What to Know About Sick Building Syndrome?

Many people get confused when they hear for the very time the Sick Building Syndrome. Questions like “Can buildings have illnesses too?” or “Do buildings need to take care of their health as humans do?” arise that seems to be left unanswered if we keep ourselves unaware of this alarming syndrome.

Sick Building Syndrome refers to illnesses that occur because of spending long periods of time in well-sealed, poorly ventilated buildings that contain indoor air toxins. Too many cases have been reported that the Environmental Protection Agency approximates that one out of four new or renovated indoor buildings in the U.S. may be classified as “sick buildings.” Workers suffering building-related illnesses cost business billions each year in lost of productivity. To eradicate this problem, many companies are searching for answers.

Contaminants existing in building that are considered “sick” are artificial fibers found in furniture, formaldehyde, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and volatile organic compounds, just to name a few. It’s not limited to chemical pollution, either. Per the American Phytopathological Society, biological contaminants such as mold and pollen also contribute to indoor air pollution.



Nonspecific symptoms reported by tenants in newly constructed homes, offices, and nurseries were noted in the late 1970s. It became known then and the media coined it as “office illness”. The term “Sick Building Syndrome” was devised by the WHO in 1986, when they also estimated that 10-30% of newly built office buildings in the West had indoor air problems. Symptoms of the said illness were explained through early Danish and British studies.

Poor indoor atmospheres concerned attention. The Swedish allergy study designated “sick building” as a cause of the allergy epidemic, thus, had been feared by many people. In the 1990s, therefore, extensive research into “sick building” was carried out. Various physical and chemical factors in the buildings were examined on a broad front.



Headache, irritated throat, itchy eyes and nose, coughing, nausea, fatigue and poor concentration are the usual indications of the illness. As observed, the symptoms are generic and varied, which makes it especially tough to pinpoint sick building syndrome as the cause. One of the most alarming problems related to the illness is usually undiagnosed and untreated. Many people assume their illness is the result of a “bug” resulting to failure in recognizing that their homes or offices are the real cause of the problem. A divulging sign are ailments that flare up when you are in a specific building and pass after you leave. When your colleagues or family members experience the same symptoms, then it is a great indication that the carrier of the illness has passed it on them.

If your symptoms are prolonged, even beyond leaving the building, this may be an indication you’re suffering from building-related illness, or BRI. To avoid suffering from BRI, it is important to recognize the symptoms and address them as soon as possible.


Who can be affected by Sick Building Syndrome?

Although anyone can be affected by the illness, office employees in modern buildings without opening windows and with machine-driven ventilation or air conditioning systems are most at risk.

If you have a routine work that involves you sitting in front of the computer or any other display screen equipment in an 8-hour shift, the probability of having the symptoms is much higher.

If this can’t be avoided, make sure that your equipment and work area are following the safety guidelines.

It was also reported that women get a higher percentage of developing the symptoms of the illness for the reason that a larger population of women works in offices.


What are the common environment this kind of illness? 

The syndrome seems to be linked with certain types of buildings. Most cases occur in open plan offices; however, some individuals also experience the symptoms if they are mostly in an area with a lot of people such as schools, libraries and museums.

There have also been anecdotal reports of people experiencing symptoms such as headaches, tiredness and dizziness at home.

Safety is always important. Make sure that you always clean your home and be familiar with the materials used when you have one build to void the symptoms. Make sure you have working smoke alarms fitted and that gas appliances, such as cookers and boilers, are regularly checked and maintained functional.

Make it habitual to open the windows to allow you to ventilate your home naturally, and keep your home as dust-free as possible. Keeping the rooms free of clutter and in good decorative order will also help make your home a pleasant environment in which to live.


Is there anything to do to prevent Sick Building Syndrome?

Improve the inside quality of your homes or offices if you think you experience the symptoms presented related to this syndrome. By the time the building stops giving off toxins, your symptoms should also go away. However, you need to measure the scale of the problem. If it is too massive, then in-depth renovation of the building to remove large amounts of toxins is required.  

In some situations, an air purification system or even quick and simple methods may work. Nature has very powerful tools to clean the air. The natural negative ionization and UV waves from sunlight work wonders and opening the blinds to let in some rays is an easy achieve the benefits. Additionally, open the windows and doors frequently to maximize the effect.

Minimize from using chemical sprays and deodorizers. There are natural alternatives for air fresheners, cleansers and other chemical toxins used to cleanse the home. Plant automatically remove harmful elements from the air Good choices of plants are peace lilies and dracaenas. Remember that you are removing toxins. Be it as natural as possible.


In Conclusion

Good awareness is always very important and can save you from adverse sufferings of the illness. Make others aware as well to minimize the increasing prevalence of the syndrome.

If you think your working environment is making you ill, talk to your colleagues. By doing this, you can discover if there are also people in the same place who are experiencing the same symptoms as you do. Then, talk to your HR representatives and building personnel to identify the root cause of the problem.

Take action and help solve the problem as early as possible and contact a Reputable Houston Mold Remediation and Inspection Company.

Mold Removal Doctor Houston

7872 Green Lawn Dr.

Houston, TX 77088

(713) 396-3530


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