Enhanced particle filtration in a non-problem office environment: Preliminary results from a double-blind crossover intervention study
Workers in indoor environments often complain of symptoms, such as eye and nose irritation, headache, and fatigue, which improve away from work. Exposures causing such complaints, sometimes referred to as sick building syndrome, generally have not been identified. Evidence suggests these worker symptoms are related to chemical, microbiological, physical, and psychosocial exposures not well characterized by current methods [Mendell, 1993]. Most research in this area has involved cross-sectional studies, which are limited in their abilities to show causal connections. Experimental studies have also been conducted which, by changing one factor at a time to isolate its effects, can demonstrate benefits of an environmental intervention even before the exposures or mechanisms are understood [Mendell, 1993]. This study was prompted by the evidence that particulate contaminants may be related to acute occupant symptoms and discomfort [Mendell, 1993; Leinster, 1990]. The objective was to assess, with a double-blind, double crossover intervention design, whether improved removal of small airborne particles by enhanced central filtration would reduce symptoms and discomfort.