What is Sick Building Syndrome?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPS), there is a burgeoning movement to hold building owners accountable for dangerous indoor air. Indoor air is the biggest of our environmental health threats. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA), "There are 21.2 million Americans working in 1.4 million offices, schools, factories, and other structures where indoor air pollution is a problem." That is about 30% of all non-residential buildings in the United States.
What Causes "Sick Building Syndrome"?
How Do You Feel in a Sick Building?
- Poor Ventilation (HVAC): Heating and cooling systems harbor dust, bacteria, mold, mildew, and mold spores. 10-12 air changes/hour. 10% to 15% fresh outside makeup air.
- Mold & Mildew: Roofs, air conditioning, water leaks in ceilings, behind walls or in carpet. These are ideal breeding grounds for toxic microorganisms. Determine extent of problems with INX test kits.
- Building Materials & Furnishings: New construction materials and furnishings, (i.e. cabinets, paneling, plywood, carpets, drapes, etc) Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, ammonia, and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are just a few potentially dangerous gases which are emitted over a long period of time. Formaldehyde is used in over 3,000 homes and industrial products.
- Permissible Exposure Level: PEL is 1.5 mg/M3 (milligrams per cubic meter) or .75 ppmv (parts per million by volume). 1/3 of PEL can still cause 20% of population to experience typical symptoms.
- Office Equipment: Many printers, copiers, and duplicating machines emit VOC's, ammonia, and other gases.
- Cleaning Supplies & Coatings: Pesticides, cleaning supplies, solvents, strippers, wood preservatives, etc. emit VOC's and organic gases. This provides a continuous health hazard to people highly sensitive to allergic reactions.
- Human Beings: Persons coming in and out of the building carry all the bacteria, mold spores, infectious diseases, gases, and even chemical fumes on their clothing and personal items. All of these pollutants tend to accumulate in the building's ventilation system. THE CIRCULATION NATURE OF THIS EQUIPMENT CONSTANTLY REINTRODUCES THESE CONTAMINANTS TO THE BUILDING OCCUPANTS. This is why AQUA-FLO, INC.'s continuing maintenance products are necessary.
Indoor air quality potential symptoms:
- Poor Ventilation (HVAC): Drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, dizziness, and aggravation of allergies, bronchitis, irritability and depression.
- Mold & Mildew: Allergic reactions and breathing problems.
- Dust, Dust Mites & Pollen: Allergic reactions and breathing problems.
- Building materials & Furnishings: Eye and skin irritations, headaches, breathing problems.
- Office Equipment: Eye and skin irritations, headaches, breathing problems.
- Cleaning Supplies & Coatings: Eye and skin irritations, headaches, breathing problems.
- Human Beings: Drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, body odors, allergic reactions, breathing problems, eye, ear, nose, and throat irritations, infections, virus, (to only name a few).
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