Sick buildings

Published: Tuesday 15 March 1994

-- CONTRARY to common belief, the main culprit of the "sick building syndrome" is neither cigarette smoke nor polluted air wafting in from outside. It is the increased airborne fibres from ceilings, insulation, ventilation duct linings and other construction materials, says a recent study (Environmental Science and Technology, Vol 28, No 1).

According to Alan Hedge, who teaches design and environmental analysis at Cornell University in the US, the study found reports of illness dropped after filters capable of trapping the synthetic fibres were installed.

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