Building sickness, are symptoms related to the office lighting?

Describes the results of a questionnaire to find out if office lighting could be a factor in the production of sick building syndrome. There was found to be a significantly higher prevalence of work-related headache and work-related lethargy in the air conditioned building than in the naturally ventilated one studied. There was also less daylight and lower mean luminance in this building.

Evidence of a relationship between office design and self-reports of ill health among office workers in the United Kingdom.

Compares self reported health problems of employees in air conditioned open plan, non air conditioned open plan and conventional offices. The results showed overall that there is a significantly higher incidence of reported headaches among staff working in open plan offices compared with those in conventional offices. Problems of eye irritation and URT complaints are found to be most common among staff in open plan offices, but only when they are air conditioned and have poor daylight penetration. Women are the chief complainants. The problems are not strongly age dependent.

Hyperpyrexia due to air conditioning failure in a nursing home.

States that heat stress decreases the chance of survival for the elderly and sick. Cites examples of an eightfold increase in expected mortality for persons over 85 years and threefold for those 50-54 years old. Suggests that chronic degenerative disease in the elderly, certain therapeutic drugs and lack of acclimatization are additional risk factors.

Heat wave mortality in nursing homes.

In order to determine the impact of heat waves on nursing home occupants and the efficacy of air conditioning in reducing them, a study investigated patterns of mortality in eleven air conditioned and nine un-air conditioned nursing homes in New York City. On the basis of the findings, recommends that nursing homes and other institutions for the elderly located in climates like that of New York City be required to provide air conditioning.

Building sickness syndrome in healthy and unhealthy buildings: an epidemiological and environmental assessment with cluster analysis.

Describes a study which was aimed at investigating whether relations between symptoms of sick building syndrome and measured environmental factors existed within state of the art air conditioned buildings with satisfactory maintenance programmes expected to provide a healthy indoor environment. Studied five buildings, using a questionnaire followed by a detailed environmental survey.

Ventilation and health in nonindustrial indoor environments. Report from a European multidisciplinary scientific consensus meeting.

A multidisciplinary panel of experts in the EUROVEN collaboration evaluated scientific literature on the effects of ventilation on health, comfort and productivity in non-industrial indoor environments. Fourteen papers of the 105 reviewed were judged to provide background information relevant to the objective, and thirty papers were judged conclusive. The group drew their conclusions based on these thirty papers. They agreed that ventilation is strongly associated with comfort and health, and that an association between ventilation and productivity is possible.

Microbial growth control in spray humidifiers of health facilities.

Describes a study carried out to investigate the possibility of suppressing microbial contamination of circulating water in humidifiers by using the oligodynamic potential of silver ions. Puts forward basic hygienic requirement to ensure adequate quality of water in humidifiers of air conditioning plant.

Asthmatic symptoms and volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde and carbon dioxide in dwellings.

Explores possible relations between symptoms of asthma, building characteristics and indoor concentration of volatile organic compounds in residential buildings. 88 persons from middle Sweden were studied. Measurements were taken at home of room temperature, air humidity, respirable duct, carbon dioxide, VOCs, formaldehyde and house dust mites. Health tests were also performed. Found that symptoms related to asthma were more common in homes with house dust mites and visible signs of dampness or microbial growth.

Effect of a new ventilation system on health and well-being of office workers.

Examines the effect of a new, individually controlled ventilation system on employee symptoms. Two groups of employees were studied in one office building with mechanical ventilation, with one group the control. Individual control of the workspace ventilation was given to the intervention group. The new system gave higher air velocities, more variable temperatures, and higher concentration of airborne dust and fungal spores. Nevertheless, after four months, employees reported fewer symptoms.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health indoor environmental evaluation experience. Part Three: Associations between environmental factors and self-reported health conditions.

Regression techniques were used to assess the associations between environmental factors and work-related health conditions. The study used environmental and health data for 2435 persons in 80 offices. When adjusted for age and gender, relative risks for multiple lower respiratory symptoms were increased for variables in the HVAC design and maintenance categories, with the highest for presence of debris inside the air intake, and for poor or no drainage from drain pans. Multiple atopic symptoms were related to suspended ceiling panels. Asthma was related to renovation with new drywall.