Sick building syndrome (SBS) refers to a situation where people who live or work in a building frequently become sick from the indoor air. Unfortunately, any type of building may show signs of SBS; office buildings, libraries, schools, high-rises apartments and even museums are not immune to sick building syndrome. Individuals suffer a range of acute symptoms, including:
- Aches and pains
- Inability to concentrate
- Irritation to eyes, nose and throat
The cause of SBS can be hard to pinpoint, and it may affect the entire building or just certain areas. According to experts on air quality, old and newly constructed buildings are equally apt to adversely affect individuals who spend significant amounts of time inside. In addition, the problem is a worldwide phenomenon with an estimated 35 percent of all buildings causing illness in people.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
Over the last three decades, researchers have discovered numerous factors that appear to cause SBS. Without a single culprit, a professional assessment should take place before attempting to remedy the situation. Large buildings with complex duct networks for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) may harbor mold and other contaminants due to faulty vents and ducts. professional HVAC technicians are able to perform an onsite audit, which can properly diagnose air duct systems; air intakes, exhausts and filters; and air conditioning equipment.
Other possible catalysts for SBS include:
- Low humidity
- Dampness and mold in buildings
- Physical factors such as electrostatic charges
- Toxic mold & Stachybotrys chartarum
- Chemicals and volatile organic compounds
- Poor lighting on visual display units
- Lack of adequate fresh-air intake or air filtration
- High temperature or excessive temperature fluctuations
- Airborne particles like dust, carpet fibers or fungal spores
- Improper exhaust ventilation of ozone produced by photocopiers and printers
- Poor housekeeping standards of cleanliness in the working environment
How Can Indoor Air Quality For The Workplace Be Improved?
One common factor behind SBS is the use of mechanical ventilation. Buildings need adequate HVAC systems to maintain healthy indoor air quality so that work productivity is not lost due to employees breathing bad air. Gentry Heating, Inc. offers air quality testing for buildings of any dimensions as well as knowledgeable solutions and support to building owners. In Hendersonville, NC, schedule an indoor air assessment to find out if your building suffers from SBS. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain when employees are happy and healthy – so give us a call today!