemicals became classified as hazardous or toxic. Virtually none got listed on product labels.

Along with prior evidence that nearly a third of Americans develop headaches, breathing problems and other symptoms when exposed to scented products, the new findings suggest that trying to smell nice threatens both your health and the health of people around you.

“‘Natural’ does not mean ‘no synthetic chemicals,'” said lead author Anne Steinemann, a civil and environmental engineer at the University of Washington in Seattle. “‘Green’ does not mean safe or healthy. ‘Fragrance-free’ does not mean non-toxic or without fragrance. There are a lot of paradoxes and surprises here.”

For years, doctors have been hearing from patients that they cannot tolerate the smell of fragrances. More than dislike or repulsion, these people get migraines, have asthma attacks, develop rashes or even pass out in the presence of perfume, air fresheners and other products that smell.

“I saw a three-year-old boy have seizures every time his neighbor used scented laundry detergent that vented outdoors,” Steinemann said. “I wanted to figure out what was in these products.”

She and colleagues collected 25 of the most commonly bought scented products, including dishwashing detergents, fabric softeners, deodorants, baby shampoos and cleaning products. Nearly a half of the products had some “green” labeling.

In sealed glass containers, the researchers meticulously measured all of the gaseous chemicals, called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that came out of each product. They recorded only emissions that appeared in significant amounts.

In total, the products emitted 133 different chemicals, the team reported in the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review, with an average of 17 chemicals off-gassing from each one.

Twenty-four of the VOCs became classified as toxic or hazardous under at least one federal law. Eleven of the products emitted chemicals that are known carcinogens. Some of the chemicals are not safe at any level of exposure, which is why air quality testing in Massachusetts is so crucial.

Results were the same for both traditional and green products. In fact, all of the natural products emitted at least two VOCs that were hazardous or toxic. A third of them emitted at least one carcinogen.

Only one of the 133 identified chemicals appeared on any label anywhere. Just two chemicals appeared on safety data sheets. Some labels offered vague references to “cleaning agents,” “softeners,” “fragrances” or “essential oils.” But many listed none at all, which by law, is OK.

“If these were coming out of a smokestack or a tailpipe, they would be regulated,” Steinemann said. “If they are in a hand soap or air freshener, they are not.”

Industry groups insist their scented products are safe.

“The article unnecessarily alarms the public with insinuations of danger,” wrote the International Fragrance Association in response to Steinemann’s study.

“Fragrance materials are safe,” the statement continued. “The industry is strongly committed to science and safety, spending significant annual resources on peer-reviewed studies and testing of ingredients.”

Seventh Generation, a well-known and environmentally minded company that produces personal care and cleaning products, some that are unscented, says it lists every ingredient in its products, including the essential oils it uses as fragrances.

“We use very low levels of fragrances in our products because we recognize that these are volatile organic compounds and that we inhale them,” said Martin Wolf, a chemist, and director of sustainability at Seventh Generation, in Burlington, Vt. “A company should be proud of what it’s putting in its bottles.”

Nevertheless, Steinemann said, essential oils emit VOCs just like synthetic fragrances do. And they carry many of the same risks. Every company she has contacted, she added, has assured her that their scented products are within safe limits, even though her tests on their products have shown otherwise.

The new paper did not directly address the health risks of scented products, but some scientists are concerned.

About 5 percent of the population is entirely intolerant to fragrances, to the point where the condition drastically affects their lives, said Claudia Miller, an expert in environmental health and allergies at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Studies have shown that up to 30 percent of us are sensitive in some way, she added, with symptoms ranging from headaches to trouble concentrating. And that number has been growing.

Babies and children are especially vulnerable. And repeated low-level exposures appear able to trigger problems in people who were previously not bothered by smells.

“The feeling is growing that you shouldn’t be putting these things in environments where everyone is exposed,” Miller said. Like second-hand tobacco smoke, she said, scented products expose people to hazards against their will. “Your right to wear fragrance ends at my nose.”

Steinemann advises using old-fashioned alternatives to scented products, such as baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. When you do buy bottled products, get ones without scents.

“I wish you could see the hundreds of e-mails I’ve gotten from people with absolutely heartbreaking and devastating stories,” she said. “They have lost their jobs, their homes, and their families because people wouldn’t stop using these products. These are really tragic stories about people’s lives.”

For air quality testing in Massachusetts that can provide some insight and ways to improve your health, contact Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.

**All words and information courtesy of Emily Sohn and NBC News. **