Does Your Office Have "Sick Building Syndrome?"
During the last 20 years, concerns associated with the quality of the indoor office environment have escalated in the American workplace. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has seen the number of requests for the Institute's assistance rise dramatically, as public concern about this problem continues to increase.
What is Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)?
NIOSH prefers to use the term "Indoor Environmental Quality" (or IEQ) to describe the problems occurring in office buildings and schools throughout the nation. The Institute, through its Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program, evaluates potential health hazards in workplaces in response to requests from employers, employees, employee representatives, state and local government agencies, and Federal agencies. NIOSH investigators have found that concerns about air quality may be caused by a number of factors, encompassing much more than air contamination. Other factors such as comfort, noise, lighting, ergonomic stressors (poorly designed work stations and tasks) and job-related psychosocial stressors can individually and in combination contribute to complaints. Hence, IEQ more accurately describes the scope of the problem.
What are the typical symptoms associated with IEQ?
How big is the IEQ problem?
Why are IEQ problems increasing?
Media coverage of IEQ has profoundly influenced the number of IEQ requests the Institute receives. Following a network television report on the subject in October 1992, NIOSH received over 6,000 phone calls and nearly 800 requests for investigations.
What types of IEQ problems has NIOSH found in the workplace?
What is typically involved in an investigation?
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions