Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms are acute symptoms, such as irritation of eyes, nose, and throat, headache, fatigue, cough, and tight chest, that occur at work and improve when away from work. These symptoms can have multiple causes, thus, they do not indicate a specific type of disease or a specific type of pollutant exposure. SBS symptoms have been widely reported by occupants of offices and schools, and in a few studies by occupants of homes. Some occupants in every office building will report some SBS symptoms, but indoor environmental factors that are known or suspected to lead to increased SBS symptoms include a lower ventilation rate (throughout the normal ventilation rate range encountered in buildings), strong indoor pollutant sources, air conditioning, and higher indoor temperatures. The fraction of occupants experiencing SBS symptoms is often called the symptom prevalence or symptom prevalence rate. Some SBS symptoms may be allergy symptoms; however, SBS symptoms can occur in people without allergies. For more information see:
the section of this web site on building ventilation;
the section of this web site on volatile organic compounds.