Dust Storms = Health Issues

Recent Dust Storms can cause ongoing Health Issues

The recent dust storms experienced in the Southern Eastern Australian states was a combination of strong winds and our drought effected lands. Unfortunately, this combination had a very serious side with Asthma and Allergy sufferers being exposed to what can be a deadly trigger.

Now that the winds have subsided and the dust has literally settled, we must ask how much has settled into our homes and businesses.  Dust storms like the ones recently experienced in Australia have the potential to effect indoor air quality months after the actual event.

Affected homes and businesses need to remove the residual effects caused by these storms to restore indoor air quality. A thorough Vacuum with a HEPA vacuum not forgetting blinds curtains and bed spreads.  Dusting all solid objects and cleaning our air conditioning units.  Air conditioners become heavily contaminated in such events and can continue to blow airborne contaminants around until removed properly.

A professionally cleaned and sanitised air conditioner will not only restore your systems health but it has been proven to greatly improve indoor environments along with protecting the health of room occupants.

Sanitair will remove recent dust storm contamination from your air conditioners and make them Look, Smell and Run as New.

FreeCall 1800 130 168

Classroom Air Quality, A Growing Concern

 

 By Craig Jefferies, Sanitair

School News Magazine – TERM 3 – 2016

 

Indoor air quality is a growing problem in our schools, and students, staff and visitors are being exposed unnecessarily.

It is a well-known fact that most people spend 90 percent of their days indoors.

A study of human exposure to indoor air pollutants by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has indicated that indoor pollution levels may be between two and five times, and sometimes 100 times, higher than outdoor levels.

Indoor air pollution has long been implicated as a cause of absenteeism, hospitalisation and reduced quality of life due to respiratory problems. According to Asthma Australia, growing numbers of people are suffering with one in ten Australians suffer from asthma and associated respiratory distress.

What are the consequences of indoor air problems at school?

Failure to prevent indoor air problems, or failure to act promptly, can have consequences such as:

  • increasing the chances that the health of students and staff may be affected
  • impacting the students’ learning environment, comfort, and attendance
  • reducing productivity of teachers and staff due to discomfort, sickness, or absenteeism faster deterioration and reduced efficiency of the school’s plant and equipment
  • straining relationships between school administration, parents and staff

Good indoor air quality contributes to a favourable learning environment for students, productivity for teachers and staff, and a sense of comfort, health, and well-being for school occupants.

One piece of equipment used widely in our classrooms to deliver comfort and enhance the learning experience is air conditioning.

Unfortunately, the biological health of many air conditioning systems is nothing short of appalling, with many harbouring more bacteria than your average wheelie bin or garbage can.  Incorrectly and poorly maintained air conditioners are exposing our teachers and children to serious health issues. Untreated, these breeding grounds for pathogens have the potential to trigger respiratory distress.

Mould, bacteria, dirt, mites, bio­ films, mice, cockroaches, geckos, pest feaces and human DNA are typical contaminants found deep within air conditioning systems in our schools.

Healthy air conditioning is all about controlling contaminants, and establishing a biologically balanced environment deep within air conditioning components. Ensuring heat exchange coils, blowers, air wells, primary filters, condensate pans and drains are kept clean and sanitised.

So why are so many school air conditioners so

contaminated that removal Is advised?

The correct professional cleaning of key components is critical to establishing a healthy environment deep within an air conditioner.

Professional cleaning and sanitising not only ensures your air conditioning is able to deliver a comfortable environment for teachers and students, but also a much healthier one.

Most air conditioning contractors focus on the mechanical maintenance of air conditioning but lack the correct equipment, products and patience to remediate air conditioners to the Australian Standard 3666. Professional air conditioning cleaning is a specialised field with dedicated technicians, who are highly trained in air conditioning remediation,

and in the restoration of healthy environments.

The benefits of specialised air conditioning cleaning

  • Improvement to indoor air quality and healthier environments
  • Up to 30 percent reduction in energy usage
  • Quieter system operation
  • Odour removal
  • Increased plant and equipment life
  • Reduction of symptoms associated with poor indoor air quality, such as itchy eyes, runny noses and sneezing
  • Reduction of respiratory distress, such as asthma attacks.

Many professional air conditioning contractors now employ the services of companies like Sanitair Australia to professionally clean air conditioners on their behalf, acknowledging the level of expertise that such companies demonstrate, and the ongoing benefits they deliver for their customers.

Your school should also consider the services of a specialised air conditioning cleaning company to minimise your risk, and improve the overall indoor air quality in your classrooms and offices.

Many professional air conditioning cleaning companies will conduct obligation free health checks and risk assessments.

By Craig Jefferies, Sanitair

Buy a Bale – Sanitair Lake Macquarie and Sanitair Central Coast donating $20 for every premium clean in August

Buy A Bale – for drought affected farmers.

So many farmers out there are doing it really tough at the moment, Trent and Elisa Barnett from Sanitair Lake Macquarie and Sanitair Central Coast are donating $20 for every Premium HVAC Hygiene  in August to help raise vital funds for Rural Aid. The not-for-profit organisation does amazing work in supporting farming communities through programs like Buy a Bale, which delivers hay for cattle feed and other essential items.

“These farmers are fellow Australians, so it’s important we do what we can to help.”

Are you thinking about getting your air conditioner professionally cleaned?

How about also doing your bit to help our Aussie farmers who are struggling at the moment?

How Sanitair Lake Macquarie and Sanitair Central Coast are getting involved?

Trent and Elisa love giving back to their local community, for the month of August they are donating $20 for every Premium Air Con clean towards ‘Buy a Bale’ to support the farming community affected by the drought.

The money sponsored will provide emotional and practical support to families affected by this devastating drought and improve their quality of life.

Sanitair Central Coast  and Sanitair Lake Macquarie will donate $20 (a bale of hay) to Buy A Bale from every premium service booked and cleaned in August.  See what you get for your money here Premium HVAC Hygiene 

These donations go directly to farmers and their families who are experiencing the prolonged drought conditions and support immediate needs like household expenses. Every dollar that is donated goes directly to those who need it most. We encourage others to visit https://www.buyabale.com.au/donate/ and add to the effort.

Call Trent or Elisa 1800 130 168 – if you reside in Lake Macquarie or Central Coast NSW.

Sanitair Lake Macquarie & Sanitair Central Coast

History of Legionnaires Disease

Mystery Illness Kills Legionnaires

The history of Legionnaire’s Disease.

Philadelphia, 1976

July 21st 1976, the American Legion held its annual conference at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. 2,000 ‘legionnaires’ (as they’re called) gathered to celebrate the 200th anniversary of The Declaration of Independence.

Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, 1976.

Ray Brennan was the Legion’s bookkeeper and an Air Force vet. At 61, returned home on the evening of the 24th, he noted to his family that he was feeling run down. So, when he died on the 27th of an apparent heart attack, his earlier noted fatigue was seen as merely prodromal to whatever major cardiac event had been brewing. As his family mourned, another legionnaire, Frank Aveni, also died of a supposed heart attack. By the first of August, six more legionnaires who had attended the convention in Philly were dead of apparent cardiac events.

Dr. Ernest Campbell, a physician in Bloomberg, PA, treated a few of the first legionnaires to die. He quickly realized that they had all recently attended the conference, and he immediately notified the Department of Public Health.

Within the first week after the conference, 130 of the attendees ended up in the hospital; and 25 were dead.

Attendees of the 1976 convention. Within months, two of the men pictured were dead.

Joseph McDade

In January of 1977 McDade successfully isolated the bacterium responsible for the outbreak and he named it Legionella pneumophila It begins with flu-like symptoms and appear similar to a run-of-the-mill respiratory virus: but Legionnaire’s routinely led to pneumonia and high fevers that quickly progressed to fatal bradycardia (slow heart rate). Subsequent research concluded that the bacterium had been in the vents of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel and had, therefore, been pumped through those air vents and then inhaled by attendees. Continued research would also find it to thrive in hot tubs, humidifiers and nebulizers. The prognosis was actually quite good: it could be treated successfully with specific antibiotics; antibiotics that weren’t the first line of defense by the hospitals that treated the first cases in summer of ‘76.

Legionella bacteria are commonly spread through airborne water droplets. Mist or vapor contaminated with the bacteria can come from whirlpool spas, cooling towers (used as air-conditioning units in large buildings), and water used for drinking and bathing.

Home and car air-conditioning units do not use water to cool the air, so they are not a risk for Legionella growth.

Legionnaires Disease Fact Sheet   http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/legionnaires_disease.aspx

Footnotes
  1. Magazine story covers related to the 1976 outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Library, #1185. Copyright 1976 by CDC.
  1. http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/legionnaires_disease.aspx
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/about/causes-transmission.html

© Sanitair Australia 2018

Melbourne women develops auto-immune disease from MOULD in her air conditioner




A 34 year old high school PE teacher developed lesions all over her skin after moving into a brand-new apartment in trendy Melbourne suburb of Prahran in April 2014.  Carly Buhagiar had no idea how disastrous the place would be for her health, she was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and autoimmune condition that left her so exhausted she was forced to quit her job.

During the three years the 34-year-old high school PE teacher lived in the rental unit she developed lesions all over her skin. At the same time, Ms Buhagiar’s former partner, who was also living in the unit, developed an eerily similar autoimmune condition.

However, it would be years before they would connect the dots – and trace their dramatic health problems back to an air conditioner filled with mould.

Diagnosis Found – MOULD Found to be the cause

“I was just handballed from specialist to specialist, and I probably went to see about 14 different doctors,” she said.  It took over 20 months after she first moved into her apartment  until she was finally diagnosed with toxic mould illness after seeing a new GP.

When asked when she felt her skin was at its best, she replied: ‘When I go on holiday.’ Luckily for Ms Buhagiar, the GP’s colleague had just had an experience with mould, with his son becoming very ill because of it. With this in mind, Ms Buhagiar’s GP recommended she get the apartment tested for mould.

Toxic mould illness is one of the most under-diagnosed conditions caused by toxic vapours from mould.

These vapours can cause an auto-immune reaction in some individuals like in Carly Buhagiar’s case.

Symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, shortness of breath, depression, sleep disturbances and  abdominal pain.

“I did a home test kit off the internet. And sure enough, alarm bells rang straight away,” she said.  Ms Buhagiar had further tests done by Dr Cameron Jones, “He came out and swabbed the whole place. It was uninhabitable,” she said.

Dr Jones said “It was extremely high where the air conditioner was pumping out. That was the central thing that you saw when you walked into the apartment,” he said.

Photos taken of the air conditioner at the time show mould growing inside the casing and on its fins. (Photo: Carly Buhagiar)

“It was clear as crystal. It was the air conditioner,” Dr Jones said. While reverse cycle air conditioners can be useful in lowering a home’s humidity, they can also become mouldy inside if they are not regularly checked and maintained, Dr Jones said.

Lint and debris collect inside the air conditioners over time and, when mixed with water, form mould, he said. “It becomes mould contaminated and that’s when it’s a massive problem.”

Sydney GP Mark Donohoe, who specialises in treating chronic illnesses, said he was initially sceptical about CIRS, but over the past few years had come to recognise mould as a factor behind many of his patient’s puzzling and debilitating conditions.

Many of his patients had been ill for years and misdiagnosed with illnesses such as chronic fatigue. Like Ms Buhagiar, they were also often suspected of having mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, Dr Donohoe said.

“When medicine has run out of ideas of physical medical treatment we move straight to psychiatry and psychology. “(So patients get) misdiagnosed with mental health problems but when the moulds are gone they quickly regain their equilibrium and you find people emerging from what seems like depression or anxiety or bipolar disorders,” he said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that (mould-related illness) is an enormous problem and that we are going to have to solve it.” “Why it’s taken off so much in the last few years I can’t tell you but my practice is full of people who are mycotoxin affected, and mould toxins are by far the most common of those.

 Treatment for the Mould Illness

Carly underwent  a two week detox program in a Seattle based wellness clinic which involves medication and also alternative treatments such as “ozone steam sauna capsules” where patients sit inside and “sweat out the mould”.  At an expense of $25,000, Ms Buhagiar said she had noticed improvement in her health.

Dr Donohoe said while there was some merit to the suggestion you could sweat out toxins in the body, the main way to treat a mould illness was still to avoid exposure to it.

Ms Buhagiar has been treated in the US for toxic mould syndrome. (Photo: Carly Buhagiar)

CALLS FOR A NATIONAL INQUIRY

NSW Liberal MP Lucy Wicks, who has herself been diagnosed with CIRS, called for a national inquiry into mould-related illnesses.

An inquiry, similar to one recently conducted into Lyme disease, was needed to raise awareness among GPs about the health impacts of mould and also establish national guidelines for doctors, Ms Wicks said.  A spokesperson for Health Minister Greg Hunt said the minister was supportive of the proposal.

Professional Air Conditioning Mould Remediation

For all your Air conditioning mould remediation contact one of our professional Sanitair HVAC Hygienists.  We have over 65 branches across Australia.

Freecall 1800 1301 68 or enter your postcode into the search bar to be directed to your local Sanitair HVAC Hygienist.

 

 

Sourced: https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/06/06/10/44/mould-in-air-conditioner-woman-develops-toxic-mould-syndrome