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What is 'Sick Building Syndrome'?

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a term used to describe a range of health complaints associated with staying in a particular building. People who work or live in a 'sick' building experience symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, dizziness, nausea and concentration problems.

There are several factors that can contribute to Sick Building Syndrome, including:
  1. Poor ventilation: Inadequate ventilation can lead to a buildup of indoor air pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and allergens, which can lead to health problems.

  2. Chemical contamination: This can come from building materials, furniture, carpets, cleaning products, and so on. These chemicals can be released into the air and cause symptoms in people who are sensitive to them.

  3. Biological contaminants: This includes mold, bacteria, pollen and other allergens floating in the air. Poor moisture management can promote the growth of mold and bacteria, which can lead to allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

  4. Poor ergonomics: Uncomfortable work environments, poor lighting, noise and other ergonomic factors can contribute to physical and mental stress in workers, which in turn can worsen SBS symptoms.

  5. Psychosocial factors: Stress at work, lack of control over the work environment, and interpersonal conflicts can also contribute to the symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome.

Identifying and addressing the specific causes of Sick Building Syndrome often requires a multidisciplinary approach involving experts in the field of indoor environment, building technology, ergonomics , health and wellness. Preventive measures, such as improving ventilation, minimizing chemical and biological contaminants, and creating an ergonomic and stress-free work environment, can help reduce symptoms and improve overall health and productivity.
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