top of page
  • jeffreyfeinberg

Sick Building Syndrome: Understanding the Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a condition that affects the health and well-being of people who spend prolonged periods in certain buildings. The symptoms of SBS range from mild irritation to severe illness and can be caused by a variety of factors including poor ventilation, toxic substances, and inadequate lighting. In this blog post, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and prevention of SBS.

Causes of Sick Building Syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome can be caused by a combination of factors that affect the indoor environment of a building. These factors include:

  1. Poor Ventilation: Inadequate ventilation can lead to an accumulation of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and dust, which can cause respiratory problems, headaches, and other health issues.

  2. Chemical Contaminants: Chemicals such as cleaning agents, pesticides, and building materials emit toxins that can cause irritation, allergies, and other health problems.

  3. Biological Contaminants: Mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms can thrive in warm, damp environments and cause respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues.

  4. Inadequate Lighting: Poor lighting can cause eyestrain, headaches, and other health problems.

  5. Noise Pollution: Excessive noise can cause stress, irritation, and other health problems.

Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome

The symptoms of SBS can vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Some of the common symptoms of SBS include:

  1. Headaches

  2. Dizziness

  3. Fatigue

  4. Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat

  5. Skin irritation

  6. Nausea

  7. Difficulty breathing

  8. Concentration problems

  9. Allergic reactions

Prevention of Sick Building Syndrome

Preventing Sick Building Syndrome involves identifying and addressing the factors that contribute to poor indoor air quality. Some steps that can be taken to prevent SBS include:

  1. Improving ventilation: Adequate ventilation helps to remove pollutants and improve indoor air quality.

  2. Controlling temperature and humidity: Maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity levels can help to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

  3. Using low-toxicity building materials: Using materials that emit fewer toxins can help to prevent chemical contamination.

  4. Regular cleaning and maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance can help to prevent the buildup of dust and other pollutants.

  5. Using plants to purify the air: Some plants are effective at removing pollutants from the air, which can help to improve indoor air quality.


Sick Building Syndrome can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of people who spend prolonged periods in certain buildings. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and prevention of SBS can help to improve indoor air quality and prevent the development of this condition. By taking steps to improve ventilation, control temperature and humidity, use low-toxicity building materials, and regularly clean and maintain buildings, we can create healthier indoor environments for ourselves and others.

11 views0 comments


bottom of page