Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a term that no business owner wants to hear. This term was originated in the 1970s and pertains to several occupants experiencing acute and otherwise unexplained illness when spending time in a specific building. This can mean trouble for business owners, so you may be wondering what can be done about it? Sterling Environmental Air Duct Cleaning is here to talk about sick building syndrome and how air duct cleaning can help treat and prevent it from reoccuring.
Sick Building Syndrome Defined
When there are multiple people who experience acute health problems that only occur when they are spending time in the building, that building likely has what is called sick building symptom. For people suffering from sick building syndrome, they only experience these symptoms when they are in the building, and upon leaving the symptoms leave as well. The symptoms also show up during seasonal times where the heating and cooling systems are running.
Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome
There is a wide range of symptoms that someone experiencing sick building syndrome might notice. Here are a few of the most common symptoms.
– Irritation of the Eyes, Throat and Nose
– Dry Cough
– Dizziness & Nausea
What Causes Sick Building Syndrome?
For most buildings, the problem that causes sick building syndrome is the ventilation system. This is why those that suffer notice the symptoms only occur when the heating and cooling system are running. When there is poor ventilation in a building, there is a buildup of toxins in the air that can cause a myriad of health problems. Other causes of sick building syndrome are poor office design as well as lack of maintenance.
Main Pollutants Causing SBS
The main pollutants that are the cause for sick building syndrome are:
Carbon Monoxide– Is known for being odorless and colorless. You don’t have any knowledge of CO in the air unless you have detectors that will alert you to any CO issues. It binds the red blood cells that distribute oxygen to the body and essentially suffocates people who breath it in.
Sulphur Dioxide– This gas is colorless, but you can smell it. It can be irritating to the upper respiratory system if inhaled in large quantities.
Nitrogen Dioxide– This is a toxic gas that is a result of combustion of fuels. It can be fatal when high concentrations are found and can cause serious issues if over exposed to it including emphysema.
Other contaminants include mold that can particularly affect those with mold allergies as well as bacteria such as Legionella pneumophila that can cause bacterial infections. One of the most infamous examples of sick building related disease occurred in 1976 when over 180 people attending the American Legion convention became sickened with pneumonia. Many died and the cause was found to be the building’s cooling towers which were infected with bacteria.
Residential & Commercial Air Duct Cleaning in Oak Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Sterling Heights, Shelby Charter Township, Detroit & Southeast Michigan
Because sick building syndrome is often a result of poor ventilation, commercial air duct cleaning is necessary to avoid it in your building. The experts at Sterling Environmental Air Duct Cleaning have the training and expertise to help you avoid this issue in your commercial building. As a business owner, your top priority is the safety of your employees as well as your customers. Air duct cleaning will improve the indoor air quality in your business and keep the occupants healthy. If you think you may be overdue for air duct cleaning, give us a call and we can give you the peace of mind that your indoor air is clean and free of harmful contaminants that could make your building’s occupants sick.