United States of America Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Most Americans say they spend 90% of their time indoors, increasing their exposure to airborne allergens indoors.
Levels of particulate matter and infectious microorganisms in a closed environment affect air quality.
Air quality affects the incidence of respiratory allergies and the frequency of chronic asthma attacks. Poor air quality can cause illness in the occupants of rooms and buildings. The disease is called sick building syndrome because of its characteristic pattern and non-specific nature. People with sick building syndrome may not be able to detect this condition on time without sufficient knowledge.
This article describes exactly what sick building syndrome is, its characteristic signs, and how to treat it.
What is Sick Building Syndrome?
Sick building syndrome Acute health distress or discomfort associated with length of stay in a building without specific causative factors. A characteristic pattern is the presence of painful symptoms when the individual is inside the building and the relief of symptoms outside the building. For example, workers may complain of dyspnea, swelling of the eyes, and itching at work, but keep in mind that they do not have these symptoms on weekends and holidays. Also, laboratory tests and other tests may not be able to determine the cause of these symptoms.
Scientists have associated sick building syndrome with poor indoor air quality in buildings and confined spaces. NS Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states that 30% of new or refurbished buildings have poor indoor air quality.
The physical symptoms of sick building syndrome vary from person to person, depending on the individual’s immune susceptibility. People with a predisposition to allergies or asthma may have more serious symptoms than people without allergies.
According to, here are some common sick building syndrome complaints Health line:
- Dry cough
- Throat irritation
- Burning sensation in the nose.
- Chest tightness
- I have a runny nose
- Itchy skin rash
- Body pain
If you notice these symptoms while in a building or enclosed space, see if the symptoms disappear when you are outside the building.
Sick building syndrome is an exclusionary diagnosis. This means that doctors should rule out other potential causes of symptoms before making this diagnosis.
Sick Building Syndrome: What Causes?
Sick building syndrome is primarily caused by poor air quality and is affected by multiple factors, including the type of building material used.
Here are some of the factors that cause sick building syndrome:
The concentration of air pollutants or particles produced by residents and building materials affects the quality of air in confined spaces.
Ventilation ensures proper air circulation, controlling the average level of air pollutants in the building and keeping it at a minimal level that does not cause symptoms. Buildings with inadequate air purification systems are at increased risk of retaining air particles that stimulate acute health hazards.
Researchers have found that when the ventilation rate of a room is: 10 liters per second, Residents are more likely to develop sick building syndrome.
Indoor chemical pollutants
Building materials such as carpets, upholstery, wood products and cleaning agents can release chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds, including formaldehyde, are toxic and cause acute distress in some people.
Other sources of VOCs are outdoor combustion gases and automobile exhaust. Buildings with vents that are not properly placed are prone to the influx of these toxic chemical pollutants from external or outdoor sources.
The concentration of these chemicals in a building or room determines the severity of the symptoms that appear.
Older buildings and buildings built with substandard materials on ceilings and air conditioning systems can have lots of small water in the humidifiers and drains. Water that stagnates over time promotes the growth of microorganisms such as molds, fungi, bacteria and viruses. These microbes release spores and pollen, which can cause allergic symptoms in some people.
Sick Building Syndrome: Solution
The use of allergy medications such as antihistamines may relieve symptoms, but this does not solve the problem. According to the report, a combination of the following methods is essential to resolve sick building syndrome. EPA..
This requires a thorough assessment of the building to determine indoor air quality, sources of pollutants, and the condition of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Experts should carry out this study to pinpoint the cause of the reduced indoor air quality.
Replace the source of pollution
After an extensive building survey, the source of pollution may have been identified. This is the time to replace potential problems such as old carpets, ceiling tiles and ducts, materials containing VOCs.
Increase ventilation rate
Use an HVAC system that facilitates proper air distribution, and use local exhaust systems in specific rooms or spaces in buildings with high air pollutants and poor air quality.
Use an air purifier
Improve room air quality with mechanical air filters such as HEPA, which can filter and remove air particles that cause acute health discomfort.
Education of building residents
Building managers are responsible for educating residents to ensure optimal air quality in their rooms and offices. For example, in a crowded room, the levels of airborne particles are high, which tends to reduce air quality. Also, crowded rooms are often poorly ventilated and can contribute to sick building syndrome. Therefore, building managers should force a minimum of room occupants.
Now that you’ve highlighted the cause of sick building syndrome, what are you paying attention to now?
The presence of an acute health crisis, such as wheezing, sneezing, a dry cough, or the inability to concentrate on a building, can suggest sick building syndrome, especially if the symptoms stop when you leave the area. However, it is very important to consult your healthcare provider for proper medical evaluation and diagnosis.
Sick Building Syndrome | Live Science
Source link Sick Building Syndrome | Live Science