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Sick Building/House Syndrome

Last updated: 05-08-2020

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Sick Building/House Syndrome

Sick Building/House Syndrome
Part of the Current Topics in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine book series (CTEHPM)
Abstract
Sick building syndrome (SBS) began to be reported mainly as a problem for office buildings, but home environments also may have the same problem. It is difficult to estimate accurately the prevalence of home SBS because widely accepted diagnostic criteria have not been established. However, the estimated prevalence of home SBS based on epidemiological studies seems to vary from a few to 10% or more. Causes and risks of home SBS include various environmental, personal, and social factors. Main environmental causal factors are aldehydes, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dampness, and mold, although home airborne fungi levels measured quantitatively cannot affect SBS symptoms. Additionally, female, history of allergy or atopy, rental house, work stress, and unemployment can also pose as potential risk factors for home SBS. To avoid development of SBS in dwellings, construction materials, paintings, and furniture with low chemical emission must be used. Also, to reduce indoor chemical levels, dampness, and mold, home ventilation systems must be used properly and adequately.
Keywords
Sick building syndrome Sick house syndrome Formaldehyde Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Dampness Mold Ventilation Idiopathic environmental intolerance (IET) 
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