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Original Article

J Environ Health Sci. 2017; 43(4): 334-348

Published online August 30, 2017

Copyright © The Korean Society of Environmental Health.

Impact of Indoor Plants on Indoor Air Quality and Occupational Health in Newly Built Public Building Offices
- Focusing on Allergic Conjunctivitis and Stress-related Symptom Questionnaires -

신축건물 사무실내 식물 적용의 실내 공기질 및 재실자 건강영향 평가
- 알레르기 비결막염 및 스트레스 관련 증상설문을 중심으로 -

Yong Won Lee*, Young Wook Lim**, Kwang-Jin Kim***, Ho-Hyun Kim****†

이용원* · 임영욱** · 김광진*** · 김호현****†

Abstract

Objectives: We investigated the impacts of indoor plants on indoor air quality and occupational health, focusing on allergic rhinconjunctivitis and stress among employees in new office buildings.
Methods: A total of 34 employees working at new public office buildings were enrolled as subjects (n=17, with indoor plants) and as a control (n=17) group. Before and after introducing indoor plants for three months, indoor air quality measurements including VOCs and aldehydes and questionnaires on sick building syndrome, AR symptoms (ARIA based), stress (DASS 42, KOSS, and SACL), and indoor characteristics were performed and statistically analysed.
Results: Among the 34 enrolled subjects, 19 were included in the probable AR subject group (subjects with indoor plants, n=8, control n=11) and completed all questionnaires. Statistical analyses were done for total, AR subject groups, and controls. As a result, it was confirmed that major indoor air pollutants decreased after the introduction of indoor plants (p<0.5). Among major symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, watery rhinorrhea, nasal stuffiness, and nasal itching indexes decreased (p<0.5, respectively). A decrease was noted in some areas of work-related stress indexes (mainly KOSS) among the subject group (total and AR) and a decrease of indoor environmental attractiveness among the control group (total and AR) (p<0.5, for all).
Conclusions: Indoor plants may help reduce indoor air pollutants and decrease AR symptoms and work-related stress of employees in newly built office buildings. Various further follow-up studies on the mechanism of environmental, physical, and emotional influences and utilization of indoor plants in association with allergic diseases will be needed.

KeywordsIndoor plants,indoor air quality,health impact assessment,allergic rhinoconjunctivitis,stress