It is well known that staying in a home for a long time that does not meet safety and quality standards can lead to health problems. But did you know that there is a name for this? This is called sick building syndrome. In this article, we'll tell you how to recognize this phenomenon, and how to avoid the unpleasant consequences of this syndrome.

What is sick building syndrome?

The name says it all: sick building syndrome is a term used in situations in which residents or users of a building suddenly experience all kinds of health problems that are due to nothing but the building. In other words, just by being in the building, the inhabitants get sick.

The term was coined by the World Health Organization, which released a research report in the 1980s with some curious results. They found that about 30% of all new and renovated homes make residents sick. In doing so, they made the important observation that sick building syndrome usually does not occur in just one individual, but in a group of people. Thus, it does not only manifest itself in individuals, but often affects several people in the same building.

The most common symptoms of sick building syndrome

The symptoms of sick building syndrome can be very diverse and are generally considered non-specific and mild, but they can still be experienced as unpleasant. They show similarities with the symptoms of an allergic reaction or long-term work stress.

Below you will find an overview of the most common complaints:

  • (Heavy) fatigue,
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Dry or stinging eyes
  • An irritated nose and/or throat
  • Coughing and/or sneezing
  • A nasal cold
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing and a feeling of pressure in the chest
  • Headache
  • Dry and/or itchy skin
  • Result
  • Concentration problems and reduced productivity
  • ...

Precisely because the symptoms are so general, it is difficult to determine whether they originate from sick building syndrome. It is only when several people in the same building experience these complaints at the same time that you can speak with more certainty of sick building syndrome.

The causes of sick building syndrome

Sick building syndrome can occur in one particular room, or the entire building can cause you to get sick. Some of the most common causes are poor or lack of ventilation, high humidity due to moisture problems or chemical contamination from building materials, for example. Insufficient daylight can also lead to the health problems described above.

Solving sick building syndrome

The causes of sick building syndrome do not disappear on their own.

  • Regularly monitor indoor air quality and humidity to identify and address potential issues. Air quality monitors can help you with this.
  • To achieve good air quality, ventilation is a must. Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the building. This can be done simply by opening a window or door on a regular basis, or you can delegate this task to a ventilation system.
  • If you notice that the humidity remains too high and does not decrease, it is advisable to call in a moisture expert. This expert will be able to identify the moisture problem and suggest the most appropriate solutions to address the problem.
  • Only use building materials and furniture that do not emit toxic substances. Choose eco-friendly and sustainable materials whenever possible.

Do you have a moisture problem? Our field engineers are true experts when it comes to this moisture problem. Contact AquaConsult now for a no-obligation free consultation.

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