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Keywords:

  • Air conditioning;
  • Cross sectional study;
  • Health;
  • Indoor air quality;
  • Ofice buildings;
  • Sick building syndrome

Abstract

Twelve public office buildings were selected for a study of relationships between worker's health symptoms and a number of building, workspace, job, and personal factors. Three buildings were naturally ventilated, three were mechanically ventilated, and six were air conditioned. Information on the prevalences of work-related symptoms, demographics, and job and personal factors were determined via a questionnaire completed by 880 occupants. Several indoor environmental parameters were measured. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate associations between symptom prevalences and features of the buildings, indoor environments, jobs, and personal factors. A substantial fraction of the occupants in these typical office buildings reported frequent work-related symptoms. The occupants of the mechanically ventilated and air conditioned buildings had sipifcantly more symptoms than occupants of the naturally ventilated buildings after adjustment for confounding factors. Increased prevalences of some symptoms were associated with several job and workspace factors including: presence of carpet, increased use of carbonless copy paper and photocopiers, space sharing, and distance from a window