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Are You Suffering From Sick Building Syndrome?

Suffering from Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick building syndrome (SBS) refers to a number of ailments that occur as a result of exposure to harmful chemical toxins at a home or work building.

The main conditions for experiencing Sick Building Syndrome are spending long periods of time in well-sealed, poorly ventilated buildings that contain indoor air toxins.

Some of the toxins that may be present in "sick" buildings include synthetic fibers in furniture and often formaldehyde used in manufacturing, dust mites, mold and mildew, cigarette smoke, VOCs, carpet and gasses released from fabric, to name only a few.

How Do I Know if I Suffer from Sick Building Syndrome?

Many symptoms of sick building syndrome occur as a result of errors in heating and air conditioning, along with poor ventilation systems. Outdoor chemicals, such as vehicle exhaust, are often brought into the building through heating and air conditioning systems, and then mixed with indoor chemicals such as cleaning products.¹

According to science news magazine Science Daily, biological contaminants such as mold and pollen also contribute to an excess of harmful substances in the air.² Inadequate ventilation insures that people will inhale these toxins throughout the time they spend in the building.

Shocking Facts!

Shocking Fact

Even a building issue, as simple as bad acoustics, can turn an office or home into a toxic breeding ground for Sick Building Syndrome.

Dangers of Sick Building Exposure

Symptoms of sick building syndrome can actually develop into a full-blown illness that is known to as building-related illness (BRI). To avoid suffering from BRI, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome and treat them quickly. One of the most problematic issues related to sick building syndrome is that, because its symptoms often appear unrelated, it often goes misdiagnosed and untreated. It's up to you to recognize the symptoms.

Sick Building Syndrome shows up as a set of ailments that flair up when you are in a specific building and generally pass after you leave the building.

Symptoms Related to Sick Building Syndrome:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration Difficulties
  • Irritation of Eye, Nose & Throat

If you experience symptoms that are prolonged even beyond leaving the buildings, this may be an indication that you're suffering from the disease called Building Related Illness or BRI.

Symptoms Related to Building Related Illness:

  • Fever
  • Muscle Aches
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Tightness in the chest

In 1984, the World Health Organization reported that the materials used in up to 30% of newly-built buildings may cause acute illness in individuals residing in them for long periods of time.³ That means that, as of 1984, almost a third of all buildings were contaminated with harmful products! It is likely that this number will increase as the demand for housing rises.

Shocking Facts!

Did You Know?

It's possible to experience long-term psychological effects of Sick Building Syndrome in the form of disorders such as anxiety, depression, and paranoia.

Houseplants and Sick Building Syndrome

Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome

Common symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome include headache, irritated throat, itchy eyes and nose, coughing, nausea, and fatigue. If your symptoms seem to start when you are in a particular building, and are relieved upon leaving that same building, then you may be suffering from Sick Building Syndrome. You can also determine whether you have Sick Building Syndrome by consulting colleagues that work in the same area as you, and learning whether you suffer from the same symptoms.

If you're still not sure whether you suffer from Sick Building Syndrome, scheduling an appointment with a physician can rule out other illnesses and conditions that may be to blame for your symptoms. When communicating symptoms to your doctor, it is important to factor in all of the symptoms that have occurred within the last few months. Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome often occur at different times, so it is common for them to be dismissed as unrelated unless observed over a number of months.

What can I do about Sick Building Syndrome?

If you think that your home may be a carrier of Sick Building Syndrome, then take action. Along with treating your recurring symptoms, you need to improve the quality of air in your home or office. Once your building stops giving off these toxins, then your symptoms should not occur even when you're in the house.

  • Nature has very powerful tools to clean the air. The natural negative ionization and UV waves from sunlight work wonders at cleaning the air. Open the blinds to let in some rays. And, open the windows and doors and let the ozone and negative ions help to remove toxins from your home, and office if possible.
  • There are natural alternatives for air fresheners, cleansers and other chemical toxins used to cleanse the home and make fresh, indoor air. Use those to breathe better.
  • Live plants can absorb toxins right from the air! Good choices of plants are Peace lilies, Golden Pothos, Dracaenas, and others

Illustration of Sick Building Syndrome

Illustration of Sick Building Syndrome

  1. Synthetic Insulation
  2. Poor Air Circulation
  3. Lack of Fresh Air
  4. Smoke
  5. Paint Fumes
  6. Dustmites
  7. Synthetic Carpet Outgassing
  8. Pet Dander
  9. Toxic Household Cleaners
  10. Fabric Outgassing
  11. Natural Gas/CO2
  12. Construction Materials
  13. Bacteria From Toilet Bowl
  14. Mold & Mildew
  15. Lead or Toxic Paint
  16. Carbon Monoxide
  17. Oil & Gas Fumes

Recommended Reading:


REFERENCES:

  1. http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/0194.html
  2. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208071455.htm
  3. http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/sbs.html