How to tell if there's mold or other toxic things in the air at work?

I just started a new job and I'm wondering if the air quality is poor. I'm a person who always feels warmer than the average person and I'm sitting above a heating vent, so it may just be warmth discomfort. The lighting is also fluorescent and dim, and it's quite noisy.

Anyway the person sitting next to me has a chronic cough that he has been unable to resolve, which has me a little concerned with what must be in the air under that vent. What kind of tests could I do to ensure there isn't something bad in the air, or maybe self-measurements I can do on myself to see if the air is making me ill.

Thanks.

Comments

  • jcg3jcg3 ✭✭

    Quickest and easiest - do a VCS test - you can do one free at vcstest.com - a visual contrast sensitivity test. If you're positive on that, then you've likely been exposed to mold or some other toxin. (Note - a negative does not mean you're all-clear, it just means it's less likely that you've been exposed.) Not sure how long it takes for exposure to show up on the test - e.g., if you just started your job yesterday you might not be positive on the VCS test for a month as you slowly get worse from exposure...

    You could get something like a FooBot or other air quality monitor, set it at your desk. It won't help identify what's in the air, but it will tell you if the air quality is low. Once you're happy with the results at the office, you can take it home and use it there.

    You can collect a dust sample and do an ERMI or Hertsmi - but those are more expensive - $300-ish and $150-ish respectively.

    You can even go much more low-tech than that... lay out a couple of white paper towels near the heating vent, leave it there overnight or all day... see if it ends up covered in dust and dirt.

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