What is Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)?
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a combination of ailments (a syndrome) associated with an individual’s place of work (office building) or residence. A 1984 World Health Organization report into the syndrome suggested up to 30% of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be linked to symptoms of SBS. Most of the sick building syndrome is related to poor indoor air quality.
Sick building causes are frequently pinned down to flaws in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Other causes have been attributed to contaminants produced by outgassing of some types of building materials, volatile organic compounds (VOC), molds (see mold health issues), improper exhaust ventilation of ozone (by-product of some office machinery), light industrial chemicals, or lack of adequate fresh-air intake/air filtration (see Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value).
The term “sick building syndrome” (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. In contrast, the term “building related illness” (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants.
Indicators of SBS include:
Indicators of BRI include:
It is important to note that complaints may result from other causes. These may include an illness contracted outside the building, acute sensitivity (e.g. allergies), job related stress or dissatisfaction, and other psychosocial factors. Nevertheless, studies show that symptoms may be caused or exacerbated by indoor air quality problems.
If you think your home, office, or warehouse may be experiencing SBS, contact Titans Furnace & Duct Cleaning for an evaluation from an experienced professional.