The sick building syndrome

Ronald A. Ruhl, Christopher C. Chang, Georges M. Halpern, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Indoor air pollution is closely associated with health problems and exacerbation of asthmatic symptoms. However, it is difficult to find objective data regarding the nature of these illnesses and the degree of exposure necessary to elicit symptoms in building occupants. Clinicians must be encouraged to take seriously, and without bias, workers' complaints about their work environment. However, this is often a problem because of subjective complaints, potential malingerers, mass hysteria, and lack of impartial clinical and laboratory findings. Clearly, in any building, a major priority must be to provide and maintain an environment conducive to occupant health and well-being. Allowable levels of air pollutants must be scientifically determined by health investigators based on government regulations. Unfortunately, regulations are often ill defined, unenforceable, and burdened by a void as to who is responsible for achieving a healthful indoor environment. The elucidation of the multiple causes of illnesses secondary to indoor air pollution can be addressed by greater attention to design, construction, and operation of buildings where people live and work. Finally and most important, the federal government should bear the responsibility for funding the necessary research to solve the nation's indoor air quality problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-308
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'The sick building syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this