California Fires: Is the Air O.K. At Home?

(DGIwire) – As 2017 drew to a close, the damage wrought by California’s wildfires was truly phenomenal—and continuing to spread. According to CNN, by mid-December the fires had destroyed more than 1,000 structures since igniting; cumulatively, the blazes were larger in size than New York City and Boston combined, or bigger than Singapore. At least 95,000 residents of Southern California had been evacuated to remove them from harm’s way.

As dramatic as the blazes themselves, so will be the cleanup that follows them. Those structures that were not destroyed but that sit in the vicinity of the blazes will need to have their air quality evaluated before being safely reoccupied. Strong winds spread smoke and soot contaminants across huge areas and into people’s homes and offices. Burning buildings can contain plastics from siding and other synthetic materials such as foam insulation, asbestos and wood products, all of which, in the form of smoke and soot, pose risks.

“Residual soot and smoke adversely affect buildings, leaving residue on walls, ceilings, floors, carpets, furniture and clothes,” says Greg Sancoff, founder and CEO of Live Pure, a designer and manufacturer of products that help consumers assess the quality, health and safety of their indoor environments. “Further, smoke is filled with tiny particles, or particulate matter known as PM2.5 that can get into lungs. Research has shown that this may cause coughing, trigger asthma symptoms and may be linked to cancer. Although traditional methods of air quality assessment involve extensive cost and time, new technology makes this necessary task easier, faster and more affordable.”

Live Pure has created yogí™ and yogi-go™, which represent brand new, do-it-yourself, all-in-one air and water test kits for residential and commercial customers respectively. In just a few easy steps, individuals can test for the presence of nine environmental contaminants and toxins in homes and commercial buildings—including asbestos, mold, allergens, lead, radon, VOCs and formaldehyde in the air, as well as lead and copper levels in the drinking water. For indoor spaces larger than 2,000 square feet, or to test specific rooms, extra tests can be purchased separately.

The test is extremely simple to use and comes with an easy-to-operate instrument, color-coded sampling system and step-by-step instruction manual. Homeowners or business owners collect their samples in just minutes (radon testing takes 48 hours), then send the samples to an independent, certified laboratory, which then emails a full lab report and results summary back to the test-taker within 10 business days. The service includes a complimentary 15-minute consultation with Live Pure’s certified industrial hygienists should the homeowner or business owner receive a report with high contaminant levels. This unbiased consult provides key information needed to address these challenges.

“Even when a home or commercial building has not been directly impacted by fires, smoke and soot can be extremely dangerous and damaging—so being able to gauge the extent of the risk efficiently is a major step forward,” adds Sancoff.

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