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Korean J Occup Environ Med. 1996 Dec;8(3):519-525. Korean. Original Article.
Kang D .
Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
Abstract

A cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between sick building syndrome (SBS) and the factors affecting SBS among 90 office workers. The study consisted of 1) a review of previous environmental investigations, 2) measurements of COy temperature, and relative humidity (RH), 3) a questionnaire survey of symptom prevalence and perception of environmental conditions using the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Indoor Air Quality (NIOSH IAQ) questionnaire, and 4) confidential interview and a review of medical records of employees having respiratory symptoms. COy temperature, and RH measured on the day of questionnaire survey were within the recommended range by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Sixty-six percent of respondents were women and 60% considered their job description either "managerial (28%) "or "professional (32%)". Respondents had worked in the building for an average of 5.8 years. Forty-four percent reported having SBS defined as "having one or more symptoms that had occurred at work one or more days a week and tended to get better when away from work". Sex(p=0.001), duration of computer use(p=0.02), use of laser printer (p=0.02), use of cleanser or other office chemicals (p=0.004), feeling too little air movement (p=0.001), feeling air too dry(p=0.001), and unsatisfied with the current job(p=0.02) were related to an increased prevalence of SBS. Use of cleanser or other office chemicals (pO. 01), feeling too little air movement (p=0.01), and feeling air too dry (p=0.02) remained significant predictors of SBS when adjusting other variables by logistic regression analysis. The results of medical record review revealed a discrepancy in the number of diagnosed asthma cases by personal physician and an independent physician. Although this study contains several .limitations (e. g., cross-sectional study, small numbers of study, subjects, etc.), these results indicated that SBS is related to personal, environmental, and psychosocial factors and the precision of diagnosis is critical when evaluating environment-relatedness during disease cluster investigation.

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