The sick building syndrome has been widely discussed from epidemiological perspectives. Although there is considerable difference in opinion regarding the concrete and objective evidence to support a distinct sick building syndrome and/or building-related illness, much data indicates that numerous variables within buildings can potentially influence human health. In this paper, we discuss in detail not only the potential and unique infectious diseases caused by Legionella, Pontiac fever, Q fever, and influenza, but also the data implicating noninfectious etiologies of sick building syndrome and building-related illnesses. In addition, the role of psychological factors, mass hysteria, and indoor pollution is discussed with respect to the nature of associations between exposure and symptoms. Finally, comparisons are made in different building construction types of old versus new buildings to highlight changes in modern construction that may have led to a putative increase in work-related symptomatology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health