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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1246
    Keywords: Sick building syndrome ; Eye irritation ; Biomicroscopically dry eyes
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary A cross-sectional clinical epidemiological study was carried out among 169 office workers in four Copenhagen town halls with different prevalences of the sick building syndrome. The results were compared with those in 112 subjects randomly selected from the general population. Biomicroscopic eye manifestations, such as premature break-up of the precorneal tear film, absence of foam at the inner eye canthus and epithelial damage of the bulbar conjunctiva, were investigated together with self-reported eye complaints. Although intercorrelated, the objective eye manifestations independently were statistically associated with self-reported eye complaints in office workers. The prevalence of the objective eye manifestations was significantly elevated in office workers compared with the general population and most pronounced for the buildings with a high prevalence of the sick building syndrome (P 〈 0.001). In the general population, subjects with a non-industrial occupation, including office workers, had a significantly higher prevalence of objective eye manifestations than those with an industrial occupation (P = 0.03), but the prevalence was still significantly lower than that among the office workers in buildings with a high prevalence of the sick building syndrome (P〈0.001). Since possible confounders were found not to explain the difference in prevalence of objective eye manifestations and complaints among the two populations, it is concluded that the office environment (buildings and/or type of office work) promotes these objective changes accompanied by self-reported complaints.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1600-0668
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Medicine
    Notes: Background. In the Danish Town Hall Study" it has previously been shown that the sick building syndrome is a widespread phenomenon. This has given rise to speculations as to whether biologically active components in dust or whether absorbed organic gases and vapours in the indoor climate may be partly responsible for the sick building syndrome. Therefore, we wished to study whether qualitative conditions in dust, of a physical, chemical, and biological nature, are related to the prevalence of symptoms of the sick building syndrome. Material and methods. The study included 12 town halls in the Copenhagen area. A total of 870 persons participated, 584 women and 286 men. All the participants filled out a questionnaire regarding health and working conditions, and dust samples were collected with a special vacuum cleaner in the working environment of the participants, after which the contents of inorganic and organic particles as well as of human source fragments the (hair, nails, skin) and various fibres were determined. Results. There was a significant correlation (P〈0.05) between the prevalence of gram-negative bacteria in the indoor climate dust, and general symptoms (fatigue, heavy-headedness, headache, dizziness, concentration problems) (corr.coeff.=0.73), as well as symptoms from the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract (corr.coeff.=0.76). Also, there was a significant relation between the prevalence of particles in the dust and the prevalence of symptoms from the mucous membranes (corr.coeff.=0.81). There was a strong and significant correlation between the total amount of volatile organic components (TVOC) and lack of concentration (corr.coeff. =0.85) and feeling heavy-headed (corr.coeff.=0.72). Macromolecular dust (potentially allergenetic material) was significantly correlated to the prevalence of headache and general malaise/dizziness (corr.coeff.=0.66), while the ability of the dust to liberate histamine was significantly related to the prevalence of general malaise, dizziness (corr.coeff.=0.65) and lack of concentration (corr.coeff. =0.58). Further analyses including a number of potential confounders did not change the results of the above analyses. Conclusion. The results of this study support the hypothesis that qualitative properties of dust are important to the sick building syndrome. The study was based on relatively few buildings, but nevertheless strong correlations were found. In perspective, epidemiological intervention studies should be carried out to investigate whether minimizing the amount of both dust and bacteria in the indoor climate affect the prevalence of sick building syndrome.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1600-0668
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Medicine
    Notes: The paper evaluates ocular manifestations as reported in two different questionnaires completed within one to Two weeks by 164 office workers in four town halls in Copenhagen. Among 14 previously investigated, these town halls constitute the two with the highest and the two with the lowest prevalence of the Sick Building Syndrome (defined as mucous membrane complaints such as eye, nose or throat irritation, and general symptoms such as headaches or fatigue several times a week). There was a highly significant rank correlation in each of the four town halls between the frequency of self-reported ocular manifestations in the two questionnaires. Furthermore, the eye complaints reported in both questionnaires were significantly correlated with an objective measure for eye dryness, investigated using a biomicroscope. By combining the two questionnaires it was possible to define subgroups using both frequency of eye complaints and consistency of reporting in the two questionnaires. The subgroup of 107 subjects with consistency in the frequency of their eye complaints in the two questionnaires showed a significantly higher correlation with the objective index than did the subjects with inconsistent reporting. Furthermore, with increased frequency of complaints and consistency of reporting, not only the prevalence of microscopically determined eye dryness, but also the number of up to 7 different eye symptoms per subject increased, and an increased percentage of these symptoms was found to be related to sensory reactions in the common chemical sense, which earlier has been postulated to be involved in the Sick Building Syndrome. In conclusion, the study shows that data from two different questionnaires on self-reported ocular manifestations associated with the Sick Building Syndrome are reproducible and associated with objective dryness in the eyes.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1600-0668
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Insufficient cleaning may be a cause of the Sick Building Syndrome. Various improvements in cleaning methods have been tested in order to clarify whether they reduced the concentration of airborne dust, and the concentration of dust on surfaces, or whether the concentration of different microbiological components in the dust was reduced. The interventions were performed in an administration building, a school and a kindergarten. Dust measurements were performed on one day every week for a period of 28 weeks, using different interventions. The airborne dust concentration was measured by sampling on filters during the day. The concentration of surface dust was measured by the BM-Dustdetector foil sampling method. Dust samples were collected from the floors, after which analyses for different microbiological components were performed. Sampling from surfaces and the floor were performed prior to cleaning in order to ascertain the levels to which the room occupants had been exposed. One of the findings was a reduction in the dust concentration on the so-called easily accessible surfaces. Correlations between surface dust and airborne dust were also found. Furthermore, correlations between the measurements and other factors, such as activity during the day, and the climate, were obtained. Important findings of the study were the observations made on the relations between cleaning and dust in the indoor environment and the measuring methods applied.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Ltd
    ISSN: 1749-6632
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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