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Building-related respiratory symptoms can be predicted with semi-quantitative indices of exposure to dampness and mold.

Authors
Park-J-H; Schleiff-PL; Attfield-MD; Cox-Ganser-JM; Kreiss-K
Source
Indoor Air 2004 Dec; 14(6):425-433
NIOSHTIC No.
20025566
Abstract
Using a semi-quantitative mold exposure index, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) investigated 13 college buildings to examine whether building-related respiratory symptoms among employees are associated with environmental exposure to mold and dampness in buildings. We collected data on upper and lower respiratory symptoms and their building-relatedness, and time spent in specific rooms with a self-administered questionnaires. Trained NIOSH industrial hygienists classified rooms for water stains, visible mold, mold odor, and moisture using semi-quantitative scales and then estimated individual exposure indices weighted by the time spent in specific rooms. The semi-quantitative exposure indices significantly predicted building-related respiratory symptoms, including wheeze [odds ratio (OR) = 2.3; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.14.5], chest tightness (OR = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.14.6), shortness of breath (OR = 2.7; 95% CI = 1.26.1), nasal (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.34.7) and sinus (OR = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.24.1) symptoms, with exposureresponse relationships. We found that conditions suggestive of indoor mold exposure at work were associated with building-related respiratory symptoms. Our findings suggest that observational semi-quantitative indices of exposure to dampness and mold can support action to prevent building-related respiratory diseases.
Keywords
Molds; Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiratory-irritants; Exposure-assessment; Indoor-air-pollution; Questionnaires; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Visual-perception; Odors; Microorganisms; Indoor-environmental-quality
Contact
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Field Studies Branch, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
CODEN
INAIE5
Publication Date
20041201
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
2005
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
6
ISSN
0905-6947
NIOSH Division
DRDS
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Source Name
Indoor Air
State
WV
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