Have you ever felt sick for no apparent reason while at work, only to feel better once you’ve left the building? This fairly regular occurrence across this country can be diagnosed as sick building syndrome (SBS). While SBS is elusive and the health issues tend to be acute in nature, the overall effects can cause major havoc on any office building. Super Serv is here to provide the most comprehensive office cleaning to Boston businesses, utilizing the most professional cleaners to ensure the best possible results. Our top-notch cleaning company is here to provide whatever your office needs to run with health and efficiency. By training the best employees and equipping them with the best practices and technology in the industry, we’re able to offer unbeatable services that reduce your operational costs while perfecting building cleanliness. Today, we’ll look at the strange phenomenon known as sick building syndrome and how our cleaning services company can help!
What is Sick Building Syndrome?
At its center, SBS is a medical condition where building occupants suffer from illness or an array of symptoms with no apparent causes. Additionally, these symptoms tend to worsen as an individual spends more time inside the affected building. Afflicted citizens will also improve or make a full recovery once they are outside of the structure that is causing SBS. The interesting point surrounding this health issue is the lack of a physical cause i.e. flu germs, food poisoning, and so on. While the origin of these symptoms seems to be a mystery, many building dwellers suffer the same issues.
Common Signs and Symptoms
While relatively minor in scope, the combination of ill effects from SBS can create major productivity issues and increase absenteeism. People who are ailing from sick building syndrome may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Dry cough
- Skin irritation
- Throat irritation
- Allergic reactions
- Asthmatic issues
- And more
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified and placed these symptoms into broad categories in an effort to illuminate the symptoms in a way that can better diagnose SBS. Exposure to neurotoxins and other negative particulates can leave lasting effects on building inhabitants, yet the best way to confirm that SBS is the issue is the onset of recovery after leaving said structure. In order to better understand how sick building syndrome affects employees and guests, we need to look at a few of factors that may be the root cause of this issue.
While the origins of SBS can be hard to identify and diagnose, popular opinion has declared that the following factors may contribute to the lack of health amongst building inhabitants:
- Poor ventilation. Clean, fresh air is required to maintain employee comfort and health. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) released updated standards to to maintain a minimum airflow of 15 cubic feet per minute to each individual. Otherwise, the air in any office space will quickly become used up, leaving a higher level of bacteria in its stead with less oxygen for every individual. One study found that increased CO2 levels in a building brought on symptoms such as nausea, headaches, and more.
- Chemical concerns. There are numerous chemical factors that can work in tandem to increase the prevalence of SBS. Outside pollution, including vehicle and building exhaust, can make its way inward and wreak havoc on immune systems. Ventilation also plays a role here, as poor air movement can result in contaminants such as dust and asbestos making its way into common areas. Interior sources, including pesticides, carpet, upholstery, and even furnaces, can create a hostile environment for human health.
- Organic Contamination. One of the easiest places to look for unhealthy symptoms stems from biological entities. Any area that holds moisture, including humidifiers and air ducts, creates the perfect environment for organic contaminants such as bacteria, fungus, mold, pollen, and more to thrive. While your HVAC system works to bring in fresh air, it may also be circulating any number pathogens throughout the building. Airborne contamination from any of these harmful organisms can quickly affect the health of your employees.
- Workplace dynamics. Businesses that feature a stressful, dissatisfying work environment tends to lend support toward SBS. When employees are constantly under stress while working excessively, their health or perceived health will suffer.
Inspecting a Building
Several health agencies have worked to create a system that inspects and measures sick building syndrome symptoms in order to properly diagnose the issue at hand. Finding the cause of poor interior air quality can help in this endeavor, from measuring carbon dioxide levels to checking airflow efficiency, humidity, temperature, and more.
When it comes to preventing or minimizing sick building syndrome, there are numerous tasks that can be done. Improving air ventilation and removing contaminant sources are the most effective approach. Additionally, extensive office cleaning services can be utilized to create a cleaner environment for employees to thrive in. Sunshine is also helpful in boosting immune systems and creating a brighter, cleaner environment for all. If you suspect that your building is ailing from SBS, it can be prudent to call our professional cleaning company for assistance!
Buildings that are afflicted with sick building syndrome will lead to excessive employee absenteeism, which when done in large numbers, can ruin a company’s operations. Keeping your facility optimal with the best office cleaning in Boston can prove to be a major benefit that actually saves you money in the long run. Super Serv is proud to provide professional cleaners for any and all needs regarding business facilities. From office buildings to schools and hospitals, our top-trained staff is here to offer a customized solution for your facility. Contact us today to see how we can keep your building healthy!