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Jason Yost
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Jason Yost   My Press Releases

Indoor Environmental Factors Causing Disease

Published on 7/12/2013
For additional information  Click Here

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this Press Release (PR), I want to extend a note of gratitude to Diana van Eyk for, unconsciously, inspiring this PR. In response to a previous PR, Residential & Occupational Disease Rates & Solutions, Diana commented, "One of the last things we suspect when sick is our indoor air quality."


In fact, indoor environmental quality (a component of which is our air quality) can encompass many direct and airborne disease causing agents. A disease is classified as airborne when respiratory droplets from one person or other substance (gas, particulate or droplet) are released from structures and microorganisms (microbes) in such a way as to be easily inhaled by another person or animal. This is generally done through sporulation, processes of dust generation, coughing, sneezing, laughing, and close personal contact.


Contact Diseases, on the other hand, are transmitted when an infected person makes direct contact with an uninfected person, passing the microbe onto the uninfected person. These diseases can also be spread by an uninfected person's direct contact with the infected person's environment. Things like the infected person's personal items, a door knob, telephone, or toy can harbor the microbe and pass that microbe along to the uninfected person.


Some agents of disease can be caused by environmental changes too; for example, after a flood a clean indoor environment is quickly overcome with nutrients for microbes, microbes, pesticides, and other hazardous substances. These agents can be transmitted directly or through the air, depending on their culture, disposition, viability, building use, personal protection, and other factors. In fact, the moisture alone can be a disease-causing agent. Research from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control states that "climatic factors such as absolute humidity have been associated with risk of lower respiratory tract infection" and the World Health Organization states that "indoor concentrations of some of these organisms and agents [allergens, volatile microbial organic compounds, other chemicals, living and dead microbes, and toxins] are known or suspected to be elevated in damp indoor environments and may affect the health of people living or working there".


Another example of an environmental change takes place after a fire-damage. After a fire there are many chemical, gaseous and particulate hazards for occupants, requiring careful analysis and attention in order to prevent residual, airborne or direct exposure to occupants. Because these hazards interact during the fire, particulates, left-over as a result of the fire like soot, char and ash, contain chemical gases abundant during the fire. When inhaled these particulate can exchange these chemicals into the bloodstream just as oxygen is exchanged during respiration. (A good resource on the hazards during and after a fire can be found here.)


Ageing of a structure can impact environmental disposition and release hazards for inhalation or direct contact. Two common environmental factors include asbestos friability and lead paint flaking. Let's take a quick look at one of these.


Asbestos has been found to cause cancer. Researchers have shown that when asbestos infiltrates the respiratory system it kills cells, in the process instigating a release of a molecule called high-mobility group box 1 protein (or HMGB1). This molecule causes an inflammatory reaction that releases mutagens and other factors that promote tumor growth.


So, as you can see, there are many agents that may be present and can do harm if ignored in our built environments. And, there are many reasons to be proactive about defining your environment and empowering yourself with the means and ways of remediating immediate hazards while proactively securing a safe place to work, play, or otherwise occupy.


SOLUTIONS Indoor Environmental Consulting provides you a non-bias source for building audits, specific to your individual needs. These audits provide you with the understanding of conditions, provide you a consultant to work through your goals or needs, and do so without any vested interest in construction, restoration or remediation - so there is never a conflict of interest. Our sole purpose is to empower you with the solutions that you're looking for and need.


For a no obligation review of your case, contact us toll-free at (877) 624-7185 extension 1 or email me directly at


Don't take chances, gain empowering solutions - today!

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