Alterations in health examination items and skin symptoms from exposure to ultra-low humidity

Tzu Chieh Chou, Kuen Huei Lin, Hamm Min Sheu, Shih Bin Su, Chia Wei Lee, How-Ran Guo, Trong Neng Wu, Ho Yuan Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Several lines of evidence have shown that insufficient humidity could result in health problems but no studies have been performed in ultra-low humidity (ULH) environments. The aims of this study are to investigate the health examination items alterations and skin symptoms of workers exposed to ULH environment based on a longitudinal study design. Methods: Twelve male ULH (RH = 1.5%) workers and 12 age-sex-matched reference workers were selected. The examination items in blood and urine as well as the skin problems were compared between ULH workers and controls, and between ULH workers in 2000 and 2003. Biochemistry analysis of blood and urine were implemented from annual health examinations. Information on skin symptoms and diseases were obtained from a structured questionnaire in 2000 and 2003. Results: The alterations in mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and total cholesterol in blood analysis and only sediment-WBC in urine analysis were found significantly different in 2000. These changes were almost fully recovered in 2003 although a consistently significant elevation in the urine specific gravity was found during the 3-year follow-up period. Skin disorders, however, showed an earlier elevated itching symptom in lower limb and pretibial that developed to physician-diagnosed contact dermatitis. Conclusions: Long-term ULH exposure could cause progressive pathological changes in the skin and urine concentration elevation. Because low humidity condition occurs frequently in air-conditioned buildings, the findings of this study suggest the population long-term exposed to low humidity should be cautious about health manifestations living in a low humidity environment. While the indoor environment is equipped with an air-conditioner, continuous monitoring on the humidity is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-297
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume80
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb 1

Fingerprint

Humidity
Skin
Health
Urine
Erythrocyte Indices
Air
Specific Gravity
Contact Dermatitis
Pruritus
Skin Diseases
Biochemistry
Longitudinal Studies
Lower Extremity
Cholesterol
Physicians

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Chou, Tzu Chieh ; Lin, Kuen Huei ; Sheu, Hamm Min ; Su, Shih Bin ; Lee, Chia Wei ; Guo, How-Ran ; Wu, Trong Neng ; Chang, Ho Yuan. / Alterations in health examination items and skin symptoms from exposure to ultra-low humidity. In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. 2007 ; Vol. 80, No. 4. pp. 290-297.
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abstract = "Objectives: Several lines of evidence have shown that insufficient humidity could result in health problems but no studies have been performed in ultra-low humidity (ULH) environments. The aims of this study are to investigate the health examination items alterations and skin symptoms of workers exposed to ULH environment based on a longitudinal study design. Methods: Twelve male ULH (RH = 1.5{\%}) workers and 12 age-sex-matched reference workers were selected. The examination items in blood and urine as well as the skin problems were compared between ULH workers and controls, and between ULH workers in 2000 and 2003. Biochemistry analysis of blood and urine were implemented from annual health examinations. Information on skin symptoms and diseases were obtained from a structured questionnaire in 2000 and 2003. Results: The alterations in mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and total cholesterol in blood analysis and only sediment-WBC in urine analysis were found significantly different in 2000. These changes were almost fully recovered in 2003 although a consistently significant elevation in the urine specific gravity was found during the 3-year follow-up period. Skin disorders, however, showed an earlier elevated itching symptom in lower limb and pretibial that developed to physician-diagnosed contact dermatitis. Conclusions: Long-term ULH exposure could cause progressive pathological changes in the skin and urine concentration elevation. Because low humidity condition occurs frequently in air-conditioned buildings, the findings of this study suggest the population long-term exposed to low humidity should be cautious about health manifestations living in a low humidity environment. While the indoor environment is equipped with an air-conditioner, continuous monitoring on the humidity is recommended.",
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Alterations in health examination items and skin symptoms from exposure to ultra-low humidity. / Chou, Tzu Chieh; Lin, Kuen Huei; Sheu, Hamm Min; Su, Shih Bin; Lee, Chia Wei; Guo, How-Ran; Wu, Trong Neng; Chang, Ho Yuan.

In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Vol. 80, No. 4, 01.02.2007, p. 290-297.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Lin, Kuen Huei

AU - Sheu, Hamm Min

AU - Su, Shih Bin

AU - Lee, Chia Wei

AU - Guo, How-Ran

AU - Wu, Trong Neng

AU - Chang, Ho Yuan

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