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Does Sick Building Syndrome Exist?

Jun 30, 2008
One of the main causes of illness in the workforce today is known as sick building syndrome and it is responsible for thousands of days off work sick each year. Sick building syndrome is not a problem that is just confined to the United States, it is beginning to be recognized all over the world as more and more people are feeling the effects of being in a poorly ventilated building.

Some of the symptoms of sick building syndrome are: indoor allergies, itchy eyes and nose, runny nose, sore throat, headaches, blurred vision, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and difficulty when concentrating for any period of time. Some people believe that these symptoms are purely psychological however if you are suffering like this you will argue that it is very real. Imagine what it would feel like to start to feel ill within minutes of entering your place of work each day and find that you get worse as the day progresses.

Experts have put forward different reasons for this sick building syndrome from outside influences such as person's general health or family life, an illness epidemic and other viral infections. However these do not take into account the fact that more and more people are falling ill and all have one thing in common - they all work in the same building.

Such buildings that seem to have high levels of sickness related to sick building syndrome tend to have poorly maintained ventilation and heating systems which many people blame for their illness. This theory can be supported by the fact that the majority of people who claim to have sick building syndrome are often in good health when they away from the building and only become ill again their return.

If poorly maintained ventilation systems are to blame for these illnesses then it is important that something is done about them. Dirty ventilation systems can be the cause of many different types of illness as mold spores can grow and multiply and they are then blown through air ducts right to where people are working. This then results in them being ill as the air that they are breathing is not fresh and purified. Mold spores are not just to blame, if rodents get into the air ducts they can cause problems as can a build up of general dirt and debris, so they should be cleaned regularly.

So really it would be fair to say that sick building syndrome does exist but only where there are dirty ventilation systems that are not kept up to standard. If you suspect the air ducts and ventilation system in a building are dirty is it important that it is brought to the attention of someone who is responsible for them. Your local HVAC technician can provide a comprehensive maintenance service that will ensure that ventilation systems are kept clean and running efficiently, reducing the number of sick days and keeping staff healthy. If this sounds like something that your business could use, contact your local HVAC technician to help you improve your air quality.
About the Author
Giant Mechanical is a leading Chicago area company that provides Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and a variety of other services. Find out how Giant Mechanical can help you with your commercial, residential, or institutional needs by visiting http://www.giantmechanical.com.
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