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The sick building syndrome comprises of various nonspecific symptoms that occur in the occupants of a building. This feeling of ill health increases sickness absenteeism and causes a decrease in productivity of the workers. As this syndrome is increasingly becoming a major occupational hazard, the cause, management and Radon Boats prevention of this condition have been discussed in this article. 

INTRODUCTION The sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe a situation in which the occupants of a building experience acute health- or comfort-related effects that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. No specific illness or Radon Boats cause can be identified. The complainants may be localized in a particular room or zone or may be widespread throughout the building.

Go to: CLASSIFICATION The health conditions associated with buildings are commonly classified as: SBS or Tight building syndrome. Building-related disease, when the symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified Radon Boats and attributed directly to airborne building contaminants. Building-associated symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of the sick building syndrome are as follows[3] Headache, dizziness, nausea, eye, nose or throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itching skin, Radon Boats difficulty in concentration, fatigue, sensitivity to odours, hoarseness of voice, allergies, cold, flu-like symptoms, increased incidence of asthma attacks and personality changes. 

The cause of the symptoms is not known. It reduces work efficiency and increases absenteeism. Most of the complainants report relief soon after leaving the building, Radon Boats although lingering effects of neurotoxins can occur. Signs and symptoms of the building-related disease are as follows Cough, chest pain, shortness of breath on mild exertion, edema, palpitations, nosebleeds, cancers, pregnancy problems and miscarriages. 

Extrinsic allergic alveolitis, Legionnaire's disease, humidifier fever, pneumonia Radon Boats and occupational asthma are also known to occur. Legionnaire's disease is due to contamination of cooling towers by legionella organisms. Legionella is also responsible for Pontiac fever. Legionnaire's disease occurs predominantly in the middle aged and elderly adults whereas Pontiac fever occurs in young healthy adults, and has a very high secondary attack rate.

Humidifier fever is caused by breathing in water droplets from humidifiers heavily contaminated with microorganisms causing respiratory infections, asthma Radon Boats and extrinsic allergic alveolitis. The disease is noninfective in nature. The patient may have flu-like symptoms. It is sometimes called Monday Fever. Permanent lung damage does not occur. 

The symptoms can be clinically defined Radon Boats and have clearly identifiable causes. The complainants may require prolonged recovery time after leaving the building. It is important to note that complaints may also result from other cause like a preexisting illness or other allergies, job-related stress or dissatisfaction and psychosocial factors.

Go to: ETIOLOGY The following are some of the factors that might be primarily responsible for SBS: Chemical contaminants From outdoor sources: Contaminants from outside like pollutants from motor vehicle exhaust, plumbing vents Radon Boats and building exhausts (bathrooms and kitchens) can enter the building through poorly located air intake vents, windows and other openings. 

Combustion byproducts can enter a building from a nearby garage. Radon boats, formaldehyde, asbestos, dust and lead paint can enter through poorly located air intake vents Radon Boats and other openings. 1.2. From indoor sources: The most common contaminant of indoor air includes the volatile organic compounds (VOC). 

The main sources of VOC are adhesives, upholstery, carpeting, copy machines, manufactured wood products, pesticides, cleaning agents, etc. Environmental tobacco smoke, respirable particulate matter, combustion byproducts from stove, fireplace and Radon Boats unvented space heater also increase the chemical contamination. 

Synthetic fragrances in personal care products or in cleaning and maintenance products also contribute to the contamination. Biological contaminants The biological contaminants include pollen, bacteria, viruses, fungus, molds, etc. These contaminants can breed in stagnant water that has accumulated in humidifiers, drainpipes Radon Boats and ducts or where water has collected on ceiling tiles, insulation, carpets and upholstery. 

Insect and bird droppings can also be a source of biological contamination. Biological contamination causes fever, chills, cough, chest tightness, muscle aches and Radon Boats allergic reactions. In offices with a high density of occupancy, airborne diseases can spread rapidly from one worker to another. Air-conditioning systems can recirculate pathogens and spread them throughout the building e.g., 

Legionnaire's disease due to legionella organisms.[4,6] Inadequate ventilation In 1970, oil embargo led building designers to make buildings more airtight, with less outdoor air ventilation, Radon Boats in order to improve energy efficiency.[7] The ventilation was reduced to 5 cfm/person. This reduced ventilation rate was found to be inadequate to maintain the health and comfort of building occupants. 

Malfunctioning heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC systems) also increase the indoor air pollution. In order to have an acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ) with a minimum energy consumption, The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recently revised ventilation standards to a minimum outdoor air flow rate of 15 cfm/person to avoid the problems related to inadequate ventilation. 

The standards are 20 cfm/person in office spaces and 60 cfm/person in smoking lounges.[1] Poor design Radon Boats and construction of buildings with more number of offices cramped in a building to increase the salable area also contribute to inadequate ventilation. 

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