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Definition of «Sick building syndrome»

Sick building syndrome: A condition caused by exposure to various noxious agents that affect persons employed in a "sick building," usually an office or other building that houses many people working in close proximity to one another.

Sick building syndrome characteristically occurs in tight buildings designed to reduce heat loss with windows that do not open and heating and cooling ducts that originate from a common source. The buildup of carbon dioxide in such buildings is a cause of sick building syndrome.

Persons with the sick building syndrome tend to become very anxious, hyperventilate, and may develop tetany (with muscle twitches and cramps) and severe breathlessness. Other problems may be caused by trucks and other vehicles idling near the air intakes, resulting in excessive exposure to carbon monoxide and diesel fumes.

Other forms of sick building syndrome include air-conditioner lung and humidifier fever.

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