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