Personal computers pollute indoor air: effects on perceived air quality, SBS symptoms and productivity in offices

Zsolt Bako-Biro, Pawel Wargocki, Charles J. Weschler, Povl Ole Fanger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Perceived air quality and Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms were studied in a low-polluting office space ventilated at an air change rate of 2 h-1 (10 L/s per person with 6 people present) with and without personal computers (PCs). Other environmental parameters were kept constant. Thirty female subjects were exposed for 4.8 h to each of the two conditions in the office and performed simulated office work. They remained thermally neutral by adjusting their clothing and were blind to the interventions. In the absence of PCs in the office the perceived air quality improved, odour intensity was reduced and air freshness increased; all effects were significant. In the presence of PCs the performance of text typing significantly decreased. The sensory pollution load of the PCs was found to be 3 olf per PC, i.e. three times the load of the occupants. Present results indicate negative effects of PCs on human comfort and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Indoor Air 2002
Publication date2002
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Event9th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate - Monterey, CA, United States
Duration: 30 Jun 20025 Jul 2002
Conference number: 9


Conference9th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate
CountryUnited States
CityMonterey, CA
Internet address

Cite this