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There are clearly identified seasonal patterns to respiratory illnesses that are not necessarily indoor air quality related. The cold and flu season during the late fall and winter months and the increase in allergy symptoms in the early fall and spring are two examples of these patterns.

Some building occupants may be particularly susceptible to the effects of indoor air contaminants. Because of varying sensitivity among people, one individual may react to a particular indoor environmental quality stressor while nearby occupants do not. Examples of those who might be more susceptible to conditions in a building include:

  • Individuals who are allergic or asthmatic
  • Individuals with respiratory disease
  • Individuals whose immune systems are suppressed due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, disease or other causes
  • Individuals on certain types of medications
  • Individuals who wear contact lens

It has also been shown that individuals who smoke or who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke away from the work environment are at a higher risk of developing a respiratory illness.


Contact EH&S at 7-2211

Last Updated: 3/4/16