Importance of Indoor Environmental Quality on Human Health toward Achievement of the SDGs

Part of the Current Topics in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine book series (CTEHPM)


In modern days, particularly in urban areas, people may spend more time indoors. Thus, a healthy indoor environment is key for healthy living. The concept of “sick building syndrome (SBS)” refers to nonspecific complaints that occur at a higher prevalence in specific buildings. Building-related illness also occurs indoors and is defined as documentable clinical disease associated with buildings, such as asthma, and allergic and non-allergic respiratory diseases. In Japan, the airtightness of dwellings has been increased since the early 1990s, and resulted in conditions similar to SBS, so-called sick house syndrome (SHS). A nationwide study suggested that the risk factors for SHS vary for specific symptoms. Globally, research on SBS started in 1980. Initially, studies were conducted in office settings and largely focused on ventilation systems, especially in northern countries, such as Sweden, Denmark, and Canada. In recent years, more studies have been conducted in various settings such as dwellings and schools, in some Asian tropical countries as well. Many studies have involved indoor environmental measurements of gaseous chemicals (CO2, NOx, SOx), volatile organic chemicals, and mould. Improvement of indoor air quality to maintain good health is related to many Sustainable Development Goals. In conclusion, creating a clean indoor environment with more sustainable building design can help to reduce the burden of diseases related to indoor air quality and provide better health for the people locally and globally.


Sick building syndrome Sick house syndrome Historical overview Environmental epidemiological studies Preventive measures Global issues 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Environmental and Health SciencesHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health and Prevention of Chemical HazardsSapporoJapan

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