Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2001;27(2):140-145    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.601

Effects of electric field reduction in visual display units on skin symptoms

by Skulberg KR, Skyberg K, Eduard W, Goffeng LO, Vistnes AI, Levy F, Kjuus H

Objectives This study investigated the facial skin complaints of office workers before and after the static electric fields of a visual display unit were reduced.

Methods On the basis of a screening survey of 4556 office workers in 11 companies, 120 of 227 subjects reporting facial skin complaints were randomly selected to this double blind intervention study. Antistatic measures were used to reduce the static electric fields of the visual display unit in the intervention group but not in the control group, which worked with a visual display unit resembling that of the intervention group. Electric fields, dust concentration, health complaints, and psychological behavior tests were recorded before and after the intervention.

Results The intervention group reported statistically significantly fewer facial skin complaints than the control group. In the intervention group, among those with an office dust concentration of >58 µg/m3, a median reduction of 1.5 skin index points (scale 0-8) was achieved, whereas there was no change in the control group. In the regression model "group category" was still a significant variable after control for background factors. In addition, further linear regression analyses indicated that several static electric field parameters were predictors of the skin complaint reduction.

Conclusions This field trial indicates that removing static electric fields from visual display units can probably help reduce the facial skin complaints of workers in offices with high dust concentrations.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 1995;21(5):335-344