Sick Building Syndrome
Sick Building Syndrome
This is a growing problem of our modern age, as buildings are sealed more efficiently, contain more synthetic materials and chemicals which is further compounded by occupying them more quickly than ever before.
The first occupants seem to experience the worst symptoms, during the early phase. Sometimes a specific item can be identified and replaced, such as the carpeting.
Paint can be replaced, or the building can be left unoccupied while the problem materials "out-gas" and fresh air can circulate.
The problem seems to be a subjective mix of several factors, including a chemical given off by a product, such as carpeting, together with a lack of natural ventilation and a number of sensitive persons.
A significant number of people must be affected by common symptoms, before a building can be held responsible.
In some instances, these symptoms may only appear while at work and are relieved at home, or upon leaving the building for lunch at a nearby park.
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms may include: fatigue, headaches, dry, itching eyes and irritation of the nose and throat. Similar to other forms of allergy.
A new functional malaise, described as “brain fog”, is experienced by some people and attributed to elelctromagnetic fields from electrical devices, wiring and computers etc.
Structure & Function: Immune System Support
Bioflavonoids* EPO* Glutahione* Kelp* Selenium* SOD* Vitamin B Complex 100 mg Vitamin C 3,000 - 5,000 mg Vitamin E 400 IU
*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.
All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
Purified water is essential.
The principles of a macro-biotic diet may be beneficial, especially in the early stages.
Liquid foods, including green drinks, may be well tolerated.
Homeopathy, of course, treats the patient and their symptoms, rather than a diagnostic label.
Typically, symptoms may be consistent with an allergy, or chemical sensitivity.
General indications include:
Pulsatilla nigricans (female patients, especially)
Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).
This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.
Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.
Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.
Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.
Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.
If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.
Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.
Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.
Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.
Grape Seed extract
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Selection depends upon several factors e.g. presenting symptoms, acute or chronic stage etc.
If the source can be identified: carpeting, glues, processed woods, paint etc. it should be removed, if possible.
Some essential oils, relative to symptoms includes:
Dry, itchy eyes Tea Tree Essence. Dry throat Grapefruit Essence or Lemon Essence. Headaches Lavender Essence. Lethargy Eucalyptus Essence, Grapefruit or Lemon Essence. Stuffy nose Rosemary Essence or Tea Tree Essence.
In a hospital, or an office with a number of people with contagious diseases, the following list could be reviewed:
Cinnamon Essence, Clove Essence, Eucalyptus Essence, Ginger Essence, Grapefruit Essence, Juniper Essence, Lavender Essence, Lime Essence, Pine Essence, Niaouli Essence, Thyme Essence.
A general list:
The electromagnetic hazards of computers and monitors etc. may be negated by the following oils:
Bergamot Essence, Cedarwood Essence, Cypress Essence, Grapefruit Essence, Lemon Essence, Orange Essence, Patchouli Essence, Petitgrain Essence, Rosewood Essence, Sandalwood Essence.
Related Health ConditionsAbstracts
Ahearn-DG et al: Fungal colonization of fiberglass insulation in the air distribution system of a multi-story office building: VOC production and possible relationship to a sick building syndrome. J-Ind-Microbiol. 1996 May; 16(5): 280-5.
Anonymous: Building and Home-Related Complaints and Illnesses: Sick Building Syndrome. Conference proceedings. Lake Buena Vista, Florida, December 3-5, 1992. J Allergy Clin. Immunol. 1994 Aug; 94(2 Pt 2): 275-424
Anonymous: Nurses ill due to poor air quality at Brigham & Women's Hospital. Mass. Nurse 1994 Sep; 64(8): 1, 6-7.
Anonymous: Sick-building syndrome: is breathing an occupational hazard at your hospital? Hospital-Employee-Health. 1995 May; 14(5): 57-9, 62-3.
Anonymous: Outbreak of unexplained illness in a middle school--Washington, April 1994. MMWR. 1996 Jan 12; 45(1): 6-9.
Anonymous: Molds, fungi cause sick building syndrome [news]. Occup. Health Saf. 1996 Jan; 65(1): 13-4.
Anonymous: From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak of unexplained illness--Washington, 1994. JAMA. 1996 Feb 21; 275(7): 511
Appleby-PH: ABC of work related disorders. Building related illnesses. BMJ. 1996 Sep 14; 313(7058): 674-7.
Apter-A: Epidemiology of the sick building syndrome. J Allergy Clin. Immunol. 1994 Aug; 94(2 Pt 2): 277-88.
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Berney, B.W., Light, E.N., Bennett, A.C. "Medical Evaluation of 'Building Related' Symptoms". Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Hazardous Materials Management Conference International. 1989.
Bourbeau-J: Prevalence of the sick building syndrome symptoms in office workers before and after being exposed to a building with an improved ventilation system. Occup-Environ-Med. 1996 Mar; 53(3): 204-10.
Bourbeau J et al., Prevalence of the sick building syndrome symptoms in office workers before and six months and three years after being exposed to a building with an improved ventilation system. Occup Environ Med, 1997 Jan, 54:1, 49-53.
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Garvey-J: Sick building syndrome: developing an integrated approach to SBS Occupational-Health:-A-Journal-for-Occupational-Health-Nurses (London). 1994 Feb; 46(2): 50, 52-3. (6 ref 5 bib)
Gilbert AN et al., Sex differences in task performance associated with attention to ambient odor. Arch Environ Health, 1997 May-Jun, 52:3, 195-9.
Hedge, A. "Work-Related Illness In Offices: A Proposed Model of the Sick Building Syndrome". Env. Int. 15: 143-158.
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Hodgson, V.S. et al. 1986. "The Sick Building Syndrome". In: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Vol. 6. Evaluations and Conclusions for Health Sciences and Technology, pp. 87-97. Swedish Council for Building Research. Stockholm, Sweden.
Hoppe-PR: Indoor climate. Experientia. 1993 Sep 15; 49(9): 775-9.
Horvath EP: Building-related illness and sick building syndrome: from the specific to the vague. Cleve Clin J Med, 1997 Jun, 64:6, 303-9.
Husman-T: Health effects of indoor-air microorganisms [see comments]. Scand-J-Work-Environ-Health. 1996 Feb; 22(1): 5-13.
Jaakkola-JJ et al: Air recirculation and sick building syndrome: a blinded crossover trial [see comments]. Am-J-Public-Health. 1994 Mar; 84(3): 422-8.
Jaakkola-JJ: Textile wall materials and sick building syndrome. Arch-Environ-Health. 1994 May-Jun; 49(3): 175-81.
Jaakkola-JJ & Miettinen-P: Type of ventilation system in office buildings and sick building syndrome. Am-J-Epidemiol. 1995 Apr 15; 141(8): 755-65.
Jaakkola-JJ; Miettinen-P: Ventilation rate in office buildings and sick building syndrome. Occup-Environ-Med. 1995 Nov; 52(11): 709-14.
Jarvis-BB et al: Toxigenic molds in water-damaged buildings: dechlorogriseofulvins from Memnoniella echinata. J-Nat-Prod. 1996 Jun; 59(6): 553-4.
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