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Volatile organic compounds (VOC), formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Associations with rhinitis, ocular, throat and dermal symptoms, headache and fatigue
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5174-6668
United Nations Univ, Int Inst Global Hlth, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia.;Natl Univ Malaysia, Dept Community Hlth, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia..
Univ Putra Malaysia, Fac Med & Hlth Sci, Dept Environm & Occupat Hlth, Serdang 43400, Selagor, Malaysia..
Johor State Hlth Dept, Johor Baharu, Malaysia..
2017 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 592, 153-160 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper studied associations between volatile organic compounds (VOC), formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon dioxide(CO2) in schools in Malaysia and rhinitis, ocular, nasal and dermal symptoms, headache and fatigue among students. Pupils from eight randomly selected junior high schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia (N = 462), participated (96%). VOC, formaldehyde and NO2 were measured by diffusion sampling (one week) and VOC also by pumped air sampling during class. Associations were calculated bymulti-level logistic regression adjusting for personal factors, the home environment and microbial compounds in the school dust. The prevalence of weekly rhinitis, ocular, throat and dermal symptoms were 18.8%, 11.6%, 15.6%, and 11.1%, respectively. Totally 20.6% had weekly headache and 22.1% fatigue. Indoor CO2 were low(range 380-690 ppm). Indoor median NO2 and formaldehyde concentrations over one week were 23 mu g/m(3) and 2.0 mu g/m(3), respectively. Median indoor concentration of toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and limonene over one week were 12.3, 1.6, 78.4 and 3.4 mu g/m(3), respectively. For benzaldehyde, the mean indoor concentration was 2.0 mu g/m(3) (median < 1 mu g/m(3)). Median indoor levels during class of benzene and cyclohexane were 4.6 and 3.7 mu g/m(3), respectively. NO2 was associated with ocular symptoms (p < 0.001) and fatigue (p = 0.01). Formaldehyde was associated with ocular (p = 0.004), throat symptoms (p = 0.006) and fatigue (p = 0.001). Xylene was associated with fatigue (p < 0.001) and benzaldehyde was associatedwith headache (p = 0.03). In conclusion, xylene, benzaldehyde, formaldehyde and NO2 in schools can be risk factors for ocular and throat symptoms and fatigue among students in Malaysia. The indoor and outdoor levels of benzene were often higher than the EU standard of 5 mu g/m(3).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 592, 153-160 p.
Keyword [en]
Volatile organic compounds (VOC), Formaldehyde, Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), School environment, Sick building syndrome (SBS), Rhinitis
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-322501DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.215ISI: 000400082100018PubMedID: 28319702OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-322501DiVA: diva2:1103536
Funder
Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association, 2013020Swedish Research Council Formas, 2008-68Vårdal Foundation, B2007-074Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 348-2013-6762
Available from: 2017-05-30 Created: 2017-05-30 Last updated: 2017-05-30Bibliographically approved

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