Academy of Art University Disease Causing Organisms in Work Environment PPT

Academy of Art University

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Academy of Art University Disease Causing Organisms in Work Environment PPT

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Your Work Makes You Ill Work is an essential component of the life of a human being. People work in different environments. While some settings are outdoor spaces, many are indoor spaces in office buildings. Exposure to different backgrounds leads to different outcomes. Indoor air quality is a significant concern in the offices that make work environments. Workers can get infected with illnesses that are associated with the quality of air in the buildings, known as Building Related Illnesses (BRI). The work environments might be havens of factors and disease-causing organisms that affect the health of the workers. Depending on how long they spend in their work environments, and the strength of the elements and disease-causing microorganisms that may be in there, workers may contract illnesses that may cause short-term or long-term health effects. The focus of this research is on the role that an infectious disease specialist can play in the identification, prevention, and control of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) among laboratory staff in school environments. SBS is a worldwide health concern. The work of infectious disease specialists is to diagnose, control, prevent, and treat infections (Paulsen et al., 2016). These specialists team up with physicians in the hospitals to provide treatment to infections that have shown resistance to treatment. Clinical outcomes are one of the primary concerns of a physician, and infectious disease experts come in to help improve them. They bring positive influence in transitions by providing prevention and control of infections (McQuillen & MacIntyre, 2017). This research aims to gather and do an analysis on the incidences of Sick Building Syndrome among laboratory staff, the prevalent risk factors, and the ways to help in prevention and control of the transmission of the illnesses. SBS qualifies as an occupational hazard because it affects people at their workplace. School laboratory staff spend a lot of time in the laboratory buildings and are exposed to different chemicals that bring side-effects. The workers in such laboratories expose themselves to several microorganisms that may directly relate to the harmful health-related effects they experience. Also, the time they spend in the building is a significant factor. If the microorganisms in the laboratories are dangerous, a worker who spends a long time in the building may suffer long-term consequences when they work in there consistently. Microorganisms that infect laboratory staff, and their transmission According to Josh (2008), the microorganisms likely to affect laboratory staff include viruses, bacteria, molds, and fungus. These microorganisms can be found anywhere in the laboratory buildings. The microorganisms come as a result of the chemicals and biological substances that are used during teaching and research activities. People in the laboratory can transmit viruses. Laboratory staff carrying viruses can transfer them to each other because of the contact with each other. Viruses are airborne and, therefore, can be passed to each other. A virus in the air in the lab can be inhaled by a worker without their knowledge and end up suffering the ill effects. Bacteria, just like viruses, are carried by people. Therefore, staff in the laboratory can spread bacteria to each other. They can also be carried by animals, soil, and plant debris. Laboratories deal with experiments. Some of the specimens used for experiments come from animals and come from plants. If a plant specimen has a harmful bacteria with it, contact with laboratory staff can spread it. The same case applies to soils, which can also be used as specimens in the laboratory. Breeding of these microorganisms happens within the laboratory premises. Josh (2008) says that these microorganisms breed in stagnant water. In laboratories, stagnant water can be found in drainpipes and ducts. A further breeding ground for these microorganisms is insulations and ceiling tires. Breeding grounds in the laboratory imply that a virus, bacteria, fungi, or mold that is within the building will breed and keep multiplying (Prussin and Marr, 2015). A laboratory staff that carried a particular virus from home will transmit it, and some will produce in there and continue infecting others in the long run. Molds thrive in moisture. Laboratory temperatures can fluctuate between hot and cold depending on the atmospheric temperatures, and the type of experiments being done because some may require various temperature ranges. Symptoms of SBS The infections that come with microorganisms in laboratories cause certain behaviors in laboratory staff. The behavioral changes are in the form of symptoms that manifest in the personnel. Some of the symptoms include headaches, eye irritation, dizziness, nose irritation, fatigue, throat irritation, fatigue, and nausea, which is a direct result of personnel exposure to toxic chemicals that toxic black mold release. Infections from microorganisms also cause chest tightness, chills, muscle aches, cough, fever, dry and itchy skin rashes, difficulty in concentrating, forgetfulness, and allergic reactions (Abdul-Wahab, 2011). Diagnosis of SBS Diagnosis of SBS can sometimes be challenging because the symptoms are wide-ranging. Some of the symptoms mimic other unrelated conditions like the common cold. However, SBS symptoms have a unique way of manifestation that distinguishes from separate conditions with the same symptoms. When someone with SBS leaves the building that is the source of the illness, the symptoms improve. When they get back to the same building, the symptoms return. As a result, laboratory personnel suffering from SBS can determine if they are infected upon the realization that they have recurring symptoms of headache, nausea, fever, cough, etc. when they go away from and come back to the laboratory building. People with a current respiratory disease or an allergy already have symptoms that are more or less similar to SBS symptoms. What happens to them is that their symptoms become more severe. If they were coughing before due to their respiratory disease, exposure to microorganisms in a building will cause them a more critical and persistent cough. An asthmatic person may be at a higher risk for Asthma attacks because of SBS (Abdul-Wahab, 2011). It is vital to note that people suffer SBS symptoms differently. Everyone that goes into a building with SBS inducing microorganisms may suffer from all or some of the symptoms noted above, but they may have variations. Other people may get infected with SBS but exhibit none of the symptoms above. Some people may exhibit the symptoms of SBS after they walk away from the building because of long-term or repeated exposure. The process of diagnosis of SBS in practice is systematic. A doctor making SBS diagnosis is aware that other conditions mimic the symptoms of SBS. Therefore, the doctor uses the elimination process. A doctor will ask a patient about their work and home environment. They will further ask questions about their experiences and feelings. The doctor will then actively rule out conditions like allergies, asthma, or cold that could mimic sick building symptoms. An individual suspecting the presence of SBS in their body is sometimes advised to keep a journal where they record the various symptoms that they experience. They should record the specific times when they appear, specific location, and when they disappear. These details might seem trivial, but they are very crucial to a doctor to help diagnose SBS correctly and distinguish it from conditions like asthma. Causes of SBS SBS has got several reasons that lead to its manifestation in occupants of buildings. In a school laboratory set-up, there are several culprits behind SBS. One of the causes of SBS is the exposure of staff to buildings with poor ventilation. Examples of these buildings are public spaces, offices, and schools. Another cause is high levels of dust, carpet fibers, and fungal spores. Dust causes respiratory problems that trigger coughing, sneezing, chest tightness, and sometimes nausea. Dust gets into the human system and clogs the lungs, causing irritable coughs. Dust may find its way into a laboratory building from the outside environment through open doors and windows, mainly when it is windy (Zahran et al., 2018). Poor ventilation means that the dust will accumulate and concentrate on the building. Laboratory staff will then inhale those dust particles into their respiratory system. Airborne chemical pollutants cause SBS. In a school laboratory, staff deal with various chemicals while carrying out experiments. Chemicals like chlorine fumes can affect the respiratory system of laboratory staff. A further cause of SBS includes poor lighting in buildings. Poor lighting irritates the eyes because of the strain to see. It also causes general malaise. Low humidity is another symptom. Microorganisms like molds and fungus thrive in low humidity. School laboratories located in cold places present a conducive environment for the molds to grow. Fluctuations in room temperature contribute to low humidity when the temperatures fall from room temperature to cold. Other harmful chemicals include asbestos, carbon monoxide, and photocopier ozone. Poor standards of cleanliness in a building is another cause. Unclean premises would have spaces with stagnant water that could serve as breeding grounds for the microorganisms. Other factors include psychological factors like stress and high levels of noise that air conditioning systems or piping create. Interview with experts in the field Experts in the area are well versed with SBS because they are either working in environments likely to contain SBS or specializing in research on SBS. Individuals interviewed for this research include a) Laura Poland- an animal doctor in Great bay animal hospital b) John Douglas- an engineer working for Durham Building Co c) Allicins Ranch- a chicken breeder, working for Local Harvest farm d) Chang Liu- a chemical Ph.D. student. Poland and Allicins work in environments containing animals. These environments can cause SBS. At the hospital, Poland deals with chemicals like drenches, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medicines, and vaccines to treat the animals (Osweiler, 2011). Ranch is a chicken breeder and deals with chicken feeds and chemicals for their treatment. Douglas is an engineer that gets exposed to building materials like cement, paint, asbestos, lead, etc., which, according to Torgal et al. (2016), cause health-related effects. Liu is a Ph.D. student that gets exposed to laboratory chemicals almost every day. The four interviewees are at risk of SBS because of the environments where they work. From the interview that featured several questions, Douglas and Liu revealed that they had been infected by SBS before, meaning that their work can make them ill because of the risk bacteria, fungus, bacteria, and chemicals. Ranch and Poland revealed that they use face masks when working to prevent them from inhaling harmful chemicals. Poland, particularly, said that he uses gloves all the time when administering drugs to animals because some of them are corrosive and can affect the hands. Douglas and Liu said that they were treated by doctors when they suffered SBS. They used allergy medications and over the counter options recommended by the doctor like Zyrtec and Benadryl. During their treatment, they reduced exposure to their working environments to help alleviate the symptoms. Prevention and treatment of SBS Treatment of SBS involves the alleviation of symptoms. A doctor can prescribe allergy medications to alleviate the nose, the skin, and itchy eyes. They can also prescribe options like Zyrtec and Benadryl. Prevention techniques include taking regular breaks from the building, taking caution when using indoor chemicals like insecticides, opening windows to increase ventilation, etc. In conclusion, laboratory staff in schools work in buildings that subject them to microorganisms that spread infectious diseases. Air-conditioning systems and stagnant water facilitate the spread of microorganisms that result in SBS. The density of occupation (congestion among laboratory staff) in the building also enables airborne diseases to spread in the premises. The interview reveals that workplaces can be a source of SBS more, especially in places where the workers deal with chemicals and building materials. References Abdul-Wahab, S. A. (2011). Sick building syndrome: In public buildings and workplaces. Berlin: Springer. McQuillen, D., & MacIntyre, A. (2017). The Value That Infectious Diseases Physicians Brings to the Healthcare System. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 216(suppl_5), S588-S593. Osweiler, G. (2011). Ruminant Toxicology, An Issue of Veterinary Clinics: Food Animal Practice - E-Book. Paulsen, J., Solligård, E., Damås, J., Dewan, A., Åsvold, B., & Bracken, M. (2016). The Impact of Infectious Disease Specialist Consultation for staphylococcus aureus bloodstream Infections: A Systematic Review. Open Forum Infectious Prussin, A., & Marr, L. (2015). Sources of airborne microorganisms in the built environment. Microbiome, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-015-0144-z Torgal, F. P., Jalali, S., Fucic, A., & Woodhead Publishing. (2016). Toxicity of building materials. Oxford [etc.: Woodhead Publishing Limited. Zahran, S., McElmurry, S., Kilgore, P., Mushinski, D., Press, J., & Love, N. et al. (2018). Assessment of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Flint, Michigan. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, 115(8), E1730-E1739. Appendices Interviewees a) Laura Poland- who is an animal doctor in Great bay animal hospital b) John Douglas- who is an engineer working for Durham Building Co. c) Allicins Ranch- a chicken breeder, working for Local Harvest farm d) Chang Liu- a chemical Ph.D. student. Interview questions 1. Do you think your work can make you ill? 2. Do you risk being infected by bacteria, viruses, or fungus during your work? 3. Have you ever suffered from sick building syndrome? If so, how did you recover? 4. Is there any protection you use while working? Like masks, gloves, or glass. Interview answers • All the four interviewees said ‘Yes’ to question 1. • All the four interviewees said ‘Yes’ to question 2. • Douglas and Liu said ‘Yes’ while Poland and Ranch said ‘No’ to question 3. • All the four interviewees said ‘Yes’ to question 4. ...
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Final Answer


Your Work Makes You ILL
Institution affiliation:

❑ Work is an essential component of the life.
❑ People work in different environments.
❑ The work environments might be havens
of factors and disease-causing organisms
❑ Therefore, Workers can get Building
Related Illnesses (BRI).

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) among
❑ SBS is a worldwide health concern.
❑ School laboratory staff spend a lot of
time in the laboratory buildings
❑ They are exposed to different chemicals
that bring side effects
❑ They may suffer long-term
consequences when they work in there

Microorganisms that infect laboratory
staff, and their transmission
❑ According to Josh (2008), the microorganisms likely to
affect laboratory staff include viruses, bacteria, molds, and
❑ Th...

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