Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a medical condition where people within a particular building show symptom of illness or feel unwell for no visible reason. It is characterized by health and comfort issues that people face due to time spent in a particular building. Most often the affected people feel a lot better immediately or over a period of time after leaving the building. Although mostly common in workplaces, Sick Building Syndrome can occur in homes as well.
People suffering from Sick Building Syndrome often complain of symptoms associated with acute discomfort, e.g., headache; eye, nose, or throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itchy skin, dizziness and nausea, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue, and sensitivity to odors.
Although initial studies claimed that no specific cause can be identified, recent studies attribute Sick Building Syndrome to indoor air quality. Sometimes when buildings are constructed without proper architectural guidance or used differently to their original purpose, the issue of indoor air quality arises. Since Sick Building Syndrome can be directly correlated to the indoor air quality of the building, anything that affects the air quality can cause SBS. Thus the causes can be 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, improper exhaust ventilation of ozone (byproduct of some office machinery), light industrial chemicals used within, or lack of adequate fresh-air intake/air filtration.
Since air quality is a major factor, monitoring and improving air quality can reduce Sick Building Syndrome quite effectively. Three things that you can do to eliminate Sick Building Syndrome are:
- Attacking the problem at its source: If the cause is outgassing of some types of building materials, VOC or molds, the best approach is to find the root cause and eliminate it. Removing the source of the pollutants can help improve the condition drastically.
- Better ventilation: Ventilation is key in any building meant to be inhabited to circulate the indoor air. Increasing ventilation is also a cost effective way but does not always guarantee results as it merely distributes the air pollutants to a larger area making them less effective.
- Cleaning the air: A high functioning air purifier that filters the ambient air could be extremely helpful in countering SBS. International quality air purifiers come with patented filtration technologies to filter out even the microscopic allergens present in the air.
Buying a home or office air purifier from a reputed international brand may provide relief if you have SBS, for example, Honeywell air purifiers come with special filters that contain patented HiSiv + HEPA technology to remove SBC triggering pollutants.
To know more about Honeywell Air Purifiers, click here.