Living and housing conditions are one of the primary determinants of an individual's health. This article describes the epidemiologic evidences of environmental factors related to irritative and general symptoms in housing in Japan, which is referred to “sick house syndrome (SHS)”. The prevalence rate was suggested to range from 4% to 10% based on criteria identified by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, which excluded presence of medically explained illnesses such as allergic diseases or illnesses caused by microorganisms. Various chemicals present indoors were found to be significantly related to SHS symptoms. The proximity to major truck routes, industrial plants or waste disposal sites, interior materials or products brought inside, furniture, or the presence of unconfined burning kerosene heaters were significantly related to the symptoms. Dew condensation, molds, fungi, house plants, water leakage and drying laundry indoors were also significantly related to the symptoms.
In this study we explored behavioral responses within a daylit space. The study is qualitative in nature and relies on the research techniques of visual documentation, observation, behavioral mapping, and physical measurement. A south-oriented lounge with 69 seats was observed for a total of nine hours during three sunny days. To aid in more in-depth research on the relationship between human behavior and daylighting, this pilot study was designed to determine patterns of space occupancy in relation to several daylighting scenarios and a number of seating arrangements. Key findings revealed that subjects preferred seats in sunlight when they were sitting in enclosed spaces. Away from the sunny areas, they preferred seats in relatively more open spaces. In addition, subjects favored seats that directly faced the incoming sunlight rather than seats that facing away from it.
This study examined the effects of the color temperature of lighting on spontaneous electroencephalographic (EEG) activity and subjective evaluation under physical exercise. Participants (n=10) were asked to (a) sit quietly for 45-min rest, (b) carry out successive exercise bouts of 50 W and 100 W on a cycle ergometer for 14 mins, and (c) sit quietly for a 21-min recovery period. EEGs and subjective evaluation were carried out during the last 6 min of the adaptation period, immediately after exercise, and at the 7.5-min and 15-min stages of the recovery period after exercise. The experiments were conducted in a lighting laboratory controlled at a temperature of 25°C and a relative humidity of 50–60%. The illuminance condition was maintained at 1000 lx and combined with three different color temperature conditions (3000 K, 5000 K and 7000 K) for a total of three lighting environments. The results of the EEG recording at Pz showed that the Alpha Attenuation Coefficient (AAC) was more increased at higher color temperatures after exercise than at lower temperatures, and the speeds of recovery at Fz, Cz, and Pz were slower during the 7000 K condition. The changes in AAC were most remarkable at Pz. After exercise, the level of “sleepiness” at the lower color temperature (3000 K) was significantly higher than those at the higher color temperatures (5000 K and 7000 K) (P<0.05), and the level of “relaxation” at the higher color temperature (7000 K) was significantly lower than those at the lower color temperatures (3000 K and 5000 K) (P<0.01). In contrast, the level of “concentration” at the lower color temperature (3000 K) was significantly lower than those at the higher color temperature (5000 K and 7000 K) (P<0.01). The level of “fatigue” was the highest at 7000 K compared with those at 5000 K and 3000 K (P<0.05). The highest level of “motivation” was found at 5000 K. Both “fatigue” and “motivation” showed a significant interaction between color temperature and exercise. These results suggest that the color temperature of 5000 K is more comfortable and advantageous for physical exercise and that the lower color temperature of 3000 K is beneficial for rest and fatigue recovery after exercise. The above results indicate that muscle activity under photic stimulation has effects on AAC and subjective evaluation; that is, the color temperature of fluorescent lamps and the exercise have an obvious effect on AAC and subjective evaluation, as predicted based on the increase of cortical arousal level.
This study was aimed to present body surface area covered by clothing (Acov) based on directly measured regional body surface area (RBSA). A total of 34 males and 31 females participated as subjects. Whole body surface area (BSA) for the 65 subjects was directly measured with a coating method using alginate. The whole BSA was demarcated into 142 body regions based on anthropometrical standard points and circumferences. The average values for 34 males and 31 females were presented as a representative Acov for each body region. A total of 70 and 100 garment drawings illustrating each Acov were presented for male and female, respectively. The Acov presented in this study are more valid than Acov estimated by photometric methods, because the Acov of the present study was based on the directly measured RBSA. Also, comprehensive combinations can be obtained by the sum or subtraction of the segmented Acov which are presented in this study. From a practical viewpoint it is more useful to present the segmented Acov than presenting the Acov of typical clothing ensembles, because the segmented Acov enable researchers to combine the particular type of clothing which is given to the research team. Further, we observed that the surface area of ‘a palm’ had a mean of approximately 1% of total BSA. The ‘1%-Palm Print’ can be applied for the quick and convenient estimation of RBSA in the monitoring stage of exposure assessment as a rough approximation.