April 7, 2007


Study of Sick House Syndrome to Start

Keywords: Chemicals Government Manufacturing industry University / Research institute 

The Chemiless Town Project of Japan, established in 2006 as a collaborative work among industry, academia and the public sector to promote the minimum use of chemicals for housing, will launch an experimental study on how to alleviate the symptoms of sick house syndrome, using experimental facilities. The members of the project include Chiba University (acting as project leader), Chiba Prefecture, the University of Tokyo, and housing manufacturers.

Sick house syndrome is a disorder with symptoms such as headache, dizziness and fatigue, triggered by exposure to chemicals and other substances emitted as vapors from building materials used in new houses. It is said that problem-causing chemicals can be also emitted from furniture, curtains, electric appliances and other materials in the house. Although sick house syndrome has been attracting attention recently, its environmental causes and mechanisms have not been fully clarified.

In this project, four experimental facilities were built on the campus of Chiba University (Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture), using the minimum possible amount of chemicals. Patients suspected of suffering from sick house syndrome and their families will be invited to live in the facilities for about one to some weeks to see if the facilities are effective in alleviating the symptoms, and to help identify causative agents. The study will be conducted from fiscal 2008 to 2011. The construction of the facilities was completed at the end of March 2007, by five companies including a house manufacturer.

In the future, the project team plans to build the Chemiless Town, consisting of model apartments and detached houses with gardens, for a larger-scale experiment. The results of the study will be provided as guidelines for creating a healthy living environment. The guidelines will be used in Kashiwa and its surrounding areas.

Posted: 2007/04/07 06:08:41 PM
Japanese version