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Solutions for Sick Building Syndrome

A number of people working in an office start reporting that they’re feeling ill, and work productivity drops. Their symptoms can’t be attributed to an outside source and seem to be linked to spending time in the building. This could be a sign of Sick Building Syndrome.

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick Building Syndrome is a condition affecting building occupants when a range of building-related symptoms and health conditions are experienced and associated with time spent in the building.1 Pollutants in the building are literally making occupants sick.

Pollutants in the building are literally making occupants sick.

Symptoms may include:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • eye, nose, and/or throat irritation
  • dry cough
  • dry or itchy skin
  • concentration difficulties
  • chest pain
  • fatigue
  • light sensitivity
  • flu-like symptoms

Fortunately, there are Sick Building Syndrome solutions. Hiring an experienced Certified Indoor Environmentalist to assess the indoor air quality of the building will help diagnose contaminants that could result in Sick Building Syndrome symptoms and where those sources can be found. After an assessment has been made, it’s time to take action.

Three strategies for improving air quality

There are three basic strategies for improving the indoor air quality in any building or dwelling: source control, increased ventilation, and air cleaning.

There are three basic strategies for improving the indoor air quality in any building or dwelling: source control, increased ventilation, and air cleaning.

1. Source control

The first strategy for improving indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. This can involve:

  • routine maintenance of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system
  • replacing water-damaged ceiling tiles
  • keeping paints, solvents, and other chemicals in well-ventilated areas
  • implementing airborne infection control practices, such as wearing masks and social distancing, to reduce the spread of infections like the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19

2. Increased ventilation

Lower concentrations of indoor air pollutants in a building by increasing the amount of outdoor air coming indoors.

Check the ventilation system to ensure everything is operating as it was designed. HVAC systems should meet local building codes and ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2019. This specifies performance standards for air change rates and ventilation.2

Increased ventilation can help dilute pollutants from specific areas of the building, such as rest rooms, printing areas, and copy rooms.

3. Air cleaning

Air cleaning is an invaluable tool for improving indoor air quality, especially when combined with source control and increased ventilation. By using stand-alone filtration for rooms like the HealthPro Plus or the Perfect 16 as a whole-building solution, air cleaning can help reduce:

Air cleaning is an invaluable tool for improving indoor air quality.

The GCX Series can also reduce the levels of gases, odors, and chemicals in a building, as can the HealthPro Plus if it is fitted with V5-Cell gas-phase filtration.

There are professional options for assessing and installing customized air cleaning solutions for buildings. The Clean Air Facility program addresses Sick Building Syndrome sources and helps protect occupants as facilities resume operation following the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to become a Clean Air Facility

IQAir’s experts are experienced indoor air quality professionals who have one goal in mind: to solve air quality concerns. They are trained to review every aspect of poor air quality, including:

  • contaminant sources
  • the role of outdoor air
  • indoor airflow patterns
  • proper application of the right air filtration technology

An IQAir Solutions Engineer can help find the best air cleaning solution – or combination of solutions – for any building through the IQAir Clean Air Facility program. IQAir provides turnkey air quality solutions.

With nearly 60 years of industry experience, IQAir has the expertise to help protect and improve office air quality. To learn more, or to discuss air quality concerns with an IQAir air quality expert, contact IQAir by calling 866-500-4090 or request a bid today.

The number one air cleaning solution for your home.

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