Vastu Science, ancient Indian science of architecture talks about building construction, building materials, environmental quality and higher standard of living through energy efficient and sustainable habitats. People have lived longer and healthier lives in structures which were merely nature supportive. Our ancient architects knew the art and science of wise creation of buildings. Such structures are still evidently visible to learn from our glorious past. The term like Sick Building Syndrome is today’s problem. It is a problem created through unwise planning, poor ideology, structures, materials and primarily lack of knowledge about sensitive aspects of life and building.
There have been some scholars in ancient and modern architecture who have even added that sick building syndrome is some total of both scientific and holistic constraints of building or poor hygienic living conditions. A building may have holistic defects if it has not been designed as per the laws of nature. Therefore sick building syndrome is a much wider term than it seems. It is much detailed because it is not just unhealthy conditions created by unhealthy air but combination of external and internal scientific and holistic factors.
Although in many cases the exact mechanism by which a building, or substances within the building are causing the occupants to become ill is unknown, the problem areas can usually be identified and remedial action can be taken. In many Sick Building Syndrome cases poor building design, maintenance, and/or operation of the structure's ventilation system may be at fault. The cross ventilation system in particular is often found to be at the heart of the problem, and can itself be a source of irritants. In addition, a poor ventilation system can result in a buildup of pollutants within the building, in which case the indoor environment can often have air quality much lower than the outdoor air. Factors such as architecture or interior design may also interfere with efficient functioning of ventilation systems. Essentially poor design and maintenance of the ventilation system can enhance the negative health effects.
It has been suggested that very low levels of specific pollutants, such as VOCs, that are present inside a building may act to cause symptoms of illness. The chemical industry is not strictly regulated and majority of chemicals have not been tested for health effects. Today the scientists are active in finding even minute negative effects of a chemical emission as such collective gross emissions from multiple chemicals may be highly dangerous. Example of such a massacre is Union carbon factory Bhopal.
The symptoms of SBS are likely the result of a combination of factors. Many of the symptoms can be related either to the known toxic effects of high levels of certain chemicals emitted from a recognizable source within or outside the building. Some of the prominent causes of Sick Building Syndrome are mentioned below:
The symptoms of Sick Building may vary conditionally. The symptoms depend on the type of emission and the people affected by such emissions. In general conditions there can be a long list of problems that people may face during their stay in the building. Several sick occupants may complain individual symptoms which may not appear to be connected. Generally the symptoms may not appear as soon as the occupant leaves the building. Although there may be a mild lingering affect throughout. In fact in sensitive individuals there can be long-term health effects too.
Buildings often contain a lot of hidden and unapproachable spaces within the building. Such spaces may include attic, crawlspace, and drop-ceiling spaces etc. Such spaces suffer from absence of infiltration and inadequate ventilation. It is technically referred to as “Stagnation”. The symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome are mentioned below:
The impact of overall environment on the human body is explained through the below mentioned diagram.
The mental and physical health of the occupants depends a lot on the environment. Healthy environment can help a person grow better both mentally and physically.
An adequate level of sunlight can positively alter the mood chemically and even prevent depression. SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder in which people experience depressive symptoms due to lack of adequate levels of sunlight especially winters. SAD was first formally described and named in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and at the National Institute of Mental Health. The US National Library of Medicine states that "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up. The condition in the summer is often referred to as reverse seasonal affective disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety”.
SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER
The one and only cause of seasonal affective disorder is lack of natural sunlight on skin. When one does not receive enough natural sunlight one may suffer from a nutritional It can also be referred as "sunlight deficiency".
Sunlight also stimulates the pineal gland - a tiny pea-sized organ found in the base of the brain. It is also referred to as 'the third eye', the pineal gland produces certain types of brain chemicals called 'tryptamines'. One type of tryptamine, melatonin, keeps our body clock aware of day and night, and the changing seasons. From the spiritual perspectives, sunlight helps an individual to raise all the levels of consciousness within including simple consciousness, self consciousness and cosmic consciousness. It is considered to be the life force and best healer in the nature. Sun has always been considered as the God of health. The light of the sun has been used by healers for healing various diseases.
Experts suggest that the influence of Sunlight may be related to the number of red cells and hemoglobin in the blood. An insufficiency of light may cause an increase in the serum or watery portion of the blood and a corresponding decrease in the quantity of blood fibrin and red corpuscles, resulting in anemia. Sunlight may also favorably influence the irregularities of ovulation, pubertal difficulties and impotency. Studies have shown that after prolonged fasting or a wasting illness, exposure to sufficient Sunshine may enable the body to gain energy.
Our body has its own electrical and magnetic system. Electrical energy created in the brain regulates complex biological process. Our bodies electrics can be distributed and disrupted by environmental electromagnetic fields, natural (geo pathos stress) and manmade (electro stress). Radiations from nature can be through sun or earth.
Most significant consistent effect of electro stress on the human system is on the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Every client whose body is detrimentally affected by electro magnetic disturbances has a compressed nutrient absorption rate. Once the source of electro magnetic disturbances is deactivated or removed, nutrient absorption rate rapidly returns to optimal levels.
Electro magnetic field are invisible to the naked eye, but it shows harmful effect on our body, so electromagnetic field have been part of the earth’s environment. Resonances occurs between the earth’s molten iron nickel core and the charged gases of the ionosphere. They pulse at definite frequencies (between 0.1 and 25 HZ mostly at about 10 Hz) and act as regulators for the biological time clocks of all living creatures. If a man or any living animal or plant is shielded from these fields for any length of time the result is discomfort and ill health.
Anything which uses electricity for its operation generates a field, whether it is AC or DC. Automotive currents are in general more harmful because they pulse Due to geo and environment stress there can be impact on our life. Our body has an energy axis which is aligned with the centre of the body, when it is resonates with the flow of energies in the space. When disturbed, the axis moves out and causes loss of immunity and health disorders over a period of time. Almost all radiations, known to mankind have a wavelength of less than 20 cm. Scientific reports have suggested that exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted from these devices could have adverse health effects, such as cancer, reduced fertility, memory loss, and adverse changes in the behavior and development of children.
HEALTH EFFECTS OF ELECTRO MAGNETIC RADIATIONS:
The following list represents diseases and health problems that are either a direct result of electromagnetic radiation poisoning or are closely associated with it. Keep in mind that all health issues will be affected to some degree by exposure to EMF radiation, whether electric, magnetic, wireless or ionizing radiation, since it weakens the immune system, stresses the body and damages healthy cells.
Reactions in MCS are triggered by a vast array of everyday chemicals from perfume to diesel exhaust. The common ingredients in most of these chemical products are hydrocarbon based volatile organic chemicals (VOC's). Phenols (containing benzene) are commonly implicated. With everyday cosmetic and household chemical products, it is generally the addition of perfume that makes them bad news for MCS sufferers. Typically a sufferer will notice a sensitivity to one or two things to start with, perfume and cigarette smoke for example, and then will rapidly become sensitized to more and more chemical sources over a relatively short period of time. The reasons for this common occurrence are unknown but it is clearly something that needs to be investigated.
Most new carpets contain a cocktail of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) as ingredients in glues, backing materials, flame retardants, dyes etc. These include many of the chemicals we are now familiar with, such as acetone, toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, and benzene derivatives. When the carpet is new these chemicals "off gas" over a period of around 6 months to 2 years, polluting the air in the home.
OFF GAS FROM CARPETS
Lead & VOC Paints-
Paint which emits Volatile Organic Compounds are dangerous for human health. Considering the negative aspect of VOC emission, Green Building guidelines emphasize on VOC free paints to be used in buildings.
Asbestos can cause lung disease with sufficient exposure.
PERFUMES CAN BE CONTAMINATING
Household Cleaning Products –
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US states that the air in the average home may be up to 5 times as polluted as the air outside. Much of this pollution comes from the use of common household cleaning products. They also caution that of the many thousands of chemicals in use only around 3 in 10 have actually been safety tested. Examples of common chemicals in cleaning products include diethyl phthalate, found in a range of products, toluene, found in stain removers, and hexane/xylene, found in aerosol sprays. Diethyl Phthalate is a known endocrine disrupter (interferes with hormone activity), toluene is a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent) and can cause neurological problems, and finally both hexane and xylene can also damage the nervous system.
Other cleaning products that commonly trigger MCS symptoms include dishwasher detergent, laundry liquid/powder, fabric softener, air "fresheners", and bathroom/kitchen detergents. Highly fragranced products are always likely to be the most troublesome.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a devastating illness, not just because of the distress caused by the symptoms themselves, but also from the resulting effects on all areas of life. An MCS sufferer typically becomes more and more isolated and withdrawn as they simply can't be around people (wearing perfume, deodorant etc) or in public spaces where chemicals are routinely used. MCS sufferers often lose their jobs as they can't tolerate the chemicals in the work environment, and relationships often break down as the partner is unable to understand or adapt to living without the use of common chemical products.
A couple of studies have found abnormal T and B-lymphocyte numbers and increased auto antibodies, that is antibodies that react with the body’s own tissues. Some data has shown a low T-helper/Suppressor ratio which would act to impair immune function. Probably the most consistent finding is that of low natural killer (NK) cell activity. This is interesting in the light of strong evidence for low NK activity in and The inconsistent findings have been suggested to be the result of changes in immune activation over time following an exposure, with the resulting difficulties in testing MCS patients appropriately in research studies.
Benzene A commonly used solvent, also found in fuels.
Formaldehyde A disinfectant, preservative, and curing agent.
Trichloroethylene A commercial product for industrial use.
Inks, oils, paints, plastics, rubber, gasoline, detergents, pharmaceuticals, dyes, tobacco smoke and synthetic fibres.
Particle board, pressed wood, foam insulation, paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, stiffeners and wrinkle resisters, water repellents, fire retardants, binders in floor coverings, carpet backing, permanent press clothes, natural gas, kerosene and cigarette smoke.
Metal degreasers, dry cleaners, printing inks, lacquers, varnishes and adhesives.
Skin and eye irritation (including drying, inflammation, blistering and dermatitis), dizziness, weakness, headache, nausea, blurred vision, respiratory problems, tremors, irregular heartbeat, liver and kidney damage, loss of appetite, drowsiness, nervousness, psychological disturbances, diseases of the blood system and carcinogenicity.
Irritation of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat, allergic contact dermatitis, respiratory problems, eye irritation, headaches, asthma and carcinogenicity to the throat.
Potent carcinogenicity to the liver.
Plants have proven to be important life supporters in that they remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. The NASA studies found that plants also work in a symbiotic relationship to remove air pollutants produced by other plants, people and industry. Trace chemicals in the atmosphere are absorbed and biodegraded by plant leaves and roots, the soil, and micro-organisms. Virtually every tropical foliage and flowering plant works to remove pollutants from the interior environment, and particular plants are better at removing certain toxins. The studies found that one potted plant per 100 square feet of floor space can help clean the air in the average home or office, although the addition of more plants would increase the rate of pollutant removal
Indoor air contaminants can originate within the building or from outdoors. Air pollutants consist of numerous particulates, fibers, mists, bio-acrosols, and gases. Another important aspect of indoor air pollution is that it can vary by time and location within the facilities, or even a single room. Pollutants can be emitted from recognizable point sources, such as from chemical store rooms, or from area sources, such as newly painted surfaces.
Other Indoor Air Contaminants
There are a variety of sources and factors that can contribute to the cause and spread of IAQ contaminants. These sources may result in a variety of IAQ contaminants including:
The most common source of indoor radon is uranium in the soil or rocks emitting uranium on which homes are built. As uranium naturally breaks down, it releases radon gas, which is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. Radon is a heavy gas. Radon gas enters homes through dirt floors, cracks in concrete walls and floors, floor drains, and sumps. When radon becomes trapped in buildings and concentrations build up indoors, exposure to radon becomes a concern.
Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements, however, it is only considered a significant risk in some areas. Sometimes radon enters the home through well water. In a small number of homes, the building materials can give off radon, too. However, building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves.
Pleasing Sounds are called music whereas unpleasing and unbearable sounds are referred to as noise. Noise beyond acceptable limits is termed as noise pollution. Noise pollution is displeasing human, animal or machine-created sound that disturbs the activity or balance of human or animal life.
HEALTH EFECTS ON HUMAN HEALTH:Noise health effectscan be both mental and physical. The unwanted sounds can damage physiological and psychological health. Noise pollution can cause
High noise levels can contribute to
TOO MUCH OF NOISE IS BANNED
Over exposure to noise can have negative effect on animals and plants as well. It can lead to stress, increasing risk of death by changing the delicate balance in predator/prey detection and avoidance, and by interfering with their use of sounds in communication especially in relation to reproduction and in navigation. Acoustic overexposure can lead to temporary or permanent loss of hearing.