Sick building syndrome in relation to air exchange rate, CO(2), room temperature and relative air humidity in university computer classrooms: an experimental study
2008 (English)In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, Vol. 82, no 1, 21-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of ventilation and temperature changes in computer classrooms on symptoms in students. METHODS: Technical university students participated in a blinded study. Two classrooms had higher air exchange (4.1-5.2 ac/h); two others had lower (2.3-2.6 ac/h) air exchange. After 1 week, ventilation conditions were interchanged between the rooms. The students reported symptoms during the last hour, on a seven-step rating scale. Room temperature, relative air humidity (RH) carbon dioxide (CO(2)), PM10 and ultra-fine particles (UFP) were measured simultaneously (1 h). Illumination, air velocity, operative temperature, supply air temperature, formaldehyde, NO(2) and O(3) were measured. Multiple logistic regression was applied in cross-sectional analysis of the first answer (N = 355). Those participating twice (N = 121) were analysed longitudinally. RESULTS: Totally 31% were females, 2.9% smokers and 3.8% had asthma. Mean CO(2) was 993 ppm (674-1,450 ppm), temperature 22.7 degrees C (20-25 degrees C) and RH 24% (19-35%). Lower and higher air exchange rates corresponded to a personal outdoor airflow of 7 l/s*p and 10-13 L/s*P, respectively. Mean PM10 was 20 mug/m(3) at lower and 15 mug/m(3) at higher ventilation flow. Ocular, nasal and throat symptoms, breathlessness, headache and tiredness were significantly more common at higher CO(2) and temperature. After mutual adjustment, ocular (OR = 1.52 per 1 degrees C), nasal (OR = 1.62 per 1 degrees C) and throat symptoms (OR = 1.53 per 1 degrees C), headache (OR = 1.51 per 1 degrees C) and tiredness (OR = 1.54 per 1 degrees C) were significantly associated with temperature; headache was associated only with CO(2) (OR = 1.19 per 100 ppm CO(2)). Longitudinal analysis demonstrated that increased room temperature was related to tiredness (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Computer classrooms may have CO(2) above 1,000 ppm and temperatures above 22 degrees C. Increased temperature and CO(2) may affect mucosal membrane symptoms, headaches and tiredness. Room temperature was most important. CO(2) associations may partly be temperature effects.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 82, no 1, 21-30 p.
indoor air quality, ventilation, room temperature, sick building syndrome (SBS), university students
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-88266DOI: 10.1007/s00420-008-0301-9ISI: 000257229200003PubMedID: 18246367OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-88266DiVA: diva2:139899