Despite the name of the condition, it isn’t the building that is sick; instead, it’s the people who frequent it. The name is given to the collection of symptoms and ailments that affect multiple occupants of the same building.
The most common symptoms are:
– Itchy eyes
– Stuffy noses
– Upset stomachs
– Scratchy/sore throats
What are the suspected causes?
Whilst each building will have its own unique problems, poor air quality seems to be the primary cause. This can be a result of:
– Certain types of insulation
– Emissions (VOCs and others) from paints, furniture, and carpets
– Ozone (emitted from office equipment)
– Mould or mildew
– Vapours from cleaning agents
– Inadequate ventilation.
How to identify sick building syndrome
It is quite tricky to diagnose sick building syndrome as symptoms tend to present individually rather than collectively. Indicators of the condition include increased absenteeism among those working in the building and a significant number of occupants complaining about vague but often similar symptoms. The key factor in diagnosing sick building syndrome is that symptoms disappear when the people affected leave the building, and they make a rapid recovery.
If you live in the Wiltshire area and would benefit from the advice of an expert in occupational health Swindon is home to several such companies. To find out more about OH services, why not take the look at a website such as occupational health Swindon today?
Resolving sick building syndrome
If you believe that your building is sick, the following steps can help:
1. Install HVLS fans for ventilation. Ensuring an adequate supply of fresh air is essential in combatting air quality issues.
2. Tackle damp and wet patches. Mould, mildew and damp can cause irritation, so minimising dampness, standing water, and leaks will improve the air quality.
3. Install air cleaners and filters. These can be effective in enclosed areas where there is equipment that may release contaminants.
4. Open windows. This is a simple step, but it’s significant because a greater flow of outside air will usually boost the quality of air inside the building.
5. Choose interior materials carefully. Opting for materials that don’t emit harmful substances can help prevent a sick building issue. The same applies to carpets and furniture.