Saturday, December 23, 2006

Problem Mall Syndrome PMS

I have all kinds of allergies... and I mean ALL kinds. Once I had one of those tests on my arm where they pinch you (like acupuncture) with different allergenics. My whole arm turned purple! it was impossible to see which ones reacted and which didn't... the doctor said that he had never seen something like that. The problem is not that I am allergic to everything, the problem is that I have a very strong reaction to many things.

Sandra can't use some brands of perfume or body cream, because I react very badly to their smell. Some of my friends can testify that I can't be in a car with air conditioning for too long before I lose my voice or start sneezing. In Monterrey I carried around a bottle of cough syrup all day, like it was a coffee mug because most buildings and classrooms have air conditioning. I've learned to live with my allergies... in fact, I haven't been sick in more than 1 1/2 years... until this week! and what a bad timing for Christmas!

Sandra's office's party was last tuesday, so she came back early from work and we decided to go to the mall and look for some christmas presents. We (I) don't like going to Saint Luke's Mall, precisely because I get very sensitive to their air conditioning. It's one of those places where it's not only too high (after a while you can feel your legs getting cold) but also because it's quite air-tight. As soon as I entered, I could smell that the air has been recycled for a while. The odour of brand new merchandise got stuck in my nose. The smell of carpet's dust was everywhere, not to mention some stores that have a strong formaldehyde fumes smell from all the new plastic products and furniture on sale.

I hate Sick Buildings! I get very sick with air conditioning, not only because of the lack of humidity, but the fact that most building don't bother to clean up the air conditioning filters regularly, despite the risk of people developing legionaire's disease, asthma, sick building syndrome or even cancer. Not everyone develops strong symptoms like me. Some have just red eyes, or runny noses... Sick building syndrome is something serious. It's not a story from Gremlins 2. Bad ventilation causes pathogens, viruses, fungus and fumes to stick around, you breathe them every time. Some people develop strong reactions (like me) some don't.

Sick buildings are caused by poor architectural design regarding ventilation and poor choice of hypoallergenic construction materials. Those plastic, foam or composite panels used for "false" ceilings are perfect nests for humidity to develop fungus and other aerial bacteria. Whenever you go into an office or building and see those ceiling panels with humidity stains... it may be a sick building.

So, for me, this is it. I'm never going to st. Lukes ever again! I hate having PMS!

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