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Southwest Environmental Limited
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Environmental Consultancy Services to Industry, Business and Individuals

Air Quality and Climate Impact Assessment

Although most abatement of air borne pollutants is becoming ever better, developments will still have an impact on Air Quality and Climate, they will change the concentrations of certain elements within the air, that will affect people, plants, animals and buildings.

Skip to: Indoor Air Quality Assessment

There are obvious developments that are associated with air quality impacts these might include coal fired power plants, oil refineries, waste incinerators (EfW).

There is often air quality impacts associated with the construction phase of most projects, traffic dust and smoke from poorly maintained plant can be a problem.


There are direct and indirect emissions to be considered, and factory that make plastic milk bottles for example might have direct emissions (impacts) from the heating of plastics etc, and indirect emissions from the power station where is sources the energy to heat the plastics.
air quality impact

Steam is a visually polluting emission that many find of concern, when in most cases steam contains little more than water vapour.

An air quality impact assessment may contain:

- Baseline Studies

- Impact Prediction

- Mitigation

- Monitoring

NOx emissions are also carefully considered within larger urban areas. The introduction of large number of condensing boilers (which a produce higher levels of NOx) within new build schemes are typically frowned upon. Combined heat and power is a good alternative, although plant will need to carefully specified to ensure minimised NOx emissions.

Indoor Air Quality Assessment

Most people in Europe spend 90% of their time indoors so indoor air quality is very important. Indoor Air quality has a major influence on health and comfort of building occupants. Indoor air quality can be lowered via the presence of a great many gaseous and particulate elements which lower air quality and have harmful effects on occupants.

air_quality_assessment There are a great many sources to be considered when assessing air quality indoors.  In fact just about everything that an occupant does in abuilding including breathing has the potential to lower the air quality if the air volume is not sufficiently ventilated.

Offices and Homes alike use a large variety of cleaning products, cosmetic products and many home have boilers or log burners which have the potential to introduce combustion by products in to the indoor air volume.

When WEL undertake indoor air quality monitoring we typically monitor for around 40 "determinants", that is to say different chemicals that may point out significant sources of pollutants. We can then match these determinants (Para-dichlorobenzene for example) to a common house hold source (Moth Balls). Although this compound is also used in in disinfectants and deodorants!

 Quite often the identification of an unpleasant odour by the buildings occupants is the trigger for a indoor air quality assessment being undertaken, and in these instances it is important to characterise the odour and start looking in the right direction. Hidden mold can often cause odours, and this is fairly easy to find without undertaking any monitoring.

However with other odours such as solvents it is extremely useful to undertake air quality monitoring so as to narrow down a potentially long list of sources.

Although VOCs in paints and other surface coatings are being phased out they represent some of the most polluting substances that are used in the home and work place. A classic example of this is painting a nursery prior to the birth of child. Gloss paints, and spirit based varnishes are significant.