AIVC - Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre

Search form


You are here

Home  |  sick building syndrome

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

H.-P. Hutter, H. Moshammer, P. Wallner, B. Damberger, P. Tappler, M. Kundi, 2003
health | office building | questionnaire | sick building syndrome | pollutant
Bibliographic info: Healthy Buildings 2003 - Proceedings 7th International Conference (7th-11th December 2003) - National University of Singapore - Vol. 3, pp 65-70, 7 Ref.
Languages: English

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. A questionnaire was administered concerningcomplaints before and after moving into the new office building, as well as aboutenvironmental conditions at the workplace.Overall the concentrations of VOC and formaldehyde were fairly low. High concentrations(2900-7800 mg/kg) of tris-(2-butoxyethyl)-phosphate (TBEP) and phthalates(diethylhexylphthalate: 770-4100 mg/kg) were found in dust samples. The coating of therubber floor was identified as the source of TBEP.Results of the questionnaire demonstrated an increased irritation of the mucous membranesand a reduction of well-being after the employees had moved into the new building. Therewas an association between these complaints and room climate, but not with the visible dustload.After removal of the coating of the rubber floor throughout the whole building, a reductionup to 90% of TBEP in the dust samples was found. In spite of several attempts, no suchmarked reduction was achieved with the concentration of phthalates.

Related publications

This report summarizes the work of the initial working phase of IEA ECB Annex 62 Ventil
Maria Kolokotroni, Per Heiselberg, Lorenzo Pagliano, Jie Han, Regina Bokel, Peter Holzer, Annamaria Belleri, Denmark
This summary report presents insights on recommendations into how ventilative cooling i
Christoffer Plesner, Flourentzos Flourentzou, Guoqiang Zhang, Hilde Breesch, Per Heiselberg, Michal Pomianowski, Peter Holzer, Maria Kolokotroni, Annamaria Belleri, Denmark
Overheating in buildings is an emerging challenge at the design stage and during operat
Peter Holzer, Theofanis Psomas, Denmark