How polluted is the air inside your home, school or workplace?
For people with asthma, allergies and hay-fever; clean room air is important for reducing asthma and allergy attacks. But when the weather is too hot or too cold, many people resort to air-conditioning. Air-con is already a problem for people with breathing difficulties as this dries out the air and can also increase the particle load of air.
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a well known condition where a building actually makes it’s inhabitants ill. So-called “Sick Buildings” are often responsible for disease transmission to workers, including illnesses like Legionnaire’s disease.
Poorly maintained air-conditioning units in large buildings like schools, malls and hospitals have been blamed for transmitting Legionnaires disease via droplets of water that have stagnated inside air-con ducts and vents.
The CDC reports that Legionnaires’ disease increased 217% between 2000 and 2009. In 2017 in Europe alone; more than 400 people succumbed to this disease, yet we never hear of it.
Legionnaires disease is a type of airborne pneumonia that can be transmitted in water droplets. Legionella pneumophila – found in natural and man-made water systems – can be inhaled by anyone who comes into contact with it; but does not pass from person to person. Both potable and non-potable water can contain Legionella pneumophila, and have been linked to outbreaks of both community and hospital acquired Legionnaires’ disease.
There are very strong recommendations in most developed countries for maintaining air conditioning units in public buildings. In Australia, unions insist on monthly as well as annual maintenance for air conditioning units. However there are many places with no clear recommendations for maintenance of air conditioning systems, and many more that don’t always comply with maintenance standards. A recent outbreak of Legionnaires in USA led investigators to suspect that the nearby Disney World’s cooling tower may have been responsible for all 22 cases.
When determining triggers, never forget that your home, workplace or school is likely to be a culprit too. Be sure to vent your home with open windows regularly, and make sure your air-conditioning units are cleaned and maintained regularly.
Breathe well to reduce the load on your lungs. Breathing correctly using Buteyko techniques and practices can reduce the inhalation of airborne pathogens and particles due to Nitric Oxide concentration in the nasal area. Nitric Oxide neutralizes many known pathogens before they can reach your lungs. If you cannot maintain natural, normal, nasal breathing, your health will suffer due to overload of triggers. Buteyko can assist to restore adaptive and functional breathing once more – even if you struggle with a chronically blocked nose.
©Buteyko South Africa