Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 08:34:49 -0500
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Subject: 3 RE: [DCHAS-L] Latex degradation, low humidity, Chinese drywall?

From: James Saccardo 
Date: November 18, 2009 7:31:36 PM EST
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Latex degradation, low humidity, Chinese drywall?

I agree with Alan=E2=80=99s point and had this very thought when I first 
read you message this afternoon. Don=E2=80=99t rule out sick building 
syndrome. Do everything you can to prove that there is no underlying 
conditions causing harm to anyone and if you find nothing, be tactful, 
do just tell them it is in their head.
We have had the same problem in the past. Coughs, itches, headaches=E2=80=A6
 We have very arid conditions in out facilities and rubber tubing and 
dry box gloves deteriorate rapidly. What does you building engineer say 
about the building humidification system. Does one exist? Is it still 
functioning properly or is it bypassed?
You may have heard this, but the human body is not very original. It has 
the same response to many stimuli:
Headache, fever, itchy eyes, runny nose. There are only a few responses 
the body can make and many overlap.
One last thought =E2=80=93 perhaps you want to hire a consultant to do 
testing and formulate a report on their findings so that when nothing is 
found, there is not that conflict of interest. You don=E2=80=99t want 
anyone to say you skewed results or are working for management (not that 
you or any health professional would ever do something like that).
These are truly difficult issues. I wish you luck. Perception is 
Be Well,
James F. Saccardo, CHMM=E2=80=A8Office of Environmental Health and 
Safety=E2=80=A8The College of Staten Island=E2=80=A82800 Victory 
Blvd.=E2=80=A8Staten Island, NY 10314
Office: (718) 982-3906=E2=80=A8Fax: (718) 982-3910

From: "David Bunzow" 
Date: November 18, 2009 8:49:37 PM EST
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Latex degradation, low humidity, Chinese drywall? 
a bit more information

Hi Debbie,
I might have missed it, but does your building have any active humidity 
control?  Are the occupants symptoms localized or random? How many 
floors does the building have? Same symptoms/frequency on all 
Several things you=E2=80=99ve checked could individually be responsible 
(RH, CO and O3), but it might be a combination of several things at 
different times of year=E2=80=A6
From: Christopher Suznovich 
Date: November 19, 2009 12:26:17 AM EST
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Latex degradation, low humidity, Chinese drywall?

Based on the data collected and the symptoms reported that the people 
are experiencing by the people, I would say they are due to the 
extremely low humidity.  Since the air is so dry, it is drying out the 
sinuses causing the headaches and malaise, basically making them feel as 
if they are sick.  

Working in a controlled environment where our humidity must also be kept 
controlled and is somewhat lower, we sometimes have similar complaints 
especially in the office areas, and our lab/documentation area.  We can 
feel when the air is very dry, because you do get dried out (nose, eyes, 
skin), stuffy, tired- basically like dry winter air and a cold.   On one 
of those days, we happened to check the %RH and it was <50%, I think it 
was lower 40%.  My allergy doctor also mentioned to me  that stuffiness 
may also be caused by dryness not just congestion.  Some homes have a 
humidifier/de-humidifier put in-line their forced air heating systems, 
especially for the winter months to ensure the air is properly balanced.

My question though is when the air is =E2=80=98exhausted=E2=80=99 from 
the room, is it just being pulled from the room, sent through the HEPA 
filter and sent back into the room or during the exhaust is fresh air 
from the outside being brought in and filtered and sent into the room?  
If fresh air from the outside is not being brought in, breathing in 
stale air can be an issue.  Even though it is being HEPA filtered, 
=E2=80=98stale air=E2=80=99 .

In this scenario, I would say these items are degrading unless there is 
some chemical release into the room that is identified, but actual dry 
rot.  The low humidity is sucking the moisture out of the these products 
causing them the to shrivel up or just loose their elasticity/softness 
and begin to just crumble (like a dried out  rubber band ).  

There is no mention of what the room temperature was here or why there 
was such a dramatic change in the humidity levels.  Higher room temps 
can also cause the fatigue. Also, CO2 levels were checked, but what 
about other airborne contaminants?  What were airborne levels of 
reagents being used and what were their health affects checked? Are 
there any windows in this room?

Chris Suznovich

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