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Effects on health related symptoms of carpet removal and ventilation improvement in eleven schools - a controlled intervention study

An intervention study was carried out in eleven elementary schools in Trondheim, Norway. Three schools with poor ventilation standard, four schools with carpets, and four reference schools participated. Carpets were replaced by vinyl flooring and the poor ventilation systems were upgraded. Altogether 1100 children aged twelve to thirteen years and 400 teachers were all included in the study. The baseline registration of health related symptoms was performed during January/February 1997. The questionnaires were repeated, after the interventions, in February 1998 and 1999.

Ventilation and health

At first, this paper deals with the history of indoor environment and ventilation , with the evidence that a good IAQ is essential for public health. An inadequate ventilation plays a major role on the global burden of allergies, airways infections. The more complex the HVAC system is, the more liable it is to fail (if improper maintenance) sothe non-industrial indoor environment is the most important environment from a human health perspective.

Evaluation of air ducts interior liners with and without biocide coating in terms of extent of fungal growth under high humidity, water condensation and soiling conditions

Fiberglass duct interior liners with and without biocides were submitted in an environmental chamber during 15 days to high air humidities, moisture and nutrient. Conclusion is that liners with biocide reduce microbial growth under high humidity as long as they remain dirt free and dry. Impermeable smooth liners show better performance than liners with porous or rough surface.

Hospital airborne infection prevention

A Norwegian research project in under progress to develop a new concept for control of air movements in protection isolates, operating theatres and other risk areas in hospitals. The aim is to reduce airborne hospital infections through appropriate design of building, HVAC installation and control of air movements. A container solution was developped for isolates. Its HVAC system, and especially the ventilation system are described in details. The first container has been finished in June 2002 to be tested.

The impact of air pollution from used ventilation filters on human comfort and health

In an environmental lab with a panel of 30 women exposed 4 hours, comfort and health have been detremined both with a used or a new filter present in the ventilation system. All other environmental parameters were kept constant. A used filter in a HVAC system can have a negative effect on both the immediate perception of the indoor air quality and on perceptions and health-related symptoms. However, the annoyance experienced through the sensory system may have amplified the intensity of symptoms.

Linkages between outdoor and indoor air quality issues : pollutants and research crossing the threshold

Relationships between research about indoor and outdoor air quality are reviewed. The author mentions that outdoor air pollution has attached greater regulatory interest, although people spend more time indoors. The contribution of exposure to indoor pollutants is now more recognized but this increased consideration has little effect on regulations. Nevertheless, the author considers that indoor air quality researchers and public health officials have a lot to learn from the outdoor air quality experience, in fields such as exposure, dosimetry, health effects and risks, mixed exposures.

Comparison of operating room ventilation systems in the protection of the surgical site

The risk of contaminant deposition (10 microns particles) on an operating room surgical site is evaluated for different ventilation systems - conventional, laminar, non-aspirating, displacement -, using airflow modeling and particle tracking methodologies. Results show that laminar flows are the most appropriate to avoid particles deposition.

Le traitement de l'ambiance des bassins dans le cadre d'une thalassotherapie. Heating and cooling in therapy leisure centres.

Discusses the special needs in terms of heating and cooling for so-called 'thalassotherapy' centres.

Outbreak of Japanese encephalitis on the island of Saipan, 1990.

This was a study of the possible causes of an outbreak of encephalitis on Saipan in October 1990. The virus was not isolated but patients seroconverted to Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus, suggesting the first known outbreak of the disease on American territory since 1947. Ten cases were found in a population of 40,000. In a survey after the outbreak, the prevalence of antibody to JE virus was 4.2% among 234 native Saipan residents. Risk factors for infection were age, crowded living conditions and lack of air conditioning.

The feasibility of using a double blind experimental cross-over design to study interventions for sick building syndrome.

The study of the causes of Sick Building Syndrome and its possible solutions have been bedevilled by methodological problems. This pilot study assessed the viability of using an expermental double blind cross-over study to overcome such difficulties. The experiment involved varying the rate of supply of outdoor air from 10 cubic feet per minute per person (cfmpp) to 20 cfmpp or 50 cfmpp by controlling the building's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.

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