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WELLNESS & INDOOR AIR QUALITY WELLNESS IN THE WORKPLACE 
 
Employees in buildings often experience symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritability, itchy eyes, respiratory issues and the like.
 
This often due to poor indoor air circulation, overcrowding and poorly maintained air-conditioning units. 
A build-up of pathogens in the air handling units contributes to recurring infections. 

These recurring infections are often referred to as Sick Building Syndrome. The symptoms tend to disappear once the affected people are out of the building in question. 

It is important for the building management to address as many of the possible causes so as to reduce staff absenteeism. A common intervention is to improve the ventilation in the building. The use of Ultra Violet in air handling units has also become an efficient solution in de-activating mould, mildew, bacteria and viruses. 

Indoor Air Quality 
Building related diseases & Sick building syndrome 


Employees in buildings often experience symptoms that include headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritability, itchy eyes, respiratory issues and other problems. Often poor indoor air is to blame. Complaints are especially common in buildings where windows are sealed shut and the air is controlled by the HVAC systems.  
Employees can be exposed to carbon monoxide and other pollutants introduced into the building via the air intake vents. Pesticides, cleaning products, paint fumes, office equipment and even new carpets can adversely affect indoor air quality.  
Absenteeism due to building-related illnesses is becoming a major concern because lost productivity translates into lost revenue. 
There are two different types of health problems associated with building habitation, building related diseases and sick building syndrome. 


Building related diseases 

 
Building related diseases can be defined as distinct maladies that can be traced to a specific cause, such as colds that spread through an office, allergies and asthma brought on by dust or moulds, or even cancer triggered by pesticides or asbestos. The symptoms can be clinically defined and have clearly identifiable causes. The complainants may require prolonged recovery time after leaving the building. 

Symptoms and signs of building related disease include the following:

Coughs, chest pains, shortness of breath on mild exertion, edema, palpitations, nosebleeds and even cancers. Legionnaire’s disease, humidifier fever, pneumonia and occupational asthma have also been known to occur. 
Legionnaire’s disease is caused by contamination of cooling towers by legionella organisms.
 
An example of this is a building related infection that occurred in 1976. The American Legion, attending a conference in Philadelphia was afflicted by a mysterious type of pneumonia. Investigations revealed it to be a new bacterial organism, Legionella pneumophila, which was discovered to enjoy growing in the warm water in a building’s cooling towers.
When mists from that water are conducted into a building via the ventilation system, mass illnesses can result. Legionella is also responsible for Pontiac fever, marked by fever, chills, headaches, and body aches. Legionnaire’s disease occurs predominantly in middle aged and elderly adults, whereas Pontiac fever generally occurs in young healthy adults. 

Humidifier fever (sometimes called Monday Fever) is caused by breathing in water droplets from humidifiers that are heavily contaminated with microorganisms, causing respiratory infections, asthma and extrinsic allergic alveolitis (lung diseases resulting from exposure to dusts of animal & vegetable origin).