The term “sick building syndrome” (SBS) describes a wide range of disease symptoms experienced by building occupants. These symptoms appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The causes of Sick Building Syndrome can be ascribed to insufficient ventilation, chemical contaminants, along with biological pollutants. Biological pollutants such as bacteria, pollen, molds, and viruses cause symptoms of SBS.
There is also a gender disparity in reporting rates of sick building syndrome, given that, women report more symptoms than men. Women have a more reactive immune mechanism and are more susceptible to mucosal dryness. What’s more, women are more exposed to indoor environmental factors, since they have a desk bound job, while men may often have jobs outside of offices.
What Are The Causes of Sick Building Syndrome?
The precise causes and etiological factors of sick building syndrome remain unknown; however, the following are significant contributing factors for the condition:
- Faulty ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems.
- Pollutants released by out-gassing certain building materials, molds and volatile organic materials.
- Inadequate expulsion and ventilation of ozone, light industrial solvents, or an insufficiency of fresh-air intake and air filtration.
- Inadequate temperature and humidity
- Poor lighting
- Chemical pollutants and toxins from out-of-doors sources like: exhausts and fumes from vehicles, plumbing vents, and exhausts from the building, like, bathrooms and kitchens; indoor sources like: copy machines, adhesives, chemicals, cleaning solvents, carpeting, upholstery and etc.
- Tobacco smoke and burning products from fireplaces, stoves and unvented space heaters are also important sources of chemical pollutants.
- Bacteria, pollen, viruses, fungus, and molds are significant biological contaminants. These biological pollutants tend to breed and proliferate in pooled water that may have built up in drain pans, humidifiers, or where water has accumulated on carpets, ceiling tiles, and insulation.
ABOUT SICK BUILDING SYNDROME…