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No difference in rates of absenteeism between workers in air-conditioned offices and naturally ventilated ones: a data base study.

Air conditioning systems are often held to have effects upon the workforce. This research tried to assess whether continuous exposure to air-conditioning during working hours had any observable effect on health or not. A comparison was made of absence due to sickness recorded by the employers' doctors over two years in two groups of workers employed in similar jobs in the French National Electric and Gas Company in Western France. One group spent most of their time in air conditioned offices but the other worked in a natural atmosphere.

Bioaerosols and office building ventilation system.

In the study a collection was made of bacterial and fungal spore samples from twelve office building ventilation systems. Measurements were performed with and without humidification. In none of the cases were ventilation or humidification systems found to act as bioaerosol sources. There was no observed difference between bioaerosol counts in offices with and without humidification. In all ventilation systems the microbial levels decreased.

Volatile organic compounds measured at a telephone switching center from 5/30/85 - 12/6/88: a detailed case study.

States that failures in electronic equipment can be caused by volatile organic compounds. Detailed observations from a three year study of VOCs at a telephone switching office in Neenah, Wisconsin, USA are presented and data are included on matched indoor and outdoor VOC measurements, and corresponding data on HVAC fan operation and ventilation rates. The small number of occupants in the office enabled the study to assess factors influencing VOC levels without complications of human behaviour.

The sick building syndrome (SBS) in office workers. A case-referent study of personal, psychosocial and building-related risk indicators.

The Office Illness Project in Northern Sweden was completed in 1994. It comprised a screening questionnaire study of 4943 office workers and a case-referent study of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) in 464 subjects. Female gender, asthma/rhinitis, high psychosocial work load, paper and visual display terminal work have all been related in previously published results to an increased prevalence of sick building syndrome symptoms.

Associations between type of ventilation and air flow rates in office buildings and the risk of SBS-symptoms among occupants.

A cross-sectional questionnaire and field study of 160 Swedish office buildings and 260-2649 respondents (with case controls and prevalence comparisons) was made to assess the possible links between ventilation types, outdoor air flow rates and symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome. The ventilation rates proved to be higher than those required by most building codes and consisted of outdoor air inflow of 17 14L/p and 2.0 1.3 air changes/h.

Sick building syndrome in a Canadian office complex.

There had been complaints of Sick Building Syndrome symptoms by employees in a large sealed office complex in Ottowa, Canada ever since it had opened. This prompted a comprehensive survey by questionnaire coupled with limited environmental measurements. Most respondents complained of irritation of the upper respiratory tract, the eyes and skin as well as various other health problems. These began shortly after coming to work in the building and were troublesome only during work; moving to other work in other parts of the complex made no difference.

Building-related asthma in Denver office workers.

An epidemiological study was instigated by reports from a Denver office building of cases of building-related asthma and hyper-sensitivity pneumonitis. The methodology used was a cross-sectional and self-administered questionnaire completed by workers in this building and a similar one in the suburbs. The Denver workers showed a much higher rate of respiratory disease than the suburban workers (512 compared to 281).

Work-related illness in offices: a proposed model of the "sick building syndrome".

This study was based on a nationwide survey of 4373 workers at 47 offices to determine the incidence of sick building syndrome and to study associated factors. The buildings had a variety of ventilation systems - natural, mechanical, forced air, air conditioning or comfort cooling. Comfort cooling systems included fan-coil, induction, and constant or variable air volume systems.

Sick building syndrome: a study of 4373 office workers.

Describes a study of 4373 office employees in 42 different office buildings a 47 ventilation conditions, aimed at highlighting symptoms of sick building syndrome. More symptoms were reported by women and by clerical/secretarial workers. Overall, buildings with ventilation from local or central induction/fan coil units had more symptoms per worker. States that there was however a wide variation between the building sickness indices of buildings within each ventilation category which was only partially explained by differences in jobs and gender.

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.

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