Added: 22.06.2011 11:40
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Sick House Syndrome in Korea

The term , ‘SHS, Sick House Syndrome,’ is regarded as multiple chemical sensitivity

The term , ‘SHS, Sick House Syndrome,’ is regarded as multiple chemical sensitivity . SHS is the health problem caused by toxic chemicals emitted from wallpapers or building materials. The interesting point is that the symptom becomes cured when leaving out from the house but it becomes worse when coming back to the house. The symptoms of SHS can vary considerably. Most of the manifestations are rash, asthma, chronic fatigue, insomnia uneasiness, nervousness, backache etc. People with allergies are prone to even more severe problems.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are being emitted from diverse building materials. These compounds include carcinogens such as benzene, toluene, acetone, chloroform and formaldehyde. Furthermore, radon, asbestos, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and ozone might accummulate inside the building.Living organisms can also cause indoor air pollution. Germs and mites can affect human health. When these pollutants are not released they accumulate in the indoor space. Consequently, these can cause Sick House Syndrome, SHS.

Sick House Syndrome had already been recognized as severe problem in The United States in 1980s and in Japan in 1990s. Also, in Korea, SHS became a problem few years ago. According some studies, in most construction sites, harmful chemicals were measured in much more higher concentrations than the permitted limit in developed countries.
In spite of these severe problems, Korea does not have any standard limits for indoor concentrations.

Government should arrange standards on chemicals indoors and people should observe them. Also, environmental friendly materials should be prevailed on all construction sites and the seriousness of SHS should be informed to the general public by advertisement or education.

Research question: What is sick house syndrome

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