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The Sick Building Syndrome

The impact of air quality on people's health

The impact of air quality on people's health

"The term Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is used to describe health complaints experienced by the inhabitants of certain buildings. As there is no specific disease in the patients, these complaints appear to be related to the health and comfort of the buildings in question". In February 1991, the periodical distributed by the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency acting as the federal ministry of the environment, began by defining Sick Building Syndrome.

Although in reality it is not the building itself that is sick, but those who occupy it. However, in the long article, the EPA referred to a 1984 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In that document, the WHO found that 30% of newly constructed or renovated buildings could be the subject of complaints by occupants for poor indoor air quality (I.A.Q. Indoor Air Quality).

Subsequently, the EPA article formulated the distinction between SBS and BRI. The Americans are very fond of acronyms and abbreviations. SBS stands for Sick Building Syndrome, while BRI stands for Building Related Illness, i.e. occupants' health problems that are directly attributable to poor air quality in the building in which they live or spend most of their time (e.g. workplaces).

How to recognise SBS

How to recognise SBS

Occupants of 'damaged' buildings generally complain:

The cause of the symptoms cannot be traced back to any already classified disease, but occupants of rooms with poor indoor air quality see these symptoms disappear as soon as they leave the building.

Occupants of 'damaged' buildings generally complain:

The cause of the symptoms cannot be traced back to any already classified disease, but occupants of rooms with poor indoor air quality see these symptoms disappear as soon as they leave the building.

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