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Title: Sick building syndrome and its interaction with occupational stress and lighting
Author: Crawford, Joanne O.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3395 8854
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1994
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Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) has been defined as a variety of symptoms (including lethargy, headache, sore, dry eyes, nasal congestion and chest problems) associated with occupancy of certain buildings. The thesis aimed to look at a number of areas of SBS including the use of surveys, stress and SBS and the interaction of lighting with SBS. The first area examined was a survey of two buildings to ascertain what the occupants attributed their health complaints to. It was found that there was a high prevalence of symptoms in both buildings but it was not possible to attribute health complaints to any direct cause. The survey suggested that the interaction between different environmental and personal factors had an effect on symptom prevalence but it is still ambiguous as to what factors are causing specific health problems. The second area of research examined SBS and occupational stress among emergency control room staff. Using questionnaire data, environmental surveys, sickness absence data and an occupational stress questionnaire it was found firstly that ill health was attributed on the whole to air quality. Other symptoms also found were those associated commonly with shift work (indigestion and sleep problems). The research also found that there was a stress effect occurring at work but this was due to organisational and managerial stress and not job stress. It was not possible to assess how much the stress effect was affecting SBS symptom reporting. There were no common patterns found in sickness absence but the recording methods used by companies were inadequate to collect data relating to SBS. The final area of research examined SBS and lighting. Two experiments were carried out to compare health responses, stress and arousal levels, critical flicker fusion and choice reaction times. Two experimental conditions were used, the first, warm white fluorescent lighting, the second full-spectrum fluorescent lighting. No significant differences were found in either of the lighting conditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Industrial medicine