Staying indoors proves unhealthy

By Staff Writer
October 9, 2003

Are you suffering from a fever, sneezing, runny nose, tiredness, headaches, dizziness, scratchy throat, watery eyes, lethargy, nausea, inability to concentrate, and respiratory infections? If so, then you might be experiencing symptoms of sick building syndrome (SBS) due to poor air quality within the ventilation system.

Known contaminants floating in the air within the ventilation systems contain asbestos fibers, tobacco smoke, allergens (pollen and mold spores), Pathogens (bacteria and viruses), and Radon (radioactive decay products).

Many students may be unaware of the causes of poor ventilation within a house including: carpeting, upholstery, manufactured wood products, pesticides, and cleaning agents which may give off formaldehyde, viruses from stagnant water accumulated in ducts, humidifiers and drain pans, leftover water that has been collected in ceiling tiles, carpeting, insulation, and plumbing vents.

Research has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. People spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. The risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.

“I would like to know when the cleaning service takes the appropriate amount of time to properly clean out the ventilation within the rooms, because it looks like a few years worth of dust and mold have built up in the vents,” junior, House 6 resident Jamie Lewis said.

People who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for the longest periods of time are often those most prone to the effects of indoor air pollution.

Posted to the Web by: Toccara Buckley

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