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Sick building syndrome is a phenomenon in which building occupants feel temporary ill health effects that go away once they vacate the property. One characteristic of this phenomenon is that multiple individuals tend to be impacted. Sick building syndrome has been reported in a wide variety of buildings, including offices, churches, schools, dorms and homes.
The phenomenon is typically an indication of an underlying toxicity or environmental issue that the building owner should remedy. The failure of a building owner or operator to remedy the causes of sick building syndrome can result in the development of chronic health problems in building occupants.
Common causes of sick building syndrome include:
- Poor air circulation: The largest cause of sick building syndrome seems to be malfunctioning heat or air conditioning systems that result in poor air circulation. The air quality inside a building can rapidly deteriorate when an air conditioning system breaks down. The accumulation of dust, gases and mold associated with poor air quality can aggravate allergies and slowly develop into respiratory illnesses.
- Mold: Mold can get out of control easily when a building has dampness or water leak problems. Mold exists in small amounts in all indoor and outdoor environments, but uncontrolled moisture levels can create an explosion of mold that is dangerous to individuals with allergies and weak immune systems. Other biological contaminants such as pollen and excessive dust can also harm these individuals.
- Chemical contaminants: Some types of building materials are finished with harmful chemicals that can be released into the environment. This process is called off-gassing and can cause serious health consequences. Our firm has represented many individuals who have suffered from chemical exposure, including one worker who was injured by formaldehyde that was off-gassed from cabinets that were installed in his work area.
Multiple parties may be liable, depending on the nature of a person's sick building injury. Typically employers, building owners, operators, and air conditioning maintenance companies can be held liable for failure to remedy the issues that cause sick building syndrome.
National Sick Building Syndrome Lawyers
The personal injury attorneys of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain, P.C., have obtained many multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for toxic tort victims across the country. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we shoulder the cost of litigation until you recover compensation from the responsible parties.
If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of toxic exposure, call 888-353-0491 or contact us online to speak with one of our attorneys.