About "sick house syndrome"

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a phenomenon whereby workers in a building complain of health problems and discomfort.
This problem arose at the time of the first oil crisis in 1973. Energy conservation efforts led to the reduction of building ventilation by more than two-thirds, and workers in buildings began to complain of headaches, dizziness, nausea, tiredness and other health problems. Their symptoms decreased or disappeared almost completely when they left the buildings.
A building is considered to have this syndrome when 20% of the workers experience such problems for unknown reasons.
If the cause is determined for one or more persons, however, the syndrome is called "building-related illness," or BRI. This includes extrinsic allergic alveolitis caused by eumycetes, legionellosis caused by Legionella bacteria, and tuberculosis.

fig 1 SBS symptoms defined by WHO

Furthermore, with the great variety of chemicals found in household products in recent years, symptoms similar to SBS have been found to be caused by home furniture and building materials. This is called "sick house syndrome".
While there are various indoor pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as formaldehyde, paradichlorobenzene, toluene and xylene often cause problems. As these are contained in glues, paint solvents and other materials, the syndrome is known to be caused by paint, building materials and furniture in many cases.
Decomposition of such substances is the greatest advantage of ARC-FLASH.

Example of application of ARC-FLASH (1)
The Y residence, Ebina City, Kanagawa Prefecture, June 21, 2001
An addition was built onto the Y residence at the time a child living there was entering elementary school. The Kanagawa branch of S House undertook the construction. After the construction, the family bought a new desk and the child started school. With a brand new room and a desk of his own, it was a happy time for this child. But soon he began to have headaches, and the parents complained to S House. Since S House was familiar with our products, they contacted us about applying ARC-FLASH. At that time, a third-party testing company was also requested to conduct measurements, which were made before the application of ARC-FLASH. Although formaldehyde was detected at 0.068 ppm, this was less than the 0. 08-ppm limit set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Various tests detected formaldehyde not only from the building materials of the addition, but also from the new desk.
Photocatalytic ARC-FLASH was applied to the several rooms of the addition, and to the new desk. Another measurement was made half an hour later. The detector showed a value of 0. 000 ppm, which means nothing was detected. The child is now healthy and back at school.

Example of application of ARC-FLASH (2)
The N residence in Nishi-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture, October 12, 2001
Mr. N is hypersensitive to chemicals. He developed this condition 10 years ago, right after his next-door neighbor used a termite exterminator. He has been hospitalized and has been through a court case. His hypersensitivity has not been cured, and it is impossible for the symptoms ever to be alleviated once a person has developed this condition. Mr. N became famous as a case of hypersensitivity, and was even the subject of a book. He found out about ARC-FLASH in a local environmental magazine.
Mr. N talked with us for nearly four hours on the day of application, October 12. All four application technicians experienced eye pain and minor headaches from being in the untreated rooms for many hours. Although there was no identifiable odor, there was a sweet smell.
As a result of application, Mr. N became convinced of the efficacy of ARC-FLASH. He has recommended application to others suffering hypersensitivity. There are people throughout Japan who are even more sensitive than monitoring apparatus. As photocatalysts are our business, we cannot help feeling happy to know that ARC-FLASH has helped people like Mr. N.