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Elevated symptom prevalence associated with ventilation type in office buildings.

Authors
Mendell-MJ; Fisk-WJ; Deddens-JA; Seavey-WG; Smith-AH; Smith-DF; Hodgson-AT; Daisy-JM; Goldman-LR
Source
Epidemiology 1996 Nov; 7(6):583-589
NIOSHTIC No.
00235586
Abstract
The relationship between work related symptoms and office building ventilation was examined. Questionnaires were administered to the workers of office buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Of the 12 buildings investigated, three were naturally ventilated, three were mechanically ventilated, and six were air conditioned. Building information was obtained from records, inspections, and interviews. Completed questionnaires were received from 880. Of the respondents, 34.9% reported headache or fatigue, 33.7% reported nose or throat symptoms, 22% reported eye symptoms, and 2.6% reported multiple lower respiratory symptoms. While symptom prevalence varied markedly within each ventilation type, the prevalence was lowest for naturally ventilated buildings and highest for air conditioned buildings. Odds ratios (ORs) were adjusted for building factors, personal factors, psychosocial factors, job factors, and work space factors, and were calculated relative to naturally ventilated buildings. The ORs were elevated for all indoor air related symptoms for both mechanical ventilation and air conditioning. For skin symptoms, the ORs adjusted for problem building status were 5.8 and 6.1 for mechanical ventilation and air conditioning, respectively. For lower respiratory symptoms, the adjusted ORs were 3.2 and 4.1 for mechanical ventilation and air conditioning, respectively. The adjusted ORs for multiple mucous membrane symptoms were 3.1 for mechanical ventilation and 3.5 for air conditioning. The authors conclude that work related symptoms are more prevalent in mechanically ventilated and air conditioned buildings than in naturally ventilated buildings.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; Humans; Health-survey; Morbidity-rates; Work-environment; Office-workers; Ventilation-systems; Air-conditioning; Indoor-air-pollution; Closed-building-syndrome; Risk-factors; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: indoor air pollution; sick building syndrome; ventilation
Contact
Mark Mendell, lndustrywide Studies Branch, N!OSH, 4676 Columbia Parkway, R-16, Cincinnati, OH 45226
CODEN
EPIDEY
Publication Date
19961101
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
1997
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
6
ISSN
1044-3983
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Source Name
Epidemiology
State
CA; OH
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