Not to good news in the TT today, according to following article
[quote]One-third of the nation’s buildings are `sick’: report
CNA , TAIPEI
Thursday, Feb 09, 2006,Page 2
Nearly one-third of the nation’s buildings have been classified as “sick” because they pose a health threat to inhabitants, with newly constructed or remodeled buildings having the worst problems, the United Daily News reported on Tuesday.
Quoting a study conducted by National Cheng Kung University for the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), the paper said that the indoor environments of about 30 percent of the buildings had poor air quality, and the concentrations of methanal, bacteria and fungi are higher than the standards set by the World Health Organization.
The study identified poor design as the main reason for many of the newer buildings being classified as “sick buildings” and poor sanitation as the main reason for most remodeled buildings.
Recently constructed and newly refurbished buildings exposed their inhabitants to the risks of allergic and cardiovascular diseases and even cancer with their fresh paint and decoration materials which release chemicals.
Central air-conditioning in old buildings, meanwhile, can lead to poor air quality when filters are not cleaned or changed regularly, and spores of bacteria and fungi can spread through ventilation systems.
Office buildings cause dangers in the workplace with machines like old printers releasing ozone, which causes emphysema and bronchitis in some people.
In addition, the study also found that about 30 percent of people developed so-called “sick building syndrome,” which includes such symptoms as a sore throat, itchy skin, headaches and an inability to concentrate.
Taiwanese spent over NT$4 billion (US$124 million) a year between 1997 and 2003 on treating allergic and respiratory diseases such as asthma, according to Bureau of National Health Insurance statistics. [/quote]