Sick Building Syndrome Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a situation in which occupants of a building experience acute health effects that seem to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. Frequently, problems result when a building is operated or maintained in a manner that is inconsistent with its original design or prescribed operating procedures. Sometimes indoor air problems are a result of poor building design or occupant activities.
Asthma afflicts about 20 million Americans, including 6.3 million children. Since 1980, the biggest growth in asthma cases has been in children under five. In 2000 there were nearly 2 million emergency room visits and nearly half a million hospitalizations due to asthma, at a cost of almost $2 billion, and causing 14 million school days missed each year
May is Asthma Awareness Month
Molds Molds are part of the natural environment. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Indoor Air Quality for Schools Twenty percent of the U.S. population, nearly 55 million people, spend their days in our elementary and secondary schools. In the mid-1990s, studies show that 1 in 5 of our nation's 110,000 schools reported unsatisfactory indoor air quality, and 1 in 4 schools reported ventilation -- which impacts indoor air quality -- as unsatisfactory. Students are at greater risk because of the hours spent in school facilities and because children are especially susceptible to pollutants
Green Building Green Building - Do your buildings create a healthy environment for their occupants? The building industry is increasingly focused on making its buildings greener , which includes using healthier, less polluting and more resource-efficient practices. Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) refers to the quality of the air and environment inside buildings, based on pollutant concentrations and conditions that can affect the health, comfort and performance of occupants -- including temperature, relative humidity, light, sound and other factors. Good IEQ is an essential component of any building, especially a green building
RESOURCES The Building Air Quality, developed by the EPA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, provides practical suggestions on preventing, identifying, and resolving indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in public and commercial buildings. This guidance provides information on factors affecting indoor air quality; describes how to develop an IAQ profile of building conditions and create an IAQ management plan; describes investigative strategies to identify causes of IAQ problems; and provides criteria for assessing alternative mitigation strategies, determining whether a problem has been resolved, and deciding whether to consult outside technical specialists. Other topics included in the guide are key problem causing factors; air quality sampling; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; moisture problems; and additional sources of information. The order form is available from EPA Document Reference Number 402-F-91-102 , December 1991. http://www.epa.gov/iaq/largebldgs/baqtoc.html