What is Sick Building Syndrome?

When people feel sick while in a building and the symptoms go away once they exit the premises the building’s indoor air quality could be making people ill. Sick building syndrome can occur in any building; it has been reported in

  • Homes
  • Apartment complexes
  • Office buildings
  • Industrial buildings
  • Schools and public buildings
  • Stores and other commercial properties

What Kinds of Symptoms do People Experience When Exposed to SBS?

Not everybody in an SBS building gets sick from the toxic exposure. A good rule of thumb is if 20% of the occupants of a building experience discomfort or illness that goes away soon after they exit the premises you should investigate.

Sick building syndrome symptoms vary, depending on the individual. Commonly reported symptoms include

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue/lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sore muscles
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Shortness of breath

One common experience people exposed to SBS share is that the symptoms go away soon after they leave the building.

It goes without saying that if a building is causing 20% of its occupants to feel ill, this unhealthy situation will affect everybody. For instance, if your home air quality is making people sick, it can cause family members to be irritable and unable to function normally. If SBS is affecting employees in a workplace, productivity will go down and your business will suffer.

An Air Quality Test Should Be Performed by a Trained Indoor Environmentalist

The first thing you should do if people are getting sick from being in your building is to get the indoor air quality tested. In order to solve the problem and protect the health of your building’s occupants, this crucial testing must be done by a trained professional who can establish what exactly is causing SBS. Causes of SBS can be complicated; an experienced professional is qualified to investigate thoroughly to solve the mystery of what exactly is making people sick. The goal is to solve the problem by removing the toxins from your indoor environment.

Sick Building Syndrome Causes

Air quality becomes toxic where there’s an unhealthy buildup of chemicals, inadequate ventilation, or microbial growth such as mold. Causes of SBS include

  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Microbial growth
  • Faulty or inadequate HVAC system
  • Paint dust
  • Aerosol sprays

There are many causes of poor air quality. Any microbes and chemicals circulating in the air are concentrated indoors. An environmental specialist who is trained in indoor air testing can measure the toxins in the air and determine exactly what is circulating in your indoor environment. After the cause is established an indoor environmental specialist knows what and where to investigate to determine the source of indoor air pollution which is causing SBS.

Sick Building Syndrome: Mold

Sometimes mold is undetected because it’s hidden. Mold colonies can grow inside the walls, pipes, crevices where moisture goes undetected, or in the HVAC system. Mold needs two things to grow: moisture and food. Mold feeds off of porous building materials such as

  • Drywall insulation
  • Carpet padding
  • Wood
  • Building adhesives
  • Water heater platforms

A microbial investigator will test the air to determine if mold is the problem, what species of mold and its concentration per cubic meter of airspace is present. People who are especially susceptible to mold are those with immunodeficiency or respiratory problems, elders, and young children. However, an unhealthy concentration of mold in indoor air can affect anybody.

Professional Air Quality Testing and Remediation for a Healthy Indoor Environment

If occupants of your home or workplace are experiencing any of the above symptoms and the symptoms subside or go away after those affected exit the building you need to get the air quality tested by an Indoor Environmentalist. A trained and certified specialist can accurately diagnose what’s causing SBS and what the source of the problem is. You need to hire somebody with the experience to correctly diagnose the problem and what’s causing it, and who can remediate the problem so your building’s air is healthy to breathe.

Andre Abajian has the training and experience to perform workplace and/or home air quality testing, correctly identify toxins circulating in your indoor environment and their source(s), and perform remediation to restore your building to health. If mold is the problem, he can perform mold remediation.

Call Andre Without Delay to Restore Your Building to Health

It won’t cost you anything to call Andre Abajian for a comprehensive phone consultation. Andre will give you an estimate of what air quality testing and remediation will cost you over the phone. In order to ensure your building is safe for occupants, don’t delay contacting Andre at 949-446-0000 for a comprehensive and accurate air quality test. Andre Abajian will be most happy to help you solve your SBS problem to keep occupants safe and healthy.

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