Employee productivity has always remained paramount to any organization’s pursuit of success and while many aspects may contribute to this, the importance of maintaining a clean and sustainable work-space has become noticeably evident in recent years. Studies have shown a significant decrease in absenteeism and depression among workers exposed to clean air and a sustainable working environment. The term Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) was coined in 1984 by the World Health Organization when reports suggested that up to 30% of new or renovated buildings worldwide were subjected to poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
“Sick Building Syndrome is an expression which was coined to define a situation where a place of work has been found to cause various ailments and illnesses characterized by headaches, respiratory problems and skin irritations. It is thought to be caused by indoor pollutants, micro-organisms or inadequate ventilation.” Various indicators of SBS may include occupants complaining of dizziness, eye irritation, itchy skin, nausea, difficulty concentrating or fatigue. There are three primary sources responsible for Sick Building Syndrome;
As filtration specialists, we understand the direct correlation between filtration efficiency and maintaining a proper air flow rate. Filter selection in any environment is a key factor in optimizing clean air and controlling energy costs. More specifically, in buildings with SBS, achieving the highest possible efficiency while maintaining a low resistance to air flow becomes increasingly critical, especially if the original HVAC equipment is outdated. Filters recently introduced into the market place can help in delivering a higher filtration efficiency at a very low initial resistance. When coupled with a structured maintenance program, the risks of Sick Building Syndrome can be greatly reduced.
Simply upgrading from a MERV 8 pleated filter to a MERV 13 pleated filter like the Aerostar® GreenPleat will allow the building operator to greatly reduce the particle count at smaller particulate levels.
Solutions to the Syndrome
Here are the 10 most commonly recommended solutions for treating and/or preventing Sick Building Syndrome.
 Compliance Solutions Canada
 EPA – Indoor Air Facts No.4
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