Building-related asthma in Denver office workers.
Hoffman-RE; Wood-RC; Kreiss-K
Am J Publ Health 1993 Jan; 83(1):89-93
An investigation of building related asthma in office workers was conducted at a Denver, Colorado office building. There were two sentinel cases of office building related lung disease. The first case involved a 48 year old social services eligibility technician who developed building related asthma. The second case involved a 37 year old administrator who worked in the same building. She developed building related hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Five additional cases of respiratory illnesses potentially related to working in this building had been reported. The building was mechanically ventilated, without operable windows or a humidification system. There was water damage in ceiling tiles and carpet. Insufficient fresh air intake was suspected based on carbon- dioxide (124389) levels. Low counts of viable airborne bacteria and fungi were found both inside and outside the building. A cross sectional survey of employees in the Denver building and a comparison building in Adams County was conducted. Questionnaires were completed by 512 Denver workers and 281 Adams workers. Statistically significant increases in shortness of breath, shortness of breath while at rest, and chest tightness were noted in the Denver building workers. The prevalence of asthma was greater in Denver workers than Adams workers. The authors conclude that office building related asthma was present among workers at the Denver building. Individual cases may be sentinel events for other cases of work related asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis and may indicate a need for public health investigation of remediable causes.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Respiratory-system-disorders; Bronchial-asthma; Office-workers; Indoor-air-pollution; Respiratory-hypersensitivity; Closed-building-syndrome; Epidemiology; Indoor-environmental-quality
American Journal of Public Health