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Indoor air pollution. Problems and solutions.
Office Systems 1988 Dec; :21-22
The problem of sick building syndrome, or indoor air pollution, was discussed, and possible solutions were detailed. Complaints of eye irritation, dry throat, headache and fatigue have been frequently found in energy efficient buildings designed for decreased exchanges between indoor and outdoor air. The onset of the sick building syndrome coincided closely with the move toward energy conservation in the workplace. Of recent NIOSH investigations undertaken due to complaints by workers, 52 percent concluded that ventilation was inadequate at the work site being studied. In 16 percent of the cases, the pollution arose from inside sources including pesticide exposure, improperly diluted cleaning products, tobacco smoke, combustion gases and particulates from kitchens, laboratories or maintenance activities. Contamination from outside sources was identified in 10 percent of the studies arising due to improperly located exhaust and intake vents. In 5 percent of the cases, microbial contamination was identified as the primary problem. Contamination from building materials and products was a major concern in 4 percent of the cases. For similar problems, a list of questions which must be answered was supplied along with instructions for a walk through survey, and strategies effective in ensuring an adequate supply of fresh outdoor air, and elimination of contaminants.
Office-workers; Air-quality-control; Ventilation-systems; Workplace-studies; Indoor-air-pollution; Occupational-exposure; Air-contamination; Indoor-environmental-quality
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division