NIES: 3 – Main risks of poor air quality

So what are the biggest risks of poor air quality?

Getting sick off course in the long run… But so is eating a hamburger with to much bacon or drinking to many beers, that’s also fantastic for your health, especially in the long run…

But how about concentration problems, headaches at home or or a bad night sleep, ever think of that?

Some of the risks we are all aware of, smoke for example. Whether it is created by a fire or from cigarettes, it’s not good for your health, we all know this. Or to open a window when a lot of people stay in the same room, get some fresh air in. Or to ventilate when cooking.

But how about mold or bacteria, are we even aware of that?
Or Radon gas, I never heard of that before I started digging in yet it is a common pollutant in most household’s and offices…

And we are not even talking yet about comfort, think about room temperature or getting some daylight into your home.

But it can get serious and scary once you start reading…

Let me quote 2 paragraphs from the United Status Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website:

Immediate Effects
Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants, symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggravated or worsened.

Long-Term Effects
Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.


The Sick Building Syndrome

Not so long ago I saw a news item coming by about the latest hype for hypochonders. Since everybody has a burn-out these these days and we are collectively taking Prozac to stay happy, perhaps it was time for something new so we can all feel special again:

The Sick Building Syndrome

I asked around a bit and nobody really seems to know what it is or why people seem to suffer from it (or they just needed a day off at the beach, I don’t judge). But it seems like a real plausible problem.

The World Health Organization (WHO) even wrote a paper about it stating “Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) describes a medical condition where people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or feel unwell for no apparent reason”.

Perfect, I feel sick already. My boss is going to have good laugh about this when I call this one in on Monday morning. But enough with the jokes, it is real and apparently a lot of people are experiencing symptoms like having a frequent headache or sneezing every 5 minutes, related to the room they stay work of live in.

According to the Wikipedia page, the causes are mostly heating & ventilation and maybe air conditioning systems, they are not sure yet…

And then there are the pollutants we are talking about:
“Other causes have been attributed to contaminants produced by outgassing of some types of building materials, volatile organic compounds (VOC), molds (see mold health issues), improper exhaust ventilation of ozone (byproduct of some office machinery), light industrial chemicals used within, or lack of adequate fresh-air intake/air filtration (see Minimum efficiency reporting value). “

So there you go, another reason to know what’s in the air tonight…

And then there is this video snippet:

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