Chapter

Environmental Indicators

pp 1047-1060

Date:

Molds and Radon, Indoors Problems as Indicated by Diseases

  • Heikki ElonheimoAffiliated withExcellent Element Oy (limited Company) Email author 
  • , Osmo HänninenAffiliated withDepartment of Physiology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Eastern Finland
  • , Robert H. ArmonAffiliated withFaculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technion (Israel Institute of Technology)

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Abstract

In old times people were aware of the health problems caused by visible mold marks on room walls. The prophet Moses instructed that such rooms must be emptied, cleaned, whitewashed and left empty for a while. If the mold marks still reappeared, the whole construction had to be demolished, and materials mold colored removed out of town. Such problems are still with us today. Many buildings are built in haste and not let dry well before use. Basement and floors interact with soil moisture and its microbes. Also roof and pipeline leaks can bring in biological harms as the mold growth is seen in few days in the worst scenario. Some people are sensitive to mold allergens and have serious health problems in such environments and have to seek new homes in healthier buildings. Radon that cannot be sensed promotes cancer development in inhabitants of buildings especially in smokers. Under very cold or hot weather conditions, homes need heating or cooling respectively both under close environment in order to preserve energy. For example in Finland, Finnish regulations require hypobaric condition to save energy. This pressure gradient sucks in radon, molds’ spores, their toxins and allergens through leaks in the basements, floors, walls, windows and roofs’ openings, waste pipes and electricity lines. Indoor hyperbaric pressure can prevent entrance of environmental allergens, dust, molds, and other toxicants and radon too and also helps drying the interiors. With present day sensors information can be collected from buildings, flats and even sole room to make safer indoor stay.

Keywords

Indoor Contamination Mold Radon Allergens Health problems