Odors can come from many sources, but one of the most frequent is due to sewer gases infiltrating a building’s occupied space. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, “Sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and non-toxic gases that can be present at varying levels depending upon the source. It is formed during the decay of household and industrial waste. Highly toxic components of sewer gas include hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. Sewer gas also contains methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxides. In addition, chlorine bleaches, industrial solvents, and gasoline are frequently present in municipal and privately owned-sewage treatment systems.”
In the Midwest, EC2, Inc., has been working for years to help homes, businesses and institutions prevent both the unpleasant aspects due to exposure to sewer gases and the potential health hazards. “There are three primary risks due to indoor exposure to sewer gases,” reported Ed Chambers, President of EC2. “First, exposure to hydrogen sulfide can cause a host of problems, including irritation to the eyes and respiratory tract and even death in high concentration. Secondly, methane exposure can also result in asphyxiation in high levels. Low levels can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and other health concerns. Thirdly, both hydrogen sulfide and methane are extremely flammable. If allowed to reach high enough concentration levels their presence may result in an explosion and fire,” he continued.
Sewer gases can enter a home or business through floor drains, from a leaking or blocked plumbing roof vents, due to air intakes being too close to sewer gas vents, through cracks in the foundation and due to malfunctioning plumbing traps. Improper design, modifications to a building and other causes can all contribute to sewer gas problems in the indoor environment.
To learn more about sewer gases or odor investigations or other environmental and indoor air quality (IAQ) issues, please visit http://www.4ec2inc.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (815) 703-9000.
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About EC2, Inc.
EC2 is a leading provider of environmental consulting and inspection services for clients across the United States. Based in the Chicago area, the company provides their services to clients ranging from local companies and institutions to international Fortune 500 Corporations.