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ERIC Number: ED464482
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Jun
An Approach to Management of Critical Indoor Air Problems in School Buildings.
Haverinen, Ulla; Husman, Tuula; Toivola, Mika; Suonketo, Jommi; Pentti, Matti; Lindberg, Ralf; Leinonen, Jouni; Hyvarinen, Anne; Meklin, Teija; Nevalainen, Aino
Environmental Health Perspectives, v107 suppl 3 pp509-514 Jun 1999
This study was conducted in a school center in Finland that had been the focus of intense public concern over 2 years because of suspected mold and health problems. Because several attempts to find solutions to the problem within the community were not satisfactory, outside specialists were needed for support in solving the problem. The study group consisted of experts in civil engineering, indoor mycology, and epidemiology. The studies were conducted in close cooperation with the city administration. Structures at risk were opened, moisture and temperature were measured, and the causes of damage were analyzed. Microbial samples were taken from the air, surfaces, and materials. Health questionnaires were sent to the school children and personnel. Information on the measurements and their results was released regularly to school employees, students and their parents, and to the media. Repairs were designed on the basis of this information. Moisture damage was caused mainly by difficult moisture conditions at the building site, poor ventilation, and water leaks. Fungal genera typical to buildings with mold problems were collected from the indoor air and surfaces of the school buildings. Where moisture-prone structures were identified and visible signs of damage or elevated moisture content were recorded, the numbers of microbes also were high; thus microbial results from material samples supported the conclusions made in the structural studies. Several irritative and recurrent symptoms were common among the upper secondary and high school students. The prevalence of asthma was high (13 percent) among the upper secondary school students. During the last 4 years, the incidence of asthma was three-fold that of the previous 4-year period. (Contains 18 references.) (Author/EV)
Descriptors: Air Pollution, Asthma, Child Health, Foreign Countries, Hazardous Materials, High Schools, Indoor Air Pollution, School Buildings, School Safety, Ventilation
For full text: http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/docs/1999/suppl-3/toc.html.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ministry of Education, Helsinki (Finland).
Authoring Institution: National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH), Washington, DC.
Note: Based on a presentation at the International Conference on Indoor Mold and Children (Alexandria, VA, April 21-24, 1998).