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Indoor Air. 2000 Mar;10(1):57-62.

Improved health after intervention in a school with moisture problems.

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Department of Occupational Health, Stockholm County Council, Sweden.


In a school with floor moisture problems, the personnel had complaints consistent with the sick-building syndrome (SBS). Interventive measures including the laying of a ventilated floor were undertaken to eliminate the emissions. To examine if the intervention resulted in positive health effects, 34 personnel and 336 pupils were interviewed just before the intervention and also 7 months after. Also were interviewed 21 personnel and 224 pupils at an adjacent school serving as a control. Compared with the control school, the problem school showed more complaints, more general symptoms and more symptoms from the eyes, airways and skin, both among the personnel and the pupils. In the post-intervention examinations, the excess of symptoms among the personnel had almost disappeared. Among the pupils, the frequency of eye irritation was reduced but a general improvement of the other symptoms was not as obvious. However, after adjustment for a recent common cold, atopy and stress among the pupils, only one symptom ("stuffy nose") remained significantly elevated. In conclusion, the intervention was followed by positive health effects, supporting the hypothesis that emissions from building material had contributed to the excess of symptoms. A recent common cold was highly related to the symptoms and should be considered in future SBS studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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