Air Quality Testing in Ontario

Safe Guard Solutions inspects all the major areas to make your home safe. Here are the areas you can count on us to inspect:

  • Mould Testing
  • Radon Testing
  • Air Quality inspections
  • Water testing

Living a healthy lifestyle nowadays is important for our families. This includes many things, but among the most important is our home. It has to start here because this is where we raise our children, spend most of our time, and not to mention it is the biggest investment of our lives. A healthy home has many different components, and among them are indoor climate (ventilation), environmental qualities (soil gases, radon, water quality), and Electromagnetic Radiation Control. In our homes, we need to control dust, bacteria, viruses, and well-designed ventilation throughout the home really helps to improve all of these things. This can be done by using a better HEPA air filter for your furnace as well as making sure to regularly keep the home free of dust as much as possible.

Who is most at risk from Exposure to Mould?

  • Infants
  • Children
  • Immune-compromised patients
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have respiratory problems
  • People with allergies or asthma

Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Thinking an ordinary dust mask and gloves provides enough protection
  • Thinking you can use bleach to get rid of mould
  • Thinking you can paint over mould to get rid of it
  • Disturbing the mould and releasing mould spores into the air

What is Mould?

Basically, mould is any fungus that grows on moist surfaces or food. In order to grow, mould needs three things:

  1. Moisture
  2. Ideal surfaces and optimal temperatures
  3. Leaky pipes, flooded areas and window sills with excessive condensation

Mould smells:

Mould only smells when it’s off-gassing—while it’s “feeding”. If it’s in an inactive stage, mould doesn’t produce an odour at all. When it is active, it smells like rotting paper or wood. There’s a musty, moist smell to it—sometimes like cedar or wet socks. However, the only way to find out if you have mould for sure is to call us to test for it.

Health risks of indoor mould:

Mould releases spores into the air we breathe. How a person reacts to breathing in these spores depends on the amount of exposure, their age and their overall health. Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible. Those who are allergic to mould or who have respiratory conditions such as asthma are also at risk.

Reactions to mould include:

  • Allergic reactions – watery itchy eyes, runny nose, irritated throat, coughing and rashes
  • Asthma symptoms – shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis – a severe, reoccurring allergic reaction causing lung damage, muscle aches, fever, cough, difficulty breathing and headache

How we test for mould

We run specialized air sampling pumps that run 15 litres of air through a mould spore trap. The test requires a “control” sample which typically is done outdoors. The control is used to compare the inside testing with the outside sample.

The samples are then taken to an accredited 3rd party laboratory for testing, the results are available as quickly as 3 hours later at which time we will call and discuss the results with you and take any steps necessary based on the test results.

Do you know how safe the indoor air of your space is? When it comes to indoor air quality, some homes may have air that is five times more polluted than the outdoors. Some factors like mould growth or asbestos can severely impact the air in your home and that might harm the overall well-being of you and your family. So, to ensure that you breathe fresh and healthy air, our Indoor Air Quality Testing service includes detecting hidden indoor air pollutants that affect your health, followed by taking measures to improve the quality of your indoor air. The process discovers hazardous substances such as mould and asbestos that helps in taking appropriate actions to bring your environment back to a healthy and comfortable space.

Indoor Air Quality Inspections

  • TVOCs
  • Formaldehyde
  • Particulate Matter 2.5
  • Particulate Matter 10
  • Radon
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Legionella


They are a group of compounds with high vapor pressure and low water solubility. In other words, these substances won’t easily bind to themselves (volatile) or dissolve in water (organic). VOCs are emitted as gasses from everyday products such as building materials, maintenance equipment, and custodial products. Many VOCs are harmful to human health, especially over the long term.

  • Benzene – found in tobacco smoke, paint thinner, deodorizers, air fresheners, furniture polish
  • Formaldehyde – found in disinfectants, furniture upholstery, carpets, plywood
  • Ethylene glycol – found in cleaning agents, personal care products, perfumes
  • Methylene chloride – found in spot removers, dry cleaned clothes, fabric cleaners, commercial solvents, air conditioner refrigerant
  • Tetrachloroethylene – used in solvents, dry cleaning, paint strippers
  • Toluene – used in paint, metal cleaners, adhesives
Where do TVOCs come from?

Volatile organic compounds can come from an array of sources, including human-made and natural sources. Because manufacturers utilize VOCs as inorganic solvents, the majority of indoor VOCs come from everyday household and office staples, including:

  • Paints and solvents
  • Cleaners and disinfectants
  • Pesticides
  • Air fresheners
Actionable methods to protect against VOCs
  • Purchase safer alternatives
  • Don’t allow smoking indoors or near building openings
  • Amp up ventilation (mechanical or natural)
  • Use everyday products only as directed
  • Safe storage is indispensable


Formaldehyde is a colourless gas that is emitted mainly from household products and building materials. Formaldehyde is commonly found in indoor air. It can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat and can worsen asthma symptoms, especially in children. When found at high levels in air, as can occur in some workplace environments, it can be detected by a sharp smell and has been associated with cancer of the nasal passageways.

Long-term exposure

The long-term exposure limit protects against health problems that repeated exposure to lower levels of formaldehyde may cause over a long period. We consider a long period to be several months or years. Formaldehyde levels can change over time. The best way to measure long-term exposure levels is by sampling indoor air over a longer period (8 hours or more). Long-term exposure to formaldehyde at levels higher than the recommended exposure limit in indoor air has been associated with:

  • Airway inflammation
  • Increased allergic sensitivity
  • Physician-diagnosed asthma

Our recommended long-term exposure limit aims to protect children with asthma, who may be more sensitive to the effects of formaldehyde. Our recommended exposure limits also protect you against the potential cancer risk.

Short-term exposure

The short-term exposure limit protects against health problems that may arise from exposure to high levels over a short time period (for example, 1 hour). This type of exposure could occur, for example, when working with paint or varnish containing formaldehyde. Our recommended short-term exposure limit is set at 10 times less than the lowest level at which symptoms have been observed, to help protect the most sensitive individuals.


What is Radon? Radon is a radioactive gas that has no smell, colour or taste. Radon is produced from the natural radioactive decay of uranium, which is found in all rocks and soils. Radon can also be found in water. Radon escapes from the ground into the air, where it decays and produces further radioactive particles.

When you breathe in radon, it gets into the lining of your lungs and gives off radiation. Over a long time, that can damage the cells there and lead to lung cancer.

Radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. If you breathe a lot of radon and smoke, your chance of getting lung cancer is very high.

What are the symptoms of radon exposure?

You won’t have symptoms of radon poisoning right away. Instead, health problems from the exposure, such as lung cancer, show up after many years.

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