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Objective and subjective responses to low relative humidity in an office intervention study

L. Lagercrantz, D.P. Wyon, H.W. Meyer, J.U. Prause, L. Fang, G. Clausen, J. Sundell, 2003
humidity | indoor air quality | office building | questionnaire
Bibliographic info: Healthy Buildings 2003 - Proceedings 7th International Conference (7th-11th December 2003) - National University of Singapore - Vol. 3, pp 162-168, 1 Fig., 3 Tab., 9 Ref.
Languages: English

The impact of dry indoor air on comfort and health in winter was investigated in a crossoverintervention study in two floors of an office building in northern Sweden. The indoor airhumidity (normally 10-20% RH) was raised to 23-24% RH, one floor at a time, using steamhumidifiers. Questionnaires and objective (clinical) measurements were applied. Thefollowing effects of increased humidity were significant, though small: the air was evaluatedas less dry (though still on the dry side of neutral), eyes smarted less (by 10% of full scale)eye irritation decreased (by 11%), symptoms of dry throat, mouth, lips and skin were reduced,and it was easier to concentrate. The results confirm similar laboratory findings in 5 hexposures (Fang et al., 2003, reported at this conference) to 2 week field exposures, but as theeffects observed were again small, they do not provide sufficient justification for installinghumidifiers.

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