Suffering from Sick Building Syndrome or Indoor Air Pollution?
The Cure: Extraction Systems International’s patented solution. It will remove the dust and debris from your ducting systems, while helping eliminate airborne bacteria, fungus and contaminates.
Here’s what you need to know:
Sick building syndrome is a growing environmental and business concern.
“There are an increasing number of instances in which building owners are being charged with responsibility for people’s illnesses. Sick building syndrome will emerge as one of the leading environmental issues in the next decade,” warns Laurence S. Kitsch, a Washington environmental lawyer and editor of the Indoor Pollution Law Report.
Sick building syndrome can be traced back to the 1970s when “hermetically sealed” buildings were first designed. Responding to the energy crisis, these new buildings were built to be more energy efficient with heavier insulation and windows that didn’t open.
The problem was exacerbated by ventilation systems that allowed little fresh air inside to dilute pollutants. As a result, airborne toxins and viruses trapped inside ventilation systems were recirculated continuously inside office buildings and contributed to a range of health issues.
A dangerous bacteria was discovered in air duct systems.
In 1976, public awareness was focused on the dangers of indoor pollutants when a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease claimed 29 lives in a Philadelphia hotel. After an intensive investigation, the bacteria Legionella was discovered in contaminated water used in the air conditioning system.
Legionnaires’ Disease still sickens as many as 50,000 people annually because so many buildings contain threatening levels of Legionella organisms. Symptoms include fever, infection, asthma and pneumonia and can lead to death.
Overall, respiratory infections are estimated to account for 150 million lost work days each year and cost $15 billion dollars in direct medical care. The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety, which inspects buildings for indoor air quality problems, is inundated with complaints.
Litigation over indoor air pollution is on the rise.
In the past decade, indoor air pollution litigation cases, or toxic torts, have numbered in the thousands and increase every year.
” … Potentially, this is a much greater risk to the public than some of the other issues that are getting more resources. There will be attention in the coming decade,” says Robert Axelrad, Director of the Indoor Air Division of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Ironically, the EPA is not immune; it has been picketed by employees experiencing health problems blamed on poor air quality in the EPA building itself.
Environmental liability can be financially devastating: property values can decrease and it may become impossible to sell or lease a building associated with air quality problems. Legal fees alone can bankrupt a commercial building owner, realtor or lender. And, of course, there is the cost of lost productivity.
Up to one-third of all buildings are affected.
As many as 30 percent of all buildings in the United States are estimated to harbor some form of indoor air pollution. Studies have also found that levels of some indoor air pollutants actually exceed outdoor levels by 200 parts per million to 500 parts per million. Air conditioning, heating and ventilation ductwork with a constant temperature and humidity act as a haven for dirt, dust, mold, dead insects, rodents and fungi; which can then be circulated throughout the building. Other substances found in indoor air include carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, radon gas, oxide, asbestos and cigarette smoke.
Dr. Steve Bunker, a respiratory therapist, cites another factor. “Every 28 days, a person sheds an entire layer of skin,” he explains. “It will decompose, and parasites feed on that. Multiply that by the number of people in an office or a classroom every day, and then multiply that by the number of years they’ve been there, and you get an idea about the level of contamination.”
Long-term effects can be serious.
Symptoms of indoor air pollution can include headaches, eye, nose or throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itchy skin, dizziness, nausea and lethargy. In some cases, most or all of the symptoms disappear when the person leaves the building. Long-term effects may include decreased pulmonary and immune functions, cancer and even death.
Other methods did not deal with the complete system.
One of the first efforts to combat indoor air pollution was to spray paint or varnish in the ducting to encapsulate the debris. This approach covered the contaminants; but when the debris broke loose, the problem reappeared.
Other systems concentrated on taking samples from the air inside ducting systems and conducting laboratory tests. Spores, fungus and bacteria could be detected and controlled chemically, but the hazards of a dirty ventilation system were ignored.
Extraction Systems International found the ultimate solution.
Extraction Systems International (ESI) realized that source removal and antibacterial fogging were by far the most effective solution. An intensive research and development program resulted in the patented ESI system, which removes the dust and debris from the ducting system and helps eliminate airborne bacteria, fungus and contaminates.
As a result, fire hazards are controlled and air flow through the ducting systems can be increased. Energy costs are reduced, while health hazards and accompanying litigation costs can be eliminated.