We studied four libraries in the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Northern Italy) to determine the presence of polluting agents such as total dusts, formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including benzene, toluene and xylenes and to assess the sense of well-being perceived by library users. This investigation was suggested by an increase in reported symptoms related to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) observed in recent decades among people spending most of their time in various indoor environments, including libraries. The microclimatic conditions and the concentrations of pollutants indicated an acceptable situation on the whole, even though a wide range of total dust values (40-350 mug/m(3)) and total VOCs (203-749 nug/m(3)) was observed. However, the perception of the different environmental parameters by the 130 library users that were interviewed identified the existence of some discomfort mainly caused by the feeling of poor ventilation. Moreover, 78.5% of the subjects stated they had at least one of the 16 investigated symptoms potentially related to a SBS. The place of occurrence of the self-reported symptoms was also investigated, the symptoms arising during library attendance more frequently than elsewhere were only four, and in particular feeling hot, sore eyes, dry throat and breathing difficulties. Overall, our study has shown the existence of an association between microclimatic perceptions as reported by library users and subjective symptoms related to SBS, considering the four libraries separately, the highest prevalence of self-reported symptoms was found in the library where environmental discomfort as perceived by users was greatest. Nevertheless, an association between subjective self-reported symptoms and both microclimatic conditions as resulted by instrumental measurements and/or pollutants concentrations was not apparent.
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Titolo:||Air quality and well-being perception in subjects attending university libraries in Modena (Italy)|
|Autori:||E. Righi; G. Aggazzotti; G. Fantuzzi; V. Ciccarese; G. Predieri|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/S0048-9697(01)00960-3|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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