Particulates

BACKGROUND:

Particulates are solids that range in size from the ash and dirt that falls out of the air to micron-sized (micrometer – millionth of a meter) objects that can be inhaled.  Larger particles above about 10 microns may be removed from the air stream in the upper nose (naso-pharynx area).   Smaller particle approaching 1-5 microns can be readily inhaled and deliver pollutants, irritants, allergens, etc. to the lungs where they may initiate immune/allergic responses, start infections, etc.

Mold spores are among the smaller particles in the 1-10 micron range, which is why they can readily expose humans to the chemicals/irritants they carry.  Since there are no “real time” determinants of mold spores, particulates can become a surrogate in screening spaces for elevated spores (measured as particulates).   In addition, non-biological irritants may occur in the same size range as mold spores; so particulate measurements can play a role as an IAQ screening tool, provided the separate size ranges are tracked.  One area can be compared to another in terms of size-range counts and possibly pinpoint sources of irritants or spores.

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NES services

NES provides particle screening services where size distributions are tracked in various locations, often compared to outdoor readings.  These readings can be carried out in isolation or as a guide to areas where mold spore sampling may be warranted.

© 2017 – Nauset Environmental Services, Inc.

[Indoor Air Quality particles, indoor irritants, indoor allergens]