Furniture, open windows and pets can spoil your life.
Unfortunately, this story involves office workers always complaining about headaches which brought in experts to test the air quality. It was discovered that the office's floating ceiling emitted toxic substances; not a rare phenomenon. The situation can be equally bad at home. People make expensive repairs in their apartments, and then experience health issues. I decided to test the air quality in my own Montreal apartment.
I applied to the health and epidemiology center and waited for when they would come to test the air. The laboratory called me back a week later.
"We've got your request, and we would like to know what your complaints are."
I told them about the headache. The next morning they came for testing. Experts with big bags for the expertise rang my door.
After she broguth out a device that reminded me of a vintage tape recorder, from its case. The woman began to distribute rubber wires protruding from it. Every wire had its own cone.
"Every cone contains its own reagent and the apartment air passes through pipes. The same device is standing outside now. We are testing the air quality both inside and outside," the lab expert explained to me.
The whole procedure took about forty minutes.
While my apartment was being tested, I decided to ask the experts what they found in the air.
"We test the air for formalin, ammonia, nitrogen, CO2, carbonic acid and hydrogen sulphide. Most often, we discover an excess of formalin in houses. This substance comes into houses from outside. Houses which are located along motorways have excessive concentrations of this substance in the air. And ammonia is the substance that forms directly inside the house, mainly if owners keep pets. Cats and dogs, even most trained ones, mark the space nevertheless. Even if the pet doesn't live at home for a long time, the remains of ammonia molecules are still present in the house air. No detergents will help you to remove this toxic substance. Throw away your old furniture, redo your floors - only in such way you can make your apartment absolutely clean," the expert told me.
"But it's pity to throw away the furniture!" I exclaimed.
"We are hired mainly by those who have recently bought a house and now want to know whether it's ok to live here or not. We also often come to test the air quality in houses of those who have bought the low-quality furniture and now want to sue the manufacturer."
After a week, I found results of the expertise in my mailbox: They hadn't found anything toxic except the excessive formalin in the air of my apartment.
"You live not far from the avenue and the excessive formalin is the result of the polluted air on motorways and city roads," the laboratory experts explained to me.
The chief of the air quality testing lab research, Audrey de Witt says:
"Sources for chemical air pollution in the room, except people, can be building materials, furniture, carpets, kitchen and electronic equipment, home appliances, cleaning liquids and detergents, clothes, shoes and even ventilation and air conditioning systems. There are several hundreds formulas that can be potential air pollutants in the house. Taking into account your complaints, our experts choose the reagents needed for air quality testing. Formalin, ammonia, nitrogen, CO2, carbonic acid and hydrogen sulphate are most wide-spread substances which are looked for and found in houses and apartments of Montreal."