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Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Indoor and Built Environment

Dampness, Food Habits, and Sick Building Syndrome Symptoms Among Elementary School Pupils

Saijo, Yasuaki; Nakagi, Yoshihiko; Ito, Toshihiro; Sugioka, Yoshihiko; Yoshida, Takahiko

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doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000391779.14268.51
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We investigated the dampness/mold in schools and dwellings, food habits, and presence of subjective symptoms among elementary school pupils in Japan in order to clarify the relationship between dampness and food habits on subjective symptoms in elementary school pupils.


Questionnaires were used to investigate the dampness in classrooms and dwellings in Hokkaido, Japan, and its effect on subjective symptoms involving 1077 pupils in 8 elementary schools. A dampness index for both the home and classroom was estimated by the sum of the presence of 4 dampness indicators: (1) visible mold, (2) moldy odor, (3) water leakage, and (4) condensation on windowpanes. The Questionnaire contained queries about food habits as follows: the frequency of eating breakfast, whether the energy provided by school lunch was sufficient, and whether too many snacks and/or sweets were consumed.


The home dampness index was significantly related to cough, general symptoms, and any symptoms; the classroom dampness index, the number of positive classroom dampness indicators were significantly related to nose symptoms in fully adjusted models. In addition, usually not eating breakfast was significantly related to eye symptoms, and having too many snacks and/or sweets was significantly related to eye, nose, and general symptoms.


Both home and classroom dampness can affect pupils' health. Home dampness, in particular, was significantly related to cough and general symptoms, and classroom dampness was significantly related to nose symptoms. Furthermore, favorable food habits have a positive effect on pupils' subjective symptoms. However, further studies are required to investigate the dampness environment and lifestyle factors to improve pupils' health.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.