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Ocular, nasal, dermal and respiratory symptoms in relation to heating, ventilation, energy conservation and reconstruction of older multi-family houses
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
2003 (English)In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, E-ISSN 1600-0668, Vol. 13, no 3, 206-211 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim was to study relationships between symptoms compatible with the sick building syndrome, type of heating and ventilation system, energy saving, and reconstruction in older dwellings. In Stockholm, 4815 inhabitants in 231 multi-family buildings built before 1961 were randomly selected, of whom 3241 participated (77%). Symptoms and personal factors were assessed by a postal questionnaire. Independent information on building characteristics, and energy saving measures was gathered from the building owners. Multiple logistic regression analysis was applied to calculate odds ratios (OR) adjusting for age, gender, hay fever, current smoking, population density, type of ventilation, type of heating system, and ownership of the building. Subjects in buildings with a mechanical ventilation system had less ocular and nasal symptoms (OR = 0.29-0.85). Heating by electric radiators, and wood heating was associated with an increase of most symptoms (OR = 1.18-1.74). In total, 48% lived in buildings that had gone through at least one type of reconstruction or energy saving remedies during the latest 10 years, including exchange of heating or ventilation system, and sealing measures (exchange of windows, sealing of window frames, roof/attic insulation, and phasade insulation). Energy saving was associated with both a decrease and increase of different symptoms. Major reconstruction of the interior of the building was associated with an increase of most symptoms (OR = 1.09-1.90), and buildings with more than one sealing measure had an increase of ocular, nasal symptoms, headache and tiredness (OR = 1.22-2.49). In conclusion, major reconstruction of the interior, direct heated electric radiators, wood heating, and multiple sealing of buildings were associated with an increase of some symptoms. The study supports the view that mechanical ventilation in dwellings is beneficial from a health point of view.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 13, no 3, 206-211 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90625DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0668.2003.00174.xPubMedID: 12950582OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-90625DiVA: diva2:163056
Available from: 2003-06-05 Created: 2003-06-05 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A Sociological Approach to Indoor Environment in Dwellings: Risk factors for Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Discomfort
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Sociological Approach to Indoor Environment in Dwellings: Risk factors for Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Discomfort
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The principal aim was to study selected aspects of indoor environment in dwellings and their association with symptoms compatible with the sick building syndrome (SBS). A validated questionnaire was developed specifically for residential indoor investigations, using sociological principles and test procedures. The questionnaire was mailed to 14,243 multi-family dwellings in Stockholm, selected by stratified random sampling. Females, subjects with a history of atopy, those above 65 y, and those in new buildings reported more symptoms. Subjects owning their own dwelling had less symptoms. A multiple regression model was developed, to identify residential buildings with a higher than expected occurrence of SBS. In total, 28.5% reported at least one sign of building dampness in their home (condensation on windows, humidity in the bathroom, mouldy odour, water leakage). All indicators of dampness were related to symptoms, even when adjusting for demographic data, and other building characteristics (OR=2.9-6.0). Associations between symptoms and other building data was evaluated in older houses, built before 1961. Subjects in older buildings with a mechanical ventilation system had fewer symptoms. Heating by electric radiators, and wood heating was associated with an increase of most types of symptoms (OR=1.2-5.0). Multiple sealing measures (OR=1.3), and major reconstruction (OR=1.1-1.9), was associated with an increase of symptoms. The effect of seasonal adapted ventilation (SAV) was studied in a small experimental study. A 20% reduction of ventilation flow from 0.5-0.8 ac/h to 0.4-0.5 ACH during the heating season increased the perception of poor indoor air quality in the dwelling in general, and in the bedroom. In conclusion, low building age, and building dampness in the dwelling are associated with SBS. In older houses, mechanical ventilation is beneficial. The thesis did not support the view that energy saving measures in general is an important risk factor for SBS, but major reconstruction and multiple sealing measures can be risk factor for symptoms. Reducing the outdoor ventilation flow below the current Swedish ventilation standard (0.5 ACH) may increase the perception of impaired air quality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2003. 86 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 0282-7476 ; 1276
Keyword
Medicine, Indoor environment, Questionnaire, Atopy, Building age, Indoor air quality, Sick building syndrome (SBS), Validation, Dwelling, Energy conservation, Mechanical ventilation, Building dampness, Building reconstruction, Wood heating, Electric heating, Heat pump, Thermal Insulation, Sealing, Medicin
National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3506 (URN)91-554-5677-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-09-05, MIC AULA (vid restaurang Rullan), Hus 6, Matematiskt Informationsteknologiskt Centrum vid Pollackbacken, Uppsala, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2003-06-05 Created: 2003-06-05Bibliographically approved

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