Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


You're at work. The housekeepers have just sprayed a chemical in the air. You can't breathe. The purpose of this project is to identify the types of diseases and symptomology created by poor indoor air quality and use this information to inform other healthcare professionals

Many different terms are used to describe this phenomenon; environmental health, environmental illness, sick building/house syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity. There are also a wide variety of diseases/symptoms created by this phenomenon. The search revealed that back in the 70s and 80s the term used was reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS) but the more popular term now is reactive airway disease. The search was contradictory because in some references asthma was classified as a disease under RAD and in others RAD was classified as disease under asthma. Throughout the search various types of asthma ( occupational, workrelated, work-aggravated, irritant-induce, and toxicant induced) were classified as RAD. At one site it eluded that byssinosis (hemp workers) and at another that pneumoconiosis (coal miners) was classified under RAD, however, there was no definitive information to confirm this information

There were two procedures followed . The first was the development and presentation of a poster, using the information researched to inform others about this problem, at the UND Graduate School 2008 Scholarly Forum. The presenter was available to answer questions. There were 20 people who visualized the poster and of those only five people stopped to have a conversation with the researcher. One person stated that suffers from RAD. Another person wondered if the pollutants from the plant could cause some of the same symptoms that were displayed on the poster. A third person wanted to know what byssinosis was and how you get it as well as how pet dander could affect people. The fourth person stated he started having the symptoms seen on the poster since moving into his new very old home and was wondering what could be causing his symptoms. The last person stated that he worked in a chemistry lab with hazardous fumes and was wondering if these things would affect his health

The second procedure was a 15 minutes presentation with 17 people in attendance. Time was given at the end for questions and the listeners were asked to fill out an evaluation tool. No questions were asked. The evaluation for was looking at four items (professionalism, content, delivery, and applicability to the NP role). It had a 1 (poor)-5 ( excellent) rating scale. The researcher received 17 scores of five under the professionalism item. Under content, one score of three, three scores of four, and 13 scores of five were received. For the item of delivery, five scores of four and 12 scores of five were received. The applicability to the NP role item received two score of three, two scores of four, and 13 scores of fives. No comments were received