Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2  Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Sick Buildings Syndrome (SBS)  among...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2quality of indoor air inside of the building.        the problem wa...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2                                                    (PpbRAE 3000). ...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2          TABLE 1: Socio-demographic data of respondents from new a...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2          TABLE 2: Comparisons of the IAQ in both buildings (new an...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2CO (ppm)                                  1.55                     ...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2Dry, itching or irritated eyes             9 (15.3)            13 (...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2building syndrome. The SBS also tends to              freely to the...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2The level of indoor air quality in any             The parameter re...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2than the old building because the                    There was one ...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2Acknowledgement                                          Lindvall T...
Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2   uncertainty.  Journal     Historical                quality and ...
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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) among Office Workers in New and Old Building in Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang


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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) among Office Workers in New and Old Building in Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang

  1. 1. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2 Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Sick Buildings Syndrome (SBS) among Office Workers in New and Old Building in Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang Nur Fadilah R, Juliana J* Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (43400), Serdang, Malaysia *Corresponding author: Published 1 July 2012___________________________________________________________________________ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine the association between indoor air quality andthe prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS) among office workers in new and oldbuildings in Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang. A cross-sectional comparative study wasconducted among 139 office workers from new buildings (The Faculty of Medicine andHealth Sciences and Faculty of Engineering) and old building (administrative building ofUPM). The SBS symptoms were assessed by using the questionnaires of Indoor Air Qualityand Work Environment Symptoms Survey, NIOSH Indoor Environment Quality Survey(1991) while for the IAQ and IAP they were monitored by using the instruments. The resultsshowed that ventilation rate was significantly higher in new buildings compared to oldbuilding with median 21.28 cfm/person and 15.16 cfm/person, respectively (z= -2.722,p<0.05). The temperature in the old building was significantly higher compared to newbuilding with the median 24.2 ºC and 22.5 ºC, respectively (z= -2.127, p<0.05). SBSprevalence for the reported cases was 47.5% for new building while 33.8% for old building,however, the difference was not significant (χ2 = 2.126, p >0.05). The prevalence of SBSsymptom i.e. stuffy or runny nose or sinus was significantly higher in new building comparedto old building (χ2 = 5.974, p < 0.05). The level of IAP for ultrafine particle in old buildingwas significantly higher compared to new building (z = -2.449, p<0.05). The temperaturehumidity index also showed the same pattern (z= -2.038, p<0.05). Although there was nosignificant difference for SBS prevalence between new and old buildings, both buildings canbe concluded as having SBS since more than 20% of building occupants had experiencedSBS during this study. Prevalence of SBS in new building was 47.5% while for the oldbuilding was 33.8%, indicating that both buildings have high risk on SBS. Thus, regularhousekeeping and proper ventilation system maintenance are recommended.Keywords: Sick building syndrome (SBS), Indoor air quality (IAQ), Indoor air pollutants(IAP), Old and new buildings.Introduction not really known (Jones, 1999). Some studies found that there were severalThe sick building syndrome (SBS) is related risk factors for these symptomsgenerally characterized by the following such as the number of person inside thecriteria: people in the same building workplace area, type of job performed,complaining of mucous membrane workplace area and conditions, buildingirritation (such as eye, nose, or throat design and age (Bornehag et al., 2001;irritation), headache, dizziness, and Gyntelberg et al., 1994; Teeuw et al.,difficulty in concentrating; the symptoms 1994; Mendell, 1993). The prevalence ofare relieved soon after leaving the building SBS symptoms was associated with theand the cause of the symptoms is usually level of indoor air pollutants (IAP) and the 98
  2. 2. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2quality of indoor air inside of the building. the problem was not limited to airIdeal indoor air quality (IAQ) means the conditioned buildings (Finnegan et al.,air we breathe everyday inside the building 1987). Molina et al. (1989) showed thatdoes not contain any contaminant either in 20% of the employees experiencethe form of biological (mould, fungi or symptoms of SBS and most of them werebacteria), chemical (gaseous which might convinced that this reduces their workingbecome poisoning if excessively present in efficiency.Other report estimates that up tothe breathing air like Carbon Dioxide 30% of new refurbished buildings(CO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), or Volatile throughout the world may be affected byorganic compounds (VOCs)) or physical this syndrome (WHO, 1986). Molina et al.contaminants like dust (particulate matter; (1989) also stated that in a studyPM10, PM2.5 or ultrafine particle). All of performed in UK on 4373 of officethese contaminants could potentially cause workers in 46 buildings, 29% of themadverse health effect to the exposed human experienced five or more of thewhen there was a contact to the skin or characteristic symptoms of sick buildingentering the respiratory system. syndrome.Indoor air quality level is one of the Thus, this study was conducted toindicators to determine the air quality of determine the association between IAQ asthe office environment in term of the well as the IAP concentration level and theventilation efficiency and adequacy. Thus, symptoms of SBS among office workers into ensure that all the air pollutants are new and old buildings in Universiti Putrareduced to the acceptable level, the Malaysia, Serdang.ASHRAE Standard 62 for Natural andMechanical Ventilation states that the Methodologyminimum allowable rate recommended forthe office building is 20 cfm/person This is a cross-sectional comparative study(ASHRAE, 2005). Following the conducted on 139 office workers who areobservations of Banaszak et al. (1970), the registered as staff, have worked for at leastattention of the medical profession was four months, including males and femalesdrawn to the development of an allergic from both new and old buildings. The aimrespiratory disorder (allergic alveolitis) of this study was to determine the level ofamong the employees working in air- indoor air quality and its relationship withconditioned offices. Molina et al. (1989) in the increasing level of chemical indoortheir study stated that: airborne pollutants and its association with sick building syndrome in two office“Apart from these allergic and infectious buildings (which are categorised as newdisorders, doctors are confronted every and old buildings) in Universiti Putraday with a number of complaints affecting Malaysia, Serdang Selangor, Malaysia.mucous membranes of eyes, nose and The old building is an administrativethroat, headache and lethargy. These building of Universiti Putra Malaysiasymptoms appear to be benign and related while the new building provides space forto the building in which the individuals the Faculty of Medicine and Healthwork or live and constitute the sick Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering.building syndrome.” These locations were chosen because both of the new and old buildings usedA large number of people are living or centralized air conditioning systems andworking in premises where ventilation is the offices are completely depending onregulated and involved air conditioning the ventilation providing sufficient air forsystems (Molina et al., 1989). However, the occupants in the buldings. 99
  3. 3. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2 (PpbRAE 3000). The concentration of CO and CO2 was measured simultaneously in the sampling location determined by theThe prevalence of sick building syndrome workstation of building occupants using(SBS) and its symptoms Q-Trak. The indoor air pollutant was separated into two major types based onThe questionnaire was developed their characters i.e. the particulate matteraccording to the modified Indoor Air and the ultrafine particle (UFP). AerosolQuality and Work Environment Symptoms monitors (The Dust Trak and Side Pack)Survey, NIOSH Indoor Environment were used to measured PM10 and PM2.5.Quality Survey (1991). This questionnaire The data was collected in real-time at eachconsists of four sections including personal sample location. They sample location wasinformation, workplace information, determined randomly according to theinformation on current health and workstation of the office workers using thedescription of workplace conditions. The standard procedure by Industry Code ofquestionnaires were distributed to the Practice on Indoor Air Quality 2010selected office workers and they have to (Department of Occupational Safety andanswer all questions as required. Interview Health, 2010). The ultrafine particlesession was performed to ensure the counter then was used to measure the UFPrespondents understand what was needed in the working area. All the instrumentswanted in the questionnaires. were located at the same level of breathing areas.The measurement of IAQThe temperature was measured first inside Data analysisboth of the building at selected areasbefore assessing the level of indoor air The data was analysed using statisticalquality. In order to determine the evenly package for social science (SPSS) versiondistribution of the air and the consistency 18.0. Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic wasof the buildings, the measurement of the used to test the normality of the datatemperature was taken periodically using variables. The analysis done at differentQ-Trak. Then, a Velocicalc was used to level which p<0.05 is set as significant inmeasure the humidity the air movement, this study. The Mann-Whitney U wasair flow, ventilation, volume of air supply performed to compare the level of IAQand velocity of the building. For the air and IAP concentration level in new andquality assessment, the level of CO2 was old buildings since the data was notused as the main indicator. Air supplied, normally distributed and the Chi-squareoutside air and return air inside the Air was performed to compare the prevalenceHandling Unit (AHU) was measured. of sick building syndrome between new and old buildings.The measurement of IAP ResultsThe layout plan of the office building wasused to mark the location of sampling Table 1 shows the socio-demographic ofpoint. The concentration of TVOCs was respondents in new and old buildings.measured using a handheld ppb monitor 100
  4. 4. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2 TABLE 1: Socio-demographic data of respondents from new and old buildingVariables Study Groups n (%) New Building Old Building (n=59) (n=80) χ2 pGenderMale 23 (39) 16 (20) 6.062 0.014*Female 36 (61) 64 (80)RaceMalays 58 (98.3) 79 (98.8)Chinese 0 (0) 0 (0)Indian 1 (1.7) 0 (0) 2.094 0.351Others 0 (0) 1 (1.3)Marital StatusSingle 16 (27.1) 30 (37.5)Married 41 (69.5) 50 (62.5) 4.071 0.131Divorced 2 (3.4) 0 (0)Education LevelPMR 4 (6.8) 2 (2.5)SPM 15 (25.4) 26 (32.5)Diploma/STPM/Certificate 26 (44.1) 31 (38.8) 2.337 0.505Degree 14 (23.7) 21 (26.3)Smoking StatusNever smoked 46 (78) 70 (87.5)Former smoker 8 (13.6) 3 (3.8) 4.502 0.105Current smoker 5 (8.5) 7 (8.8)*Significant at p < 0.05N = 139The indoor air quality supplied air buildings. Both data were not normallyassessments distributed and TABLE 2 showed the result of Mann-Whitney U test. TheThe comparison between the levels of IAQ difference between the levels of IAQ forin both buildings was made and the ventilation and temperature in newnormality test was performed to find the building and old building was statisticallynormality of the data distribution for both significant. 101
  5. 5. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2 TABLE 2: Comparisons of the IAQ in both buildings (new and old building)Variables New Building Old Building (n=59) (n=80) z P Median Median (IQR) (IQR) 21.285 15.16Ventilation (cfm/person) -2.722 0.006* (17.79 – 24.13) (14.9 – 15.67) 22.50 24.20Temperature ( ºC) -2.127 0.033* (21.25 – 23.60) (23.48 – 25.08) 60.80 59.10Relative Humidity (RH%) -0.849 0.396 (58.83 – 69.80) (58.28 – 62.10)*Significant at p < 0.05N = 139Results of IAP for both new and old The ultrafine particle was sampled usingbuildings the ultrafine particle counter (UPC) P-Trak Model 8525. The concentration of UFP inNormality test showed that all the both new and old buildings was higherparameters from both building were not than 1000 pt/cm3. Mann-Whitney U testnormally distributed. Results of Mann- showed that the concentration of UFP inWhitney U test in TABLE 3 showed that old building was significantly higher. Thethe difference of indoor air pollutants in median of UFP in old building was 11655new building was not significantly higher pt/cm3 with the Interquartile range (IQR),compared to old building but the UFP 10611 – 12728 pt/cm3 while the newconcentration was significantly higher for building has a lower concentrationthe old building. compared to old building with the median, 5019 pt/cm3 and the IQR, 4292.50– 6668.50 pt/cm3. TABLE 3: Comparison of the concentration of indoor air pollutants between new building and old building MedianParameter (IQR) z p New Building Old Building (n=59) (IQR)UFP (pt/cm3) 5019 11655 -2.717 0.007* (4292.50 – 6668.50) (10611 – 12728)PM2.5 (µg/m3) 24 11 -0.682 0.495 (98.25 – 68.75) (8.00 – 22.25)PM10 (µg/m3) 171 123.5 -1.701 0.089 (120.50 – 189.75) (105.00 – 127.00)TVOC (ppm) 330.50 234.00 -1.191 0.234 (262.75 – 447.50) (215.00 – 481.75)CO2 (ppm) 576 536.5 -1.106 0.269 (504.50 – 716.00) (494.00 – 594.75) 102
  6. 6. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2CO (ppm) 1.55 1.65 -1.70 0.865 (0.875 – 1.950) (0.625 – 1.925)THI (ºC/RH %) 36.14 41.84 -2.038 0.042* (33.22 – 38.22) (37.93 – 45.22)*Significant at p < 0.05,N = 139The prevalence of SBS square test was performed on the prevalence of SBS for both buildings, theTABLE 4 showed the number of difference between new and old buildingsrespondents who were categorized as SBS was found statistically not significant.using the criteria by Ooi et al., (1998). Chi TABLE 4: Comparison of the prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS) between office workers of new building and office workers of old building Prevalence of SBSVariables N=139 (100%) χ2 p Yes NoNew Building 28 (47.5) 31 (52.5)n = 59 2.126a 0.145Old Building 27 (33.8) 53 (66.3)n = 80a. continuity correction since >20% have the expected count less than 5N = 139The prevalence of sick building syndrome and tired or strained eyes with 30%. The(SBS) symptoms lowest SBS symptom for both buildings is chest tightness which was 8.5% and 11.3%TABLE 5 showed the comparison of the for new and old building, respectively.prevelance of SBS symptoms from both Chi-Square test was performed for all ofbuildings. Headache, stuffy or runny nose the symptoms and the results showed thator sinus, tired or strained eyes and there was statistically significantdizziness or lighted headed recorded the difference for stuffy. However, runny nosehighest percentage for new building with or sinus between new and old buildings37.3% for each symptoms. While for the and there was no significant difference forold building, the dizziness or light headed the other symptoms between new and oldrecorded the highest percentage which was buildings.36.3% followed by headache with 31.3%,TABLE 5: Comparison of the prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms among office workers between new and old buildingSymptoms Study groups New Building Old Building χ2 p (n=59) (n=80) Yes Yes 103
  7. 7. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2Dry, itching or irritated eyes 9 (15.3) 13 (16.3) 0.025 0.874Headache 22 (37.3) 25 (31.3) 0.553 0.457Sore or dry throat 14 (23.7) 15 (18.8) 0.510 0.475Unusual tiredness fatigue 16 (27.1) 14 (17.5) 1.856 0.173Chest tightness 5 (8.5) 9 (11.3) 0.289 0.591Stuffy or runny nose or sinus 22 (37.3) 15 (18.8) 5.974 0.015*Cough 20 (33.9) 18 (22.5) 2.221 0.136Tired or strained eyes 22 (37.3) 24 (30.0) 0.815 0.367Tension or irritability or nervousness 12 (20.3) 13 (16.3) 0.385 0.535Difficulty remembering 11 (18.6) 12 (15.0) 0.327 0.568Dizziness or light headed 22 (37.3) 29 (36.3) 0.016 0.900Dry or itchy skin 11 (18.6) 14 (17.5) 0.030 0.862*Significant at p < 0.05N = 139Discussions probably related to the education level of the office workers since majority of themSocio-demographic of respondents in new have Diploma/STPM/Certificate or SPMand old building as their highest education qualifications. From the simple interview session with theOver the past two decades, numerous field workers, data showed that the Degreestudies on indoor air quality and the sick holder respondents were aware of theirbuilding syndrome (SBS) have been health in their work environment. Some ofconducted, mostly in office environments them knew about sick building syndrome(Jones, 1999). The office workers involved issues and its relationship with the qualityin this study were of both genders with of indoor air. It is therefore evident that themore women than men working in the higher the education level, more aware theoffice. Study by Stenberg and Wall (1995) workers are about their health conditionfound that women usually reported work- related to their workplace environmentrelated and environmental symptoms more especially when it was in a poor indoor airoften than men, which may explain the environment. This however is contradicingrelatively high frequencies of complaints with an earlier study that found by Burramong the respondents. and Alderfer (1991) no clear trend and no statistical association between theSick building syndrome (SBS) describes a prevalence of SBS and the educationsituation in which building occupants levels among the office workers.experience acute health and/or comforteffects that appear to be linked to time There were not many smoking workers inspent in a particular building, but where no either new building or old building. Thus,specific illness or cause can be identified the smoking status of the respondents(DOSH, 2010). Our survey found that might not be a major contributor to themost of the workers seem not aware about relationship with the development of SBSsick building syndrome because they among the office workers in UPM. Athought it was nothing to do with their study done by Jones (1999) found out thathealth since they got better after leaving the smoking status can be a majorthe workplace or the building. This is contributor to the prevalence of sick 104
  8. 8. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2building syndrome. The SBS also tends to freely to the ceiling of the office. Then,be worsening when the age of the worker returned air was brought to the airincreases, especially for people with 40 to handling unit (AHU) room where the air56 years-old. Nevertheless, since the office was filtered before being supplied backworkers in UPM were in between the age into the office building.of 25 to 40 years old, the age was not amain factor of getting SBS in this study. In this study, the administrative buildingBurr and Alderfer (1991) also stated that was categorized as old building. Based onthere was no apparent trend and no the result, the mean of IAQ level for thisstatistical association between SBS and building was 15.33 cfm/person with theage of the workers. range of 14.90–15.67 cfm/person which was lower than the required level of IAQThe indoor air quality supplied air as stated in the ASHRAE Standard 62.assessments However, some locations of the sampling points in the old building had a value ofThe indoor air quality level is one of the IAQ supplied air exceeding ASHRAEindicators to determine the air quality of standard. From the complaints by thethe office environment in term of the workers of the old building, improperventilation efficiency and adequacy which HVAC system caused poor distributionconsist of the supplied air, returned air and enough air supplied certain areas.Thus, theoutside air supplied into the building. contaminants present on that particularShaw (1997) stated that the most frequent area might be higher and have a possibilityidentified causes of poor indoor air quality to cause health problem to the workplace.are related to the building design andoperation, presence of air contaminants The low level of IAQ in this old buildingand inadequate ventilation. Study by Apter might be related to high buildinget al., (1994) showed that inadequacy of occupancy with 20 -30 workers in an openventilation supplied into the building failed space area compared to 4-15 workers forto dilute the level of air pollutants that are the new building. The mean of IAQgenerated and emitted indoors. In some supplied air for new building was 21.22cases, air contaminants generated outdoors cfm/person with the range 15.75–27.19can be brought into a building by the cfm/person and the mean showed a higherventilation system. To ensure that all the value of its IAQ supplied air compared toair pollutants reduce to the acceptable the ASHRAE Standard 62. Apter et al.level, the ASHRAE Standard 62 for (1994) found that the symptoms of sickNatural and Mechanical Ventilation states building syndrome (SBS) would bethat the minimum allowable rates reduced by increasing the outdoor airrecommended for the office building is 20 supply into the building. Median indoor aircfm/person. quality of supplied air was used for comparison normally distributed. TheBased on the study done by Stolwijk median of supplied air in the new building(1991), the efficiency of ventilation could was 21.285 cfm/person and the IQR wasbe reduced when the system provides the 17.79–24.13 cfm/person while in the oldair which is supplied through the ceiling building, the median of it was 15.42and return also in the ceiling. The system cfm/person and the IQR was 14.9 – 15.67installed at the administrative building of cfm/person. Based on the results, the levelUniversiti Putra Malaysia is known as free of cfm/person in the new building wasreturn. This system might influence the higher compared to the old building.IAQ for this building. Ventilation systemof this kind allows pollutants to return 105
  9. 9. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2The level of indoor air quality in any The parameter results of IAP for both newbuilding is influenced by the air handling and old buildingsunit (AHU), maintenance, cleaningprocedures and the duration of inspection Results on the level of indoor air pollutants(Shaw, 1997). According to the engineer showed that the old building hadof HAVC system at the administrative significant higher amount of ultrafinebuilding of UPM, the building has not particles (UFP) compared to the newbeen maintained for about three years building. The ultrafine particle wassince the last contract at early 2007. The sampled using the ultrafine particlemaintenance of this old building was only counter (UPC) (P-Trak Model 8525). Thestarted again at the end of 2010 when the concentration of UFP in both new and oldnew company took over the maintenance building was higher than 1000 pt/ The maintenance for the indoor air Mann-Whitney U test was performed andquality was done once in a three months the concentration of UFP in old buildingwhile the inspection of AHU room was was significantly higher compared to thedone once in a month. The level of IAQ in new building. The median of UFP in oldthis old building was influenced by the building was 11320 pt/cm3 with the IQR,higher number of building occupancy 11114 – 12906 pt/cm3 while in the newwhich could contribute to the high level of building has median, 5019 pt/cm3 and theCO2 in most of the locations due to the IQR, 4292.50 – 6668.50 pt/cm3.breathing. The level of IAQ supplied in thenew building was considered to be enough Burr and Alderfer (1991) found that thesince it was higher than the ASHRAE sources of UFP in the office workplaceStandard 62. This might be the result of could be from the laser printers, cleansers,maintenance done in both new buildings. photocopy activity, laminator, fragrantThe maintenance of indoor air quality of sprayers and even tobacco smoke. FromFaculty of Medicine and Health Sciences the observation, the higher level of UFP inand Faculty of Engineering was done once the old building could be due to thein two months since the building was opened-area for photocopied machine andoperated and there was also monthly fax-machine, fragrant sprayers and carpet.inspection of AHU room and the HVAC Burr and Alderfer (1991) also found thatsystem. the office workers who worked within 15 feet from a photocopy machine, paintedBurr and Alderfer (1991) stated that the wall, having new carpeting and also thoseperception of comfort was related to one’s workers who worked near the rearrangemetabolic heat production, the transfer of partitions in the preceding year haveheat to the environment, physiological greater tendency to experience SBS thanadjustments, and body temperatures. Heat those who did not.transfer from the body to the environmentis influenced by factors such as He et al. (2007) and Wang and Morawskatemperature, humidity, air movement, (2008) found that the particles are usuallypersonal activities, and clothing. The produced during the operation of officeacceptable ranges of temperature and equipment like printers Since the printerrelative humidity inside the office machines was not isolated from theenvironments are 23–26 ºC and 40–70% , workspace area in the old building, itrespectively (DOSH, 2010). From this could become the major contributor forstudy, we found that both parameters in indoor air pollutant.the new and old office buildings wereacceptable. On the contrary, the level of UFP concentration in new building was lower 106
  10. 10. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2than the old building because the There was one symptom showingphotocopied and printer machines were significant different between new buildinglocated in an isolated-area (in a specific and old building i.e. stuffy or runny noseroom for photocopy activity) and there or sinus, Bur and Alderfer (1991) foundwas no fragrant sprayers installed in this that the most frequent irritant was officenew building. However, the level of UFP chemical “fumes” like adhesives, glues,was still high because the door of the typewriter correction fluid (liquid) andphotocopy room was opened from time to rubber cement. Other such sources mighttime during the photocopy activity. The include wall paint, carpet and othertoxicity effect of this ultrafine particle is cleaners. To reduce the prevalence of SBSgreater than the PM10 and PM2.5 because symptoms among the office workersthe smaller the size of particle, the minimization of the level of indoor airnarrower it can go through into the pollutants effectively through specifyingairways. the building materials and furnishings with low emission potentials, locating theThe prevalence of SBS outdoor-air intakes away from known outdoor sources, and using special exhaustSyazwan et al., (2009) stated that the system to remove localized contaminationprevalence of sick building syndrome in sources were suggested (Shaw, 1997).the old building was significantly highercompared to the new building and thecharacteristics of the building was one of Conclusionthe factors that contributed to sick buildingsyndrome among the office workers. The results obtained from this study can beHowever, no significant difference of the used as the control measure of IAP sourceprevalence of sick building syndrome in the future for both new and oldbetween the two buildings was reported by buildings by comparing the levels of airthe authors. pollutants and air quality levels to the standard of Indoor Air Quality (DOSH,There was no significant difference of SBS 2010). The findings may help the UPM’sprevalence for both buildings with 47.5% management to ensure that the health of allfor new building and 33.8% for the old their workers are not affected by thebuilding. Nonetheless, both buildings can indoor air problems or experienced anybe concluded as having SBS since there sick building syndrome (SBS) repeatedlywere more than 20% of building occupants in the future through the improvement ofexperienced SBS during this study air quality levels. To maintain a good(Rosner, 2007). indoor air quality inside the buildings, occupants should practice goodThe prevalence of SBS symptoms housekeeping, isolate fax-machines and printers have periodical the ventilationOur results show that the new building system maintenance. The most practicableshown the highest percentage of headache, control measures for indoor air problemsstuffy or runny nose or sinus, tired or are by controlling them at point of source.strained eyes, and dizziness or light headed This is essential because the good indoorwhich were 37.3% for each symptom, air quality can ensure that the health statuswhile for the old building, the highest of the office workers and the healthier thepercentage with 36.3% was dizziness or workers, the better their performance atlight headed, followed by headache with work.31.3%, and tired or strained eyes with30%. 107
  11. 11. Health and the Environment Journal, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 2Acknowledgement Lindvall T, Sundell J, Swedinsh Council for Building Research,The author would like to express her Stockholm 1984, 1:256-262.gratitude to all the staff and the departmentat the Administrative of UPM, the Faculty 7. Gyntelberg, F., Suadicani, P.(1994).of Engineering, the Faculty of Medicine Dust and the sick building syndrome.and Health Sciences, and the Community Indoor Air, 4:223-38.Health Department staff as well as all therespondents who participated in this 8. Harrison, J., Pickering, A.C.,research. Finnegan, M.J. and Austwick, P.K.C. (1987). The sick building syndrome:References further prevalence studies and investigation of possible causes. In:1. Apter, A., Bracker, A., Hodgson, M., Vol. 2, Indoor Air 87: Proc of the 4th Sidman, J. and Leung, W.Y. International Conference on Indoor (1994).Epidemiology of the sick Air Quality and Climate, Berlin, 487- building syndrome. Journal of Allergy 491. Clinical Immunology, 94(2):277-288. 9. He, C. and Morawska, L.2. ASHRAE. (2003).Ventilation for (2007).Particle emission characteristics acceptable indoor air quality. Atlanta of office printers. Environment Science GA: American Society of Heating, & Technology, 41(17):6039-6045. Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engeneers. 10. Jones, A.P. (1999). Indoor air quality and health. Atmospheric Environment,3. Barnaszak, E.F., Thiede, W.H. and 33(28):4535-4564. Fink, K.N. (1970).Hypersensitivity pneumonitis due to contamination of 11. Mendell, M.J. (1993). Non-specific an air conditioner. N. Engl. J. Med., symptoms in office workers: A review 283(6):271-76. and summary of the epidemiologic literature. Indoor Air, 3:227-36.4. Burr GA, Alderfer RJ. (1991). Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Report: 12. Molina, C., Pickering, C.A.C., HETA 89-065-2119. Available from: Valbjorn, O., Bortoli, M.D. (1989). Indoor air quality and impact on man. 989-0065-2119.pdf. (Retrieved on 18 Report No. 4 Sick Building Syndrome: March 2011). A Practical Guide. Department of Occupational Safety cations/ECA_Report4.pdf. (Retrieved and Health. Ministry of Human on 18 March 2011). Resources. Industry code of practice on indoor air quality 2010. JKKP DP 13. Ooi, P.L., Goh, K.T., Phoon, M.H., (S) 127/379/4-39. Foo, S.C. and Yap, H.M. (1998). Epidemiology of sick building6. Finnegan, M.J. and Pickering, C.A.C. syndrome and its associated risk (1984) Work related asthma and factors in Singapore. Occup Environ humidifier fever in air conditioned Med. 55(3):188-193. buildings. Proceeding of the 3rd International Conference on Indoor Air 14. Rosner, D. (2007) Sick building Quality and Climate Eds. Berglund B, syndrome and the problem of 108
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