PURPOSE: There is an increasing concern about sick building syndrome (SBS), especially in Asia. The aim of this study is to investigate associations between SBS and the home, school environment and personal factors among Japanese junior high school students.
METHODS: We investigated students in four junior high schools in Hyogo in Kansai area, Japan. A questionnaire study was performed among students (n=1056), 12-15 years old. Temperature and relative air humidity was measured in the classrooms and dust was collected from the classroom floors and air and was analysed for cat and dog allergens. Associations were analysed by multi-level logistic regression.
RESULTS: Mucosal symptoms (45.4%), general symptoms (38.9%) and skin symptoms (22.6%) were common. Totally 8.8% reported cat allergy, 6.1% dog allergy, 6.0% mold allergy and 25.7% pollen allergy. Atopy, window pane condensation, floor dampness and odor at home and high relative air humidity in the classrooms were associated with SBS.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of SBS symptoms was high and associated with both home and school environment. Window pane condensation and floor dampness at home can increase the risk for SBS symptoms in students. Moreover high relative air humidity at school may increase the risk for SBS.
2015. Vol. 8, no 2