An engineering conference in Dublin discusses a cure for sick building syndrome.

The problem of 'sick building syndrome' was first noticed in Ireland in the 1970s with the advent of increased insulation in office blocks.

In the late 1980s civil servants picketed a building they worked in because of a high incidence of illnesses which they claimed were connected with the office environment. The building has since been renovated. However, the Institute of Engineers in Ireland (IEI) estimates that a dozen additional offices in Dublin could have the same problem.

Seamus Homan of the Institute of Engineers in Ireland lists the symptoms of sick building syndrome and suggests some of the common remedies. Occupants need to have improved control over their working environments and increased ventilation in order to combat the issue.

Sick building syndrome refers to an allergic respiratory illness suffered by occupants in buildings and rooms that lack adequate ventilation. The syndrome can manifest itself with respiratory symptoms, increased mucus, skin rashes, lethargy and headaches but can also lead to chronic illness such as asthma.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 May 1991. The reporter is George Devlin.