Indoor Environmental Issues
Health effects of exposure to fungi within the indoor environment of dwellings and businesses have recently been front page news in major newspapers and magazines. Fungal contamination in indoor environments presents unique challenges in assessing both occupant and worker health risks. Currently there an explosion of Legionella cases sweeping the U.S. with many of the outbreaks occurring in Hospitals and Health Care Facilities. For more information go to www.LegionellaNetwork.com
Mold assessment of dwellings and businesses are complicated by the enormous variety of molds, the ability of molds and bacteria to co-exist in some instances, the ever-changing conditions in the dwelling or business such as moisture, temperature, and air circulation that can affect the building’s envelope and mechanical ventilation dynamics, and varied concentrations and components of the mold such as hyphal fragments.
Understanding the types and relative significance of actual health risks is critical to developing and implementing effective remediation methods that adequately resolve occupant health problems that result from occupying a mold-contaminated indoor environment.
Building Related Disorders
Two common building-known disorders are Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness. Sick Building Syndrome also known as SBS is a building disorder that describes unexplained illness among occupants of a building. The occupants typically complain of inflammatory symptoms of the eyes, throat, and nose; upper and sometimes lower respiratory tract symptoms, headaches, as well as fatigue, and cognitive changes, and finally difficulty with concentration and inattentiveness. When the occupants leave the building their symptoms improved, however, when they returned the health symptoms also returned.
Building Related Illness also known as BRI has been used to describe medically recognized diseases for which specific diagnostic criteria and testing can confirm the presence or absence of the condition. Diseases in this classification were categorized as either, allergic/ immunological, infectious, or toxicological.
“Building-Related Symptoms” (BRS) are the most prevalent occupant health complaints (a runny nose, sore throat, headache, fatigue, difficulty in concentration). Most likely it is the etiology of fungal toxins or spore wall components.
Legionella is a bacterium that when inhaled can cause Pontiac Fever or Legionnaires disease and according to the Centers for Disease Control has a nine percent mortality rate. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) there has been an increase of two hundred and eighty-six percent (286%) reported legionellosis cases from the year 2000 – 2004.
We can assist clients, insurance companies, and attorneys in determining level of contamination, causation, and origin, for more information please visit www.LegionellaNetwork.com