Sick Building Syndrome Testing

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines Sick Building Syndrome as a condition that is caused by low indoor air quality. Sick building syndrome testing is looking for the causes of this low indoor air quality. It causes more than 20% of the people in the property to have similar conditions while inside. In the same way, symptoms often get better within hours of leaving the property. Some of the symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome are:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation.
  • Sensitisation of the mucous membranes.
  • Erythema (redness of the skin).
  • Mental Fatigue.
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and dizziness.
  • High frequency of infections or coughs.

What causes Sick Building Syndrome?

All of the causes of sick building syndrome are not known, but low air quality is a factor. In brief, the factors that affect this, include:

  • Poor air conditioning.
  • Materials and furniture.
  • Decorations and repairs.
  • High or low moisture content.
  • Equipment within the property, such as photocopiers.
  • Emissions from nearby sources.
  • Gases from the soils around and under the property.
  • Human activities, such as personal hygiene products.
  • Mould spores.
  • Dust Mites.

How do we test for Sick Building Syndrome?

Synergy provides a range of sick building syndrome testing to look at the air quality within properties. For example, we can measure carbon dioxide levels, moisture, volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, mould volatile organic compounds and dust mites levels.

sick building syndrome represented by Building and stethoscope

Carbon Dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is one of the best ways to look at air quality. Improvements in building processes, and more laws about their construction, means buildings are increasingly leak proof. While this is good for efficiency, unless the ventilation is correctly controlled and maintained, carbon dioxide can increase and cause problems for the occupants.

Volatile Organic Compounds.

There are thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are present in the indoor environment. For example, VOCs that arise from the property itself, its maintenance or the occupants of the building.

VOCs can cause varied sick building syndrome symptoms. Such as nose, throat and eye irritation to cancer-causing effects and congenital disabilities.


Formaldehyde is a widespread problem in indoor air. For example, wood products such as MDF use it in the glue. Furniture and flooring often release them.

Some people are more affected by low levels of formaldehyde than others. It can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. As well as these irritant effects, formaldehyde is probably cancer-causing.

Mould Spores.

There are many different types of mould spores and these give rise to different health effects. We provide a range of tests to determine the problems. These range from simple tests to see if the levels are low, medium or high, to tests that count the number and type of mould spore present. As well as this we can carry out DNA tests that fully identify all moulds present.

Experience in Testing

We have carried out work in lots of types of buildings. For example, we have carried out work for west end theatres, football clubs, call centres, office blocks, and private homes. As a result, this means our staff are unrivalled in their experience in indoor air quality measurements and Sick Building Syndrome testing.

Further Information is available below
NHS – Symptoms
HSE – Guidance for employers, building owners, and building managers.
United States National Library of Medicine – Advice

Did you know that we also provide workplace air monitoring, and air quality assessments?

Call or email us today about Sick Building Syndrome testing. We are here to help!

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