I am starting with a quote and some information written by Ray Woodcock (CIH) a professionalin environmental health issues.
Are building issues the cause?
- One reason for noticeable dust in a newhome is that debris may get into the ductwork during construction if the ducts are notproperly sealed.This condition might get worse over time as the debris degrades andbecomes more easily dispersed.
- Another thought is that if there is carpet in your home, weoften recommend people with dust allergies (actually dust mite allergies) avoid carpet, as it is a collector of all sorts of dirt and dust.
Then I thought thedust might be laden with chemicals from the offgassing of VOCs (volatile organiccompounds) from a whole host of items such as the cabinetry, glues for the flooring,insulation, paints or sealers.
Beyond the home
- As you live inNebraska I thought perhaps it might be something regional and related to agriculture.
- Hethen recommended doing an ambient air test, EPA TO-15, as a starting point, a methodfor testing VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
- Each of these tests focuses on a specific area, whether it is testing for a particular categoryof chemical, for particulates in the atmosphere, mold spores, dust mites, lead, and so on.
- Each test will cost you roughly $400, and so it would be better to start testing once youget an expert opinion.
Hire a CIH
The more sensible approach is to hire a Certified Industrial Hygienist, (CIH), a highlytrained professional aware of many of the common problems.
- This person would havemet the minimum requirements for education (a BS and an MS) along with practical fieldexperience.
- They would have the required level of knowledge in all aspects of the field, from chemistry, to engineering controls and ventilation, to air sampling.
- I read on one site that in 2009 there were 22 specialists in Nebraska, withsome associated with the University of Nebraska.
- The term Industrial Hygienist is notrestricted by law, so please make sure that he/she is certified with the American Board ofIndustrial Hygienists.