Understanding Sick Building Syndrome

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When it comes to pollution in the air, we tend to think about it in terms of the outdoors. We worry about traffic jams, factories’ smokestacks, and other factors that pump pollutants into the air. What we must understand is air pollution isn’t just an outdoor problem. The air indoors also can be toxic for us to breathe, especially in an industrial facility where hazardous materials are frequently used. Additionally, the air quality inside buildings can be so harmful that it can cause illnesses.

This occurrence, known as “sick building syndrome”, can create symptoms in people without an easily distinguishable cause. Persons with sick building syndrome may experience respiratory issues such as shortness of breath and coughing, as well as more comprehensive symptoms such as fever and muscle aches. These illnesses can lead to decreased productivity and employees taking excessive time off. It’s important for both industrial and commercial facilities to understand sick building syndrome and how to prevent it.

Sick building syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, all of them related to a building’s indoor air quality. Many times, sick building syndrome is a result of poor ventilation, which prevents indoor pollutants from being circulated out of the air. Many times, contaminants such as motor vehicle exhaust or fumes from volatile chemicals used in industrial processes get trapped inside the building. Bacteria, mold, and pollen from outside also can contribute to sick building syndrome.

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Avoiding sick building syndrome can be as simple as improving air flow throughout the building, such as with large fans. Other measures to improve indoor air quality include installing air cleaners or purification devices, and reducing the use of chemicals containing volatile organic compounds. Improving indoor air quality and avoiding sick building syndrome are tasks that should be at the top of most facility managers’ priority lists. Not only can it boost the health and well-being of employees, but it also can increase productivity and reduce health care liabilities for the facility or building owner. If you would like more information about sick building syndrome, its impact and how to prevent it, review the following guide from Go Fan Yourself. It provides you with all the information you need to make your facility’s air quality better.

Infographic created by Go Fan Yourself

 

 


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