Has it ever occurred to you that when you entered a room, you suddenly started haveing health problems that you didn’t have before? Or, when you have been in a room for a long time, have you experienced health changes that you usually do not have? How about when the symptoms of a disease that you have currently under control of trigger from nowhere without any previous characteristic signs? Have you noticed that the symptoms of current health problems have worsen when you are visiting certain building?
It is quite possible that the building you entered is to blame for this. This phenomenon has a name: sick building syndrome.
Sick building syndrome main reason is that the building is incorrectly designed, whether unsuitable construction materials are used, inadequate maintenance, poor ventilation, chemical contaminants from indoor and outdoor sources, biological contaminants. All this affects the quality of the air we breathe indoors, whether at home or in public buildings, shopping malls or other buildings, where a large number of people stay, such as schools, kindergartens.
Mold, dust mites, viruses, bacteria, cleaning agents, carpeting, upholstery, machinery, pollen, motor vehicle exausts, heating, insulation, curtains, paint, disinfectants, etc. This are triggers for sick building syndrome.
The sick building syndrome can be recognized as a mucosal, skin, and general symptoms that are related to working or being in particular buildings.
The symptoms of sick building syndrome
Sick building syndrome symptoms affect respiratory system, skin, neurological system and inself-diagnose could be mistaken with cold or flu.
Symptoms or sick building syndrome are:
– Breathing difficulties
– Runny nose
– Tightness in the chest
– Throat irritation
– Dry, itchy, skin rashes
– Allergy symptoms such as sneezing
– Difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness
Sick building syndrome affects everyone differently and some may not have any symptoms at all while others may experience symptoms leaving the building especially, they repeated exposure or they were long-term exposed.
Most often the symptoms of sick building syndrome fade, when you leave the hazardous building or the hazards inside the building are removed. If long-term exposure to poor indoor air, asthma or other lung diseases can appear.
What is poor indoor air?
Poor indoor air is harmful to breathe in and contains dirt, gases and dust. Controlling pollutants indoors can help reduce health concerns.
Immediate health effects may show up soon after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. They are short-term and treatable. Eliminating the persons exposure to the source of the pollution can help greatly. Exposure to some indoor air pollutants, symptoms of diseases may worsened, show up or be aggravated. Immediate effects are similar to cold or other viral diseases, so this is why it is difficult to determine what caused the symptoms; poor indoor air quality or viruses and bacilli. Because of that it is important to be alert to the time and place symptoms occur. Sick building syndrome may be worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air coming indoors or from cooling, heating or humidity indoor conditions.
Preexisting medical conditions, sensitivity, age and several other factors affect of likelihood of immediate reactions.
Even if symptoms are not noticeable, it is very important to improve the indoor air quality. Long term exposure or repeated periods of exposure are linked to health problems that can be severely debilitating or fatal like respiratory diseases, cancer, heart disease. People react differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants, because of sensibility that varies from human to human.
Source of indoor air pollution can be:
- Tobacco products
- Excess moisture
- Biological pollutants
- Cooling systems, dehumidification devices
- Central heating
- Furnishings and building materials
- Household cleaning and maintenance products, personal care products or hobbies
- Building materials and furnishings (furniture and cabinetry made of certain pressed wood products, carpet, newly installed flooring, deteriorated asbestos insulation,..)
- Outdoor sources (pesticides, outdoor air pollution, radon, carbon monoxide,..)
Unvented or malfunctioning appliances or improper used product can be very dangerous, because they can release higher and dangerous levels of pollutants causing sick building syndrome. Continuously released pollutants can come from products like air fresheners, building materials or furnishings. Who would have thought that an improperly adjusted gas stove can emit significantly more carbon monoxide than one that is properly adjusted. Smoking, redecorating, cleaning or doing hobbies release pollutants. Concentrations of pollutant can remain in the air for long periods. It is important how much any single source emits pollutant and how hazardous those emissions are.
Let us see some most common ones that are guilty of causing the sick building syndrome. The usual everyday things that surround us, that we live with and that we would never think about, cause sick building syndrome.
Biological pollutants can be found in every household. Includes viruses, bacteria, cat saliva, animal dander, pollen, house dust, mites,.. Controlling the relative humidity level in a home can be helpful. For homes it is recommended to sustain between 30 and 50 % relative humidity. Wet surfaces as standing water, water-damaged materials are great to serve as a breeding ground for molds, mildews, bacteria and insects. Damp, warm environments are very welcome for domestic mites, which are the most common pollutant.
Pollens from plants, mold, viruses transmitted by people and animals, household pets, droppings from pests or insects, viruses and bacteria, the protein in urine from hamsters, guinea pigs, domesticated mice, rats, contaminated central air handling system if not properly maintained, mold in bathrooms, bedding, carpet, etc. are the sources for bad health. Biological contaminants are produced by living things.
Children, people with breathing problems, allergies, elderly people, people with lung diseases are susceptible to disease-causing biological agents in the indoor air. Dizziness, fever, digestive problems, shortness of breath, coughing, watery eyes, sneezing are most common health problems enclouding some types of asthma, allergic rhinitis.
The influence of carbon monoxide on indoor air quality it is very important and the sources are very different. Carbon monoxide has no odor, it is colorless and very toxic gas and can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. Leaking chimneys and furnaces, gas stoves, tobacco smoke, unvented kerosene and gas space heaters, automobile exhaust from attached garages, nearby roads, parking areas, etc. effects your health. At low concentrations you can experience chest pain and fatigue. If concentrations are moderate angina, reduced brain function and impaired vision can occur. Higher concentrations can cause confusion, nausea, headaches, impaired vision and coordination and it is fatal.
Formaldehyde on the other hand is a colorless and flammable gas with a strong smell. It is found in furniture products, hair products, nail polish, toothpaste, soap, fertilizers and pesticides, building materials and insulation, dishwashing liquids, paper products, lacquers and finishes, etc. Its level are higher in new manufactured wood products (flooring and furniture and some fabrics). It is present in exhaust fumes, tobacco smoke, is released into the atmosphere during fires and is an integral part of smog. Formaldehyde irritates the skin, eyes and respiratory mucosa. Of all the harmful effects, the carcinogenicity of formaldehyde is certainly the most worrying. It damages the genetic material of cells and triggers processes that can lead to cancer. Formaldehyde has been linked to cancer of the nasal cavity and throat. However, people who are exposed to formaldehyde in their work are most at risk.
Allergic reaction in the presence of formaldehyde irritation can occur as nasal irritation, sore throat, sneezing, cough, fatigue, cutaneous erythema.
A certain amount of formaldehyde inevitably ends up in the blood, so it is important to take all necessary precautions to limit its accumulation in tissues and vital organs.
In general, you should try to avoid the use of carpet and chipboard furniture, always ensure proper air exchange and ventilation in home environments, use safe and controlled heating sources,
try to buy materials with the text E1 (low formaldehyde concentration), use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to stabilize the home temperature (heat and humidity increase the release of formaldehyde indoors).
Formaldehyde is used in most adhesives used to make sheet composites. Part of the formaldehyde binds and part does not react. Unreacted formaldehyde slowly passes out of the plate.. The wood processing industry has been working for many years to increase product quality and thus reduce formaldehyde emissions from panel composites – it is the proportion of surface openness through which formaldehyde can emit smoothly. Due to the high degree of solubility in water, it is absorbed very quickly into the human body.
Radon is an odorless and colorless natural radioactive gas. It accumulates indoors and can be carcinogenic. It comes naturally from the earth. It sounds scary that radon is present in all facilities, business and residential. However, its concentration is the most important and usually the limit value is prescribed by law. Radon easily enters buildings through cracks in the floor slab, shafts, plumbing or electrical installations, through ventilation, etc The biggest risk of overexposure to radon is lung cancer.
The power of halotherapy
Halotherapy is very special therapy with aerosol of salt. It is produced with device named halogenerator. Only very pure salt in certain size is recommended to use. When you breath in the aerosol of salt, the magic begins.
First of all a hypobacterial and allergen free air environment is made during halotherapy. The aerosol of salt reduces growth of bacteria and its multiplication. Clearing of the airway begins. Inflammation in the airways is reduced. When salt particles are milled into aerosol of salt, due to heavy mechanical action a negative charge and high surface energy performs. When they hit with air molecules aeroinoization occurs. Negative ions have therapeutic effect on organism and room environment clearance. The density of aerosol and aeroins allow the lungs to exercise and become stronger. Due to physicochemical properties it reaches really deep into hard-to-reach parts of respiratory tract. It does not have any negative influence on the local protection and contributes to improvement of respiratory tract biocenosis. Also improves microcirculation and bronchial passage in people with different respiratory tract pathologies. It decreases hyperreactivity and reduction of bronchospasmolytic component of obstruction.
Halotherapy has influence on:
- Immune system
- Cardiovascular system
- Respiratory tract
- Autonomic nervous system
- Mental-emotional state
Halotherapy cleans your respiratory system of allergens, stimulates the functioning of the respiratory immune system, reduces edema, increases oxygen flow and strengthens the respiratory tract. it allows mucus to be eliminated from the body faster and easier, prevents the growth of bacteria and destroys them.
For sick building syndrome it is recommended to perform treatments one every day for at least 14 days. For adults at least 60 minutes, for children less. Also consider improving living conditions. With regular halotherapy you can greatly reduce your sensitivity to allergens and therefore have fewer problems.
Frequently asked questions
What are the symptoms of sick building syndrome?
The sick building syndrome often manifests itself as acute discomfort to the visitors, whereas prolonged exposure can lead to chronic headaches, respiratory conditions, dry cough, irritation of mouth, ears and nose, eczema and other skin changes, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and other conditions.
What to do in case of sick building syndrome
As relocating can be difficult and in some cases even impossible, a halogenerator is the perfect solution for the problem. Regular salt therapies will negate the negative effects of the sick building syndrome and improve your living conditions.
How can halotherapy help with sick building syndrome?
Sick building syndrom symptoms are related to poor air quality due to low air circulation, poor building materials, poorly maintained air conditioning systems, excess humidity etc., many of these symptoms can be easily treated by improving air quality. Halogenerators use aerosolized salt particles to eliminate harmful bacteria and other pathogens from the air, thus improving air quality and decrease the effects of sick building syndrome.