Sick Building Syndrome (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In this Article
- Sick building syndrome facts
- What is sick building syndrome?
- Why is sick building syndrome controversial?
- What causes sick building syndrome?
- What are risk factors for sick building syndrome?
- What are sick building syndrome symptoms and signs?
- How is sick building syndrome diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for sick building syndrome?
- What are complications of sick building syndrome?
- What is the prognosis of sick building syndrome?
- Is there a way to prevent sick building syndrome?
What causes sick building syndrome?
As stated above, there is controversy about sick building syndrome and the controversy is exampled by the medical literature about its cause(s). Those that believe it is a true disease syndrome have only speculated that the cause(s) are multiple and depend on the patient's medical condition (for example, asthma, COPD) and how the compounds in the building (cigarette smoke, chemical outgassing from structural components, or biologics such as bacteria and fungi) interact with the person. The proponents further speculate that patients with the syndrome may be more sensitive to low concentrations of some compounds and may have heightened immune response to such compounds. Further, proponents suggest depression and anxiety may play a role in this syndrome.
Others who say there is no evidence for this syndrome agree that certain chemicals, biologics, and physical agents found in some buildings can cause disease, but once these are identified (for example, lead, Legionnaires' disease, asbestos), then the disease is identified and is not a new "syndrome." The proponents of the "there is no such thing as sick building syndrome" say evidence for a new syndrome is simply nonexistent. A few individuals consider "sick building syndrome" to be a psychological problem.
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