Topic: Uncategorized

Sick Building Syndrome – Is It a Joke?

Before you ask yourself “what is sick building syndrome?”, I want you to take a personal inventory of what your is health like? Right now. If, after your personal health inventory, you acknowledge that you have been sick often, and you spend the majority of your time within the same building, then chances are it’s SBS and not the common cold. Before you click to another blog post or another website altogether because you find it so hard to believe, please ask yourself this, “What is sick building syndrome?” 

Typically speaking, SBS is caused by indoor air pollution via poor ventilation and chemical and biological contaminants. Biological contaminants include, but are not limited to: pollen, molds, bacterias, pet dander and insect debris. Chemical contaminants can come from a wide variety of sources including carpeting, paint and airborne chemicals such as air fresheners. As such, our lungs can only take and filter but so much, sometimes leaving us with potential short-term or long-term illnesses. SBS is very real, especially if you are within the confines of a building for extended periods of time every day. Illnesses and symptoms that could develop include allergies, skin, eye, nose and throat irritations as well as other, more serious, ailments.

Although leaving the building can almost immediately relieve the symptoms you may be experiencing, there are sometimes lingering and long-term effects caused by SBS. Long-term effects of SBS can include the development of allergies, fibromyalgia, and even cancer. Perhaps the best indicator to whether or not you are suffering from SBS is to see if others within the building exhibit or complain of similar symptoms which you may be exhibiting. So what can be done to limit these symptoms or mitigate any long-term effects to  your health? One of the easiest ways to lower your chances of developing SBS symptoms is to step outside often during the day, every day. Being that the outdoor air is more often than not much cleaner than indoor air, it would behoove you and others to take frequent steps outside and/or to actually go outdoors for your lunch breaks.

As well, speak to your supervisor or manager about taking steps to lower the contaminants within the building, many of which are very simple. Besides removing and replacing the air filters of the AC system, simply putting some indoor house plants throughout the building as certain plants can absorb some hazardous airborne chemical contaminants. Their other obvious benefit is to provide pure oxygen, which we need to live. Another tactic to reducing these contaminants and allergens is to make sure maintenance cleans thoroughly and often and to make sure any leaks in the plumbing are fixed. Excess moisture promotes mold growth, so the fewer leaks there are the better.

There are many ways to diagnose whether or not you and/or your co-workers suffer from SBS and just as many ways to prevent or lower the risks of developing symptoms of SBS. Stay safe and productive.


Types of Mold and How To Eliminate Them Safely From Your Home

Believe it or not, there are thousands of types of mold that are classified into three groups based on its affect on people: Allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic. Your concern on what kind of mold you are being exposed to can be best evaluated by the factors and your personal sensitivity to mold.

Allergenic Molds: This type of mold usually affects those with mold allergies or asthma. Those with these type of allergies must constantly stay persistent with keeping mold out of their homes. People who are regularly exposed to mold can develop allergies, so mold growth must be eliminated as much as possible.

Pathogenic Molds: Pathogenic molds main target is the lungs. Even though  people with healthy immune systems don’t develop infections from these type of molds, it is a big concern with those with compromised systems.

Toxigenic Molds: These types of mold can cause health problems such as allergic responses and even infections in anybody. Toxic molds within a home can cause serious health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage, or even memory loss.

How to Eliminate Mold Safely

Here are some quick facts to eliminate mold safely.

  • Eliminate sources of food and reduce habitat humidity.
  • Fix leaks and condensation sources. Add dehumidifiers in damp areas to avoid mold growth.
  • Tend to moisture problems in roofs or basements. Fresh air and sunlight will naturally kill mold.
  • If you have small mold problems, mix 2 teaspoons or white distilled vinegar or tea tree oil with 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Spray it on the mold and do not rinse. Vinegar will kill most mold spores and tea tree oil is a fungicide.
  • Do not keep up large amounts of mold if you have more than 10 square feet of mold. Cleaning up mold can be dangerous, especially if its black or greenish-black. Hire a contractor who can clean it for you.

Household Mold: How to Break It

Even though you are living green and mold is considered ‘all-natural,’ mold can easily affect you and your family’s well-being, especially if you are often exposed to it in your home. Mold comes in an array of colors and can be recognized by its earthy and musty smell. Symptoms of mold exposure can range from mild stuffiness, asthma, to even depression. We will tell you the common sense tips to use to beat dangerous household mold, and keep it from growing in your home.

What mold requires food, water and habitat in order to survive. Here are the ways to fix the problem of mold growth.

Food: Mold needs food for nutrients to grow. Nutrients are natural and not inert materials like metal. Mold is unlikely to grow on condensation on a porcelain toilet, but when it drips on a wooden floor, mold growth will happen.

How to Fix It: Mold nutrition can be found in damp wood, paper, carpet, textiles, plastics, skin oils, carpentry materials such as wallboard, and foods such as vegetables and grains.

Water: Mold loves water. Fixing leaks and use dehumidifiers to eliminate condensation sources. If you commonly have damp basements, consider a floor seal to prevent condensation and mold growth.

How to Fix It: Mold’s source of moisture include leaky pipes, damp basements, floods, houseplants, humidity, condensation, leaks, poor ventilation, damp cloths, refrigerators, and spills.

Habitat: Mold spores can reproduce and survive in high humidity from anywhere between 40 to 130 degrees.

How to Fix It: Consider buying a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your home. Try to maintain 30 to 55% humidity to prevent mold growth.