Contrary to what you might think, sick building syndrome (SBS) is a 100% real medical condition. People end up affected by the condition after occupying a building or a room. They end up feeling better after leaving the affected area. SBS can be experienced absolutely anywhere, ranging from office buildings to your home.
Understanding Sick Building Syndrome
When at home, you can be exposed to different chemical contaminants that come from exhausts in the kitchen, plumbing vents or the bathroom. VOCs (volatile organic compounds) could also cause the condition. These are found in tobacco smoke, upholstery, carpets and pesticides. Even fireplaces or unvented space heaters can cause the problem.
When constructions are present nearby, it is possible that materials contribute to SBS. Also, biological contamination coming from insect droppings and bird droppings can potentially make you sick.
When it comes to sick building syndrome, the first things you notice are symptoms like:
- Sudden exhaustion
- Coughing fits
In so many cases you can see people think that the problem is allergy, especially when irritation is noticed in the nose, throat or eyes. Dry and itchy skin or difficulty concentrating are also SBS symptoms.
In numerous cases, dust mites cause the allergic reactions. These can appear in bedding, stuffed toys, carpets and furniture. Also, it is possible that humidity and mold can make you feel sick.
Controlling Sick Building Syndrome
For starters, you need to be sure that you add gutters to your roof. Downspouts are also needed at the base. It is important for this because it redirects rainwater.
When your home has a crawl space present, you should be sure that you use a good vapor barrier like plastic covering right on top of dirt. This will guarantee that dirt floor moisture is not going to evaporate and end up in the air that is present under your home. The new vapor barrier also eliminates some problems you would have with insects, wood rot, mold and odors.
In order to fight the dust mites, you need to wash bedding with hot water for at least one time every week. Zipped covers should also be added on pillows and mattresses. Be sure that you regularly vacuum with the use of vacuum cleaners that have HEPA filters. Discard all vacuum cleaner contents quickly. Dust and vacuum all areas, including those that you often forget about, like on top of the tall furniture. Then, be sure that home humidity level is under 50%. This is because bed bugs thrive when humidity is high.
Volatile organic compounds cannot be completely avoided. However, you can always take some steps, like storing the items that could contain VOCs inside the garage or in an area that is away from the home. Also, according to the EPA, only buy as much kerosene, paint and paint strippers that you are going to use in the near future. When you buy too much, it often ends up forgotten somewhere.
Sick building syndrome is real. Do not think that it is not. Learn as much as you can about it and if you feel that you are affected, get your home checked out.