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Arch Environ Health. 1992 Jan-Feb;47(1):16-22.

High prevalence of sick building syndrome in a new air-conditioned building in Italy.

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Institute of Occupational Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.


This study, which was conducted in central Italy, included (a) 525 office workers employed in an air-conditioned building that had fan coil units in every room (building B) and (b) 281 subjects who worked in three naturally ventilated buildings (building A) that were operated by the same public administration. The prevalence of work-related symptoms was assessed by a questionnaire that was administered by an occupational medicine specialist. The most frequent complaints of employees in building B were dry air, strong lighting, and high temperature. Employees who worked in this building experienced a statistically higher prevalence of symptoms that were characteristic of the sick building syndrome. This is the first time that this syndrome has been reported in Italy. Excessive illumination, a low relative humidity, and fiberglass on floors and furniture might have contributed to the symptoms. Inadequate maintenance of the building's air-conditioning plant and the employees' lack of information regarding self-regulation of the fan coil units may also have contributed to the prevalence of symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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