Symptoms Associated to Work in a Water Damaged School Building

T.Sigsgaard MD.,PhD., H.L.C.Jensen B.Sc., E.Nichum B.Sc, S.Gravesen M.Sc., L.Larsen M.Sc., M..Hansen B.Sc. Copenhagen, Environmental E-mail:

This paper describes a cross sectional study of employees from a school, where an annex had a long history of water damage. The annex had infestations by a range of moulds with Penicillium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium most often encountered. The employees filled in a questionnaire with questions on sick building syndrome extended with symptoms of toxic alveolitis. After allocating the employees into three groups according to the weekly hours spent in the annex of 0-7 h/week, 8-15h/week and more than 15 hours/week. We found a positive trend for headache, tiredness, nausea and sleeping difficulties with increasing time spent in the annex. This was also true for episodes of fever, shivering or a flue-like feeling. This study emphasises the need for a standardised way to perform investigations of water damaged buildings and indicates a dose response relationship between exposure to water damaged buildings and symptoms of inflammation and CNS-irritation even in low exposure situations.