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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 23(4); 2005 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2005;23(4): 243-252.
Evaluation of Indoor Air Quality in a Department of Radiation Oncology Located Underground
Won Taek Kim, Byung Hyun Kwon, Yong Chul Shin, Dong Mug Kang, Yong Kan Ki, Dong Won Kim
1Department of Radiation Oncology, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea. amdoctor@pusan.ac.kr
2Department ofPreventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea.
3Department of Occupational Health and Safety Engineering, Inje University, Busan, Korea.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) in the radiation treatment center which is generally located underground is important to the health of hospital workers and patients treated over a long period of time. This study was conducted to measure and analyze the factors related to IAQ and subjective symptoms of sick building syndrome, and to establish the causes influencing IAQ and find a solution to the problems. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Self administrated questionnaire was conducted to check the workers' symptoms and understanding of the work environment. Based on a preliminary investigation, the factors related to IAQ such as temperature, humidity, fine particulate. carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), and radon gas were selected and measured for a certain period of time in specific sites where hospital workers stay long in a day. And we also evaluated the surrounding environment and the efficiency of the ventilating system simultaneously, and measured the same factors at the first floor (outdoor) to compare with outdoor air quality. All collected data were assessed by the recommended standard for IAQ of the domestic and international environmental organizations.
Hospital workers were discontented with foul odors, humidity and particulate. They complained symptoms related to musculo-skeletal system, neurologic system, and mucosal-irritatation. Most of the factors were not greater than the recommended standard, but the level of TVOC was third or fourth times as much as the measuring level of some offices in the United States. The frequency and the amount of the ventilating system were adequate, however, the problem arising in the position of outdoor-air inlets and indoor-air outlets involved a risk of the indraft of contaminated air. A careful attention was a requirement in handling and keeping chemical substances including a developing solution which has a risk of TVOC emissions, and repositioning the ventilating system was needed to solve the contaminated-air circulation immediately.
We verified that some IAQ-related factors and inadequate ventilating system could cause subjective symptoms in hospital workers. The evaluation of IAQ was surely needed to improve the underground working environments for hospital workers and patients. On the basis of these data, from now on, we should actively engage in designs of the department of radiation oncology or improvement in environments of the existing facilities.
Key Words: Indoor air quality, Sick building syndrome, Radiation oncology, Underground
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