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A Sociological Approach to Indoor Environment in Dwellings: Risk factors for Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Discomfort
Uppsala University, Medicinska vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The principal aim was to study selected aspects of indoor environment in dwellings and their association with symptoms compatible with the sick building syndrome (SBS). A validated questionnaire was developed specifically for residential indoor investigations, using sociological principles and test procedures. The questionnaire was mailed to 14,243 multi-family dwellings in Stockholm, selected by stratified random sampling. Females, subjects with a history of atopy, those above 65 y, and those in new buildings reported more symptoms. Subjects owning their own dwelling had less symptoms. A multiple regression model was developed, to identify residential buildings with a higher than expected occurrence of SBS. In total, 28.5% reported at least one sign of building dampness in their home (condensation on windows, humidity in the bathroom, mouldy odour, water leakage). All indicators of dampness were related to symptoms, even when adjusting for demographic data, and other building characteristics (OR=2.9-6.0). Associations between symptoms and other building data was evaluated in older houses, built before 1961. Subjects in older buildings with a mechanical ventilation system had fewer symptoms. Heating by electric radiators, and wood heating was associated with an increase of most types of symptoms (OR=1.2-5.0). Multiple sealing measures (OR=1.3), and major reconstruction (OR=1.1-1.9), was associated with an increase of symptoms. The effect of seasonal adapted ventilation (SAV) was studied in a small experimental study. A 20% reduction of ventilation flow from 0.5-0.8 ac/h to 0.4-0.5 ACH during the heating season increased the perception of poor indoor air quality in the dwelling in general, and in the bedroom. In conclusion, low building age, and building dampness in the dwelling are associated with SBS. In older houses, mechanical ventilation is beneficial. The thesis did not support the view that energy saving measures in general is an important risk factor for SBS, but major reconstruction and multiple sealing measures can be risk factor for symptoms. Reducing the outdoor ventilation flow below the current Swedish ventilation standard (0.5 ACH) may increase the perception of impaired air quality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2003. , p. 86
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 0282-7476 ; 1276
Keywords [en]
Medicine, Indoor environment, Questionnaire, Atopy, Building age, Indoor air quality, Sick building syndrome (SBS), Validation, Dwelling, Energy conservation, Mechanical ventilation, Building dampness, Building reconstruction, Wood heating, Electric heating, Heat pump, Thermal Insulation, Sealing
Keywords [sv]
Medicin
National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3506ISBN: 91-554-5677-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3506DiVA, id: diva2:163058
Public defence
2003-09-05, MIC AULA (vid restaurang Rullan), Hus 6, Matematiskt Informationsteknologiskt Centrum vid Pollackbacken, Uppsala, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2003-06-05 Created: 2003-06-05Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Stockholm Indoor Environment Questionnaire (SIEQ): A sociological based tool for assessment of indoor environment and health in dwellings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Stockholm Indoor Environment Questionnaire (SIEQ): A sociological based tool for assessment of indoor environment and health in dwellings
2004 (English)In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, E-ISSN 1600-0668, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 24-33Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim was to develop and validate a standardized questionnaire - the Stockholm Indoor Environment Questionnaire (SIEQ). The validation procedure was based on sociological principles and test procedures for validation. The indicators of indoor environment are air quality, thermal climate, noise, and illumination. The indicators of health are symptoms comprised in the sick building syndrome (SBS). The questionnaire also contains questions about the apartment, individual behavior, and personal factors. The everyday language describing the building and its function was first obtained by qualitative personal interviews, then by standardized questions. The interview questionnaire was transformed into a postal self-administered questionnaire. The reduction of the questionnaire was based on correlation analysis. It was found that to obtain a good validity, general questions are not sufficient, but specific question on perceptions and observations are needed. Good test-retest agreement was found both on an area level, building level, and individually. For each indicator, a set of questions are constructed and validated. SIEQ has been used in several studies, and the results are presented in graphic problem profiles. Reference data has been calculated for the Stockholm area.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90622 (URN)10.1111/j.1600-0668.2004.00204.x (DOI)14756843 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2003-06-05 Created: 2003-06-05 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Development of a multiple regression model to identify multi-family residential buildings with high prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of a multiple regression model to identify multi-family residential buildings with high prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS).
Show others...
2000 In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 101-110Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90623 (URN)
Available from: 2003-06-05 Created: 2003-06-05Bibliographically approved
3. Sick building syndrome (SBS) in relation to building dampness in multi-family residential buildings in Stockholm.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sick building syndrome (SBS) in relation to building dampness in multi-family residential buildings in Stockholm.
2001 In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, Vol. 74, no 4, p. 270-278Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90624 (URN)
Available from: 2003-06-05 Created: 2003-06-05Bibliographically approved
4. Ocular, nasal, dermal and respiratory symptoms in relation to heating, ventilation, energy conservation and reconstruction of older multi-family houses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ocular, nasal, dermal and respiratory symptoms in relation to heating, ventilation, energy conservation and reconstruction of older multi-family houses
2003 (English)In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, E-ISSN 1600-0668, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 206-211Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim was to study relationships between symptoms compatible with the sick building syndrome, type of heating and ventilation system, energy saving, and reconstruction in older dwellings. In Stockholm, 4815 inhabitants in 231 multi-family buildings built before 1961 were randomly selected, of whom 3241 participated (77%). Symptoms and personal factors were assessed by a postal questionnaire. Independent information on building characteristics, and energy saving measures was gathered from the building owners. Multiple logistic regression analysis was applied to calculate odds ratios (OR) adjusting for age, gender, hay fever, current smoking, population density, type of ventilation, type of heating system, and ownership of the building. Subjects in buildings with a mechanical ventilation system had less ocular and nasal symptoms (OR = 0.29-0.85). Heating by electric radiators, and wood heating was associated with an increase of most symptoms (OR = 1.18-1.74). In total, 48% lived in buildings that had gone through at least one type of reconstruction or energy saving remedies during the latest 10 years, including exchange of heating or ventilation system, and sealing measures (exchange of windows, sealing of window frames, roof/attic insulation, and phasade insulation). Energy saving was associated with both a decrease and increase of different symptoms. Major reconstruction of the interior of the building was associated with an increase of most symptoms (OR = 1.09-1.90), and buildings with more than one sealing measure had an increase of ocular, nasal symptoms, headache and tiredness (OR = 1.22-2.49). In conclusion, major reconstruction of the interior, direct heated electric radiators, wood heating, and multiple sealing of buildings were associated with an increase of some symptoms. The study supports the view that mechanical ventilation in dwellings is beneficial from a health point of view.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90625 (URN)10.1034/j.1600-0668.2003.00174.x (DOI)12950582 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2003-06-05 Created: 2003-06-05 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Sick building syndrome (SBS) and percived indoor environment in relation to energy saving by reduced ventilation rate during the heating season: a one year intervention study in dwellings.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sick building syndrome (SBS) and percived indoor environment in relation to energy saving by reduced ventilation rate during the heating season: a one year intervention study in dwellings.
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90626 (URN)
Available from: 2003-06-05 Created: 2003-06-05Bibliographically approved

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