Health Effects From Biological Contaminants
Tuberculosis, measles, staphylococcus infections, Legionella and influenza are known to be transmitted by
Some biological contaminants trigger allergic reactions, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis, and some
types of asthma. Infectious illnesses, such as influenza, measles, and chicken pox are transmitted through the air. Molds
and mildews release disease-causing toxins. Symptoms of health problems caused by biological pollutants include
sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, lethargy, fever, and digestive problems.
Allergic reactions occur only after repeated exposure to a specific biological allergen. However, that reaction may occur
immediately upon re-exposure or after multiple exposures over time. As a result, people who have noticed only mild
allergic reactions, or no reactions at all, may suddenly find themselves very sensitive to particular allergens.
Some diseases, like humidifier fever, are associated with exposure to toxins from microorganisms that can grow in large
building ventilation systems. However, these diseases can also be traced to microorganisms that grow in home heating
and cooling systems and humidifiers. Children, elderly people, and people with breathing problems, allergies, and lung
diseases are particularly susceptible to disease-causing biological agents in the indoor air.
Mold, dust mites, pet dander, and pest droppings or body parts can trigger asthma. Biological contaminants, including
molds and pollens can cause allergic reactions for a significant portion of the population. Tuberculosis, measles,
staphylococcus infections, Legionella and influenza are known to be transmitted by air.