All About Sick Building Syndrome or SBS

This short guide is about the phenomena known as sick building syndrome or SBS. Sick building syndrome tends to affect the occupants of certain buildings who often appear to suffer from various health and wellbeing issues that seem to be associated with the time they spend inside a building, but often where no specific cause or illness can be pinpointed.

New & Refurbished Buildings

A report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1984 which covered issues such as sick building syndrome identified that up to 30% of new and refurbished buildings around the world may create inadequate working environments because of issues associated with poor indoor air quality.

Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome

People experiencing the adverse effects of SBS tend to complain of symptoms such as general irritation of the eyes, nose, throat; irritation of the skin, taste and odour sensitivity, neurotoxic or general health and well-being issues, problems, and nonspecific hyper-sensitivity.

Contamination of the indoor environments of homes and offices by airborne fungi and bacteria has also been associated with extrinsic allergic alveolitis.
The World Health Organisation has classified many of the reported symptoms of sick building syndrome into categories, including:

  • Mucous membrane irritation typically affecting the eyes, nose, and throat
  • General tiredness and irritability
  • Asthma and asthma-like symptoms including tightness of the chest
  • Skin dryness and irritation
  • Neurotoxic effects including headaches
  • Gastrointestinal complaints and several more.

The Causes of Sick Building Syndrome

The causes of sick building syndrome causes are often believed to be associated with a buildings heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Other possible causes of SBS are thought to be related to building and airborne contaminants produced by certain building materials, chemicals used with in the building, spores and moulds, volatile organic compounds (VOC), poor air filtration, inadequate rates of ventilation, or a lack of sufficient fresh-air intake.

World Class Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Water Treatment Services is a leading independent UK water and wastewater treatment, air, energy and environmental services company offering expert water management solutions including water treatment, industrial wastewater treatment, Indoor Air Quality solutions, energy efficiency and engineering support services.

With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester (North West), Birmingham (Midlands), Bristol (South East England and Wales), Leeds (North and North East) and Glasgow (Scotland), supported by regional teams of specially trained engineers, site service specialists and technical experts we can offer air quality assessment and management solutions across the whole of the UK.

Contact us today to learn how our indoor air quality assessment, management and engineering solutions can help you.

Further Reading…

More information about sick building syndrome … here →

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All About Sick Building Syndrome or SBS
Article Name
All About Sick Building Syndrome or SBS
A quick guide to sick building syndrome or SBS. Learn more about the causes of SBS, indoor air quality, contaminants & the symptoms of sick building syndrome.
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Water Treatment Services
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