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Sick building syndrome: factors associated with employee-reported symptoms.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1992 Jun; 7(6):352-354
Health complaints among employees of a 22 story municipal office building were investigated by NIOSH. A self administered questionnaire was distributed to all 438 employees on floors 15 through 22 of the office building requesting information on demographic characteristics, health history, health symptoms, and comfort concerns. Elevated carbon-dioxide (124389) levels were found in two locations, late in the afternoon, and possibly reflected higher occupancy levels and the more extensive use of office partitions in these locations. All areas examined fell within guidelines for temperature and relative humidity. Respirable particulate levels in a smoking lounge located on the seventeenth floor ranged up to 454 micrograms/cubic meter, a level exceeding the EPA standard for respirable particulate matter of 150 micrograms/cubic meter. Lighting measurements ranged from 300 to 500 lux. The most commonly reported work related symptoms were stuffy nose (27%), headache (26%), sore eyes (25%), fatigue (25%), dry eyes (24%), sleepiness (22%), dry throat (18%), runny nose (15%), and tension (15%). Seventy percent of those responding associated their symptoms with their work in the building. The relationship of seasonal affective disorder with sick building syndrome was investigated.
NIOSH-Author; Indoor-air-pollution; Questionnaires; Office-workers; Tobacco-smoke; Air-contamination; Airborne-particles; Seasonal-factors; Indoor-environmental-quality
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division