NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Building-related respiratory symptoms: problems in identification.
Gamble-J; Morey-P; Richards-T; Petersen-M; Castellan-RM
Managing Indoor Air for Health and Energy Conservation. Proceedings of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. Conference, April 20-23, 1986, Atlanta, Georgia 1986:16-30
Acting upon the request of building management which asked NIOSH to carry out a survey because of the occurrence of hypersensitivity pneumonitis symptoms in three workers, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system of a nine story office building was evaluated and a questionnaire survey was carried out in the same building and a comparison building. The air handling units of the case building were found to contain large amounts of stagnant water and microbial slime, but the levels of indoor fungi and thermophilic microorganisms were lower than outdoor levels. The questionnaire survey, which was completed by 1022 workers from the building studied and 464 of 846 persons from the comparison building, revealed a higher prevalence of symptoms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, tight building syndrome, sinus symptoms, and thermal discomfort in the case building. There were no differences regarding the prevalence of chronic bronchitis symptoms. More complaints were generally recorded among females than among males, but no differences were observed related to smoking category. Floors with poorer ventilation had higher prevalences of tight building symptoms, sinus symptoms, and thermal discomfort, and these were inversely correlated with amount of outdoor air supplied, relative to measurements made 5 months prior to this investigation. Recommendations are made pertaining to the control of water accumulation and microbial slime, increased ventilation to at least 20 cubic feet per minute per person, and thermostat adjustment to reduce thermal discomfort.
Office-workers; Occupational-health; Sex-factors; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Morbidity-rates; Clinical-symptoms; Ventilation-systems; Bacteriology
Special Populations; Work Environment and Workforce; Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Disease and Injury
Managing Indoor Air for Health and Energy Conservation. Proceedings of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. Conference, April 20-23, 1986, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division