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Prevalence of Sick Building Syndrome-Related Symptoms among Hospital Workers in Confined and Open Working Spaces

Category: Indoor Aerosols

Volume: 15 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 2378-2384
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.01.0040
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Chia-Jen Chang1, Hsi-Hsien Yang 2, Ya-Fen Wang3, Min-Shan Li2

  • 1 Department of Ophthalmology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, 1650 Taiwan Boulevard Sect. 4, Taichung, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Environmental Engineering and Management, Chaoyang University of Technology, 168, Jifeng E. Rd., Wufeng District, Taichung 41349, Taiwan
  • 3 Department of Environmental Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, 200 Chung Pei Road, Chung Li District, Taoyuan City 32023, Taiwan


About 84% of the hospital workers suffered from at least one SBS-related symptom.

The most frequently reported symptoms were nasal symptoms with frequency rates of 66%.

CO2, PM, Bacteria and total VOCs have significant effects on SBS-related symptoms.


Despite providing health care to others every day, people who work in a hospital are usually ignored about their healthy issue. This study is aimed to investigate the prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS)-related symptoms among hospital workers. All participants in this study completed questionnaires during the year 2013. Indoor air pollutants, Carbon monoxide (CO), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), particulate matter (PM) and Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as bacteria and fungi concentrations were recorded during sampling. Associations between SBS-related symptoms, individual characteristics, and chemical concentrations were evaluated by multiple linear regression. About 84% of the subjects suffered from at least one SBS-related symptom, among which the most frequently reported symptom was nasal symptoms, accounting for 66%. Chemicals such as CO2, PM, VOCs tended to be significantly associated with SBS-related symptoms. There are various effects depending on the type of chemicals present and whether the working spaces are open or confined.


Indoor air pollution Health effect Subjective symptoms Hospital

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