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sick building syndrome

The influence of sick building syndrome on self-reported productivity and work disruption amongst office employees in two buildings in South Africa

The aim of this quasi-experimental research was to investigate the influence of buildingrelated symptoms on self-reported productivity and work disruption based on a randomsample comprising 348 employees. The investigations were carried out in two air-conditioned,high rise office buildings located in South Africa. Respondents self-reported productivity wasassessed by their own ratings of how frequently symptoms reduced their ability to work andcaused them to leave work early or stay at home. In addition, work disruption due to sickbuilding syndrome (SBS) symptoms was determined.

Prevalence of SBS-symptoms as an indicator of health and productivity in office buildings

The prevalence of SBS-symptoms is commonly used to characterize the indoor air quality ofbuildings. For economical analysis in building refurbishment and improvements of indoorenvironment, it would be very useful if we could quantitatively relate the prevalence orintensity of SBS-symptoms to productivity. The purpose of this study was to summarize thelinks between the SBS-symptoms and productivity, and demonstrate with a case study howthis information can be applied to a case building to evaluate the economical value of lowerprevalence of symptoms with a selected remedial measure.

The SBS symptoms and environmental perceptions of office workers in the Tropics at two air temperatures and two ventilation rates

A blind intervention study in which air temperature and the outside air supply rate were changed in a 2 × 2 design was carried out in a call centre in Singapore. The reported intensity of headache and difficulty in concentrating were reduced by 19.5% (P

Meeting workplace healthy building information needs

This paper will review 6 years of experience in risk communication and meeting workplaceinformation needs about the health effects experienced by people working in sealed buildings.The purpose of this paper is to discuss examples of the kinds of information that theworkplace community is seeking and what answers can or cannot be provided.In the past two decades, there has been a growing concern about potential chronic healtheffects of poor indoor air quality and mould.

Psychosocial factors associated with sick building syndrome in a biased and unbiased population of office employees occupying two buildings in South Africa

The relationship between psychosocial characteristics and sick building syndrome(SBS) was explored among 348 employees occupying two buildings engaged in thepublic sector in Pretoria, South Africa. One building was characterized as sick(building B), whilst the other was not a known sick building (building A).

A principal component analysis of perception and SBS symptoms of office workers in the tropics at two temperatures and two ventilation rates

Correlation analysis of subjective responses of tropically acclimatized office workers in a fieldstudy conducted over nine continuous weeks using a 2 2 balanced design with temperatureand fresh air ventilation rates as control variables revealed that several related SBS symptomsare highly correlated. Thermal comfort and acceptability of air quality exhibit a strongcorrelation, whereas perceived indoor environmental variables have poor correlations amongthemselves. Principal component analysis further improved measures to variability bycombining coherent variables into six factors.

Health complaints after moving into a new office building: results of measurements and investigations of employees

After moving into a new office building, employees complained about irritation of eyes, sorethroat and unspecific symptoms. A working group was appointed to investigate indoor airpollution.Air samples and floor dust samples for the analysis of organic compounds were collected inoffice rooms. Within 8 months, several measurement campaigns were conducted to assess thetrends of the concentrations of air pollutants.

Prevalence of respiratory symptoms of the upper and lower airways in office block workers, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A sample of 269 workers, selected randomly from 1600 employees of a sealed 42-storeyoffice building of a major bank in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, responded to the standard RoyalSociety of Health Advisory Group questionnaire about Sick Building Syndrome.Upper airways respiratory symptoms occupied a prominent position, with a prevalence ofaround 40%, whereas the lower airways manifestations frequencies were below 20%.

Sick building syndrome symptoms caused by low humidity

Sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms were investigated in a laboratory study of low humidity environments: 30 subjects were exposed to clean air at 22C with 5%, 15%, 25% and 35% RH and 30 were exposed to polluted air at 18C, 22C and 26C with a constant moisture content of 2.4 g/kg dry air and at 22C/35%RH. The subjects were exposed to each condition for 5 h and reported the intensity of SBS symptoms. Five hours of exposure to clean air at 5% RH caused only eye symptoms, while 5 h of exposure to polluted dry air at 15% RH aggravated a number of symptoms of the skin, nose, throat and lips.

Indoor air related health disorders: experiences of an advisory center for environmental medicine

Since 1987, in Germany advisory centers for environmental medicine were founded. In the present study the relevance of indoor air problems in a patient collective in environmental medicine was investigated. Questionnaire data of 772 patients, who consulted the former Consulting Center of Environmental Medicine (CEM) of the Medical Institute of Environmental Hygiene at the Heinrich Heine-University Duesseldorf because of the suspicion of environment-related health disorders, were retrospectively examined regarding exposures and health effects.

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