Multi-Residential Unit IAQ Investigation, Iqaluit, NU


4 weeks




Concentric was retained to conduct an IAQ investigation at a multi-unit residential building in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The property owner reported that tenants were voicing concerns over allergic-type reactions related to the application of a preservative on the exterior wood building components. Concentric's mandate was to propose an approach to IAQ investigation, carry out the investigation and make recommendations based on the results.

Approach & Methodology

Concentric requested compositional information for the preservative that was used on the exterior wood building components. The Material Safety Data Sheets for the preservative described the composition as comprising copper compounds in a petroleum distillate solution. In order to specifically address these components, Concentric recommended an investigation of indoor air quality with respect to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and copper particulate.

Concentric attended the site for visual inspection and sample collection purposes. The visual assessment included a floor by floor inspection of each residential unit and the exterior of the complex. Sampling for VOCs and copper particulate were collected within each of the residential units and one collected outdoors. Sampling and analysis for VOCs was completed in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Method TO-15 – Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds in Air Collected in Specially Prepared Canisters and Analyzed by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Sampling and analysis for copper particulate was completed in accordance with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Method 7300 – Elements by ICP (Nitric/Perchloric Acid Ashing).

Results of analysis were compared to a very conservative one tenth of the Federal Government and the American Conference of Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) threshold limit values.

Key Challenges

The challenges associated with this project were associated with the highly specialized and sophisticated sample collection and analysis methodologies. Concentric was able to quickly determine the appropriate sampling and analytical methods to target the specific contaminants of concern.

Key Personnel

Project Director: Allan Murray, P. Eng.
Project Manager: Bob Hoad, C.Tech., CMI
Field Investigator: Andrea Bulanda, P.Eng., M.Sc.Eng.


Indoor Air Quality

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