F Levy

Oslo University Hospital, Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway

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Publications (5)16.12 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this intervention study was to identify any health improvements in the upper and lower airways of office workers after the installation of local electrostatic air cleaners. Eighty persons with airways symptoms were recruited and randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. Half of the air cleaners had a non-functioning electrostatic unit. Both participants and field researchers were blinded to the group status. Subjective symptoms were recorded using a questionnaire, and indexes calculated for general, irritation and skin symptoms. Objective respiratory health indicators were recorded, with acoustic rhinometry and peak expiratory flow (PEF) meters. In the intervention group there was a decrease in mean dust concentration from 65 to 35 microg/m(3), and a reduction from 57 to 47 microg/m(3) in the control group (P < 0.05 for difference in decline). The reduction was observed for all particles sizes. The irritation and general symptom indices decreased in both groups, but there was no improvement in the intervention group, compared with the control group. Median PEF increased 3 ml/s in the intervention group, and decreased 4 ml/s in the control group. The adjusted odds ratio for an increase above the 70th percentile was 5.7 (95% CI 1.0-32). PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Electrostatic air cleaners can reduce the dust concentration effectively in the office environment. Small, medium and large sized particles can be reduced by approximately 50%, relatively most effectively for the respirable particles. However, the air cleaners tested in this study produced an annoying fan noise. Cleaning efficiency and noise data should be given consideration before installation. This experimental field study suggests that office workers with airways symptoms may benefit from installation of local electrostatic air cleaners.
    Indoor Air 06/2005; 15(3):152-9. · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Office employees often experience symptoms that could be related to indoor air exposures. In an office building, 114 nonsmokers who had reported mucosal irritation complaints in a survey were selected to participate in a double-blind intervention study. The intervention was carried out in Oslo, Norway, during 1998. The offices of the intervention group were given a comprehensive cleaning, whereas the offices of the control group got a superficial cleaning as a placebo treatment. Dust concentration, health complaints, and nasal congestion were recorded before and after intervention or placebo. In the intervention group, the mean dust concentration was 67 microg/m3 before intervention and 50 microg/m3 after cleaning. The intervention group reported a reduction in mucosal irritation complaints (a median reduction of 1.0 irritation index points on a scale 0-8) compared with no change in the control group. The odds ratio for reporting a 2-point reduction of the mucosal irritation symptom index was 3.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-9.1) in the intervention group compared with the control group. Nasal congestion, measured by acoustic rhinometry, was also reduced in the intervention group. The odds ratio for reduction in nasal congestion above the 70th percentile was 4.2 (CI = 1.3-11) in the intervention group versus the control group. This experimental field trial shows that comprehensive cleaning reduces the airborne dust in offices, and also can reduce mucosal symptoms and nasal congestion.
    Epidemiology 02/2004; 15(1):71-8. · 5.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A cross-sectional study was performed in eight companies, comprising 32 buildings without previously recognized indoor air problems. Engineers filled in a technical questionnaire on building characteristics, floor surface materials, ventilation, cleaning procedures, heating and cooling. A total of 3562 employees returned questionnaires on individual factors, workload, perceived physical work environment, allergy and symptoms. Frequent symptoms were feeling of fatigue or heavy-headedness, eye irritation, and dry facial skin. Women reported symptoms more frequently than men. Employees with allergy had a 1.8-2.5 times risk of reporting a high score for general, skin, or mucosal symptoms. The risk of a high symptom score increased with daily visual display unit (VDU) work time. Passive smoking and psychosocial load were also relatively strong predictors of symptoms. Weekly cleaning as compared with a frequency of cleaning two to four times a week increased the risk of symptoms. Adjusted odds ratio for a high general symptoms score from infrequent cleaning was 1.5 (95%CI 1.1-2.0). A high ventilation flow or central ventilation unit filter EU7 vs. EU8 seemed to be associated with an increased risk of general symptoms. Absence of local temperature control increased the risk of mucosal symptoms.
    Indoor Air 10/2003; 13(3):246-52. · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the facial skin complaints of office workers before and after the static electric fields of a visual display unit were reduced. On the basis of a screening survey of 4556 office workers in 11 companies, 120 of 227 subjects reporting facial skin complaints were randomly selected to this double blind intervention study. Antistatic measures were used to reduce the static electric fields of the visual display unit in the intervention group but not in the control group, which worked with a visual display unit resembling that of the intervention group. Electric fields, dust concentration, health complaints, and psychological behavior tests were recorded before and after the intervention. The intervention group reported statistically significantly fewer facial skin complaints than the control group. In the intervention group, among those with an office dust concentration of >58 microg/m3, a median reduction of 1.5 skin index points (scale 0-8) was achieved, whereas there was no change in the control group. In the regression model "group category" was still a significant variable after control for background factors. In addition, further linear regression analyses indicated that several static electric field parameters were predictors of the skin complaint reduction. This field trial indicates that removing static electric fields from visual display units can probably help reduce the facial skin complaints of workers in offices with high dust concentrations.
    Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health 04/2001; 27(2):140-5. · 3.78 Impact Factor
  • Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces, Proceedings of HCI International '99 (the 8th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction), Munich, Germany, August 22-26, 1999, Volume 1; 01/1999