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Sick building syndrome: causes and symptoms

Some California residents may feel sick at work but notice they feel better once they get home. Although some people may shrug off their symptoms, it is possible that the building they work in is making them sick.

Sometimes a building can make a person sick if he or she spends a lot of time there. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, contaminants inside a building can make people sick. These might be biological contaminants, such as pollen and mold, or chemical contaminants. Mold and other hazards may develop on carpeting or ceiling tiles if water has amassed on these surfaces and stagnant water can provide a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Windows and air intake vents which are located near parking lots and building exhausts may bring in outdoor pollutants. Additionally, people can become sick if a building is not properly ventilated.

If people spend too much time in a building with these hazards, they may develop sick building syndrome. Healthline says that people may have a fever or headaches. They may also feel that their chest is tight and their skin is itchy. Sometimes people may think they have allergies because they are sneezing more often and have a runny nose. People can also experience neurological symptoms, such as forgetfulness or irritability.

Once people realize they have sick building syndrome, it is usually best if they can limit their exposure to these hazards. Some people might ask their employer if the air filters can be changed more frequently and if the floors can be vacuumed on a regular schedule. Other people might find that they feel better if they spend their breaks outdoors or walk around more often.


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