sick building syndrome


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sick build·ing syn·drome

old term for building-related illness.

sick build·ing syn·drome

old term for building-related illness.

sick building syndrome

n.
An illness affecting workers in office buildings, characterized by skin irritations, headache, and respiratory problems, and thought to be caused by indoor pollutants, microorganisms, or inadequate ventilation. Also called building sickness.
A condition defined by the World Health Organisation as '... excess work-related irritation of mucocutaneous surfaces and other symptoms—e.g., headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating—reported by workers in modern office buildings.'

sick building syndrome

Tight building syndrome Public health A condition defined by the WHO, as excess work-related irritation of mucocutaneous surfaces and other Sx–eg, headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, reported by workers in modern office buildings. See Building biology, Environmental disease.
Sick building syndrome–clinical features
Hypersensitivity Hypersensitivity pneumonitis and allergic alveolitis in response to various microorganisms eg water-borne ameba, known as 'humidifier lung'
Allergies Allergic rhinitis and asthma, due to dust mites
Infections Mini-epidemics, eg Legionnaire's disease, Pontiac fever, by low-level airborne pathogens that thrive in stagnate water and are disseminated through poorly-maintained air conditioning systems
Mucocutaneous irritation Skin eruptions, due to fiberglass, mineral wool or other particles; contact lens wearers may suffer corneal abrasions
Mucosal irritation Dry throat, cough, tightness in chest, sinus congestion and sneezing–formerly due to tobacco smoke, which is increasingly banned in buildings, solvents and cleaning materials, eg chlorine, reactions to photochemicals or other toxins, eg in laser printers due to the styrene-butadiene toners and ozone production by photocopiers
Pseudoepidemics Due to 'mass hysteria'

sick build·ing syn·drome

(sik bild'ing sin'drōm)
A disorder of nonspecific symptoms including fatigue, headache, dry eyes and throat, and nasal problems, occurring mostly in office workers; attributed to low-level exposures to substances used in building and interior construction; most symptoms lessen during off-work periods.

sick building syndrome

A varied group of symptoms sometimes experienced by people working in a modern office building and attributed to the building. Symptoms include fatigue, headache, dryness and itching of the eyes, sore throat and dryness of the nose. No convincing explanation has been offered.

Sick building syndrome

An illness related to MCS in which a person develops symptoms in response to chronic exposure to airborne environmental chemicals found in a tightly sealed building.
References in periodicals archive ?
This book should be on the shelf in workplace and public libraries, both as a resource for people affected by sick building syndrome and those who want to raise their awareness of the possibility that their work or home environment may be at risk of indoor pollution.
CONTACTS: EPA Sick Building Syndrome page, www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/sbs.html.
The influence of sick building syndrome on self-reported productivity and work disruption amongst office employees in two buildings in South Africa.
Synthetic materials used to construct and furnish buildings may lead to sick building syndrome. Plywood, paneling, drapes, upholstery, glues, particle board, and fiberboard furniture are particularly susceptible to a process known as "outgassing." They continually release chemicals such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and a mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (9) into the air.
The site also provides general facts on indoor air pollutants--including how they affect people with asthma and allergies--as well as information about sick building syndrome.
In this case, the structure of an organizational system, including policies, levels of public accountability, and management structures, can be as dangerous to human health as sick building syndrome. I noticed this condition several years ago when I continually encountered employees and professionals who were burned out, depressed, or feeling victimized by the "system" and who were clearly suffering physically and emotionally.
"Sick building syndrome" is a term applied to situations in which some factor or combination of factors--such as chemicals, smoke or fumes--create poor indoor air quality in residential or commercial buildings, causing health complaints.(1) Indoor air quality potentially can be impacted by hundreds of different chemicals, including substances that are common components of everyday life.
Employees of the club had complained of frequent headaches, red eyes and lethargy, signs of "sick building syndrome."
Sick building migration: The tendency of younger workers to avoid or leave jobs in unhealthy office environments or workplaces affected by Sick Building Syndrome.
In addition to contaminated air and water, writes Boston Globe environmental reporter Nicholas Tate in his book, The Sick Building Syndrome, MCS can be caused by "viruses, molds, bacteria, and pollens."
All systems and materials used were designed to reduce pollutants associated with global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, and health-threatening "Sick Building Syndrome." SBS is caused by poor circulation, too little fresh air, the buildup of bacteria and fungi in moist ducts, and toxic gases--such as formaldehyde--from building materials.
However, we are only now beginning to hear about something that may be affecting many more of us than health authorities had heretofore supposed: "Sick Building Syndrome" (SBS).