NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Library of Congress Indoor Air Quality and Work Environment Study: health symptoms and comfort concerns.

Fidler AT; Wilcox TG; Leaderer BP; Selfridge OJ; Hornung RW
Indoor Air '90, Precedings of the 5th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Toronto, July 29 - August 3, 1990, 1990 Jul; :603-608
Results of a questionnaire survey conducted in February 1989 to assess the nature and distribution of employee health symptoms and their relationship with workplace conditions at the Library of Congress Madison Building were presented. Employees were asked whether 32 health symptoms occurred during the year. Those symptoms reported as often or always were defined as positive. Symptoms were grouped into categories: acute symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, and mucous membrane irritation; respiratory or flu like symptoms with longer recovery times; and ergonomic symptoms of the back, neck, shoulders, hands and wrists. The reported symptoms were headache (16%), runny nose (10%), stuffy nose (21%), dry eyes (21%), burning eyes (13%), dry throat (10%), fatigue (21%), upper back pain (10%), and sleepiness (25%). Flu like symptoms were reported by few respondents. Almost half (44%) of the 2,845 respondents reported that symptoms reduced their ability to work at some time. About a third (35%) reported that their symptoms caused them to leave work early or stay at home. Seventy percent associated their symptoms with their work place, and for those who reported always or often having symptoms, leaving the building improved symptoms 60 to 85% of the time. More frequent infections were reported by 41% since beginning work in the building. About two thirds (65%) reported that they were generally satisfied with their work place comfort, such as chair and lighting. The air was reported as too dry with too little movement. The air at work stations was reported as too stuffy by 46% and too dusty by 23%.
Office-workers; Questionnaires; Respiratory-irritants; Worker-health; Air-temperature; Humidity; Indoor-air-pollution; Work-environment; Indoor-environmental-quality
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Indoor Air '90, Precedings of the 5th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Toronto, July 29 - August 3, 1990
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division