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The Dangers Of Sick Building Syndrome (Part One)

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Do you experience headaches and dizziness at your office? It could be a sign of sick building syndrome.


Headaches, nausea, fatigue, and the inability to focus are all symptoms that can be related to just about any and every health concern — they’re all non-specific — but if you’ve noticed your health waning throughout your workday, this could be a tell-tale sign of sick building syndrome (SBS).  


Combat sick building syndrome when you purify your air with a Smart Pointe air purification unit from Pionair. Not familiar with sick building syndrome? Learn all about in today’s post!

What is Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)?  


Sick building syndrome presents as a host of health symptoms that correlates with the state of a building in which people feel sicker when they’re in the building, accompanied by symptoms that then dissipate when they leave.  


Sounds a little far-fetched, right?! Isn’t it every employee’s dream to claim they can’t go to work because work makes them sick? However ambiguous this may sound, SBS is more common than you may give it credit for and it is not only affecting the health but the productivity of employees, which, in the end, is never good for companies!


What’s the difference between sick building syndrome (SBS) and building-related illness (BRI)?


These are two entities that seem like they’re the same, but they actually differ quite a bit. SBS is more of a set of symptoms that are generally thought to be related to the status of a building but can’t be proved, while BRI is a set of symptoms that can be diagnosed as health issues and attributed to contaminants of the building such as mold. 


Essentially, one goes unproven while the other has hard, quantifiable facts to support the illness claim.


But, that’s not to say that employees are making things up, the Environmental Protection Agency and many other health organizations such as OSHA recognize and validate SBS as a real and serious health concern. 


Sick Building Syndrome Symptoms and Signs


There are many signs and symptoms of SBS and they include:


  • Eye, throat, and nose irritations
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Dry cough
  • Skin Irritations
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration issues
  • Hoarse voice
  • Allergies
  • Cold symptoms
  • Asthma issues
  • Changes in personality


Again, these symptoms are present within the building and dissolve once occupants leave the building. 


What Causes Sick Building Syndrome?


As you can imagine, there are many factors that play a role in SBS, with many of them spanning back to poor indoor air quality. 


Poor Ventilation


Over time, buildings have become much more energy-efficient which is an innovative, eco-conscious step, but in the process, has made buildings one big space of sealed, air-tight environments — nothing escapes and air circulation is vastly diminished. 


So, if anything malfunctions, it can cultivate an environment of contaminated and harmful air.


Consider a faulty HVAC system — if it’s not regularly serviced, it can blow a host of dust particles into the building and even grow mold in damp conditions. And where does this air go? Nowhere, it stays within the building and penetrates the lungs of all who are there to breathe it! 


Sick building syndrome is an explicit concern for businesses and the health and safety of those who dwell within it. SBS comes with a host of unspecific signs and symptoms that may be hard to pinpoint, but if they disappear when you leave the building, chances are, that’s where they’re coming from! 


We know what SBS is and signs and symptoms to evaluate, but there are many more causes to address, so stay tuned for part two!

To improve your indoor air quality now and reduce the impact of sick building syndrome, invest in one of our high-quality electrostatic air purifiers today!