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Sick building syndrome in Mauritius: are symptoms associated with the office environment?

Bholah R, Fagoonee I, Subratty A H, 2000
Mauritius | ventilation | indoor air quality | sick building syndrome | symptoms
Bibliographic info: Indoor Built Environ, No 9, 2000, pp 44-51
Languages: English

A cross-sectional study was carried out to investigate the occurrence of the sick building syndrome (SBS) among office workers in Mauritius. A walk-through inspection and a questionnaire survey were carried out in 21 office building complexes to evaluate the prevalence of risk indicators for SBS symptoms among 302 office workers. Indoor climatic variables monitored were: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, air temperature, relative humidity, air movement, noise and light. All data collected were analysed using the EPl-info software. Results showed that symptoms of SBS were significantly higher among occupants of buildings with mechanical ventilation than those of the naturally ventilated buildings. Among personal factors assessed, there were generally consistent findings associating increased symptoms with age and female gender. The results also revealed that certain SBS symptoms such as a headache across the forehead, nervousness, nausea, irritated sore eyes and sneezing were more widespread among women in these offices. However, measurements of the selected indoor variables were not found to be reliable predictors of the symptoms.

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