Headaches at work? The Sick Building Syndrome could be the reason

The “sick building syndrome” is an illness caused by poor indoor air quality, where occupants experience discomfort due to spending time in particular rooms or buildings. Read on to find out more about this phenomenon.

What are the symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick building syndrome is characterized by flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, dry cough, fever, chills, chest tightness, increased asthma attacks, allergies, dry or itchy skin, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, sensitivity to odours, and eyes, nose, and throat irritation.

What are the causes of Sick Building Syndrome?

While it is impossible to link sick building syndrome to any specific cause, it is generally attributed to poor indoor air quality. The following factors are believed to be responsible:

  • Poor ventilation in distributing adequate air to the building occupants
  • Biological contaminants such as bacteria, moulds, pollen, fungus, and viruses that have accumulated in ducts, drain pipes, humidifiers, ceiling tiles, insulation, upholstery, and carpentry
  • Outdoor chemical contaminants such as motor emissions that enter the building through plumbing vents and exhausts
  • Indoor chemical contaminants called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that stem from interior products and building materials such as furniture, wallpapers, cleaning materials, copy machines, lacquers, synthetic fragrances, and thirdhand tobacco smoke which have mutagenic, carcinogenic, and toxic effects on humans.

How do you treat Sick Building Syndrome?

There is no silver bullet for treating sick building syndrome when its cause is unknown. Most individuals report relief from symptoms once they leave the building. There are, however, ways you can deal with the illness. 

The first step to deal with sick building syndrome is to identify the source or sources of pollution. They can be both internal as well as external. To gain better understanding about the status quo, air quality sensors should be installed inside and ideally also on the outside of the building.

This allows for patterns in pollution concentrations and particularly affected areas to be recognized, thereby also identifying likely sources for pollutants. 

Only with this data can effective and informed decisions on improving indoor air quality to create a healthier and more productive work environment be made. 

Breeze Technologies can support you throughout this process with a fully-digital solution for air quality monitoring, management and improvement. Our high-end indoor and outdoor air quality sensors, Environmental Intelligence Cloud, and our team of environmental scientists are here to help. We provide data- and AI-based recommendations for clean air actions, such as:

  1. Modifying and maintaining heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to increase air distribution and flow
  2. Installing air cleaners/purifiers/filters 
  3. Identifying and replacing interior pollution sources such as flooring, machinery, and upholstery
  4. Many more interventions from a growing database of more than 3,500 clean air actions

If you or anyone you know are experiencing any headaches or symptoms related to sick building syndrome, reach out to us today