Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a medical condition where people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or feel unwell for no apparent reason. The symptoms tend to increase in severity with the time people spend in the building, and improve over time or even disappear when people are away from the building.
Most common signs of sick building syndrome:
Eye or Throat Irritation
Headache / Dizziness
Nausea Feeling Sick
Dry or Itchy Skin
Difficulty in Concentration
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in four new or renovated indoor buildings in the United States may be classified as sick. Such buildings contain unacceptable levels of dangerous contaminants such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and volatile organic chemicals. The World Health Organization estimates that one third of the workforce may be subjected to workplaces that are making them sick.
What in the Office is Making You Sick?
Fluorescent lights can cause eyestrain and headaches, while carpets and the paint on the walls may contain solvents that can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Chemicals that exist in furniture can release formaldehyde, which has been linked to a wide host of symptoms. Many are sensitive to volatile organic chemicals in office equipment, as well as mold and bacteria found in dirty heating, ventilation and cooling systems.
How much is your sick building costing your business?
Sick building syndrome is costing companies billions of dollars in lost productivity and workers’ compensation claims. US companies could save as much as $58 billion annually by preventing sick building illnesses, and an additional $200 billion in worker performance improvements by creating offices with better indoor air quality.