SJWEH Supplements are open access, (mostly) non-peer-reviewed articles usually published in theme issues or as part of a series of papers from a conference or workshop. Scand J Work Environ Health stopped publishing SJWEH Supplements in 2009.

Case study

SJWEH Supplements 2008;(no 4):21-24    pdf

Multifunctional analysis of health problems in office spaces

by Andrejs B, Rietschel P

Objectives Because more than half of the employees in the offices of a new building complained of conditions attributed to the work environment, a case study was carried out to determine the possible cause.

Methods The building in which the study was carried out was constructed in accordance with the most up-to-date expertise in ecological construction. A survey of the employees produced frequent mention of the following complaints: headache, tiredness, complaints concerning the ear, complaints concerning the nose and throat area, bronchitis, skin and eye irritation, and tension in the neck. The measured air exchange did not meet the recommended value of 1.4 l/hour. High concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and carbon dioxide were measured.

Results The results of measurements of the concentration of ultrafine particles were unusual. The source of VOC was the cleaning agent, and the high level of carbon dioxide was caused by insufficient ventilation.

Conclusions Mechanical ventilation appears to be essential for tight buildings. Noise reduction measures in open-plan offices are necessary.