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Multifunctional analysis of health problems in office spaces

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Author(s): Brigitte Andrejs | Peter Rietschel

Journal: SJWEH Supplements
ISSN 1795-9926

Issue: 4;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: volatile organic compound | ventilation | ultrafine particle | open-plan office | organic compound | noise | case study | office space | health problem | multifunctional analysis

ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVES: Because more than half of the employees in the offices of a new building complained of conditions attributed to the work environment, a case study was carried out to determine the possible cause. METHODS: The building in which the study was carried out was constructed in accordance with the most up-to-date expertise in ecological construction. A survey of the employees produced frequent mention of the following complaints: headache, tiredness, complaints concerning the ear, complaints concerning the nose and throat area, bronchitis, skin and eye irritation, and tension in the neck. The measured air exchange did not meet the recommended value of 1.4 l/hour. High concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and carbon dioxide were measured. RESULTS: The results of measurements of the concentration of ultrafine particles were unusual. The source of VOC was the cleaning agent, and the high level of carbon dioxide was caused by insufficient ventilation. CONCLUSIONS: Mechanical ventilation appears to be essential for tight buildings. Noise reduction measures in open-plan offices are necessary.
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