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Development of new volatile organic compound (VOC) exposure metrics and their relationship to "sick building syndrome" symptoms.

Authors
Ten Brinke-J; Selvin-S; Hodgson-AT; Fisk-WJ; Mendell-MJ; Koshland-CP; Daisey-JM
Source
Indoor Air 1998 Sep; 8(3):140-152
NIOSHTIC No.
20033833
Abstract
Occupants of office buildings are exposed to low concentrations of complex mixtures of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that encompass a number of chemical classes and a broad range of irritancies. "Sick building syndrome" (SBS) is suspected to be related to these exposures. Using data from 22 office areas in 12 California buildings, seven VOC exposure metrics were developed and their ability to predict self-reported SBS irritant symptoms of office workers was tested. The VOC metrics were each evaluated in a multivariate logistic regression analysis model adjusted for other risk factors or confounders. Total VOCs and most of the other metrics were not statistically significant predictors of symptoms in crude or adjusted analyses. Two metrics were developed using principal components (PC) analysis on subsets of the 39 VOCs. The Irritancy/PC metric was the most statistically significant predictor of adjusted irritant symptoms. The irritant potencies of individual compounds, highly correlated nature of indoor VOC mixtures, and probable presence of potent, but unmeasured, VOCs were variously factored into this metric. These results, which for the first time show a link between low level VOC exposures from specific types of indoor sources to SBS symptoms, require confirmation using data sets from other buildings.
Keywords
Irritants; Statistical-analysis; Risk-analysis; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Air-contamination; Air-quality; Air-sampling; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Indoor-environmental-quality
Contact
J. M. Daisey, Indoor Environment Department, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720
CODEN
INAIE5
Publication Date
19980901
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
jmdaisey@lbl.gov
Fiscal Year
1998
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0905-6947
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Source Name
Indoor Air - International Journal of Indoor Air Quality and Climate
State
OH; CA
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