Bacteria, viruses, etc

Bacteriaare single-celled organisms. There are thousands of types of bacteria, and they live virtually anywhere. Bacteria are much bigger than viruses. Bacteria are much more complex than viruses. Bacteria have the tools to reproduce themselves, by themselves. They are filled with fluid, and may have threadlike structures to move themselves, like a tail. Examples of common bacteria include ecoli and salmonella.

A virus may have a spiny outside layer, called the envelope. Viruses have a core of genetic material, but no way to reproduce it on their own. Viruses cannot reproduce on their own. They infect cells and take over their reproductive machinery to reproduce. Examples of viruses include the flu and MRSA.

Diseases and pathologic conditions caused or exacerbated by impaired indoor ecology.

·     Sick building syndrome and building-related asthma

Experts coined the term "sick building syndrome" to describe acute symptoms that occur only during time spent in a particular building and that cannot be explained by any specific illness or cause. Symptoms include headache, dry cough, dry or itchy skin, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, sensitivity to odors, and irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat. Typically the symptoms improve after you leave the building.

Poor ventilation that restricts fresh air flow inside can be a cause of sick building syndrome. Carpet, adhesives, upholstery, manufactured wood, pesticides, and cleaning fluids can give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde. High concentrations of VOCs can cause cancer. Unvented gas and kerosene space heaters, woodstoves, fireplaces, and gas stoves can produce carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Outdoor sources of chemicals can also cause sick building syndrome. Pollutants from cars and trucks and exhaust from plumbing vents and building machinery can enter a building through vents.

Building-related asthma is the term used when symptoms of a diagnosed illness can be linked directly to airborne contaminants within a building. Symptoms include cough, chest tightness, and wheezing. Leaving the building may not immediately improve the symptoms.