Tired businesswoman working with a laptop and touching her forehead

Sick building syndrome describes buildings where at least 20 percent of the occupants experience certain health problems when inside, and feel better when outside the building, according to an article on the Corporate Wellness website.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that many office buildings — both new and renovated - in the United States may be making their occupants sick.

Unfortunately, the products used by the building’s cleaning provider can be a contributor to sick building syndrome. Cleaning chemicals that emit high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a main culprit. In addition, many chemical air contaminants in an office come from office materials such as carpeting, adhesives, manufactured wood products, copy machines and upholstery.

To help combat the problems, cleaning providers can use green chemicals or even engineered water products. In addition, have carpets cleaned at least once every six months and use particle control devices and high-performance air filters to clear out particles from the building.

Another contributor is poor ventilation. When the ventilation and air-conditioning systems do not work effectively is creates a major risk factor for poor indoor air quality.

In a conference room, for example, with a lot of people holding a meeting, air will contain high amounts of carbon dioxide. If the ventilation systems isn't working, the high carbon dioxide concentration in the air can cause headaches, drowsiness, increased heart rate, tingling in the hands and feet, sweatiness — even coma and seizures.

Increasing ventilation rates and air distribution can prevent this problem. The HVAC systems should be designed to meet local ventilation guidelines.

Click here to read the full article.