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Sci Total Environ. 2012 Feb 15;417-418:61-7. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.12.060. Epub 2012 Jan 20.

A longitudinal study of aldehydes and volatile organic compounds associated with subjective symptoms related to sick building syndrome in new dwellings in Japan.

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Department of Public Health, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.


To determine whether indoor chemicals act as possible environmental risk factors responsible for sick building syndrome (SBS)-related symptoms in new houses (<6 years old) in Japan, we studied 871 people living in 260 single-family houses in 2004 and 2005. We measured the indoor concentrations of aldehydes and volatile organic compounds and longitudinal changes in the living rooms over two consecutive years. Participants answered standardized questionnaires on SBS symptoms and lifestyle habits. Approximately 14% and 12% of subjects were identified as having SBS in the first and second year, respectively. According to analysis adjusted for sex, age, smoking, and allergic diseases, increases in aldehydes and aliphatic hydrocarbons contributed to the occurrence of SBS. Elevated levels of indoor aldehydes and aliphatic hydrocarbons increased the possible risk of SBS in residents living in new houses, indicating that source controls against indoor chemicals are needed to counter SBS.

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