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Sick Building Syndrome

Air conditioning installation and ventilation plays a vital role within our working lives. In 1984 The World Health Organization carried out a report into the syndrome suggested up to 30% of new and remodelled buildings worldwide may be linked to symptoms of SBS. The main cause of sick building syndrome is related to poor indoor air quality.

Flaws in Inadequate heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be one of the root causes into sick building. Other causes have been attributed to contaminants produced by outgassing of some types of building materials, volatile organic compounds, improper exhaust ventilation of ozone, or fresh-air intake and poor air filtration.

Sick building takes affect over a period of time, it takes certain elements, including temperature to take full effect. When such air temperatures are hot, humid, and moist, this may cause the air to create condensation on surfaces within the building, especially if indoor temperatures are maintained much below about 78 degrees F. This degree of moisture saturation within buildings allows for the growth of molds to thrive. Molds and bacteria rarely coexist. Molds produce generally toxic substances that create unwelcome, unhealthy environments for bacteria and insects, as well as human beings. The toxic substances generated by mold growth may become aerosolized, released and distributed to a much greater range by these unintentional airflows through the building’s matrix until they may be inducted into the air conditioning and heating distribution systems and ultimately discharged into the breathing areas of the occupants. These unintentional airflows create the toxicity and obscure the true source of toxicity and earthy odors as they distribute it.

Good preventative measures to take, to avoid or reduce sick building would be to ensure you have a full air conditioning maintenance program in place, ensure you adequate ventilation of exhaust and fresh air intake and minimize the use of VOC cleaning compounds and eliminate conditions that encourage allergenic, potentially-deadly mold growth.

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