your building could be the cause of your illness-SBS

Pat B., a web designer in upstate New York, didn’t think much of it when she got a sinus infection the first week at her new job. Two months later, she got another one. Then the muscle cramping began. “I would try to walk at lunch time and my hips would cramp so bad I had to go back,” she recalls. “As soon as I entered the building, it felt like the breath was sucked out of me.”

After batteries of tests, she went on a leave of absence and the symptoms leveled off. When she returned, her throat started burning the minute she stepped into the building.

“The ceiling tiles were moldy, everything was wet,” she says. “I could smell formaldehyde and so could one other person.” Eventually, Pat was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, an ailment that had already killed a young, athletic male co-worker. She is convinced the building she worked in caused her illnesses. culled from WebMD

INTRODUCTION

The sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe a situation in which the occupants of a building experience acute health- or comfort-related effects that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. No specific illness or cause can be identified. The complainants may be localized in a particular room or zone or may be widespread throughout the building

Signs and Symptoms include:

Dizziness, nausea, headache, eye, nose or throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itching skin, difficulty in concentration, fatigue, sensitivity to odors, hoarseness of voice, allergies, cold, flu-like symptoms, increased incidence of asthma attacks and personality changes.

The cause of the symptoms is not known, Most of the complainants report relief soon after leaving the building.

what are the causes of sick building syndrome

  • Synthetic insulation
  • Poor circulation and lack of fresh air
  • Smoke
  • Paint fumes
  • Dust mites
  • Synthetic carpet outgassing
  • Pet dander
  • Toxic household cleaners
  • Fabric outgassing
  • Natural gas and carbon dioxide
  • Construction materials
  • Bacteria from toilet bowl
  • Mold and mildew
  • Lead or toxic paint
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Oil and gas fumes

What Can I Do About Sick Building Syndrome?

Scattering houseplants like this one throughout a building can help improve air quality and other environmental factors.

If you think your home or office may be causing sick building syndrome, you need to improve the quality within. Once the building stops giving off toxins, your symptoms should go away. Sometimes this is easier said than done, and, depending on the scale of the problem, might require a massive renovation and replacement of toxic building materials with non-toxic replacements.

In some situations, an air purification system or even quick and simple methods may work. Nature has very powerful tools to clean the air. The natural negative ionization and UV waves from sunlight work wonders and opening the blinds to let in some rays is an easy way to reap those benefits. Additionally, open the windows and doors and let the ozone and negative ions help remove toxins from the air.

Avoid toxic room sprays and deodorizers. There are natural alternatives for air fresheners, cleansers and other chemical toxins used to cleanse the home. Live plants can absorb toxins right from the air! Good choices of plants are peace lilies, golden pothos, and dracaenas.

Have you dealt with sick building syndrome? How did you solve the problem? Leave a comment below and share your experience with us.

 

A partner’s touch relieves pain, study shows

The touch of our romantic partner helps to alleviate pain, suggest the results of a new study.
Lovers’ heartbeats and respiration patterns tend to synchronize when the partners are simply in each other’s presence. But what does the role of touch play in this synchronization, and what happens when one of the partners is experiencing pain?

Have you ever noticed that when you walk alongside your partner, your steps tend to synchronize? Or that when you speak to a close friend, you tend to adopt the same posture as them?

The scientific name for this is “behavioral synchrony,” and it refers to the human ability to sync up with other people for the sake of living in a society.

Some studies have shown that people are not only able to synchronize their behavior, but that they can also sync up their physiology.

“Interpersonal synchronization” can manifest in various ways. For example, when people watch the same movie, their brain activity synchronizes. Similarly, when lovers stare into each other’s eyes, their hearts quite literally beat as one.

New research carried out by scientists at University of Colorado (CU) Boulder explores the role of touch in driving interpersonal synchronization in the context of pain.

The team was led by Pavel Goldstein, a postdoctoral pain researcher in the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at CU Boulder, and the findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Dr. Goldstein explains what prompted his research, saying, “My wife was in pain, and all I could think was, ‘What can I do to help her?’ I reached for her hand and it seemed to help. I wanted to test it out in the lab: can one really decrease pain with touch, and if so, how?”

Alcohol: Beneficial or Risky to Health.

We’ve all heard the news about the potential heart-health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. It’s no wonder such stories grab headlines. They’re the nutritional equivalent of the classic media formula of “man bites dog.” As for the rest of us, we celebrate by raising a glass to our health.

But whenever I hear one of these reports, I wonder whether it actually ends up doing more harm than good. Most fail to mention the health risks of excessive alcohol consumption, which will do a body far more damage than moderate consumption will do it good. And they leave the impression that health benefits apply to men and women alike. Not so.

Most of the research regarding alcohol’s effects in raising good cholesterol, or HDL, levels looks at men and post-menopausal women. Very little, if any, evidence suggests that alcohol consumption in younger women is beneficial. Even worse, other studies associate younger women’s alcohol consumption with increased disease risk.

Up to 4 percent of breast cancers can be attributed to alcohol. According to a recent study in the British Journal of Cancer, every drink increases a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer. In a recent summary of 63 published studies, 65 percent of the studies found an association between alcohol consumption and increased breast cancer risk.

It’s tempting to dismiss these health risks by pointing to more obvious ones, like excess weight and inactivity. In fact, 54.3 percent of women age 20 to 39 are obese or overweight. But if you’re one of them and you’re trying to lose weight and increase fitness, drinking alcohol will hardly help you achieve your goals.

Add that much-ballyhooed glass of red wine a day without making any other changes in your diet or exercise, and you’ll gain nearly 15 pounds per year. In four years, you’ll be 60 pounds heavier, which won’t do much to help your heart.

Counting calories from alcohol can be doubly difficult. Not only are these calories less satisfying than those from food, these days they’re likely to come in super-sized martini glasses the size of swimming pools. Alcohol sabotages your diet in other ways as well. Lowered inhibitions can lead to overeating, while even one drink can dampen your metabolism for up to 24 hours.

Bottom line: Be honest with yourself. Don’t use health claims about spirits as an excuse to justify excessive drinking which endangers your life, liver, looks and limbs. Keep in mind that plenty of other, better ways to improve heart health are out there. Start by getting and staying fit. Exercise at least five times each week. And eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whose antioxidants may reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing the oxidation of cholesterol in your arteries.

Most of all, remember that less is more. And get all the facts before you go looking for your health at the bottom of a glass of booze.

Jennifer Grossman is the director of the Dole Nutrition Institute. – NU