AIVC - Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre

Search form


You are here

Home  |  sick building syndrome

Mechanical ventilation in office buildings and the sick building syndrome. An experimental and epidemiological study.

Jaakola J J K, Heinonen O P, Seppanen O
mechanical ventilation | sick building syndrome
Bibliographic info: Indoor Air, No 2, pp 111-112, 2 figs, 5 tabs, refs.
Languages: English

This was a study of the relationship between mechanical ventilation and sick business syndrome in an office building with 1250 employees, where workers blamed the mechanical ventilation and indoor air quality for causing typical SBS symptoms such as nasal, eye, skin and mucous membrane irritations, lethargy and headaches). The building's mechanical ventilation rates were high. A controlled experiment to test the hypothesis that mechanical ventilation causes SBS was made by switching off the ventilation in part of the building while reducing the ventilation rate by 75% and 60% in two other areas while leaving one part unaltered as a control. The reduction of the ventilation rate did not decrease the symptoms; in fact, it caused a slight but statistically significant increase. In the cross sectional analysis of the baseline data the SBS symptoms did not correlate significantly with the ventilation rate. In the linear regression model, a positive correlation was shown between temperatures above 22 C and the incidence of symptoms. Environmental tobacco smoke increased the occurrence of SBS symptoms among workers. Women reported more symptoms than men. Further research showed that a prior history of allergic diseases and dissatisfaction with the social atmosphere at work were significant determinants of SBS symptoms.

Related publications

Mandatory or voluntary building airtightness testing has come gradually into force in m
INIVE eeig, EU
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