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Sick Building Syndrome

( Article Type: Explanation )

‘Sick building syndrome’ describes human illness characteristics that are brought about by air-conditioned buildings that do not introduce sufficient fresh air to the air-conditioning systems or filter, or clean the air passing through the air conditioning systems. Symptoms of sick building syndrome include dizziness, headaches, pain over the eyes, nose and throat irritations, flu and cold-like symptoms, and a general feeling of lethargy and heaviness. The shortage of fresh air means that there is a build-up of chemicals and VOCs in the air in the building, which originate from photocopiers and fax machines. There is also a concentration of germs and diseases from the people themselves in the buildings. These germs then breed in the warm, moist conditions in the airconditioning system and are spread throughout the building to all the occupants. Improving designs of air conditioning systems, increasing the quantities of fresh air drawn into the air-conditioning system, and disinfecting filtering systems and cooling water tanks can reduce sick building syndrome.

Associated Organisations:

Ecosafe , ProNature Paints , H2O International (SA)