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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. **

Feb
13

How do you clean a washing machine affected by toxic mold?

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toxic mold in NHSmells in washing machines are typically due to toxic mold in NH growing in the tub. New front load washing machines are especially prone because they are completely sealed, and when the door closes, there is no ventilation and therefore no ability for the tub to completely dry out. This is a perfect environment for mold growth. Around 2005 there was a class-action lawsuit against Maytag alleging odor, mold and mildew. The lawsuit was settled by paying money to each of the class participants but the problem was never fully resolved. The mold which was very noticeable on the rubber ring of the Maytag Neptune became abated by changing the color and composition of the rubber.

Today’s washing machines suffer from what I call “Stinky Washer Syndrome.” It’s a combination of poor ventilation, combined with modern detergents and fabric softeners which do not kill toxic mold in NH and bacteria and in fact promote the growth of these microbes. Also, we have what is in our laundry to add to the potpourri of smells.

There are harsh chemicals that can be used in the washing machine on a weekly basis to combat the problem, but they are expensive and are harmful to the environment, especially those with septic systems. The best way is to use the same method used by most major hospitals and hotels. It’s called ozone laundry. It’s the same technology a hospital will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain but now scaled down for residential washing. The product is called pureWash Pro, and it’s available directly from the manufacturer here.

Ozone is 3000 times more potent than chlorine, and it allows you to do laundry in cold water with little or no detergent. Hospitals use ozone, washing critical linens in cold water because scientific studies have shown that ozone in cold water can disinfect better than 168°F water and bleach combined. That same pathogen killing power is available for your home laundry, and one of the benefits is no more stinky washer.

Because of reduced use of detergent, and because of using cold water rather than warm or hot, a typical family of four can save over $600 per year. The company offers a money back satisfaction guarantee.

When you encounter toxic mold in NH and need solutions, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.

**All words and information courtesy of Quora and Allen Johnston.**

Jan
29

Toys ‘R’ Us Recalls 6,000 Clay Craft Kits Over Mold Risk

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toxic mold in NHToys “R” Us recalled about 6,000 “totally me!” clay craft kits after mold appeared in the clay, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

There have been three reports of mold in clay and no reported injuries. Consumers should stop using the clay craft kits immediately and return them to any Toys “R” Us or Babies “R” Us store for a refund or store credit.

Mold found in this product poses respiratory risks and infections to people who have “compromised” immune systems, lung damage or a mold allergy, according to the safety commission. That is why it is imperative to ensure products are free of toxic mold in NH before you buy.

After confirming reports of mold in Australia, the US, and Germany, Toys “R” Us reported the finding to the commission, the company said. “While it was a small number of consumers affected, we took the incidents seriously and quickly removed the products from our shelves.”

The “totally me!” kits were sold by Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores and online throughout the United States from January to October 2017 for just over $10. Model number AD11244 is on the bottom of the box. They were manufactured in China.

To combat toxic mold in NH and ensure your home and belongings are free of it, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773. We’re experts when it comes to toxic mold in NH and can give you the answers you need to stay healthy.

**All words and information courtesy of CNN and Victoria Larned.**

Jan
18

Four Things To Do After Water Damage

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mold testingWhen you and your family face the aftermath of excess water damage, it can be overwhelming. It’s essential, however, that in the midst of all of the chaos you take the steps you need to bring your home back to a manageable state. Purely Green Environmental understands that this is also a prime time for mold growth so prompt action is prudent. From mold testing and beyond, here are some tips you can use to make your home safer.

 

Take Photos

If the damage is beyond a simple remedy or low-cost fix, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. Take the time to photograph the damage done so you can properly file a claim. That way, the insurance company has documentation and be able to assist you in the best way possible.

Get Mold Testing

When excess water leaks into your home, it will cause substantial mold growth. It’s challenging to manage mold, but with quality mold testing from Purely Green Environmental, you’ll know what you’re dealing with and learn about industry standard solutions after we assess it. Most of the time, you will need to hire a certified mold remediation company but occasionally the mold growth is minor and can be tackled by the homeowner.

Wear Protective Clothing

Mold can have adverse effects on health, which is not a surprise to anyone. However, you can safely navigate your home with protective clothing after a professional deems the space habitable. With protective clothing, you can begin the process of emptying the contents of your wet basement and have temporary protection you need. However, if you have mold illness, there is no safe way to work in your wet basement and you will need to hire a certified mold remediator for that task.

Install Waterproofing

It is a good idea to be proactive before your basement succumbs to water damage, so getting some peace of mind is well worth the price. Many companies offer waterproofing products so talk to them about pricing and what they can do for you. It’s well worth it.

Excess moisture is never ideal, but restoring your home after it seeps in is still possible if you take the proper precautions. For mold testing that you can trust, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.

Dec
19

Three Ways To Make Humidifiers Effective For Your Home

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air purifiers Many people buy humidifiers to make their homes warmer and moisturized during the colder months. They believe it is entirely safe and effective and work as well as air purifiers. However, they are not as effective as one may think. When left unattended, humidifiers are a breeding ground for mold and other bacteria that can cause significant health issues. Still, it’s not all bad news: you can make your humidifier work well. All it takes is a bit of extra work.

 

 

1.) Try to stay away from portable humidifiers

Portability may be convenient, but having a humidifier built into your HVAC system is slightly more efficient and healthy for your home. Make sure that if you want a portable humidifier for symptom relief, you speak at length with a mold expert so your health does not get affected.

 

2.) Maintenance

Like anything else, consistent upkeep can make all of the difference in functionality and effectiveness. Take the time to observe your humidifier and see if there is mold or yeast growth in the vents, air blades, or depository tanks. Clean your humidifier daily with disinfectants like EnzyMagic201 or vinegar and water, and you’ll decrease the risk of harmful bacteria circling your home. Distilled water also helps: it doesn’t stop mold from growing, but reduces the white film minerals leave after they deposit.

 

3.) Independent third-party testing

If you have any doubts about the condition of your humidifier(s), you can always call an expert like Purely Green Environmental. We’ll step in as an independent third-party tester to observe the status of your humidifier, then suggest a remedy. Whether it’s new air purifiers or continued maintenance, we’ll be able to tell you if a humidifier is ultimately safe for you and your family.

 

 

While humidifiers aren’t nearly as efficient as certified air purifiers, there are ways you can make them safer and more efficient for your home. For quality air testing, mold inspections, and more, look to Purely Green Environmental. Give us a call at (888)-291-3773.

  

Nov
27

How The NH Standard of Care Impacts Mold Testing in NH

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mold testing in NHIn 2012, a group of New Hampshire public health officials, medical professionals, indoor air quality consultants, and other concerned individuals came together to establish standards that provide a safe and healthy environment for the public. The NH Standard of Care was born out of a necessity to regulate mold and make mold testing in NH even more useful.

The development came from their concern over lack of mold and indoor quality regulation in New Hampshire inhabitants’ homes. As they convened, they drew up the Standard of Care and assembled the “Mold Task Force” with the primary goal of providing comprehensive information about mold. The information they wanted for the public included pertinent info about mold causes, health effects, preventative measures, and the mold industry at large.

Thanks to their tireless effort, mold testing in NH has become more advanced. Now, professionals need certification before they open a practice facility. The Task Force also implemented the necessity of third party testing through their Code of Ethics. This measure ensures that any test results from services are unbiased, factual, and hold the mold testing professional accountable.

Regulation of the mold testing industry was a significant goal while creating the NH Standard of Care, but protecting individuals in New Hampshire has also become a prevalent issue. The Task Force has declared that exposure to indoor health indeed leads to poor health especially in the very young, elderly and immune-compromised populations of New Hampshire. As a result, education has become a goal. It seeks to provide answers to the following questions. What causes mold? How can you prevent it? Who should you hire? These were all concerns that the Standard of Care addressed.

Mold is a serious problem that many people experience but do not fully understand. However there are plenty of answers in the NH Standard of Care. It has changed the future of mold testing in NH as we know it and given the mold industry the prominence necessary to enact substantial change. For more information about mold testing in NH, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.