Where can we find data on whether or not water vapor is necessary for humans residing in buildings? One great place for such research is the hospital. There is a tremendous amount of data that is collected from one type of hospital building occupant—the patient. Despite a clear requirement of water vapor during the human breathing process, the presence of water in the gaseous state, or humidity, in buildings has acquired a bad reputation. Even hospitals prefer to turn humidification systems off in patient-occupied spaces. The reasons for a dislike of humidification are complex, but the lack of understanding about health problems associated with low humidity has resulted in harmfully dry indoor environments. In fact, we now know that low humidity strengthens infectious microbes and weakens the human immune system.

 

 

Billy Hathorn [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

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