In September 2010, a sick building syndrome occurred after the relocation of three public services of Eure-et-Loir’s district, France, in a renovated building in which foul odours have been perceived.
The establishment of a coordination unit allowed an interdisciplinary approach including clinical, epidemiological, psychosocial and environmental investigations. Concerning the epidemiological field, a transversal study has been realised by administrating a questionnaire to volunteered officers (n = 48 out of 54). The study period was from september 2010 to september 2011. Univariate and multivariate analysis allowed studying risk factors for symptoms apparition.
During the study period, 84% of the officers reported symptoms. Those were mainly distributed into three types: irritatives (63%), general (51%) and ears nose and throat symptoms (27%). Multivariate analysis showed that: agents affected by irritative symptoms were originally in good health (OR = 20,32; [2.5–162.0]; the risk for all symptoms increased with the rise of the number of hours at work (OR = [1.1–1.4] and for workers in offices with old floor lining (OR = 22,0[1.8–265.5]. The building had an inappropriate ventilation system for a tertiary use and some pollution sources have been noticed during the environmental investigations, although no emanation at a toxic level was detected. The psychosocial investigations emphasised a real suffering of the agents and a communication problem towards the events.
The results allowed us to make some recommendations which are currently being applied. Since the beginning of their application, no more complaints have been reported.
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