Elia M. Sterling, David Sterling

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A computer based building performance information system (BPIS) was developed to help explore antecedant conditions of building related illness. In a review of 143 studies contained in the data base Sterling reported that almost without exception the buildings were modern, sealed, mechanically ventilated, air conditioned and very often considered energy efficient. In most studies of office buildings no specific cause or agent was found to be associated with complaints of illnesses. However, a careful review of studies of 16 hospitals and laboratories now included in the data base reveals that, unlike office buildings, most investigations of suspected building associated illness occurring among patients and personnel in hospitals have established a clear cut cause. The most prevalent air quality problems to which hospital staff and patients are exposed are anesthetic gases from operating theaters and organic germicides from sterilization areas. Table I shows median levels and ranges of anesthetic gases, of sterilization agents and of other substances measured in the air of 16 hospitals. Hospital laboratories use biological materials and toxic chemicals. Proper venting of these laboratories is crucial to the health of the general population of the building as well as the laboratory workers themselves.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings, Annual Meeting - Air Pollution Control Association
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1984


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