A longitudinal study of environmental risk factors for symptoms associated with sick building syndrome

Sick-Building Syndrome realted to toxic materials

Chemicals and Molds often associated with Sick Building Syndrome   

A study was performed to explore possible environmental risk factors, including indoor chemicals, mold, and dust mite allergens, which could cause sick building syndrome (SBS)-type symptoms in new houses. 

The study was conducted in 2004 and 2005 and the final study population consisted of 86 men and 84 women residing in Okayama, Japan. 

The indoor concentrations of indoor aldehydes, volatile organic compounds, airborne fungi, and dust mite allergens in their living rooms were measured and the longitudinal changes in two consecutive years were calculated. 

A standardized questionnaire was used concomitantly to gather information on frequency of SBS-type symptoms and lifestyle habits. About 10% of the subjects suffered from SBS in the both years. 

Crude analyses indicated tendencies for aldehyde levels to increase frequently and markedly in the newly diseased and ongoing SBS groups. Among the chemical factors and molds examined, increases in benzene and in Aspergillus contributed to the occurrence of SBS in the logistic regression model. 

Indoor chemicals were the main contributors to subjective symptoms associated with SBS. A preventive strategy designed to lower exposure to indoor chemicals may be able to counter the occurrence of SBS. 

Reference:  Takigawa T, Wang BL, Sakano N, Wang DH, Ogino K, Kishi R.,    A longitudinal study of environmental risk factors for subjective symptoms associated with sick building syndrome in new dwellings, Sci Total Environ. 2009 Sep 15;407(19):5223-8.

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