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Analysis of indoor air pollutants checklist using environmetric technique for health risk assessment of sick building complaint in nonindustrial workplace

Authors Syazwan A, Mohd Rafee B, Juahir H, Azman AZF, Nizar, Izwyn Z, Syahidatussyakirah, Muhaimin, Amirul Syafiq MY, Anita, Muhamad Hanafiah J, Shaharuddin, Mohd Ibthisham A, Mohd Hasmadi, Azhar, Azizan, Zulfadhli, Othman, Rozalini M, Kamarul

Received 28 April 2012

Accepted for publication 10 July 2012

Published 21 September 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 107—126


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

AI Syazwan,1 B Mohd Rafee,1 Hafizan Juahir,2 AZF Azman,1 AM Nizar,3 Z Izwyn,4 K Syahidatussyakirah,1 AA Muhaimin,5 MA Syafiq Yunos,6 AR Anita,1 J Muhamad Hanafiah,1 MS Shaharuddin,7 A Mohd Ibthisham,8 I Mohd Hasmadi,9 MN Mohamad Azhar,1 HS Azizan,1 I Zulfadhli,10 J Othman,11 M Rozalini,12 FT Kamarul13

1Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 2Department of Environmental Science/ Environmental Forensics Research Center (ENFORCE), Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 3Pharmacology Unit, Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, 4Department of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Science and Biomedical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, 5Department of Environmental Management, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 6Plant Assessment Technology (PAT), Industrial Technology Division, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Bangi, 7Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 8Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, 9Department of Forest Production, Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 10Faculty of Built Environment and Architect, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, 11Department of Counselor Education and Psychology Counseling, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 12Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Unit, Multimedia University, Jalan Multimedia 63100 Cyberjaya, Selangor, 13ERALAB SDN. BHD. (Environmental Research and Analytical Laboratory Sdn. Bhd.), Selangor, MALAYSIA

Purpose: To analyze and characterize a multidisciplinary, integrated indoor air quality checklist for evaluating the health risk of building occupants in a nonindustrial workplace setting.
Design: A cross-sectional study based on a participatory occupational health program conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Malaysia) and Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Method: A modified version of the indoor environmental checklist published by the Department of Occupational Health and Safety, based on the literature and discussion with occupational health and safety professionals, was used in the evaluation process. Summated scores were given according to the cluster analysis and principal component analysis in the characterization of risk. Environmetric techniques was used to classify the risk of variables in the checklist. Identification of the possible source of item pollutants was also evaluated from a semiquantitative approach.
Result: Hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis resulted in the grouping of factorial components into three clusters (high complaint, moderate-high complaint, moderate complaint), which were further analyzed by discriminant analysis. From this, 15 major variables that influence indoor air quality were determined. Principal component analysis of each cluster revealed that the main factors influencing the high complaint group were fungal-related problems, chemical indoor dispersion, detergent, renovation, thermal comfort, and location of fresh air intake. The moderate-high complaint group showed significant high loading on ventilation, air filters, and smoking-related activities. The moderate complaint group showed high loading on dampness, odor, and thermal comfort.
Conclusion: This semiquantitative assessment, which graded risk from low to high based on the intensity of the problem, shows promising and reliable results. It should be used as an important tool in the preliminary assessment of indoor air quality and as a categorizing method for further IAQ investigations and complaints procedures.

Keywords: office, indoor environment quality, indoor air quality assessor, Industry Code of Practice on Indoor Air Quality, indoor guideline, sick building syndrome, odor, IAQ assessment

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