Assessment of Indoor Air Quality Problems in Office-Like Environments: Role of Occupational Health Services

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Apr 12;15(4):741. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15040741.


There is an increasing concern about indoor air quality (IAQ) and its impact on health, comfort, and work-performance in office-like environments and their workers, which account for most of the labor force. The Scientific Committee on Indoor Air Quality and Health of the ICOH (Int. Comm. Occup. Health) has discussed the assessment and management of IAQ problems and proposed a stepwise approach to be conducted by a multidisciplinary team. It is recommended to integrate the building assessment, inspection by walk-through of the office workplace, questionnaire survey, and environmental measurements, in that order. The survey should cover perceived IAQ, symptoms, and psychosocial working aspects. The outcome can be used for mapping the IAQ and to prioritize the order in which problems should be dealt with. Individual health surveillance in relation to IAQ is proposed only when periodical health surveillance is already performed for other risks (e.g., video display units) or when specific clinical examination of workers is required due to the occurrence of diseases that may be linked to IAQ (e.g., Legionnaire's disease), recurrent inflammation, infections of eyes, respiratory airway effects, and sensorial disturbances. Environmental and personal risk factors should also be compiled and assessed. Workplace health promotion should include programs for smoking cessation and stress and IAQ management.

Keywords: comfort; indoor air quality; management; offices; sickness; symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Occupational Health Services / standards
  • Workplace / standards*