UPDATED 2021

Environmental Test Guide

Human health and safety so often depends on the cleanliness of our air, water, soil and other objects in the environment around us.

One way for homeowners, building managers, community officials and others to determine environmental quality is through environmental testing. A variety of tests are available that help people to evaluate environmental factors.

Air quality tests, like the name indicates, measures general air quality. Such tests can be performed both indoors and out to measure for various pollutants in the air. Other air tests are more specific, such as carbon monoxide tests, which sound an alarm when indoor carbon monoxide levels reach an unhealthy level. Radon tests measure the amount of radon gas in the air. Radon, like carbon monoxide, can be deadly at high levels.

Toxins lurking on walls and other surfaces can be measured through general toxicity tests, as well as through specific tests such as mold tests or lead tests. Similarly, water quality and toxins in water can be tested for using water tests. Other environmental tests include tests that evaluate soil and those that check for pests that might cause environmental damage, such as termites or ants.

Individual homeowners can conduct their own tests using test kits or testing devices available for purchase. Many professional environmental testers provide testing services to communities and building owners. Costs for environmental tests vary depending on the type of test, who is testing and how extensive the test needs to be.