“Dead Air All Around Us”
Oxygen? What Oxygen?”
By Sandra Lemire
© June 22, 2011
I want to bring your attention to what I call the ‘Dead Air Space’ all around us. Let’s look at some instances that will demonstrate my point. A shopping Mall, an Office Building, and Hospital, and an Airport Terminal are examples of places that I consider highly toxic due to the recycling of air within the frame structure of the building. Once the building has been completed all the windows are sealed and the only access to air movement is in the heating and air-conditioning systems. The problem is that these climate control systems recycle the used air from one room or section of the building through the heating unit, or air conditioning machinery, and then it gets blown back into other rooms, to be reused (breathed in again). The air is getting oxygen pulled out of it every time someone breathes in and nowhere in the system is the oxygen being replaced into the structure. Just more CO2 (carbon dioxide exhaled from people) getting added to the mixture and less oxygen available every day.
How many years does this practice of heating up or cooling off ‘dead air’ get repeated before the air is practically depleted of any oxygen content at all? Seriously, when you think about the large hotels, with the “contained air” year after year, it’s a wonder that people don’t collapse.
Added to the dilemma of a shortage of available oxygen within the confines of the building, you now have to accept that since the discovery of Legionnaire’s Disease which started in “Detroit” about 20 + years ago there is a second health hazard. It was when they really learned about the developing of “super germs” by allowing germs to live and co-habitat together for long periods of time. This was due to lack of cleaning the air vents and no system to sterilize the air delivery system or air filters that would stop the growth of germs that were becoming more and more untreatable.
This super germ concept began back in World War II as penicillin and sulfur were pretty much the whole army of antibiotics to use for wounds and illnesses. As more antibiotics were developed over the years, these very capable bacteria began to work together to teach each other to become resistant to more and more antibiotics. By the time Aids was spreading fast through the population around the 1980’s, one of the primary killers was Tuberculosis. This resurgence of Tuberculosis as a widely spread disease came with a little price tag. Since the Aids patients as well as people who contracted Tuberculosis from the Aids patients were incubating new, stronger Tuberculosis strains it was becoming all but completely a “drug resistant” strain. The most powerful one is now called TDRT (Totally Drug Resistant Tuberculosis).
Nobody was paying attention as people began dying of TB (tuberculosis) that was drug resistant. The TB strain became drug resistant due to the multiple antibiotics that were being given to the Aids patients for the sores and pneumonias that were trying to kill them. When one antibiotic would stop working, the Drs. would switch to another and as many of the Aids patients also had TB, the TB was becoming drug resistant to one antibiotic after another.
The TB that is seen now is almost completely untreatable, except for removal of the affected lung area. Countries that sell drugs freely to the public have the largest population of TDRT. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) a person dies of Tuberculosis every 20 seconds–that is 3 people per minute. It is highly contagious and airborne.
I remember when I was in my late teens and I had to go get a chest x-ray at the Health Dept. to show that I did not have Tuberculosis, before I could get a job serving sandwiches at a local restaurant. Now protecting your privacy is more important than spreading disease.
When you check into a hotel, or go to attend a convention, how many times do you get tired, worn out, have a headache, stomach problems, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, etc? Could it be that you are so oxygen deficient that you cannot get enough oxygen when you are there for days at a time, over a week end or on vacation, that you are becoming sick from the DEAD AIR? Plus you are exposed to so many super germs from fellow travelers that your system is overwhelmed.
When a large building is built, the air that is in that structure is trapped inside the outer walls and gets re-circulated year after year. The same scenario takes place in airports, terminals, airplanes and many public spaces where there is little to no exchange of new, outside air coming into the building or structure. The managers of these structures do not want to let cool air out, bring hot air inside, cool the hot air and pay the utility bills to get the air comfortable again. The same scenario takes place when the weather is cold, they heat up the inside air, circulate it, and just recycle it over and over, year after year. They don’t want to pay the utility bills to release “dead used air” that may be oxygen deficient and vent it outside and bring in fresh air that they have to heat to make it comfortable.
The bottom line is that the older the building is, the bigger it is, the fewer accesses to outside air the more oxygen depleted that air is going to become as time goes by. The issue of buildup of bacteria in the air vents and the possibility of creating “super germs” from diseases brought in by sick people is the flip side of this equation. Hospitals are even more at risk of both of these situations due to the health issues of the people who come to the hospital being carriers of illnesses and diseases.
Someday the idea of trapping contaminated, oxygen deficient air in a public building where people will be exposed and have to survive the lack of oxygen will be examined. I hope so, anyway.