Sick Building Syndrome – Fancy Name decreasing Company Productivity

Talking about our guest of the day, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Sick Building Syndrome has started to gain attention when companies especially started reporting health complaints. Rising headaches, heaviness in the head, allergies, lung infections, skin disorders, vomiting, etc were on the rise and still are.



1. People think that pollution can only be found in the outdoor air.
Pollution isn’t a person who cannot gain access inside the premise. It seeps inside the crevices of the buildings, pipes, air ducts, door openings and other openings.

2. Maybe only a limited amount of pollution can enter the premise?
No. Indoor Air Pollution is more deadly than the outdoor pollution. Less ventilation facility, closed doors, multiple people respiring and generation of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the walls makes the indoor air 10X times more polluted.

3. Sick Building Syndrome can be caused only in buildings without ACs and Cooling Towers. Our company has proper ventilation in place.
Wrong. Air Conditioners and Ventilation ducts add to the rising Indoor Air Pollution, provided those are not maintained and checked regularly. Settled dust, continuously rising paintwork in the building, rising temperature due to improper infrastructure, lack of indoor plants, poor outdoor environment – all of these contribute to the establishment of SBS in a healthy building.



1. Increase in the biological contaminants can be seen in the building with SBS, under the carpets, in the water, in upholstery, accumulated in the pipes, insect or bird droppings. It can give a perfect chance to the rise of Legionnaire’s diseases. Also, such environment encourages the spread of diseases from human contact.

2. It is a norm that for every single person, there should be around 20 cubic feet of fresh air per minute according to ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers).

3. High level of company churn and low job satisfaction are common effects that are seen among employees with respect to Sick Building Syndrome.

Investigations to detect Sick Building Syndrome?

1. Evaluate the IAQ of the premise or the victim building.
2. Identifying the symptoms (if any) by conducting a walk-through of the building and asking the occupants/employees
3. Drawing relations between the cause and the effects of the rising complaints.
4. Constantly monitor the temperature, humidity, levels of carbon dioxide.
5. Get all the HVAC systems checked by a certified laboratory to identify the presence of biological and chemical contaminants
6. Get the water and food tested for the presence of any biological contaminants that have entered due to impure indoor air quality.

Sick Building Syndrome

Prevention of Sick Building Syndrome?

1. Increase the air ventilation; maintain around 20 cubic feet of fresh air per minute and not the currently observed 5 cubic feet.
2. Maintain, repair or replace the water-logged tiles, pipes, ducts, carpets and HVAC systems. Make sure all the paints and VOCs – generating products are locked away to avoid the spread of the harmful air-borne pollution.
3. Banning of smoking and installing proper chimneys, exhausts for the exclusion of all smoke outside to avoid its circulation indoor.
4. Researching the site – understand the construction concepts, landscape, industries around, the disposal facilities, let off around the buildings, installing the noise cancellation machines inside the premises and maintaining the ion balance, humidity, moisture content, etc.


360 – Degree option for Sick Building Syndrome?

It is always best to consult a Testing Laboratory who you can partner with for a continuous measurement of air and indoor environmental quality. IAQ and Outdoor Air Quality should be monitored every minute so as to immediately improvise on the solutions for the improved results.

Remember – Increase in pollution and a parallel increase in SBS can lead to absenteeism and loss of productivity, eventually causing company’s loss in revenue.

Click here for more information on Indoor Air Quality Protection.

For more details on the SBS and related solutions, you can give us a call on +91 82916 31145.

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