Volatile organic compounds (VOC), formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) in schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Associations with rhinitis, ocular, throat and dermal symptoms, headache and fatigue

Norbäck, Dan, Hashim, Jamal H., Hashim, Zailina and Ali, Faridah, (2017). Volatile organic compounds (VOC), formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) in schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Associations with rhinitis, ocular, throat and dermal symptoms, headache and fatigue. Science Of The Total Environment, 592 153-160

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Norbäck, Dan
    Hashim, Jamal H.
    Hashim, Zailina
    Ali, Faridah
    Title Volatile organic compounds (VOC), formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) in schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Associations with rhinitis, ocular, throat and dermal symptoms, headache and fatigue
    Appearing in Science Of The Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
    Volume 592
    Publication Date 2017-03-17
    Place of Publication London
    Publisher Elsevier B.V.
    Start page 153
    End page 160
    Language eng
    Abstract This paper studied associations between volatile organic compounds (VOC), formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) and carbon dioxide (CO 2) in schools in Malaysia and rhinitis, ocular, nasal and dermal symptoms, headache and fatigue among students. Pupils from eight randomly selected junior high schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia (N=462), participated (96%). VOC, formaldehyde and NO 2 were measured by diffusion sampling (one week) and VOC also by pumped air sampling during class. Associations were calculated by multi-level logistic regression adjusting for personal factors, the home environment and microbial compounds in the school dust. The prevalence of weekly rhinitis, ocular, throat and dermal symptoms were 18.8%, 11.6%, 15.6%, and 11.1%, respectively. Totally 20.6% had weekly headache and 22.1% fatigue. Indoor CO 2were low (range 380-690 ppm). Indoor median NO 2 and formaldehyde concentrations over one week were 23μg/m 3 and 2.0μg/m 3, respectively. Median indoor concentration of toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and limonene over one week were 12.3, 1.6, 78.4 and 3.4μg/m 3, respectively. For benzaldehyde, the mean indoor concentration was 2.0μg/m 3 (median<1μg/m 3). Median indoor levels during class of benzene and cyclohexane were 4.6 and 3.7μg/m 3, respectively. NO 2 was associated with ocular symptoms (p<0.001) and fatigue (p=0.01). Formaldehyde was associated with ocular (p=0.004), throat symptoms (p=0.006) and fatigue (p=0.001). Xylene was associated with fatigue (p<0.001) and benzaldehyde was associated with headache (p=0.03). In conclusion, xylene, benzaldehyde, formaldehyde and NO 2 in schools can be risk factors for ocular and throat symptoms and fatigue among students in Malaysia. The indoor and outdoor levels of benzene were often higher than the EU standard of 5μg/m 3.
    UNBIS Thesaurus VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
    FORMALDEHYDE
    Keyword Nitrogen
    School environment
    Sick building syndrome (SBS)
    Rhinitis
    Copyright Holder Elsevier B.V.
    Copyright Year 2017
    Copyright type Creative commons
    ISSN 0048-9697
    DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.215
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    Created: Mon, 29 May 2017, 12:53:50 JST by Cheah, Swee Neo on behalf of UNU IIGH