What is Sick Building Syndrome?
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a combination of ailments (a syndrome) which appear to be linked to an individual's home or place of work, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.
...and does my house and my family have it?
Sometimes indoor air problems are a result of poor building design and/or occupant activities such as using chemical cleaners and, air fresheners and pesticide sprays.
If you think your house is making you sick, then the best thing you can do is get to work on making your home GREEN!
Has Your House Made You Sick?
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In an article in the Los Angeles Times;
Green Buildings may make employees feel better!
Is where you work making you sick? A new study finds that employees who move from buildings with poor indoor environmental quality to more healthful "green" buildings may reap some benefits, including less absenteeism and higher productivity.
The green building movement isn't just concerned with constructing buildings that are more energy efficient and environmentally responsible - they're supposed to improve indoor surroundings as well, making it more healthful and pleasant for those who work there, via lighting, ventilation, acoustics and ergonomic design.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency Indicators of SBS include:
- Building occupants 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.
- The cause of the symptoms is not known.
- Most of the complainants report relief soon after leaving the building.
In contrast, the term "building related illness" (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants.
Indicators of BRI include:
- Building occupants complain of symptoms such as cough; chest tightness; fever, chills; and muscle aches
- The symptoms can be clinically defined and have clearly identifiable causes.
- Complainants may require prolonged recovery times after leaving the building.
It is important to note that complaints may result from other causes. These may include an illness contracted outside the building, acute sensitivity (e.g., allergies), job related stress or dissatisfaction, and other psychosocial factors. Nevertheless, studies show that symptoms may be caused or exacerbated by indoor air quality problems.
One of those problems is toxic mold growing in your home, and another is degradation of your indoor air quality due to the release of Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs.
See Toxic Mold Symptoms