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Sick Building Syndrome

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a term applied to a situation in which some or all the people occupying a building (usually working or living in it) experience unpleasant health and comfort effects such as headache; dizziness; nausea; irritated eyes, nose, or throat; dry cough; or skin irritation. The term is sometimes applied to the symptoms themselves also. These effects may be localized to a part of the building or be present throughout. The definition of SBS requires that the symptoms disappear soon after leaving the building and that they cannot be ascribed to a specific cause or illness. SBS is differentiated from building-related illness, which describes diagnosable illness whose cause can be attributed to airborne contaminants within a building. SBS is usually assumed to ...

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