Not many people know what sick building syndrome is but the fact is that it causes respiratory illness in millions of people in America. It is also important to note that where you live or work could be the cause of your respiratory problems. The EPA, or the United States Environmental Protection Agency states that sick building syndrome is a problem that manifests in situations that are characterized by occupants of a building experiencing acute health effects that are linked to staying in the building. However, these situations might not always be attributed to a single cause. Sick building syndrome might not always affect the entire building. It might originate from a particular room or space in the building. The reason why this problem is such a huge issue for so many working adults because most corporate workers might spend more than 8 hours every day in their workplace.
Causes of Sick Building Syndrome
Despite the fact that sick building syndrome is not attributed to a particular cause, studies have shown that this could be a result of a variety of factors. Some of these factors include the following:
- The absence of good ventilation: It is common knowledge that without proper ventilation, there might not be enough air from the outdoors being circulated in the building. This could mean that there might be a higher concentration of contaminants like asbestos and mold spores that are harmful to out health. Therefore, it is important to carry out regular testing by hiring the right professionals for the job.
- Dangerous chemicals: Staying in your workplace might result in detrimental problems for your health because of emissions from equipment and appliances in the office. The harmful chemicals that are used as cleaning agents might also emit toxic fumes that can cause serious health problems such as lung cancer and respiratory problems in the long run.
- Bio-hazards: Studies have shown that airborne pathogens, viruses and even things like lizard feces can be poisonous to our bodies if they are ciculated in the air within your home or workplace. In fact, researchers have found that mold can easily become airborne and infect you with mycotoxins that can get lodged in our lungs. Mycotoxins are the reason why mold is so dangerous. They can weaken our immune systems and cause respiratory problems especially if you already have breathing problems like asthma.
Some Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome
There are many possible symptoms of sick building syndrome that can become worse in the long run. Some of these symptoms include but might not be limited to:
- Unexplained nausea
- Chronic fatigue
- Respiratory irritation
- Loss of focus
It is also important to bear in mind that these symptoms can only be linked to sick building syndrome if they stop after an individual has left the building. Comprehending the causes and symptoms of sick building syndrome can enable landlords and property owners to take good corrective action so that the quality of indoor air quality is improved in the long run for the health of all its occupants.