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Sick Building Syndrome.

This book is a synthesis of three documents prepared under contract to agencies of the U.S. federal government. Section 1 provides a general overview of indoor air quality issues, introduces the different categories of indoor air pollutants, and discusses the relationships between building parameters and indoor air quality. Part II of the book focuses on the health effects of specific factors affecting indoor air quality. Part III provides suggested methods for the analysis of indoor air pollutants.

A good job has been done of summarizing the information in all three of the main areas described above. Major reviews and conference proceedings as well as some original literature have been examined. Part II of the book (health effects) is a summary of information available in three U.S. databases: IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System), RTECS (Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances) and the HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank). Therefore, the toxicological information is generally only as complete as the information in these databases.

This book would make an excellent reference book for engineers and scientists, however, a number of points limit its usefulness. The book contains no subject index, making it difficult to find specific information. Also, some chemicals are considered in one section of the book, but not others. Radon, for example, is discussed in parts I and II of the book, but no method of analysis is discussed in part III. Finally, the book is printed in two different typefaces (Parts I and II are printed in one typeface, part III in another), and both typefaces are difficult to read.

Section II, which provides toxicological information for the interpretation of indoor air monitoring data, would need a trained toxicologist to understand the highly technical language. However, sections I and II of the book would be particularly useful to building engineers and investigators. This book would make a useful addition to any library on the subject of indoor air pollution.
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Author:Brecher, Ron
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1993
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