sick building syndrome

Summary

Summary: A group of symptoms that are two- to three-fold more common in those who work in large, energy-efficient buildings, associated with an increased frequency of headaches, lethargy, and dry skin. Clinical manifestations include hypersensitivity pneumonitis (ALVEOLITIS, EXTRINSIC ALLERGIC); allergic rhinitis (RHINITIS, ALLERGIC, PERENNIAL); ASTHMA; infections, skin eruptions, and mucous membrane irritation syndromes. Current usage tends to be less restrictive with regard to the type of building and delineation of complaints. (From Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)

Top Publications

  1. Shoemaker R, House D. Sick building syndrome (SBS) and exposure to water-damaged buildings: time series study, clinical trial and mechanisms. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2006;28:573-88 pubmed
    ..amplification often describe a syndrome involving multiple organ systems, commonly referred to as "sick building syndrome" (SBS), following chronic exposure to the indoor air...
  2. Guo P, Yokoyama K, Piao F, Sakai K, Khalequzzaman M, Kamijima M, et al. Sick building syndrome by indoor air pollution in Dalian, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013;10:1489-504 pubmed publisher
    ..Fifty-nine males and 50 females were surveyed for their symptoms related to sick building syndrome. Formaldehyde (HCHO), NO2, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their dwellings were collected using a ..
  3. Akpinar Elci M, Siegel P, Cox Ganser J, Stemple K, White S, Hilsbos K, et al. Respiratory inflammatory responses among occupants of a water-damaged office building. Indoor Air. 2008;18:125-30 pubmed publisher
    ..Of the analyses assessed, EBC IL-8 showed the most significant relationship with a number of symptoms and physician-diagnosed asthma...
  4. Norback D. An update on sick building syndrome. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;9:55-9 pubmed publisher
    The aim is to describe recent insight into risk factors for symptoms included in the sick building syndrome (SBS) and to give an insight into preventive work to reduce SBS.
  5. Brauer C, Kolstad H, Ørbaek P, Mikkelsen S. No consistent risk factor pattern for symptoms related to the sick building syndrome: a prospective population based study. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2006;79:453-64 pubmed
    ..between perceived indoor environment at work and the non-specific symptoms that are often referred to as the sick building syndrome (SBS), using cross-sectional and prospective analyses for a large cohort from the general population.
  6. Wang B, Takigawa T, Yamasaki Y, Sakano N, Wang D, Ogino K. Symptom definitions for SBS (sick building syndrome) in residential dwellings. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2008;211:114-20 pubmed
    The potential risk factors for sick building syndrome (SBS) in newly built dwellings were investigated...
  7. Norback D, Nordström K. Sick building syndrome in relation to air exchange rate, CO(2), room temperature and relative air humidity in university computer classrooms: an experimental study. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2008;82:21-30 pubmed publisher
    ..To study the effects of ventilation and temperature changes in computer classrooms on symptoms in students...
  8. Straus D, Cooley J, Wong W, Jumper C. Studies on the role of fungi in Sick Building Syndrome. Arch Environ Health. 2003;58:475-8 pubmed
    b>Sick Building Syndrome is a term used to describe symptoms in humans which result from problems with indoor air quality. Common complaints include dyspnea, flu-like symptoms, watering eyes, and allergic rhinitis...
  9. Kishi R, Saijo Y, Kanazawa A, Tanaka M, Yoshimura T, Chikara H, et al. Regional differences in residential environments and the association of dwellings and residential factors with the sick house syndrome: a nationwide cross-sectional questionnaire study in Japan. Indoor Air. 2009;19:243-54 pubmed publisher
    ..These results showed an increased risk when several dampness indicators appeared simultaneously...

More Information

Publications62

  1. Kim W, Terada N, Nomura T, Takahashi R, Lee S, Park J, et al. Effect of formaldehyde on the expression of adhesion molecules in nasal microvascular endothelial cells: the role of formaldehyde in the pathogenesis of sick building syndrome. Clin Exp Allergy. 2002;32:287-95 pubmed
    Formaldehyde is associated with sick building syndrome (SBS), a set of diffuse and irritative symptoms predominantly involving the eyes and the respiratory tract. However, its pathophysiological mechanism in SBS has not yet been clarified.
  2. Sahlberg B, Mi Y, Norback D. Indoor environment in dwellings, asthma, allergies, and sick building syndrome in the Swedish population: a longitudinal cohort study from 1989 to 1997. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2009;82:1211-8 pubmed publisher
    To investigate changes of sick building syndrome (SBS) and different types of indoor exposures at home over an 8-year follow-up period (1989-1997), and onset of SBS symptoms in relation to size of residence town and education level.
  3. Sahlberg B, Wieslander G, Norback D. Sick building syndrome in relation to domestic exposure in Sweden--a cohort study from 1991 to 2001. Scand J Public Health. 2010;38:232-8 pubmed publisher
    Most studies on sick building syndrome (SBS) are cross-sectional and have dealt with symptoms among office workers. There are very few longitudinal cohort studies and few studies on SBS in relation to domestic exposures...
  4. Eduard W. Fungal spores: a critical review of the toxicological and epidemiological evidence as a basis for occupational exposure limit setting. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2009;39:799-864 pubmed publisher
    ..Inhalation of a single spore dose by subjects with sick building syndrome indicated no observed effect levels of 4 x 10(3) Trichoderma harzianum spores/m(3) and 8 x 10(3) ..
  5. Takigawa T, Wang B, Saijo Y, Morimoto K, Nakayama K, Tanaka M, et al. Relationship between indoor chemical concentrations and subjective symptoms associated with sick building syndrome in newly built houses in Japan. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2010;83:225-35 pubmed publisher
    This study explored possible associations between chemical substances and sick building syndrome (SBS)-type symptoms of residents living in new houses in Japan.
  6. Tsai D, Lin J, Chan C. Office workers' sick building syndrome and indoor carbon dioxide concentrations. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2012;9:345-51 pubmed publisher
    This study attempted to determine whether any association exists between sick building syndrome (SBS) and indoor carbon dioxide (CO(2)) concentrations. We evaluated SBS among 111 office workers in August and November 2003...
  7. Wargocki P, Wyon D, Sundell J, Clausen G, Fanger P. The effects of outdoor air supply rate in an office on perceived air quality, sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms and productivity. Indoor Air. 2000;10:222-36 pubmed
    Perceived air quality, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms and productivity were studied in a normally furnished office space (108 m3) ventilated with an outdoor airflow of 3, 10 or 30 L/s per person, corresponding to an air change rate ..
  8. Wang J, Li B, Yang Q, Yu W, Wang H, Norback D, et al. Odors and sensations of humidity and dryness in relation to sick building syndrome and home environment in Chongqing, China. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e72385 pubmed publisher
    The prevalence of perceptions of odors and sensations of air humidity and sick building syndrome symptoms in domestic environments were studied using responses to a questionnaire on the home environment...
  9. Nakazawa H, Ikeda H, Yamashita T, Hara I, Kumai Y, Endo G, et al. A case of sick building syndrome in a Japanese office worker. Ind Health. 2005;43:341-5 pubmed
    The adverse health effects caused by indoor air pollution are termed "sick building syndrome". We report such a patient whose symptoms appeared in the workplace...
  10. Kildesø J, Wyon D, Skov T, Schneider T. Visual analogue scales for detecting changes in symptoms of the sick building syndrome in an intervention study. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1999;25:361-7 pubmed
    ..This study tested questionnaires using visual analogue scales (VAS) in a cleaning intervention study and attempted to find a simple way of analyzing the replies to the questionnaires...
  11. Runeson R, Norback D. Associations among sick building syndrome, psychosocial factors, and personality traits. Percept Mot Skills. 2005;100:747-59 pubmed
    ..In conclusion, personality aspects seem to play an important role for reporting medical symptoms, work satisfaction, work stress, and climate of cooperation at work, but different personality aspects could be important in men and women...
  12. Brauer C, Kolstad H, Ørbaek P, Mikkelsen S. The sick building syndrome: a chicken and egg situation?. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2006;79:465-71 pubmed
    To examine the temporal relationship and specificity between self-reports on the indoor environment at work and symptoms that are traditionally connected with the sick building syndrome (SBS).
  13. Marmot A, Eley J, Stafford M, Stansfeld S, Warwick E, Marmot M. Building health: an epidemiological study of "sick building syndrome" in the Whitehall II study. Occup Environ Med. 2006;63:283-9 pubmed
    b>Sick building syndrome (SBS) is described as a group of symptoms attributed to the physical environment of specific buildings. Isolating particular environmental features responsible for the symptoms has proved difficult...
  14. Takeda M, Saijo Y, Yuasa M, Kanazawa A, Araki A, Kishi R. Relationship between sick building syndrome and indoor environmental factors in newly built Japanese dwellings. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2009;82:583-93 pubmed publisher
    ..The aim of this study is to clarify which factors are related to sick building syndrome (SBS) in newly built dwellings at Hokkaido, Japan, through a comprehensive evaluation of the indoor ..
  15. Terr A. Sick Building Syndrome: is mould the cause?. Med Mycol. 2009;47 Suppl 1:S217-22 pubmed publisher
    ..Non-specific irritation from moulds via the inhalation route is also a controversial subject that remains unproven. Published studies alleging an epidemiologic causal relationship are unconvincing...
  16. Wargocki P, Wyon D, Baik Y, Clausen G, Fanger P. Perceived air quality, sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms and productivity in an office with two different pollution loads. Indoor Air. 1999;9:165-79 pubmed
    Perceived air quality, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms and productivity were studied in an existing office in which the air pollution level could be modified by introducing or removing a pollution source...
  17. Laumbach R, Kipen H. Bioaerosols and sick building syndrome: particles, inflammation, and allergy. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005;5:135-9 pubmed
    b>Sick building syndrome is a poorly understood condition that can be vexing to clinicians and public health investigators alike. Concerns about possible causes have recently shifted to bioaerosols, especially indoor mold contamination...
  18. Vesper S, Vesper M. Possible role of fungal hemolysins in sick building syndrome. Adv Appl Microbiol. 2004;55:191-213 pubmed
  19. Bornehag C, Sundell J, Bonini S, Custovic A, Malmberg P, Skerfving S, et al. Dampness in buildings as a risk factor for health effects, EUROEXPO: a multidisciplinary review of the literature (1998-2000) on dampness and mite exposure in buildings and health effects. Indoor Air. 2004;14:243-57 pubmed
    ..A general conclusion from the work was that there is a strong need for multidisciplinary reviews in scientific journals of articles dealing with associations between indoor environmental factors and health effects...
  20. Li D, Yang C. Fungal contamination as a major contributor to sick building syndrome. Adv Appl Microbiol. 2004;55:31-112 pubmed
  21. Burge P. Sick building syndrome. Occup Environ Med. 2004;61:185-90 pubmed
  22. Zhang X, Sahlberg B, Wieslander G, Janson C, Gislason T, Norback D. Dampness and moulds in workplace buildings: associations with incidence and remission of sick building syndrome (SBS) and biomarkers of inflammation in a 10 year follow-up study. Sci Total Environ. 2012;430:75-81 pubmed publisher
    ..and indoor moulds in workplace buildings and selected biomarkers as well as incidence and remission of sick building syndrome (SBS)...
  23. Engvall K, Norrby C, Norback D. Sick building syndrome in relation to building dampness in multi-family residential buildings in Stockholm. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2001;74:270-8 pubmed
    The aim was to study relationships between symptoms compatible with sick building syndrome (SBS) on one hand, and different indicators of building dampness in Swedish multi-family buildings on the other.
  24. Scheel C, Rosing W, Farone A. Possible sources of sick building syndrome in a Tennessee middle school. Arch Environ Health. 2001;56:413-7 pubmed
    b>Sick Building Syndrome has been reported with increasing frequency during recent years. Buildings that have sustained water damage harbor various molds, some of which may be toxic...
  25. Takigawa T, Horike T, Ohashi Y, Kataoka H, Wang D, Kira S. Were volatile organic compounds the inducing factors for subjective symptoms of employees working in newly constructed hospitals?. Environ Toxicol. 2004;19:280-90 pubmed
    ..applied to select variables significantly associated with the subjective symptoms that can be induced by sick building syndrome. The results showed that subjective symptoms of deterioration in the skin, eye, ear, throat, chest, ..
  26. Jaakkola M, Yang L, Ieromnimon A, Jaakkola J. Office work exposures [corrected] and respiratory and sick building syndrome symptoms. Occup Environ Med. 2007;64:178-84 pubmed
    ..between exposure to carbonless copy paper (CCP), paper dust, and fumes from photocopiers and printers (FPP), and the occurrence of sick building syndrome (SBS)-related symptoms, chronic respiratory symptoms and respiratory infections.
  27. Schwab C, Straus D. The roles of Penicillium and Aspergillus in sick building syndrome. Adv Appl Microbiol. 2004;55:215-38 pubmed
  28. Lu C, Ma Y, Lin J, Li C, Lin R, Sung F. Oxidative stress associated with indoor air pollution and sick building syndrome-related symptoms among office workers in Taiwan. Inhal Toxicol. 2007;19:57-65 pubmed
    This study investigated whether sick building syndrome (SBS) complaints and indoor air pollution for office workers are associated with oxidative stress indicated by urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG)...
  29. Runeson R, Wahlstedt K, Wieslander G, Norback D. Personal and psychosocial factors and symptoms compatible with sick building syndrome in the Swedish workforce. Indoor Air. 2006;16:445-53 pubmed
    A random sample of 1000 subjects (20-65 years of age) received a postal questionnaire regarding sick building syndrome (SBS), including the three-dimensional model of demand-control-support (DCS)...
  30. Mizoue T, Andersson K, Reijula K, Fedeli C. Seasonal variation in perceived indoor environment and nonspecific symptoms in a temperate climate. J Occup Health. 2004;46:303-9 pubmed
    Few epidemiological studies have examined the effects of season on symptoms typical of sick building syndrome (SBS)...
  31. Rylander R. Microbial cell wall agents and sick building syndrome. Adv Appl Microbiol. 2004;55:139-54 pubmed
  32. Sahlberg B, Norback D, Wieslander G, Gislason T, Janson C. Onset of mucosal, dermal, and general symptoms in relation to biomarkers and exposures in the dwelling: a cohort study from 1992 to 2002. Indoor Air. 2012;22:331-8 pubmed publisher
    ..and inflammation, indoor environment in dwellings, and incidence and remission of symptoms included in the sick building syndrome (SBS) and changes in the home environment of 452 adults who were followed from 1992 to 2002 within the ..
  33. Zhang X, Zhao Z, Nordquist T, Larsson L, Sebastian A, Norback D. A longitudinal study of sick building syndrome among pupils in relation to microbial components in dust in schools in China. Sci Total Environ. 2011;409:5253-9 pubmed publisher
    There are few longitudinal studies on sick building syndrome (SBS), which include ocular, nasal, throat, and dermal symptoms, headache, and fatigue...
  34. Assoulin Daya Y, Leong A, Shoenfeld Y, Gershwin M. Studies of sick building syndrome. IV. Mycotoxicosis. J Asthma. 2002;39:191-201 pubmed
    ..In this review we discuss selected aspects of the microbiology of mycotoxin-producing molds and their potential role in human immunopathology with respect to wet building environments...
  35. Takigawa T, Wang B, Sakano N, Wang D, Ogino K, Kishi R. A longitudinal study of environmental risk factors for subjective symptoms associated with sick building syndrome in new dwellings. Sci Total Environ. 2009;407:5223-8 pubmed publisher
    ..environmental risk factors, including indoor chemicals, mold, and dust mite allergens, which could cause sick building syndrome (SBS)-type symptoms in new houses...
  36. Saijo Y, Kishi R, Sata F, Katakura Y, Urashima Y, Hatakeyama A, et al. Symptoms in relation to chemicals and dampness in newly built dwellings. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2004;77:461-70 pubmed
    ..The aim of this study was to clarify whether symptoms in residents living in newly built dwellings were related to chemicals and dampness...
  37. Sundell J, Levin H, Nazaroff W, Cain W, Fisk W, Grimsrud D, et al. Ventilation rates and health: multidisciplinary review of the scientific literature. Indoor Air. 2011;21:191-204 pubmed publisher
    ..ventilation rates in offices, up to about 25 l/s per person, are associated with reduced prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms...
  38. Engvall K, Wickman P, Norback D. Sick building syndrome and perceived indoor environment in relation to energy saving by reduced ventilation flow during heating season: a 1 year intervention study in dwellings. Indoor Air. 2005;15:120-6 pubmed
    ..The aim was to study if a 25-30% reduction of outdoor ventilation flow during heating season influenced sick building syndrome (SBS) and the perception of the indoor environment...
  39. Apte M, Fisk W, Daisey J. Associations between indoor CO2 concentrations and sick building syndrome symptoms in U.S. office buildings: an analysis of the 1994-1996 BASE study data. Indoor Air. 2000;10:246-57 pubmed
    ..indoor concentrations of air pollutants due, in part, to lower ventilation rates are a potential cause of sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms in office workers...
  40. Engvall K, Norrby C, Norback D. Asthma symptoms in relation to building dampness and odour in older multifamily houses in Stockholm. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2001;5:468-77 pubmed
    ..Respiratory symptoms and hay fever in adults in relation to the indoor environment...
  41. Zhang X, Zhao Z, Nordquist T, Norback D. The prevalence and incidence of sick building syndrome in Chinese pupils in relation to the school environment: a two-year follow-up study. Indoor Air. 2011;21:462-71 pubmed publisher
    There are few incidence studies on sick building syndrome (SBS)...
  42. Straus D. Molds, mycotoxins, and sick building syndrome. Toxicol Ind Health. 2009;25:617-35 pubmed publisher
    ..work we have done since 2004 regarding the importance of molds and their mycotoxins in the phenomenon of sick building syndrome (SBS)...
  43. Brasche S, Bullinger M, Morfeld M, Gebhardt H, Bischof W. Why do women suffer from sick building syndrome more often than men?--subjective higher sensitivity versus objective causes. Indoor Air. 2001;11:217-22 pubmed
    Office workers often report so-called sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms affecting the skin, mucous membranes and nervous system...
  44. Fisk W, Mirer A, Mendell M. Quantitative relationship of sick building syndrome symptoms with ventilation rates. Indoor Air. 2009;19:159-65 pubmed publisher
    ..studies were combined and analyzed to develop best-fit equations and curves quantifying the change in sick building syndrome (SBS) symptom prevalence in office workers with ventilation rate...
  45. Kubo T, Mizoue T, Ide R, Tokui N, Fujino Y, Minh P, et al. Visual display terminal work and sick building syndrome--the role of psychosocial distress in the relationship. J Occup Health. 2006;48:107-12 pubmed
    The present study investigated the association between visual display terminal (VDT) work and sick building syndrome (SBS) and the role of psychosocial factors in the relationship...
  46. Gomzi M, Bobic J, Radosevic Vidacek B, Macan J, Varnai V, Milkovic Kraus S, et al. Sick building syndrome: psychological, somatic, and environmental determinants. Arch Environ Occup Health. 2007;62:147-55 pubmed publisher
    The authors aimed to examine potential relationships between work-related symptoms attributed to sick building syndrome (SBS) and certain psychological, somatic, and environmental factors...
  47. Mizoue T, Reijula K, Andersson K. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure and overtime work as risk factors for sick building syndrome in Japan. Am J Epidemiol. 2001;154:803-8 pubmed
    b>Sick building syndrome (SBS) is an increasingly common health problem for workers in modern office buildings. It is characterized by irritation of mucous membranes and the skin and general malaise...
  48. Wilson S, Wu C, Andriychuk L, Martin J, Brasel T, Jumper C, et al. Effect of chlorine dioxide gas on fungi and mycotoxins associated with sick building syndrome. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005;71:5399-403 pubmed
    ..The efficacy of chlorine dioxide gas as a fumigation treatment for inactivating sick building syndrome-related fungi and their mycotoxins was evaluated...
  49. Engvall K, Norrby C, Norback D. Ocular, airway, and dermal symptoms related to building dampness and odors in dwellings. Arch Environ Health. 2002;57:304-10 pubmed
    The authors examined the relationship between symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome and reports of building dampness and odors...
  50. Shoemaker R, House D. A time-series study of sick building syndrome: chronic, biotoxin-associated illness from exposure to water-damaged buildings. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2005;27:29-46 pubmed
    ..Such data will improve the assessment of human health risk from chronic exposure to WDBs...
  51. Sahlberg B, Gunnbjörnsdóttir M, Soon A, Jogi R, Gislason T, Wieslander G, et al. Airborne molds and bacteria, microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC), plasticizers and formaldehyde in dwellings in three North European cities in relation to sick building syndrome (SBS). Sci Total Environ. 2013;444:433-40 pubmed publisher
    ..airborne microbial exposure, formaldehyde, plasticizers in dwellings and the symptoms compatible with the sick building syndrome (SBS)...
  52. Bakke J, Norback D, Wieslander G, Hollund B, Moen B. Pet keeping and dampness in the dwelling: associations with airway infections, symptoms, and physiological signs from the ocular and nasal mucosa. Indoor Air. 2007;17:60-9 pubmed
    ..Dampness in the dwelling may have inflammatory effects on the airway mucosa, possibly mediated via increased infection proneness...
  53. Edvardsson B, Bergdahl J, Eriksson N, Stenberg B. Coping and self-image in patients with symptoms attributed to indoor environment. Arch Environ Occup Health. 2013;68:145-52 pubmed publisher
    ..The resulting stress may increase workers' susceptibility to indoor environment exposure...