Could Mold be One Cause of Sick Building Syndrome?
NYC mold remediation specialists get a lot of questions about mold and sick building syndrome (SBS). Is there a link?
A Controversial Diagnosis
SBS goes by many other names, including building-related illness and multiple chemical sensitivity. A controversial diagnosis, the role mold plays in the picture blossoms from two schools of thought:
– SBS doesn’t exist…
Symptoms are nonspecific with no proven cause or specific test for diagnosis, but believed to result from an unknown source inside a building (gases, bacteria, mold), leading to OSHA, EPA, and CDC intervention in which indoor air quality and work environment as related to the cause of workers’ illness must be investigated.
– SBS is a true disease…
Practitioners believing in the existence of this condition speculate causes could result from compounds within a building, including smoke, VOCs, radon, bacteria, and fungi, such as black mold, with reactions varying based on patient health/allergies/sensitivity.
Well-Known Health Consequences
Though SBS remains controversial, the deleterious health consequences of mold are not. Mold exposure is known to cause health issues, with the Institute of Medicine recognizing the link between indoor mold exposure and upper respiratory issues in otherwise healthy people.
Furthermore, the EPA recognizes building-related illnesses, using this terminology to identify health problems found in buildings where complaints of the negative health impact of buildings have been reported. They also recognize the need to identify the compounds in buildings that are at the root of the cause of complaints, including toxic gases, bacteria, mildew and mold.