Indoor Air Quality and Sick Building Syndrome Among Nigerian Laboratory University Workers

To cite this article: Reuben, U. et al. (2019). Indoor air quality and sick building syndrome among Nigerian laboratory university workers. J. Phys. Sci., 30(1), 179–195,


Indoor air quality refers to the air quality in and around laboratory buildings and facilities, which directly affects the health and comfort of workers. Poor air quality poses numerous health challenges to the laboratory workers and environment, and causes sick building syndrome (SBS) among workers. The objective of this study is to determine associations of SBS related to indoor air concentration in a dose-dependent manner among Nigerian laboratory university workers. This was a cross-sectional study on a population-based sample of Nigerian university laboratories and the workers. Data were collected using an indoor air quality control meter, dosimeter tubes gases of interest, and a set of questionnaires (MM-40). The results showed that the mean indoor air concentrations in a dose-dependent manner for chemical parameters range from 473.0 ppm to753.0 ppm, 17.9 ppm to 27.3 ppm, 5.7 ppm to 8.5 ppm, and 6.3 ppm to 9.1 ppm for CO2, CO, NO2, H2S and SO2, respectively. The prevalence of SBS, i.e., skin-related syndrome (SRS) is 38.5%, general-related symptom (GRS) is 28.3%, mucosal-related symptom (MRS) is 19.2% and at least one score was a respiratory-related symptom (RRS), which is 13.9%. The significant associated factors of SBS revealed by multinomial logistic regression in this study were NO2 [SRS (P = 0.022), GRS (P = 0.023), MRS (P = 0.032)], H2 S [SRS (P = 0.031), GRS (P < 0.001), MRS (P = 0.021)], and SO2 [SRS (P = 0.001), GRS (P < 0.001), MRS (P = 0.022)]. On the other hand, office laboratory temperature and relative humidity were shown to be negatively statistically associated with prevalence symptoms relative to RRS. In this study, SBS was found to be high. Indoor air concentration in a dose-dependent manner and environmental parameters could increase the prevalence and incidence of SBS-related symptoms. Therefore, it is important to educate the workers on occupational and environmental health at a workplace to minimise SBS in the future.