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Archive for air quality testing Massachusetts

Oct
12

The Importance of Choosing an Independent Testing Firm

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Here at Purely Green Environmental, we are committed to helping our clients’ lead a healthier lifestyle by identifying airborne problems in their homes. Our scientific air quality testing process helps us accurately identify what’s in the air. From there we can recommend ways to cleanse the air. From mold to bacteria to chemical pollutants, we can help you take steps to a cleaner home and healthier you.

What is an independent testing firm?

An independent testing firm will test your home and make suggestions about how to remedy the situation without actually doing it for you. The benefit here is that you don’t have to worry about any conflict of interest or making any exaggerations.

Why should I choose an independent firm over a “jack of all trades” company?

Like we said above, our air quality testing process allows us to identify problematic contaminants in the air in your home scientifically. These include bacteria, mold and chemicals. Once we recognize these problems, we can help guide you to find a solution.

How Do I Know It’s Gone?

We’ll come back! After you complete the remediation, we’ll return and perform a secondary assessment to ensure dangerous molds are gone. This ensures there is no bias. We want the air quality in your home to be the best it can be, regardless of the method necessary to get there.

Choosing an independent testing firm to complete your air quality testing will make you feel confident that any mold in your home is gone or is at normal levels. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (603) 345-1900.

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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.

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. **

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.**