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      Indoor air quality, ventilation and health symptoms in schools: an analysis of existing information

      Indoor Air
      Wiley

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          Association of ventilation rates and CO2 concentrations with health and other responses in commercial and institutional buildings.

          This paper reviews current literature on the associations of ventilation rates and carbon dioxide concentrations in non-residential and non-industrial buildings (primarily offices) with health and other human outcomes. Twenty studies, with close to 30,000 subjects, investigated the association of ventilation rates with human responses, and 21 studies, with over 30,000 subjects, investigated the association of carbon dioxide concentration with these responses. Almost all studies found that ventilation rates below 10 Ls-1 per person in all building types were associated with statistically significant worsening in one or more health or perceived air quality outcomes. Some studies determined that increases in ventilation rates above 10 Ls-1 per person, up to approximately 20 Ls-1 per person, were associated with further significant decreases in the prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms or with further significant improvements in perceived air quality. The carbon dioxide studies support these findings. About half of the carbon dioxide studies suggest that the risk of sick building syndrome symptoms continued to decrease significantly with decreasing carbon dioxide concentrations below 800 ppm. The ventilation studies reported relative risks of 1.5-2 for respiratory illnesses and 1.1-6 for sick building syndrome symptoms for low compared to high low ventilation rates.
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            Associations between indoor CO2 concentrations and sick building syndrome symptoms in U.S. office buildings: an analysis of the 1994-1996 BASE study data.

            Higher indoor concentrations of air pollutants due, in part, to lower ventilation rates are a potential cause of sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms in office workers. The indoor carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is an approximate surrogate for indoor concentrations of other occupant-generated pollutants and for ventilation rate per occupant. Using multivariate logistic regression (MLR) analyses, we evaluated the relationship between indoor CO2 concentrations and SBS symptoms in occupants from a probability sample of 41 U.S. office buildings. Two CO2 metrics were constructed: average workday indoor minus average outdoor CO2 (dCO2, range 6-418 ppm), and maximum indoor 1-h moving average CO2 minus outdoor CO2 concentrations (dCO2MAX). MLR analyses quantified dCO2/SBS symptom associations, adjusting for personal and environmental factors. A dose-response relationship (p < 0.05) with odds ratios per 100 ppm dCO2 ranging from 1.2 to 1.5 for sore throat, nose/sinus, tight chest, and wheezing was observed. The dCO2MAX/SBS regression results were similar.
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              Review of quantitative standards and guidelines for fungi in indoor air.

              Existing quantitative standards/guidelines for fungi in indoor air issued by governmental agencies are based primarily on baseline data (rather than health effects data), and are either absolute (numerical) or relative (indoor/outdoor comparisons) or a combination of the two. The Russian Federation is the only governmental agency that has binding quantitative regulations for bioaerosols. Recommended guidelines have been proposed or sponsored by North American and European governmental agencies and private professional organizations. A considerable number of frequently cited guidelines have been proposed by individuals based either on baseline data or on personal experience. Quantitative standards/guidelines range from less than 100 CFU/m3 to greater than 1000 CFU/m3 (total fungi) as the upper limit for non-contaminated indoor environments. Major issues with existing quantitative standards and guidelines are the lack of connection to human dose/response data, reliance on short term grab samples analyzed only by culture, and the absence of standardized protocols for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Urgent research needs include the study of human responses to specific fungal agents, development and widespread use of standard protocols using currently available sampling methodologies, and the development of long term, time-discriminating personal samplers that are inexpensive, easy to use, and amenable to straightforward, relevant analysis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10.1034/j.1600-0668.2003.00153.x
                12608926
                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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