Sick-building syndrome

Lancet. 1997 Apr 5;349(9057):1013-6. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(96)07220-0.


Sick-building syndrome (SBS) is an increasingly common problem. Although objective physiological abnormalities are not generally found and permanent sequelae are rare, the symptoms of SBS can be uncomfortable, even disabling, and whole workplaces can be rendered non-functional. In assessment of patients with SBS complaints, specific building-related illnesses suggested by history or physical examination should be ruled out. On-site assessment of buildings is extremely useful. Treatment involves both the patient and the building. Whenever possible, changes such as ventilation improvements and reduction of sources of environmental contamination should be initiated even if specific aetiological agents have not been identified.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects
  • Architecture
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Sick Building Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Sick Building Syndrome* / therapy
  • Ventilation