Indoor climate of two new blocks of flats was investigated. The case building was built for people with respiratory diseases by following the instructions of the Finnish Classification of Indoor Climate, Construction and Finishing Materials, while the control building was built using conventional building technology. The main indoor air parameters (temperature, relative humidity and levels of CO, CO2, ammonia, total volatile organic compounds, total suspended particles, fungal spores, bacteria and cat, dog and house dust mite allergens) were measured in six apartments of both the buildings on five occasions during the 3-year occupancy. In addition, a questionnaire to evaluate symptoms of the occupants and their satisfaction with their home environment was conducted in connection with indoor air quality (IAQ) measurements. The levels of indoor air pollutants in the case building were, in general, lower than those in the control building. In addition, the asthmatic occupants informed that their symptoms had decreased during the occupancy in the case building. This case study showed that high IAQ is possible to reach by careful design, proper materials and equipment and on high-quality construction with reasonable additional costs. In addition, the study indicated that good IAQ can also be maintained during the occupancy, if sufficient information on factors affecting IAQ and guidance on proper use and care of equipment are available for occupants.
To determine the aetiology of spheroidal degeneration of the cornea (Labrador keratopathy), total population surveys were conducted in 5 communities in coastal Labrador and northern Newfoundland. For 4 years records were also kept on all clinic patients aged 40 or more throughout the region. Both methods gave a peak prevalence at latitudes 55 degrees--56 degrees north. The greatest severity and earliest age of onset occurred around the same latitudes. Of the proposed environmental causative agents only ultraviolet radiation, reflected from ice and snow, explains the distribution of the disease. The high cumulative UV dosage is due to the unique geographical and climatic features of the region.
Occupational asthma is an avoidable form of asthma. In Finland, the diagnosis of occupational asthma entitles substantial compensation to the employee. The diagnostics are based on symptoms, exposure assessment, allergologic investigations, follow-up of peak expiratory flow (PEF) at work and at home and, in many cases, specific challenge tests.
To study the causative agents of occupational asthma in Finland.
The causative agents and the numbers of new occupational asthma cases notified to the Finnish Register of Occupational Diseases (FROD) during 1986-2002 are reported.
The number of occupational asthma cases increased from 1986 until 1995, after which a downward trend, stabilizing during the last few years, has been observed. The majority of the cases (59%) in the beginning of the period (1986-1990) were associated with agriculture, but the percentage has fallen thereafter (42% of the cases in 1998-2002) along with the fall in the total number of cases. Since 1995, indoor moulds from water-damaged buildings have caused an increasing number of cases and have become the most important causative agents (0.5% cases, in 1986-1990 and 18% of the cases in 1998-2002). Chemicals have caused 10-30% of the cases, a decreasing number since 1990. The most important chemicals causing occupational asthma have been diisocyanates and welding fumes, followed by hairdressing chemicals and formaldehyde.
The number of occupational asthma cases in Finland reached its height in the mid-1990s. The decrease in the number of total cases is because of the decrease in agriculture-associated cases, reflecting the number of employees in agriculture-associated occupations, which has greatly decreased since Finland joined the EU in 1995. An epidemic of mould-induced asthma, affecting mostly white-collar employees working in moisture-damaged buildings, has taken place since 1995.
Chest pain or weakness can be first signal of health problems. Many studies demonstrate that these conditions can be related to air pollution. This work uses time-series data to investigate the association.
This is a study of 68,714 emergency department (ED) visits for chest pain (ICD-9: 786) and of 66,092 ED visits for weakness (ICD-9: 780). The hierarchical method was applied to analyse the associations between daily counts of ED visits for chest pain and weakness (separately) and the levels of the air pollutants and meteorological variables. The counts of visits for all patients, males and females were analysed separately by whole period (I-XII), warm (IV-IX) and cold (X-III).
The results are presented in the form of the excess risks associated with an increase in the interquartile range (IQR) for the pollutant. Chest pain: 2.4% (95% CI: 1.0-3.9) for CO, females, I-XII; 3.8% (95% CI: 0.0-7.8) for NO(2), males, IV-IX; 4.5% (95% CI: 0.9-8.3) for O(3) (1-day lagged), males, IV-IX; 2.8% (95% CI: 0.5-5.2), for PM(10), males, X-III; 2.0% (95% CI: 0.0-4.0), for SO(2), females, X-III; 2.1% (95% CI: 0.2-4.0) for PM(2.5), all, X-III. Weakness: 2.1% (95% CI: 0.4-3.7) for CO (2-day lagged), males, X-III; 3.4% (95% CI: 1.0-5.9) for NO(2) (2-day lagged), males, X-III; 2.4% (95% CI: 0.9-3.9) for SO(2), females, I-XII; 4.6% (95% CI: 1.0-8.2) for O(3) (1-day lagged), females, IV-IX.
Obtained findings provide support for the hypothesis that ED visits for chest pain and weakness are associated with exposure to ambient air pollution.
Over 90% of 91 day care centers in greater Montréal, Québec exceeded 1000 ppm of CO2 during January through April 1989. Four variables were independent positive predictors of CO2 levels: the density of children in the center; presence of electric heating; absence of a ventilation system; and building age. High levels of CO2 are associated with respiratory tract and other symptoms. Clear standards and inspection policies should be established for day care center air quality.
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A study was undertaken in a number of rowhouses, some of which had had previous problems related to dampness and water leakage. The aim of the study was to assess the relation between exposure to airborne (1--> 3)-beta-D-glucan, a cell-wall substance in molds, and airways inflammation. The study involved 75 houses with indoor (1--> 3)-beta-D-glucan levels ranging from 0 to 19 ng/m3. Of 170 invited tenants, 129 (76%) participated in the study. A questionnaire relating to symptoms was used, and measurements were made of lung function and airway responsiveness. Myeloperoxidase (MPO), eosinophilic cationic protein (ECP), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured in serum. Atopy was determined with the Phadiatop test. The major findings were a relation between exposure to (1--> 3)- beta-D-glucan and an increased prevalence of atopy, a slightly increased amount of MPO, and a decrease in FEV1 over the number of years lived in the house. The results suggests the hypothesis that exposure to (1--> 3)-beta-D-glucan or molds indoors could be associated with signs of a non-specific inflammation.
Little is known about the health effects of school-related indoor dampness and microbial exposures. In this study, we investigated dampness and dampness-related agents in both homes and schools and their association with allergy and respiratory health effects in 330 Danish pupils. Classroom dampness was identified based on technical inspection and bedroom dampness on parents' self-report. Classroom and bedroom dust was analyzed for seven microbial components. Skin prick testing determined atopic sensitization. Lung function was expressed as z-scores for forced expiratory volume in one-second (zFEV1 ), forced vital capacity (zFVC) and the ratio zFEV1 /zFVC using GLI-2012 prediction equations. The parents reported children's allergies, airway symptoms, and doctor-diagnosed asthma. High classroom dampness, but not bedroom dampness, was negatively associated with zFEV1 (ß-coef. -0.71; 95% CI -1.17 to -0.23) and zFVC (ß-coef. -0.52; 95% CI -0.98 to -0.06) and positively with wheezing (OR 8.09; 95% CI 1.49 to 43.97). No consistent findings were found between any individual microbial components or combination of microbial components and health outcomes. Among other indoor risk factors, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) decreased zFEV1 (ß-coef. -0.22; 95% CI -0.42 to -0.02) and zFEV1 /zFVCratio (ß-coef. -0.26; 95% CI -0.44 to -0.07) and increased upper airway symptoms (OR 1.66; 95% CI 1.03-2.66). In conclusion, dampness in classrooms may have adverse respiratory health effects in pupils, but microbial agents responsible for this effect remain unknown.
As demonstrated by many studies, emergency department (ED) visits for asthma can be associated with air pollution exposures. The aim of this study was to examine and assess the potential relations between ED visits for asthma and the concentrations of ambient air pollutants.
Generalized linear mixed model was applied to study 62,563 ED visits for asthma (ICD-9: 493) in Edmonton, Canada. Two age groups, with 10 years of age as a separator, were considered by gender and season of the year: all (I-XII), warm (IV-IX) and cold (X-III).
The percentage increase in daily ED visits for asthma was 17.8% (95% CI: 7.1-29.5) and 13.8% (95% CI: 3.3-25.3) for females below 10 years of age, in the period of IV-IX, for current day and 1-day lagged exposure to ozone (O(3)), respectively. The percentage increase was 19.2% (95% CI: 11.4-27.6) for males below 10 years of age, in the period of IV-IX, for 2-day lagged exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)).
The findings provide support for the hypothesis that ED visits for asthma are associated with exposure to O(3). This study underlines the significant role of air pollutants as triggering asthma attacks.
Wind turbine (WT) sound annoys some people even though the sound levels are relatively low. This could be because of the amplitude modulated "swishing" characteristic of the turbine sound, which is not taken into account by standard procedures for measuring average sound levels. Studies of sound immission from WTs were conducted continually between 19 August 2011 and 19 August 2012 at two sites in Sweden. A method for quantifying the degree and strength of amplitude modulation (AM) is introduced here. The method reveals that AM at the immission points occur under specific meteorological conditions. For WT sound immission, the wind direction and sound speed gradient are crucial for the occurrence of AM. Interference between two or more WTs could probably enhance AM. The mechanisms by which WT sound is amplitude modulated are not fully understood.
This study was conducted in a school center that had been the focus of intense public concern over 2 years because of suspected mold and health problems. Because several attempts to find solutions to the problem within the community were not satisfactory, outside specialists were needed for support in solving the problem. The study group consisted of experts in civil engineering, indoor mycology, and epidemiology. The studies were conducted in close cooperation with the city administration. Structures at risk were opened, moisture and temperature were measured, and the causes of damage were analyzed. Microbial samples were taken from the air, surfaces, and materials. Health questionnaires were sent to the schoolchildren and personnel. Information on the measurements and their results was released regularly to school employees, students and their parents, and to the media. Repairs were designed on the basis of this information. Moisture damage was caused mainly by difficult moisture conditions at the building site, poor ventilation, and water leaks. Fungal genera (concentrations
Cites: Sci Total Environ. 1992 Dec 15;127(1-2):79-891480960