Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Building Related Illness (BRI) are two different conditions. With SBS, a person experiences acute symptoms upon entering a building. The symptoms disappear when the person leaves the building. The symptoms don’t turn into other conditions or cause distress when you’re not in the building. With BRI, the symptoms are an expression of a well-defined illness with a specific cause. BRI is directly attributable to airborne contaminants in an Alexandria, VA building.
What is Building Related Illness? (BRI)
Someone with BRI will have specific symptoms like fever, cough, muscle aches, chills, and tightness of the chest. These symptoms are clinically definable and have clearly identifiable causes. They are often related to bacteria, viruses, and other organic growth. Legionnaires Disease, skin rashes, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis are often building-related illnesses that can involve a long recovery.
What is Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
Symptoms of SBS produce acute discomfort. They include headaches, coughing, itchy skin, eye, nose and throat irritation, dizziness, and nausea. People also report fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and sensitivity to odors. The reason for the symptoms is unknown. However, most people with SBS lose their symptoms soon after they exit the building where the symptoms typically occur.
What Causes SBS and BRI?
Most cases of SBS and BRI in Alexandria, VA are related to poor indoor air quality caused by insufficient ventilation. Today, buildings are sealed tight to prevent energy losses. That saves on utility bills. However, tightly-sealed buildings allow airborne contaminants like viruses and bacteria to multiply. They could then cause symptoms associated with SBS and BRI. Allergens like pet dander, pollen, mites, and dust can also collect indoors. These particles can cause allergic reactions like sneezing, itching, and coughing.
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