Sick building syndrome (SBS) among office workers in a Malaysian university - Associations with atopy, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and the office environment

Lim, Fang-Lee, Hashim, Zailina, Than, Leslie T.L, Md Said, Salmiah, Hashim, Jamal H. and Norbäck, Dan, (2015). Sick building syndrome (SBS) among office workers in a Malaysian university - Associations with atopy, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and the office environment. Science of The Total Environment, 536 353-361

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Lim, Fang-Lee
    Hashim, Zailina
    Than, Leslie T.L
    Md Said, Salmiah
    Hashim, Jamal H.
    Norbäck, Dan
    Title Sick building syndrome (SBS) among office workers in a Malaysian university - Associations with atopy, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and the office environment
    Appearing in Science of The Total Environment
    Volume 536
    Publication Date 2015-07-27
    Place of Publication London
    Publisher Elsevier
    Start page 353
    End page 361
    Language eng
    Abstract

    There are few studies on sick building syndrome (SBS) including clinical measurements for atopy and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO). Our aim was to study associations between SBS symptoms, selected personal factors, office characteristics and indoor office exposures among office workers from a university in Malaysia. Health data were collected by a questionnaire (n=695), skin prick test (SPT) (n=463) and FeNO test (n=460). Office settled dust was vacuumed and analyzed for endotoxin, (1,3)-β-glucan and house dust mites (HDM) allergens group 1 namely Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p 1) and Dermatophagoides farinae (Der f 1). Office indoor temperature, relative air humidity (RH), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) were measured by a direct reading instrument. Associations were studied by two-levels multiple logistic regression with mutual adjustment and stratified analysis. The prevalence of weekly dermal, mucosal and general symptoms was 11.9%, 16.0% and 23.0% respectively. A combination of SPT positivity (allergy to HDM or cat) and high FeNO level (≥25ppb) was associated with dermal (p=0.002), mucosal (p<0.001) and general symptoms (p=0.05). Der f1 level in dust was associated with dermal (p<0.001), mucosal (p<0.001) and general (p=0.02) symptoms. Among those with allergy to D. farinae, associations were found between Der f 1 levels in dust and dermal (p=0.003), mucosal (p=0.001) and general symptoms (p=0.007). Office-related symptoms were associated with Der f 1 levels in dust (p=0.02), low relative air humidity (p=0.04) and high office temperature (p=0.05). In conclusion, a combination of allergy to cat or HDM and high FeNO is a risk factor for SBS symptoms. Der f 1 allergen in dust can be a risk factor for SBS in the office environment, particularly among those sensitized to Der f 1 allergen.

    Keyword Allergy
    Fractional exhaled nitric oxide
    House dust mites
    Malaysia
    Office environment
    Sick building syndrome
    Copyright Holder Elsevier B. V.
    Copyright Year 2015
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.137.
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    Created: Wed, 30 Sep 2015, 11:36:43 JST