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Sick Building Syndrome: Towards Safer and Healthier Living and Working Environments in Buildings( A Case Study of a Higher Institution in Nigeria)

Ogunde, Ayodeji and Amusan, L. M. and Mosaku, T. O. and Tunji-Olayeni, P .F and Obembe, Olawole O. and Adekeye, Bosede (2015) Sick Building Syndrome: Towards Safer and Healthier Living and Working Environments in Buildings( A Case Study of a Higher Institution in Nigeria). In: 2nd Covenant University Conference on African Development Issues (CU-ICADI), 11th - 13th May, 2015, Africa Leadership Development Center, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria..

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Safety in buildings today can no longer be taken for granted nor considered purely from the point of view of prevention of building collapse and other structural failures but must now cover wider issues of prevention of home accident and protection from the hazards of microbial lives that are invading our home and working environments as these find environments more and more conducive for their growth and multiplication. Consequently, we are now sharing our living and working environments with some bacteria in spaces created by design, construction methods, wrong use of materials, poor usage by occupants, or a combination of all of these. This paper therefore examined some buildings for "sick building syndrome" to determine their state on our health conditions with respect to the level of dangers that might be imposed by them. Samples were taken of some stains on the walls of some of these buildings to establish their true nature and confirm whether or not they are merely harmless growth that might just be dusted off. These samples were taken to the microbiology laboratory for analysis and identification purposes. The results showed that the samples are not just mere harmless stains to ignore in that they contain evidence of active and harmful microbial lives that can constitute health hazard to the occupants. These microorganisms were identified, their concentrations determined and the condition that will support their growth was investigated. Microorganisms found/identified to be growing within the building elements of construction, such as insulation materials or wood construction parts and block-wall includes such bacteria as straphylococus aurens, Bacillus spp, and Pseudomonas spp. In addition four fungi genera were isolated from swab samples of visible growth on the walls and under vinyl wall coverings. These fungi genera were Aspergillus Flavus, Mucor, Penicillium spp, and Cladosporium spp. The study therefore concluded that the growths that we see on our walls and other building elements might be more than just stains of harmless nature but bacteria and/or fungal genera associated with sick building syndrome dangerous to healthy living and making our buildings unsafe for human habitation. In certain cases these conditions can be avoided during the development process or may need special attention for their eradication by use of special chemicals yet to be developed.Hasty painting over such growth might just be providing additional growth nutrients for further multiplication.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bacteria, healthy living, Microorganisms, Safety in building, Sick Building Syndrome,
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
Depositing User: Mrs Patricia Nwokealisi
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2015 09:05
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 11:09

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