California Residents Advised of How Wood-Burning Fireplaces May Impact Their Indoor Air Quality
LA Testing provides important information, analytical services and air monitoring equipment to identify indoor pollutants from fireplaces.
With cool evening temperatures across California, many people have begun using their wood-burning fireplaces for warmth and ambience when burn restrictions are not in place. These wood-burning restrictions are put in place in many congested areas when pollution from particulate matter is forecast to be high.
Just as wood-burning fireplaces can add to pollution levels outdoors, they can also create indoor air quality (IAQ) issues if the fireplace is not operating properly. Combustion gases and particulates can enter a home from a chimney and flue that has been improperly installed or maintained. Pollutants from fireplaces and wood stoves with no dedicated outdoor air supply can even back-draft from the chimney into the home.
“Smoke from a wood-burning fireplace may smell pleasant to many people, but it’s not good for people to breathe in their home.” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “Even small amounts of smoke from a fireplace that is not working properly can cause issues, but children, the elderly and people with lung diseases such as asthma and COPD, are particularly vulnerable.”
In addition to the obvious hazards associated with carbon monoxide, a significant health issue associated with wood-burning fires comes from fine particulate matter. These microscopic particles can easily get into people’s eyes and respiratory system. Particulate matter can also create ghosting effects on walls and materials when it settles in a home. In addition, wood smoke can contain harmful air pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde and other chemicals.
LA Testing provides a wide range of analytical services to identify indoor pollutants from faulty fireplaces. Services include testing for smoke residues, soot and combustion gases and air monitoring equipment for particulates and carbon monoxide are available. LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about fireplaces and IAQ issues that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/PwbMAjgzDAM.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other substances. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.