Ventilation & housing Community health nursing

Ventilation is defined as the "Science of maintaining atmospheric conditions which are comfortable and suitable to the human body.Ventilation is the process of "changing" or replacing air in any space to provide high indoor air quality (i.e. to control temperature, replenish oxygen, or remove moisture, odors, smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria, and carbon dioxide). Ventilation includes both the exchange of air to the outside as well as circulation of air within the building. It is one of the most important factors for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality in buildings.

Types of Ventilation


There are two types of ventilation.


Natural ventilation and


Mechanical or forced ventilation

Natural ventilation


It is the ventilation of a building with outside air without the use of a fan or other mechanical system. It can be achieved with open able windows  when the spaces to ventilate are small and the architecture permits.


Natural forces like air, temperature, wind, etc. play an important role in natural ventilation.

"Mechanical" or "forced" ventilation

In mechanical ventilation, there are electronic devices such as fans that remove air from a single room, to whole-house systems that remove polluted indoor air and then distribute filtered and conditioned outdoor air throughout the house.

Kitchens and bathrooms typically have mechanical exhaust to control odors and sometimes humidity.

Importance of air & ventilation

Ventilation incorporates comfortable and appropriate balance of gases, also optimum temperature, adequate humidity, movement or flow of air and free from disease producing microorganisms.

Ventilation allows a quiet, energy efficient way to exchange stale and sometimes toxic indoor air for fresh, outside air throughout our entire home.


Ventilation exchange indoor air with outdoor air to reduce indoor pollutants, moisture, and odors. Contaminants such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, and radon can accumulate in poorly ventilated homes, causing health problems.


Ventilation prevents illnesses such as colds and flu, allergies, TB and asthma etc.



Excess indoor humidity has negative impact on our home’s comfort which is controlled by ventilation.


Combustion (e.g., fireplace, gas heater, candle, oil lamp, etc.) consumes oxygen while producing carbon dioxide and other unhealthy gases and smoke which are removed through ventilation.


Lack of efficient and adequate ventilation leads to many discomforts and diseases.


When the carbon dioxide concentration exceeds the air is regarded as impure and unhealthy.


Adequate ventilation control and prevent harmful contaminants which causes worker discomfort, health problems and reduced performance levels.

Effects of poor ventilation on health.


Poor ventilation affects the physical and psychological health of people.

Poor ventilation allows for the accumulation of hazardous contaminants.

The resulting physical effects on people are harmful.

Psychological effects like stress arise when people know they are constantly exposed to ventilation hazards.


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that poor ventilation is an important contributing factor in many sick building cases.

Harmful pollutants from a variety of sources which accumulate  as a result of poor ventilation can contribute to building-related illnesses, which have clearly identifiable causes, such as Legionnaire's disease (a severe form of bacterial pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila and associated esp. with infected water systems in buildings).



Major outcomes and hazards of poor ventilation include:

Elevated levels of carbon dioxide and low levels of oxygen due to low ventilation rate.

Build up of chemical and biological contaminants that cause poor indoor air quality.

Legionnaire’s disease and Pontiac fever (a disease with symptoms resembling influenza, possibly caused by infection with legionellae) caused by contaminated standing water in poorly maintained ventilation systems.


Extremes in temperature causing fatigue, discomfort and distraction.

Low humidity causing dry throat and dry skin. High humidity contributing to bacterial and mould growth.

Excessive and irritating workplace odors causing worker discomfort.

Accumulation of dust and dirt caused by poor ventilation.


Sick Building Syndrome (SBS): irritation of eyes, nose and throat, headaches, fatigue, and a susceptibility to colds and flu. Symptoms are less severe away from the workplace.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS): A debilitating illness triggered by exposure to one chemical or a combination of chemicals. MCS sufferers experience skin rashes, irregular breathing, CNS problems, and eye, nose and throat irritations.


Types and standard of housing


Our country Pakistan has many different forms of land from flat grass lands to mountains to empty deserts to the crowded cities. Each form of land requires different houses & homes.

Comparing Architecture

Made of concrete & iron bars

Made in cities

Built for luxury


Has multiple rooms


Made of mud brick & straw

Made In villages

Built for sustaining life for the poor

Has only one or few rooms

Urban houses

The urban houses are much more developed than the rural. They have more facilities, rooms, the style of roofs is developed and much more.

The individual houses have their own boundary walls.


Building materials

They are cemented. They are built with different materials such as:


blocks of concrete

red brick blocks that are already colored and they need not to be painted.

The style of roofs

Most of the roofs are flat while some are tilted.


There are some houses with verandas (large balcony), some without it.




The most commonly used rooms


The most commonly used rooms are living room, bed rooms and kitchen.



The gardens are beautiful and filled with flowers.

Palm trees, coconut trees, roses, fruit plants like mangoes etc.

There are also gardens with less plantation.

Rural Architecture

Pakistan's huts are usually inhabited by poor farmers who cant afford proper homes.

Their huts are usually made of mud, straw & twigs.

Pakistani huts consist of only one room.

Rural Houses

Rural houses are the houses in the village sides. Following is some information about their:

Building materials

The style of roofs

Most commonly used rooms

Types of gardens

General facilities.


Building Materials


The houses in villages are not cemented and are made out of mud.


They are also made out of a clay that is called as terracotta.

Most Commonly Used Rooms

They have very few rooms as compare to the urban ones.

So all the family gets together in one small room.

The rooms are very simple and bare.

The style of roofs


Some of the roofs in the rural areas are made out of straws that fall of when it rains.

some of the roofs of the rural houses are made stem and branches of plants over which mud is covered.


Vegetable gardens:-

They don’t exactly have gardens but there are mostly the farmers living so they live near the huge areas where they can easily plant there crops as Pakistan is an agricultural country.  

General facilities


They keep farm animals as their pets so that they can get milk and meat from them and they use to sell that milk so that they can get money from that and feed their family.

Very few general facilities, they live a simple life.

Many areas are without electricity & tap water, they draw water from wells.

Effects of poor housing on health

Good-quality housing is a key element for ensuring a healthy life. Poor housing can lead to many health problems, and is associated with infectious diseases (such as tuberculosis), stress and depression

Poor housing has been linked to increased levels of limiting long term illness, respiratory and infectious diseases, accidents, psychological problems and perceived poor general health and even increased mortality.


Problems associated with poor housing are the       following

Cramped and crowded conditions give rise to poor hygiene by providing places for microbes to breed and transmit diseases via ?eas, ticks and other vectors.

Poor household hygiene leads to food and water contamination within the home.

Poor indoor air quality leads to respiratory problems and inadequate lighting leads to eyesight problems.

Stress is higher for individuals living in poor housing and poverty.



Poor housing ventilation can not control smoke produced by the fuels during cooking  that contains harmful chemicals. This can lead to respiratory problems, such as bronchitis and asthma, and make tuberculosis transmission easier.

Overcrowding in homes causes ill-health because it makes disease transmission easier and because the lack of private space causes stress. Overcrowding is related to socioeconomic level, and the poor often have little choice but to live in cramped conditions


Dampness in houses leads to an increased level of fungal spores, and this increases an individual’s risk of respiratory or allergic symptoms.


Currently, 60 deaths per year and around 500 sub-lethal incidents are accounted for by domestic carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning incidents  which is due to poor housing.


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