Finn Levy

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

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Publications (9)27.62 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: 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 μg/m3, and a reduction from 57 to 47 μg/m3 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).
    No preview · Article · Jun 2005 · Indoor Air
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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.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2004 · Epidemiology
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2003 · Indoor Air
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2001 · Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Jan 1999
  • Marit Skogstad · Finn Levy
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    ABSTRACT: We have examined 6 construction workers who developed chronic skin diseases on their hands over a period of 15 years (1970-1985). 4 developed a Trichophyton rubrum infection, and the other 2 an irritant contact dermatitis. All of them carried out jobs which caused traumatization of the skin, due to the presence of ethylene glycol and mineral oils during operation of pneumatic hammers in winter. They also suffered other types of skin trauma during their work. Construction workers may be at risk of developing an occupational skin disease involving fungal infection.
    No preview · Article · Aug 1994 · Contact Dermatitis
  • Wijnand Eduard · Per Sandven · Finn Levy
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    ABSTRACT: Respiratory and febrile symptoms were studied by a self-administered questionnaire and related to serum IgG antibodies to Rbizopus microsporus among 212 wood trimmers from 31 sawmills. Antibody levels to R. microsporus and exposure to mold spores were related to symptoms of the upper and lower respiratory tract and chills. A relationship was found between tight chest and exposure to wood dust, but this was probably due to correlation with exposure to R. microsporus spores. The group mean antibody level to R. microsporus was a better predictor of symptoms than the individual antibody level. Personal exposure to mold spores and wood dust particles was also measured for 107 wood trimmers from 10 sawmills. Relationships were found between group mean exposure levels to mold spores and symptoms of the upper respiratory tract. A relationship was also found between tight chest after handling of moldy timber and group mean exposure levels to R. microsporus spores. Exposure to spores from R. microsporus and probably also from other mold species is the most probable cause of respiratory symptoms and chills among wood trimmers. Exposure levels exceeding approximately 10 spores m (2 to 4 weeks weighted average) were related to increased prevalence of symptoms. Eduard, W.; Sandven, P.; Levy, F.: Exposure and IgG Antibodies to Mold Spores in Wood Trimmers: Exposure-Response Relationships With Respiratory Symptoms. Appl. Occup. Environ. Hyg. 9(1):44–48;1994.
    No preview · Article · Jan 1994 · Applied Occupational and Enviromental Hygiene
  • W Eduard · P Sandven · F Levy
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    ABSTRACT: Wood trimmers and planing operators from two separate sawmill populations (N = 303 and 170) were studied by serology assessment and a self-administered questionnaire. IgG antibodies to Rhizopus microsporus ssp. rhizopodiformis, Paecilomyces variotii, and Aspergillus fumigatus were measured by ELISA. The questionnaire included questions about general respiratory symptoms and symptoms after handling moldy timber. Personal exposure of wood trimmers to mold spores and wood dust was measured in one part of the sawmills. R. microsporus was the most prevalent mold assessed by serology. Antibody levels were higher and symptoms suggestive of mucous membrane irritation, chronic nonspecific lung disease, allergic alveolitis, and organic dust toxic syndrome were more frequently reported by wood trimmers than by planing operators. The mean level of IgG antibodies to R. microsporus in sawmill workers working in the same work area was the best predictor of symptoms in both populations. The consistent results indicate that exposure to spores of R. microsporus may cause several respiratory symptoms in wood trimmers.
    No preview · Article · Sep 1993 · American Journal of Industrial Medicine
  • W Eduard · Per Sandven · Finn Levy
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    ABSTRACT: A longitudinal study of wood trimmers exposed to mould spores was carried out from 1985 to 1988. Exposure to airborne spores from Rhizopus microsporus ssp. rhizopodiformis and Paecilomyces variotii was measured by scanning electron microscopy of filter samples. Specific IgG antibodies to these moulds were measured by ELISA in serum samples collected at half-year intervals. Antibody levels to R. microsporus and P. variotii were higher in wood trimmers than in other sawmill workers whose jobs had an assumed lower exposure to mould spores. Antibody levels were significantly elevated after periods with high exposure compared to antibody levels in the same wood trimmers after periods with low exposure. Antibodies were also found in newly employed wood trimmers. These wood trimmers were exposed to 1,300 x 10(3) R. microsporus spores/m3 and 130 x 10(3) P. variotii spores/m3 (arithmetic mean exposure). Antibody levels in the newly employed wood trimmers were similar to antibody levels in wood trimmers who had already worked in the trimming department before the start of the study. Antibody levels to R. microsporus and P. variotii in wood trimmers can be regarded as indicators of fairly recent exposure. There were, however, large differences between the individual antibody levels of similarly exposed wood trimmers.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1992 · International Archives of Allergy and Immunology

Publication Stats

205 Citations
27.62 Total Impact Points


  • 2001-2005
    • Oslo University Hospital
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway
  • 1994
    • National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI)
      • Department of Chemical and Biological Work Environment
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo, Norway