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Dampness and molds in day-care centers as an occupational health problem.

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  • 1Laboratory of Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland.


To assess the occurrence of respiratory and other symptoms among workers in relation to dampness in day-care centers, a random sample of 30 day-care centers in the city of Espoo, Finland, was selected for the study. The study population consisted of 268 female day-care workers, who filled in a questionnaire. Dampness was found to be common: water damage had taken place in 70% of the centers, and workers perceived mold odor in 17% of them. Adjusted risk of work-related eye and respiratory symptoms was in general higher among the day-care workers exposed to both water damage and mold odor than among the unexposed. The prevalence of eye symptoms was statistically significantly higher. The results provide new evidence of the importance of dampness and mold problems in the work environment as determinants of respiratory and irritative symptoms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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