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Problems in the indoor environment have significant complexity and affect people and activities in an unfavourable way. Building-related Illness can be defined as health problems/ discomfort that have a time relationship with being present for a period of time in a particular building. Symptoms of discomfort may include headache and fatigue.
Further information about roles and responsibilities for indoor environmental problems, as well as advice on how to prevent discomfort and illness, can be found on this page.
In 1983 and 2000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) agreed on symptoms that can be classified as symptoms of building-related Illness, commonly referred to as sick building syndrome, provided that other diseases/causes of symptoms are investigated. The symptoms arise when one is present in premises where a poor indoor environment is detected. Symptoms also tend to disappear when exposure ceases, however can also persist in causes discomfort over several non-working days. It is different in each individual how long the symptoms can persist. The symptoms can be divided into 3 groups of symptoms: general, mucous and skin symptoms. Discomfort symptoms you may experience: eye, nose, throat irritation, dry skin feeling or dry mucous membranes, erythema (reddening of the skin), itching, mental fatigue, headache, high frequency of respiratory infections and cough, cold symptoms, hoarseness of the throat, wheezing and non-specific hypersensitivity, nausea, dizziness, chest tightness, malaise, difficulty concentrating and sensitivity to smell.Studies carried out on sick building syndrome show that a small proportion of the people affected may experience persistent symptoms in different degrees, but most do not experience any residual symptoms or discomfort. A small group suffers from asthma, which however can improve when the exposure ceases. An increased sensitivity to poor indoor environments may persist. There have not been reports of increased incidence of cancer nor increased risks for pregnant women.
If you are injured at work or experience that an event is risky it is important that you notify your manager. There are also some other things to consider.