According to Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) David Kichula, owner and founder of Hightstown-based AIR Consulting Services, LLC, (AIR), “People don’t know what a CIH is and does.” … He wants to clear the “air” about that.
A CIH is an individual who “protects and enhances the health and safety of people at work or in their homes through science that is dedicated to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of environmental hazards.” Basically, Kichula is trained to evaluate people’s exposure to chemical or biological contaminates, he says. And, his company, AIR, specializes in indoor air quality assessment, mold evaluation and remediation, and basement waterproofing.
Founded in 1996, AIR’s seven employees, including Kichula, have a combined 60-plus years of experience in controlling hazards in commercial and residential buildings. Initially, the company only evaluated and tested for hazardous substances. But as the business grew, and as other containments – such as mold – began to be recognized as dangerous in residential and commercial settings, Kichula saw the need and want from his customers to remediate and remove those substances as well.
“In the late 1990s/early 2000s, this new contaminant mold ‘appeared’ that, previously, most people didn’t think was dangerous,” he says. “I have always worked with mold as a CIH, so my company had an advantage in dealing with it.
“When we first started, we only tested for contaminants, told our clients what the problem was and that they needed to call someone to fix it,” Kichula continues. “Our customers would frequently say, ‘Well, can’t you fix it for us?’ So, that is when we eventually decided to add that service to our business. Our customers would gain the confidence and feel comfortable with us after doing the initial assessment of their property. So, we felt it would make perfect business sense to fix their problem as well. We knew how to do it, but it was just a matter of obtaining the proper equipment and additional man power.”
Eventually, AIR’s mold assessment and remediation success led the company to expand on its services even more. In partnering with basement waterproofing company Basement Technologies, Inc., and becoming a dealer of the company’s products, AIR decided to fix the primary cause of mold, which is basement water intrusion.
“Combining our expertise with Basement Technologies’ products has gone a long way in controlling and preventing mold activity,” Kichula says. “And, as a company in the field we are in, when we see needs from our customers, we do what we can to take care of them.”
Kichula says that fixing air quality problems in the workplace is vital in keeping employees healthy and at work, and is something that every business should not overlook.
“Having employees sick and out of work costs money,” he says. “Businesses need to make sure they have productive employees, and it starts by providing them with a healthy environment in which to work.”