The words “sick building syndrome” initially conjured up images of hypochondriacs seeking time off. For several reasons, however, this condition is a reality. Efforts to save on the cost of heating and air conditioning have led to nearly airtight buildings. New building materials like plywood, carpet glue, and rug fabrics can release toxic fumes during construction, as can pollutants and chemicals. Airborne viruses, fungi, and allergens also roam free in many workplaces. The key method of diagnosing sick building syndrome is determining whether a person’s symptoms lessen when away from work. Symptoms are varied and can include watery eyes, nosebleeds, headaches, dizziness, nausea, dry skin, chronic fatigue, and lower limb swelling. Miscarriages and cancers may occur with sick building syndrome.
P.S. If 20% of a given workforce experiences symptoms, sick building syndrome may be suspected.