FAQs

Click here to download the FAQs

Indoor Pollution (7)

What are the biggest indoor environmental problems associated with living in China?

  • Air pollution is a fact of life in China.  Due to the high use of coal, factories, cars, and insufficient environmental laws and enforcement, only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union.[1] Therefore, the old adage of ventilating to get “fresh” air actually increases our exposure to high outdoor air pollution.  We frequently find that indoor air in Shanghai during the summer often tests at 3-4x above the WHO safety standards for particulates.
  • The biggest change that new Shanghai residents encounter is that many of the construction materials, furnishings, and household cleaning agents used in their apartments are more likely to contain and emit dangerous chemicals than they would encounter back home.  This is because most apartments are new or newly renovated and haven’t had the chance to offgas, landlords are not required to have apartments tested, and certification standards for low-emissions construction materials and cleaning products are lacking.   Formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are pollutants commonly found in Shanghai homes.
  • For parents and expectant mothers, lead poisoning may be the greatest unexpected concern.  Lead is linked to irreversible mental and physical retardation.  The only remediation is to proactively identify and stop further exposure.  There is a general low level of awareness in China.  As a result, few regulations have been enacted to control for lead and no campaign exists to educate the public.  Of specific concern to foreigners is the fact that there is no consumer product safety commission and no laws mandating lead-free buildings.

Why should I have my home professionally assessed? Why PureLiving?

  • We spend over 90% of our time indoors.  Fortunately, it is also an environment that we can directly control.  Before moving in, it’s always good to test and get a clean bill of health.  If you have problems, the best way to resolve is to first identify what is wrong.  You can avoid moving out if the problem can be found and addressed.
  • China’s air and water quality information is not transparent or forthcoming, unlike in many other countries where it is a public right.  The only way to be sure is to test it yourself.  China’s standards are also often different than what you are used to at home.  Having your home tested to strict international guidelines gives you assurance of knowing you are being tested to the same standards as you would be back home.
  • Why PureLiving?  A healthy home is extremely important, but is complicated by many factors such as your health, type of dwelling, and even your relationship with your landlord.  The local market is filled with product vendors and pure testing companies, but there are few who can provide an all-around solution with your interests at heart.  Instead of spending days researching and then second-guessing your decisions, let us help guide you.  We have been in your shoes, know the best options within the Chinese environment, and have the experience and commitment to help you create a healthy, safe home to live in.

Is China safe for children?

The short answer is yes, China can be a safe place to raise a child. Although China’s air and water pollution is a fact of life, the good news is that we can control this environment by benchmarking your home’s “healthiness” and changing either our habits or implementing solutions to live healthily. Since children are much more susceptible to ambient pollution due to faster breathing rates (up to ten times faster than an adult), immature immune systems, and developing brains, it is especially important to ensure we are minimizing their exposure when indoors.

I don’t feel sick or have asthma or allergies. Why do I need to do anything?

  • Your body is constantly on the defense.  Whether filtering air to your lungs, fighting infection, or reacting to pesticides, your body’s immune system has a finite capacity for keeping you healthy.  Therefore, when our systems are occupied with fending off the air we breathe daily or the water that we drink, we are more susceptible to getting sick.   Wouldn’t you rather give your body the capacity to deal with a real outbreak?   Some chemicals in our indoor environments are much more insidious because they are dangerous in doses that don’t cause us to have physical reactions.  Formaldehyde, radon, carbon monoxide, VOCs, and lead are all carcinogens that are linked to cancer, respiratory or neurological damage years after exposure.  China’s own Ministry of Health cited air and water pollution as the key drivers that have made cancer the most lethal disease for urban dwellers in China.[2]
  • In addition, it is possible to develop allergies or multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) over time.  This means you can actually develop allergies and increased sensitivity from repeated exposure to mold or other chemicals and not suspect the cause.

We use bottled water for drinking – so do I need to test or filter my water?

  • Are you sure you’re really getting quality water in that barrel?  If you’ve followed the news, you may recall last year’s scandal in which one major bottled water manufacturer admitted that city tap water was their source.[3] Reuters broke the news on an expose that revealed as much as 80 percent of “barreled” water in Beijing was tap water or counterfeit and that a nationwide inspection several years ago found 22 percent was contaminated with bacteria.
  • Even if you do trust your bottled drinking water, it’s easy to overlook that we also use water to wash our fruits and vegetables, cook, provide water to pets, and bathe.  Each of these represents exposure.  Although chlorine effectively kills microbes and bacteria, it is also extremely harsh on skin and hair.  Worse, it reacts with organic material to form toxic byproducts called trihalomethanes which are inhaled or absorbed through the skin especially while showering.  In addition, water can be safe coming from the treatment plant, but may pick up heavy metals and other contaminants from metal storage tanks or corroded piping en route to your faucet.  For these reasons, we recommend filtering water used in the kitchen and bath.  Finally, safe, good-tasting filtered water costs about 1rmb per gallon (.25rmb/liter), 80 percent less than bottled water.  For a family of four, can be up to 2500rmb a year.

Can I get my company to pay for a home assessment?

It is a smart move for companies to encourage and subsidize costs for testing their employee’s home. After all, most companies proactively pay for preventative health exams, and checking out your home is no different. Sick homes cost companies reduced employee productivity, sick time, and health care costs. We have all heard reports of expats who had to return home several months after arrival because their families encountered health problems related to the environment. Ideally, home health testing should be conducted prior to move-in so that a new arrival has a clean bill of health and does not need to worry about additional distracters or health problems. The costs of home testing are quite small compared to the overall cost of another relocation. We are currently working with a number of HR departments and relocation companies to advise them on move-in preparation and get these services included as part of a standard relocation package. Contact us if you would like us to speak with your HR department.

How is your testing different than that of manufacturers and distributors of air or water filters, who offer to come and test my air for free?

Air purifier and water filter dealers sell generally good products that help people, but at the end of the day, they are focused on the problems that their products address.  Therefore, they only test selectively.  Air purifier dealers test for air particulates, but not VOCs, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, mold, or radon.  Similarly, water filtration companies generally only test for chlorine level and total dissolved solids, which is not meaningful, because both beneficial and harmful minerals are included in that count.  However, you can feel confident that the tests you receive through PureLiving are government-certified lab analyses benchmarked against both Chinese and international (EPA/WHO) standards.  Finally, we provide unbiased, product-agnostic interpretation and best practices recommendations with each test to help you select   the best remediation option.

Testing Packages (5)

Healthy Homes Testing Package FAQs

Healthy homes testing packageHow do I know if this package is the right one for me?

If you have school age children and are looking for a general take on your current environment then this package is suitable for you. The holistic coverage makes this package the best seller. However if full lead testing is needed then the Lead package would be the better option. If mold is a concern, you’ll want to look into the Moldbuster package instead.

Do I need to test every room in my house?

We recommend prioritizing testing in the areas you spend the most time. There fore the living room and any occupied bedrooms. If you have a larger house you may want to consider adding additional rooms.

How long does testing take?

Usually 90 minutes

What will happen during testing?

Two or three people will come to your home. One of these will be an English-speaking consultant who will explain to you what’s happening during each step, answer questions, and collect some data. The consultant will also oversee a technician who is collecting samples for lab analysis.

How do I prepare for the testing?

Within 3 days of booking the testing, we will call to arrange a testing time and tell you if there are any specific instructions.

How long until test results are available?

8-10 working days .

What will results include?

Test results will be easy to understand and give suggestions if any solutions are needed.

How do I pay for testing?

If booked through one or our retail partners or through us directly, balance is due on or before day of testing by bank transfer or debit card or cash.

Moldbuster testing package FAQs

Anna Dalton_FINAL_MOLD_BM_8-17-15

Why should I be concerned about mold?

In order to reproduce or when disturbed, molds release small “spores” into the air and these spores are small enough that people can actually breathe them in.  Our reaction to the spores is what causes illness.  Mold has a probable link to a wide variety of symptoms, depending on species type and each individual’s personal reaction.  Common symptoms may include:

Eye, nose and throat irritation

Headaches

Coughing and phlegm build-up

Wheezing and shortness of breath

Allergic reactions

Aside from affecting our health, damage from mold can be very costly to homeowners.

How do I know if I need mold testing?

We recommend mold testing if you’ve experiences any of the following:

  •   Family member(s) are exhibiting allergic reactions in your home but not elsewhere
  •   Have recently had water damage and would like to prevent mold growth
  •   Can smell mold odor but cannot locate
  •  Have located mold but do not want to remediate yourself
  •   Have identified mold but do not trust landlord to remediate

What if mold is found?

Our consultant will make a recommendation for solutions based on the extent and severity of the problem. In some cases there may be a simple solution that you can perform with our guidance, in other cases you may wish to hire us or another mold removal specialist.

How long does testing take?

Usually 90 minutes.

What will happen during testing?

Two or three people will come to your home. One of these will be an English-speaking consultant who will explain to you what’s happening during each step, answer questions, and collect some data. The consultant will also oversee a technician who is collecting samples for lab analysis.

How do I prepare for the testing?

Within 3 days of booking the testing, we will call to arrange a testing time and tell you if there are any specific instructions.

How long until test results are available? What will results include?

8-10 working days . Test results will be easy to understand and give suggestions if any solutions are needed.

How do I pay for testing?

If booked through one or our retail partners or through us directly, balance due on or before day of testing by bank transfer or debit card or cash.

 

 

Lead Investigation testing package FAQs

Anna Dalton_FINAL_LEAD_BM_8-17-15What are the affects of lead exposure?

Lead is extremely poisonous at trace amounts, causing

elevated blood pressure, kidney dysfunction, anemia,

neurological damage, retardation of cognitive and

physical development, and even violent behavior in children.

It is especially harmful to children below the age of 7 years.

 

How do I know if I need to test for lead?

If you or someone in your family have  medical results showing high blood lead levels and you are looking for the root of exposure, then this lead package is for you. If you have children or a newborn baby and want to safeguard against lead AND other toxins, you may want to consider the Bringing Home Baby or Healthy Homes package which are more comprehensive and includes minimal lead testing.

What points in my home will be tested?

The lead package tests 10 objects within your home such as paint, soil, food, toys, or anything other sources you want to include. Air and water will also be tested for lead.

How long does testing take?

Usually 90 minutes.

What will happen during testing?

Two or three people will come to your home. One of these will be an English-speaking consultant who will explain to you what’s happening during each step, answer questions, and collect some data. The consultant will also oversee a technician who is collecting samples for lab analysis.

How do I prepare for the testing?

Within 3 days of booking the testing, we will call to arrange a testing time and tell you if there are any specific instructions.

How long until test results are available? What will results include?

8-10 working days . Test results will be easy to understand and give suggestions if any solutions are needed.

How do I pay for testing?

If booked through one or our retail partners or through us directly, balance is due on or before day of testing by bank transfer or debit card or cash.

Bringing Home Baby testing package FAQs

Anna Dalton_FINAL_BABY_BM_8-17-15

Why is testing my home important if I have an infant?

Children are much more susceptible to ambient pollution due to faster breathing rates (up to ten times faster than an adult), immature immune systems, and developing brains, it is especially important to ensure we are minimizing their exposure to toxins when indoors. This package is especially designed for complete testing of all pollutants that could affect your baby.

Should I test while pregnant or after the baby is born?

Both are appropriate. If you have not yet furnished your babies room, we recommend testing after the room is decorated to ensure that we are safeguarding the environment the baby will be in.  If your babies room is not yet furnished, remember to choose brands with good reputations and low or no pollutant emissions.

How long does testing take?

Usually 90 minutes.

What will happen during testing?

Two or three people will come to your home. One of these will be an English-speaking consultant who will explain to you what’s happening during each step, answer questions, and collect some data. The consultant will also oversee a technician who is collecting samples for lab analysis.

How do I prepare for the testing?

Within 3 days of booking the testing, we will call to arrange a testing time and tell you if there are any specific instructions.

How long until test results are available? What will results include?

8-10 working days . Test results will be easy to understand and give suggestions if any solutions are needed.

How do I pay for testing?

If booked through one or our retail partners or through us directly, balance is due on or before day of testing by bank transfer or debit card or cash.

 

 

 

Basic Brief testing package FAQs

Anna Dalton_FINAL_BASIC_BM_8-17-15

How do I know if this package is right for me?

The basic brief provides a general audit of pollutants that affect adults. Homes with children should look into either Healthy Homes or Bringing Home baby package.

How long does testing take?

Usually 90 minutes.

What will happen during testing?

Two or three people will come to your home. One of these will be an English-speaking consultant who will explain to you what’s happening during each step, answer questions, and collect some data. The consultant will also oversee a technician who is collecting samples for lab analysis.

How do I prepare for the testing?

Within 3 days of booking the testing, we will call to arrange a testing time and tell you if there are any specific instructions.

How long until test results are available? What will results include?

8-10 working days . Test results will be easy to understand and give suggestions if any solutions are needed.

How do I pay for testing?

If booked through one or our retail partners or through us directly, balance due on or before day of testing by bank transfer or debit card or cash.