Engelhart S, Burghardt H, Neumann R, Ewers U, et al
Bibliographic info:
Denmark, Indoor Air, No 9, 1999, pp 139-143

In the past two decades, a group of health problems related to the indoor environment - generally termed sick building syndrome (SBS) - has emerged. We present an investigation of S BS in employees of a ministry working in a naturally ventilated office building that formerly had been used by a pharmaceutical company. A preceding environmental monitoring had failed to identify the cause(s) for the complaints. We conducted a questionnaire-based investigation and categorized the building sections and rooms according to their renovation status and their former use, respectively. The highest level of complaints was found among the employees working in rooms that in the past had been used for the production or storage of various pharmaceutical products suggesting that pharmaceutical odors may be a risk factor for SBS. Clinical laboratory tests did not show any unusual results. We conclude that the former use of a building for production and storage of pharmaceutical products should be considered as a possible risk factor for complaints about indoor air quality, e.g., when advising about or planning for renovations of buildings formerly used for production, handling, or storing of chemicals.