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by Wendy Stackhouse · July 16, 2012

New Mold Species Contribute to Sick Building Syndrome

Nine new species of mold are believed by scientists to be culprits in some cases of Sick Building Syndrome

We have written about Sick Building Syndrom on our blog at our Indoor Air Division, Airtek. Click here to read that article. Here are some of the highlights:

Possible Health Problems from Sick Building Syndrome

Headache
Irritation of the eyes, nose or throat
Itchy skin
Dizziness and nausea
Tiredness
Acute odor sensitivity

Some causes of Sick Building Syndrome

Inadequate Ventilation-Ventilation requirements were lowered during the energy crisis of the 1970′s and many buildings constructed in the late 20th century still have those lower ventilation rates.

Indoor Contaminants-Indoor air pollution from: carpets, upholstery, adhesives, pressed wood, copiers, cleaning products, paints, pesticides and many other substances. The chemicals given off are a pretty dangerous bunch including formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.

Outdoor Contaminants-Garages and high vehicular traffic can cause combustion exhaust to enter a building through vents and windows. High levels of outdoor contaminants get trapped indoors when there is not enough ventilation.

Biological Contaminants-Mold, pollen, viruses and bacteria can accumulate in a ventilation system and cause allergic reactions and disease. Biological contamination can cause symptoms like: fever, coughing, muscle aches, irritation of mucous membranes, chest tightness, chills and upper respiratory congestion. Legionnaire’s Disease can be deadly and comes from bacteria which grow in ventilation systems.

US scientists have isolated nine specific species within the species Aspergillus in section Versicolores. What does that mean? Well, previously Aspergillus Versicolor was “a species with documented genetic and phenotypic variation that did not resolve into a clearly recognizable species.” Now there are nine recognizable species, the most commonly found in the US being Aspergillus creber, Aspergillus protuberus and Aspergillus jensenii

Aspergillus versicolor species product the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin, which can be a cause of Sick Building Syndrome.

If you suspect your building is “sick,” you might have a problem with Aspergillus versicolor or one of its variants. Professionals can test your indoor air for mold and other contaminants. Alliance can clean your ventilation systems including ducts and vents, and replace all air filters and set up a maintenance schedule. We can clean and sanitize all major components of your HVAC system-air handlers, blowers, coils, condenser units, drip pans, registers, returns, ventilation and duct systems, filter banks and gaskets.

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!

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