After Reduction of the Airborne Dust in the
Office. Three Double-blind Intervention Studies
Knut Skyberg, Knut Skulberg and Wijnand Eduard (1)
Arnt 1. Vistnes (2) Finn Levy and Per Djupesland (3)
1. National Institute of Occupational Health,
PO BOX 8149 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway
2. Institute of Physics, University of Oslo
3. Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo
VDU users frequently report skin and mucous membrane problems. These symptoms may at least in part be due to physical and chemical exposures in the office environment ( Skov et al, 1990). Dust particles, static electric ( Lindén and Rolfsen, 1981) and electromagnetic fields ( Sandström et al, 1995) around the VDU have been suggested as exposures that might be responsible for the complaints reported. A case-control study of VDU workers indicated that the intensity of cleaning influenced the risk of perceiving skin symptoms ( Sundell et al, 1994). Mucous membrane and general symptoms have been associated with dust exposure in other studies on indoor air problems ( Raw et al, 1993) ( Gyntelberg et al, 1994). Acoustic rhinometry has previously been used as a method in a cross-sectional study of the indoor air in schools ( Wålinder et al, 1997).
Previously one blinded intervention study succeeded in reducing symptoms by increasing the air ionization ( Wyon, 1992). Another experimental study showed a slight increase in symptoms when the mechanical ventilation was reduced Jaakola et al, 1991). The importance of total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) has been evaluated by a Nordic expert group. They concluded that some VOCs most likely may cause health complaints in office environments. However, TVOC as a risk index for health and comfort in buildings is not established on a scientific basis ( Andersson et al, 1997).