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March 14, 2013

Sick Building Syndrome


Believe it or not sick building syndrome is a recognised syndrome that affects a person’s place of work. The World Health Organisation (WHO) made a report on the syndrome in 1984 and found that sick building syndrome is in fact related to the air quality inside the building being poor quality.

With this in mind, SBS cases are often linked with imperfections in the heating / ventilation systems of a building. There have also been cases which are due to the gasses given off by building materials that have been used and yet another contributor is mould highlighting the requirement of regular office cleaning.

A boost in the turnover rate of fresh air is a method often used to deal with symptoms but new environmentally friendly buildings should by design be able to avoid the common sources to sick building syndrome anyway.

There are some things that can be done to reduce the impact of SBS in a building. For example:

·         Cleaning of roof shingles and removal of mould.

·         Immediate replacement of ceiling and floor tiles that have got water stained and an          investigation into how they became water stained.

·         When using any product with a high odour of fume, make sure there is adequate ventilation.

·         Vacuuming regularly with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter vacuum cleaner.

It is highly advisable to remove and treat any areas that mould is found as mould can lead to all sorts of further symptoms in itself. More common symptoms are usually, respiratory, asthmatic and sinus problems. One of the more serious symptoms and by no means as common but nevertheless still a symptom is an opportunistic infection directly resulting from mould. This might be Penicillium marneffei which is a common cause of illness and on occasion death amongst those who are immunocompromised.

Although the symptoms often start as a result of poor ventilation and inadequate use of building materials there are real risks which can be potentially fatal. Thorough cleaning of office buildings is more than a requirement, it is an essential. From the blinds to the lights, from the windows to the floors, keypads and telephones; anything and everything should be cleaned to reduce to the risk of infection and to help reduce the risk of sick building syndrome.

For information on a full range of our cleaning services please contact us Telephone: 0207 127 8079 E-mail: Twitter: @ACSofficeclean









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