Could Your Office Be at Risk of Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick Building

Given that we spend a large amount of our time indoors in the modern world, indoor air quality and workplace cleanliness are becoming more and more crucial. The phrase “sick building syndrome” (SBS) refers to a number of health problems that can result from unclean working conditions and low indoor air quality. While the causes of SBS can be varied, the consequences can be far-reaching, affecting employee productivity, well-being, and even your bottom line.

Understanding Sick Building Syndrome

A disorder known as “Sick Building Syndrome” affects people who spend a lot of time in a certain building. Symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Respiratory issues
  • Skin irritation

These symptoms typically improve or disappear when the affected individuals leave the building, only to return upon re-entering the premises.

Potential Causes of Sick Building Syndrome

Several factors can contribute to the development of Sick Building Syndrome, including:

  • Poor Ventilation: Indoor pollutants, including carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other allergens, can accumulate as a result of inadequate ventilation.
  • Chemical Contaminants: The use of certain cleaning products, pesticides, or building materials can release harmful chemicals into the indoor environment.
  • Biological Contaminants: Mold, bacteria, and dust mites can thrive in damp or poorly maintained environments, contributing to respiratory issues and allergic reactions.
  • Poor Housekeeping: Neglecting regular cleaning and maintenance can allow dust, dirt, and other contaminants to accumulate, leading to poor indoor air quality.

The Impact of Sick Building Syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome can have far-reaching consequences for both employees and employers. Some of the potential impacts include:

  • Decreased Productivity: Symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating can significantly impair an employee’s ability to perform at their best, leading to reduced productivity and output.
  • Increased Absenteeism: Employees suffering from SBS-related symptoms may take more sick days, resulting in higher rates of absenteeism and potential disruptions to workflow.
  • Health Care Costs: Unresolved SBS issues can lead to chronic health problems for employees, increasing the burden on healthcare costs for both the individual and the employer.
  • Legal Liabilities: Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment. Failure to address SBS issues could potentially lead to legal liabilities and costly lawsuits.

Preventing Sick Building Syndrome

Despite the fact that sick building syndrome can be a complicated problem with many underlying causes, companies can reduce the risks by being proactive and taking the following actions:

  • Improve Ventilation Systems: Ensure that your building’s ventilation systems are properly designed, installed, and maintained to provide adequate air circulation and filtration.
  • Implement Regular Cleaning Protocols: Establish a comprehensive cleaning program that includes regular vacuuming, dusting, and disinfecting to minimize the buildup of contaminants.
  • Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products: Think about making the transition to cleaners that are safer for the environment and don’t contain any volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Address Moisture Issues: Promptly address any moisture problems, such as leaks or dampness, to prevent the growth of mold and other biological contaminants.
  • Conduct Air Quality Testing: Regularly test indoor air quality levels to identify potential issues and take corrective action as needed.
  • Encourage Employee Feedback: Encourage employees to report any SBS-related symptoms or concerns, as they can provide valuable insights into potential problem areas.

The Role of Professional Commercial Cleaning in Portland, OR

In the fight against Sick Building Syndrome, partnering with a reputable commercial cleaning Portland OR provider can be an invaluable asset. These professionals are equipped with the expertise, specialized equipment, and eco-friendly cleaning products to ensure that your office environment remains clean, hygienic, and free from potential contaminants.

By implementing a comprehensive cleaning program tailored to your specific needs, these commercial cleaning services can help address key contributing factors to SBS, such as:

  • Thorough vacuuming and deep cleaning to remove accumulated dust, dirt, and allergens
  • Specialized cleaning techniques for hard-to-reach areas and high-traffic zones
  • Use of HEPA-filtered vacuums and other advanced equipment to capture and remove airborne particles
  • Environmentally friendly cleaning solutions that minimize the introduction of harmful chemicals
  • Regular maintenance and cleaning of HVAC systems and air ducts

You can reduce the dangers of Sick Building Syndrome and create a happier, more productive work environment for your staff by placing a high priority on maintaining a clean and healthy workspace.


Sick Building Syndrome is a serious issue that can have far-reaching consequences for both employees and employers. By understanding the potential causes and implementing proactive measures, such as improving ventilation, implementing regular cleaning protocols, and partnering with professional commercial cleaning services in Portland, OR, you can create a healthier and more productive work environment.

Remember, investing in the well-being of your employees is not only the right thing to do but also a smart business decision. A clean, healthy office can lead to increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and a more positive company culture – all of which contribute to the overall success and growth of your organization.