Sick Building Syndrome: When Good Air Goes Bad

  • 917 views
Uploaded on

http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com/ While the consequences of outdoor air pollution have been topics of public concern for decades, the threats of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) are lesser known. …

http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com/ While the consequences of outdoor air pollution have been topics of public concern for decades, the threats of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) are lesser known. Outdoor elements such as ozone depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, and smog are widely discussed and harmful to the planet—but what about the air we breathe inside? Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sick building syndrome (SBS) aren’t as well known as the previously mentioned threats, yet anyone who works or lives indoors is susceptible to the health effects of poor indoor air quality.

More in: Education , Technology
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
917
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1

Actions

Shares
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
1

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide
  • Add more charts? Or is that revealing too much? Add the section about LEED? Case study blurbs?

Transcript

  • 1. SICK BUILDING SYNDROME:When Good Air Goes BadSSC White Paper
  • 2. A Brief Introduction to Sick BuildingSyndrome
  • 3. An Introduction to SBS While the consequences of outdoor air pollution have been topics of public concern for decades, the threats of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) are lesser known. Outdoor elements such as ozone depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, and smog are widely discussed and harmful to the planet—but what about the air we breathe inside? www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 4. An Introduction to SBS  Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sick building syndrome (SBS) aren’t as well known as the previously mentioned threats, yet anyone who works or lives indoors is susceptible to the health effects of poor indoor air quality.  With Americans spending 90% of their lives indoors, and more than half of that at work, it is imperative that your business’ IAQ be at its best. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 5. An Introduction to SBS  Oftentimes the air quality indoors is worse than that outside, contrary to popular belief.  The EPA has even declared compromised IAQ to be one of the top five environmental health risks of our time. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 6. An Introduction to SBS  This complimentary paper presents the employee health and productivity risks of poor IAQ while examining the potential consequences to a business’s bottom line, if the indoor environment is not properly maintained.  Additionally, this paper will introduce the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for monitoring indoor spaces and provide solutions to combat poor IAQ. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 7. Defining Sick Building Syndrome
  • 8. Defining SBS Poor IAQ often leads to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), a condition exhibited in employees through symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration, and dizziness. These symptoms will present themselves only when the individual is in the effected building. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 9. Defining SBS If the symptoms do indeed persist outside of the office, chances are the individual has Building Related Illness (BRI). With SBS the symptoms cannot be tied to a specific illness, making it a precursor to BRI. BRI not only affects employees when they leave the office, but possibly the rest of their life. In severe cases if SBS is not treated and does turn into BRI, the consequential illness may even be fatal. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 10. The Symptoms
  • 11. The Symptoms Symptoms appear shortly after an individual enters the building A pattern of Symptoms dissipate once the individual leaves the symptoms can often building be detected in a Symptoms return upon re-entering the building building that is Symptoms will affect suffering from SBS. multiple individual throughout the building You may be suffering from Sick Building Syndrome! www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 12. The Symptoms Signs of SBSHeadaches Eye irritationLethargy/fatigue Upper respiratory problemsHumidifier fever Lower respiratory problemsChest pains SwellingSkin rashes Difficulty concentratingDry cough DizzinessNausea Sensitivity to odors www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 13. The SymptomsCertain individuals prove to bemore at risk to SBS than others.A few examples being: Smokers Young people Females Those prone to allergiesLearn more by downloading thecomplete paper, “Sick BuildingSyndrome: When Good Air GoesBad” www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 14. The Root of the Problem:Poor Indoor Air Quality
  • 15. Building Factors The root cause of poor IAQ can originate from a variety of building factors. These may include poor or inadequate ventilation, low relative humidity rates and percentages as well as faulty mechanical system design and construction. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 16. Building Factors  Ventilation systems are vital to the health and comfort of building occupants as they are not only responsible for air distribution, but also for replacing used air inside the building with fresh air from outside.  Humidity levels of many offices are also vital in providing balanced IAQ. Spaces suffering from SBS will have their humidity at 25% or less, when this number should be closer to 30-35%.  Building lighting and electrical equipment can also cause adverse effects in occupants. The constant flickering of fluorescent lights can cause feelings of lethargy and headaches. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 17. Volatile Organic CompoundsVOCs are airborne chemicalcontaminants originating fromeither outdoors or indoors, or frombiological contaminants such asbacteria, molds, or pollen.The health effects of VOCs varydepending on the amount ofexposure and time spent exposedbut can be devastating to theemployee in the long run if notproperly managed. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 18. Environmental Factors Biological contaminants can come from a variety of sources from a dirty carpet to a pool of water in the ventilation system. Sometimes even outdoor pollutants can get trapped indoors. Consider an air intake duct that is close to a road or designated smoking area. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 19. The Effects of Sick Building Syndrome :Beyond the Common Cold
  • 20. Effects on Your Bottom Line Lost Capital  SBS contributes to a lack of concentration, leading to increased absenteeism, negatively affecting productivity.  If an employee’s symptoms become severe to the point that multiple visits to the doctor must be made, insurance claims, workers compensation, or even litigation will mean serious financial consequence for the business owner. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 21. Annual Economic ImpactsContaminant-Related Health Care Costs of Costs from Absence due Estimated Economic Estimated EconomicHealth Effect Effects due to Work or to Illness & from Other Consequence for Indoor Benefits Possible from Non-work Exposure Performance Losses due Workforce due to Work or Improved Indoor Work to Work or Non-work Non-work Exposures Environments ExposuresCommunicable $10 billion in health care $19 billion in absence $32 billion $3 to $4 billion (estimaterespiratory infections: costs from work; $3 billion has substantialbuilding-influenced, from reduced uncertainty)occupant sources (e.g., performance at workinfluenza, common cold,tuberculosis)Asthma, hypersensitivity, Asthma, $2.6-$2.8 Asthma, $340 million; $3.9-$4.1 billion $200-$600 millionpneumonitis, and allergic billion; allergic rhinitis, allergic rhinitis, $377 (estimate has substantialdisease, building related $580 million; other, not million; other, not uncertainty) estimated estimatedNonspecific building- Unknown (effects from $20-$70 billion (effects $20-$70 billion (effects $4-$70 billion (estimaterelated symptoms (acute work exposures only) from work exposures from work exposures has substantialeffects of indoor only) only) uncertainty)exposures or conditions,including SBS)Respiratory infections: Legionnaires’ disease: Legionnaires’ disease: Greater than $30-$50 Tens of millions of dollarsbuilding sources $26-$40 million in health $5-$8 million in absence million(Legionnaires’ disease, care costs; Pontiac fever: from work; Pontiac fever:Pontiac fever, fungal minimal health care costs; unknown absence costsinfections) fungal infections: (1-week/case); fungal unknown costs infections: unknown costsHealth effects of $30-$140 million in Costs of absence from $30-$140 million (costs $30-$140 million (costsenvironmental tobacco health care costs for work & other performance of absence from work & of absence from work andsmoke cardiovascular disease losses not estimated other performance losses other performance losses and lung cancer (effects not estimated; effects not estimated) from work exposures from work exposures only) only) www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 22. Solving the Problem and Final Thoughts
  • 23. Solving the Problem First, the building must be prepared and equipped to deal with all sources of poor IAQ. Second, the occupants must take responsibility of maintaining the building and its protection systems against SBS. The Environmental Protection Agency provides four types of solving and preventing poor IAQ: Pollution source Increasing removal or ventilation modifications rates Education and Air cleaning communication www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 24. Solving the Problem If the source of indoor contaminants is known, it should be promptly removed. If this is not possible, than the source should be sealed or stored away from building occupants. Increasing ventilation rates and air distribution within a building is an easy way to solve IAQ issues, so long as the source of the problem is not within this system. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 25. Solving the Problem Air cleaning is another option, although efficient filters can be costly initially. Education and communication also allow for the discomfort or health issues of employees to be heard and corrected, before BRIs develop. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 26. Final ThoughtsPoor IAQ has very real consequences, to both employeehealth and your bottom line. If a business owner fails torealize this, their productivity may be greatly compromised.Understanding SBS means staying one step ahead of it, andultimately keeping your workforce and business at maximumefficiency. www.sustainabilityconsulting.com Copyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.
  • 27. Download the complimentary white paper in it’sentirety by visiting the SSC website today:Sick Building Syndrome: When Good Air Goes BadWhat are your thoughts? Join theconversation on twitter @jenniferwoofter!