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sick building syndrome

Prevalence of the sick building syndrome symptoms in office workers before and six months and three years after being exposed to a building with an improved ventilation system.

Aimed to find out if a decrease in sick building syndrome symptoms as the result of an improved ventilation system was still in force after three years. The buildings, both old and new, had sealed windows with mechanical ventilation, air conditioning, and humidification. The prevalence of most symptoms had originally decreased by 40% to 50%. The case was similar after three years.

Sick building symptoms in office workers: a follow-up study before and one year after changing buildings.

Describes a study carried out one year before and one year after a move from a naturally ventilated building to an artificially ventilated one by 167 clerical workers. The study examined the influences of physical and psychosocial work environments and personal factors on sick building syndrome symptoms. Female gender and VDU work were linked to most symptoms in both surveys. There was a significant increase after the move in eye, skin and fatigue symptoms.

Type of ventilation system in office buildings and sick building syndrome.

Describes a cross sectional study carried out on 2678 employees in 41 office buildings in March 1991 aimed at examining the role of sick building syndrome symptoms. Concludes that the risk of the studied symptoms is related to the type of ventilation in the existing office building stock. Suggests that future studies should concentrate on the typical function problems and specific causes connected with the high-risk ventilation systems.

Facial skin symptoms in visual display terminal (VDT) workers. A case-referent study of personal, psychosocial, building- and VDT-related risk indicators.

Refers to the Office Illness Project from northern Sweden which showed that female gender, asthma/rhinitis, high psychosocial workload, visual display terminal and paperwork were related to an increased prevalence of facial skin symptoms. The study reported in this article used data from the Swedish study's questionnaire, supplemented with information from a clinical examination, a survey of psychosocial factors at work, building data and VDT-related factors from inspection and measurements taken at the workplace.

Ventilation system, indoor air quality, and health outcomes in Parisian modern office workers.

The effect of exposure to different types of ventilation were examined using a cross-sectional study, which took into account indoor environmental measurements of major contaminants and aeroallergens. The study selected three buildings ventilated with heating, ventilating and air conditioning, fan coil units and natural ventilation. Questionnaire were answered by 1144 employees. Found that HVAC and FCU systems were related to a marginally higher risk of non-specific symptoms compared with natural ventilation.

Nasal congestion in relation to low air exchange rate in schools. Evaluation by acoustic rhinometry.

Describes a pilot study conducted to test whether increased levels of indoor air pollutants in schools are linked to a swelling in the nasal mucosa. Fifteen subjects were studied at a school with low air exchange rate, and twelve at a school with high air exchange rate. States that absolute values of the minimal cross-sectional area were lower in the school with poor ventilation.

The quality of the air in our buildings.

States that office environments vary in the type of air quality problems they present and that contamination levels fluctuate depending upon the tasks being performed and the frequency of these operations. Describes research which used a common protocol to study the air quality within 256 buildings and provided an account of the state of health in buildings within the UK. Only 15% of the buildings surveyed achieved optimum environmental conditions. Outlines the importance of sick building syndrome problems in relation to possible suits and vacation of premises.

Tar fumes trigger inquiry that finds source of IAQ ills at school.

Describes a case of an elementary school which suffers indoor air quality problems as a result of the application of hot coal-tar to the roof, causing major health concerns. Eight roof-mounted air handling units provided heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The space above the ceiling served as the return-air plenum. Four AHUs provided ventilation to most classrooms with variable air volume boxes controlling airflow. Outdoor air intake dampers on each AHU supplied 10% outdoor air to each wing of the school.

Effect of renovating an office building on occupants' comfort and health.

An intervention study was performed in a mechanically ventilated office building in which there were severe indoor climate complaints among the occupants. In one part of the building a new heating and ventilation strategy was implemented by renovating the HVAC system, and a carpet was replaced with a low-emitting vinyl floor material; the other part of the building was kept unchanged, serving as a control. A comprehensive indoor climate investigation was performed before and after the intervention.

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