Industry News




 

03/26/2008

Avian Fecal Matter Poses Threat to Buildings and Occupants

Although the risk of contracting an infection from bird droppings is relatively low, these diseases are severe and may be life threatening if contracted

 
By R. Brett Madden

Birds can be a serious public health hazard to buildings and their occupants through the spread of more than 60 transmissible (even potentially fatal) diseases if fecal matter and nesting materials on and/or in HVAC and other rooftop equipment are not properly remedied. Diseases such as Histoplasmosis, Asperuillosis, Cryptococcis, Encephalitis, Salmonella, and Lasteriosas can spread through bird excrement and nesting materials. Because birds can travel over great distances, this provides a means of transfer of several different types of parasites from one location to another. In addition, bird excrement provides an ideal environment for the growth of organisms and other dangerous spores. Although the risk of contracting an infection from bird droppings is relatively low, these diseases are severe and may be life threatening if contracted.

Diseases can be contracted through a number of ways:

1. INHALATION: Inhaling pathogenic spores can enter through either the nose or mouth. Bird excrement is most dangerous when in a dry state; it becomes airborne in a fine fecal dust form, especially when the dry excrement is disturbed. Contaminated fecal dust can typically enter a facility through air-handling and related equipment. As such, it is of critical importance to keep rooftops and air-handling equipment free from birds. Moreover, all vents and equipment openings should be properly sealed. Equipment should also be regularly inspected to ensure that the covers and/or rooftop equipment has not been compromised.

2. DIRECT CONTACT: Diseases can be spread when bird excrement dust and/or bird excrement comes into direct contact with an open wound or cut. For this reason, whenever bird droppings are being removed, it's critical to wear all of the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times.

3. ASSOCIATED PARASITES: Accumulated bird excrement or nesting materials can harbor parasites, such as mites, fleas, bed bugs, ticks, and other types of parasites, all of which can bite humans. These parasites can transfer diseases when the parasite bites an infected animal and extracts blood that contains the germ. When the infected parasite bites its next victim, it can pass along the germ to the new host. As such, after bird droppings and all of the nesting materials have been removed, an Ectoparasite inspection should be performed to see if further treatment is necessary to remedy any harboring parasites.

4. FOOD AND WATER CONTAMINATION: When a diseased pest bird directly defecates into a human food or water source, diseases can be transmitted. In addition to direct contamination, airborne spores may travel through air ducts and ventilation systems, which can settle on exposed food.

In addition to the disease transmission factors discussed above, there are other factors that should be taken into consideration when reviewing the dangers and problems that pest birds present. Accumulated bird excrement can allow significant water penetration into buildings and can cause subsequent roof decay. In addition, bird excrement, feathers, and other related debris may damage and/or clog rainwater drainage systems over time. This can cause water to accumulate on rooftops and other areas, which can lead to water penetration and severe roof decay.

Bird excrement also represents an aesthetic problem. Because of the corrosive nature of bird droppings, the excrement can quickly deface building finishes, park benches, statues, cars, ledges, and entryways. This defacement is not only objectionable to the public, but it also accelerates deterioration. If bird excrement is allowed to build up, it makes for a slippery and unsafe footing on walkways and other building entryways. Moreover, a bird infestation not only places the general public at risk, but also employees and building occupants.

R. Brett Madden, No Fly Zone Inc.
(brett@noflyzoneinc.com)

 


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Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

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Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


 
09/19/2014

New regulations from the DOE would improve commercial air conditioner efficiency by as much as 30%. 

09/18/2014

A new study suggests that the installed cost of photovoltaic solar power continues to drop in the U.S.

09/17/2014

A new technology developed at Rice University effectively deices glass surfaces while remaining transparent for radio frequency transmission.

09/16/2014

The USGBC and American Chemistry Council have put aside their differences to work together on new improvements to the LEED certification system. 

09/15/2014

Researchers have developed a new process to help cloud computing systems use less energy while continuing to provide high levels of data services.

09/12/2014

Researchers have found the main factors that influence the amount and type of building damage caused by various types of salts. 

09/11/2014

A new study has demonstrated that proactive ergonomic training can decrease worker discomfort and increase productivity. 

09/10/2014

The University of Utah has upgraded its historic Dumke Health Professions Education building to save an impressive 40% on energy costs.

09/09/2014

Hoping to build on LEED's success, PEER evaulates the performance and modernization of electric grids. 

09/08/2014

The USGBC has developed a new tool to help streamline the LEED certification process. 

09/05/2014

Researchers have developed a fluorescent lamp that emits Wi-Fi signals to allow connectivity throughout buildings.

09/04/2014

Tests show effective measures for reducing earthquake damage to computer servers. 

09/03/2014

Health costs drop by half as a result of environmental regulations.

09/02/2014

A new study challenges the idea that sparse workplaces produce happier, more productive employees.

08/29/2014

New tool from FEMA helps facility managers prepare for and mitigate the effects of nonstructural earthquake damage. 

08/28/2014

Is your building's exterior prepared for consistent snowstorms?

08/27/2014

Researchers have developed wearable, customizable technology to handle access control at busy hotels. 

08/26/2014

A new study shows that hotels which are LEED certified bring in more revenue than their non-certified competitors. 

08/25/2014

Policies designed to reduce carbon emissions have the added benefit of increasing air quality, which could pay for the reduction policies themselves. 

08/22/2014

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a luminescent solar concentrator that is as transparent as glass. 

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