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Prevalence of annoyance attributed to electrical equipment and smells in a Swedish population, and relationship with subjective health and daily functioning

Carlsson, Frida; Karlson, B LU ; Ørbaek, P LU ; Österberg, Kai LU and Östergren, Per-Olof LU (2005) In Public Health 119(7). p.568-577
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Self-reported annoyance from electrical equipment has been in evidence since the mid-1980s, and the first reports of illness from everyday chemicals arose in the 1960s. However, the extent of the problem has not yet been fully established.

AIMS: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of annoyance related to electrical and chemical factors in a Swedish general population, and to assess possible relationships with subjective health and daily functioning.

METHODS: In total, 13,604 subjects, representative of the population of Scania, Sweden, answered a survey containing five questions regarding annoyance from five environmental factors: fluorescent tube lighting, visual display units, other electrical... (More)

BACKGROUND: Self-reported annoyance from electrical equipment has been in evidence since the mid-1980s, and the first reports of illness from everyday chemicals arose in the 1960s. However, the extent of the problem has not yet been fully established.

AIMS: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of annoyance related to electrical and chemical factors in a Swedish general population, and to assess possible relationships with subjective health and daily functioning.

METHODS: In total, 13,604 subjects, representative of the population of Scania, Sweden, answered a survey containing five questions regarding annoyance from five environmental factors: fluorescent tube lighting, visual display units, other electrical equipment, air that smells of chemicals, and other smells. The survey also obtained data on self-reported health (SRH-7), mental well-being [General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-12], work situation and daily functioning.

RESULTS: Almost one-third of the respondents reported annoyance from at least one environmental factor. Annoyance was more frequent among women, subjects of working age and immigrants. Subjects who reported environmental annoyance scored higher on GHQ-12 and lower on SRH-7, indicating impaired subjective physical and mental well-being. They were also more likely to report deteriorated daily functioning.

CONCLUSIONS: Annoyance related to electrical and/or chemical factors was common in a Swedish population. Subjects reporting environmental annoyance rated their overall health significantly poorer than the general population. The association with subjective health and functional capacity increased with severity of annoyance, which suggests that there is some connection between environmental annoyance, well-being and functional capacity.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
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organization
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Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Adult, Electricity, Electromagnetic Fields, Electronics, Environmental Exposure, Equipment and Supplies, Female, Health Status Indicators, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Odors, Prevalence, Smell, Stress, Psychological, Sweden, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
in
Public Health
volume
119
issue
7
pages
10 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000230053300003
  • pmid:15925670
  • scopus:19744364413
ISSN
1476-5616
DOI
10.1016/j.puhe.2004.07.011
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9799df30-146e-4b25-a94a-9239efe2b761 (old id 140415)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15925670&query_hl=79
date added to LUP
2007-07-12 07:02:31
date last changed
2017-05-21 04:15:45
@article{9799df30-146e-4b25-a94a-9239efe2b761,
  abstract     = {<p>BACKGROUND: Self-reported annoyance from electrical equipment has been in evidence since the mid-1980s, and the first reports of illness from everyday chemicals arose in the 1960s. However, the extent of the problem has not yet been fully established.</p><p>AIMS: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of annoyance related to electrical and chemical factors in a Swedish general population, and to assess possible relationships with subjective health and daily functioning.</p><p>METHODS: In total, 13,604 subjects, representative of the population of Scania, Sweden, answered a survey containing five questions regarding annoyance from five environmental factors: fluorescent tube lighting, visual display units, other electrical equipment, air that smells of chemicals, and other smells. The survey also obtained data on self-reported health (SRH-7), mental well-being [General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-12], work situation and daily functioning.</p><p>RESULTS: Almost one-third of the respondents reported annoyance from at least one environmental factor. Annoyance was more frequent among women, subjects of working age and immigrants. Subjects who reported environmental annoyance scored higher on GHQ-12 and lower on SRH-7, indicating impaired subjective physical and mental well-being. They were also more likely to report deteriorated daily functioning.</p><p>CONCLUSIONS: Annoyance related to electrical and/or chemical factors was common in a Swedish population. Subjects reporting environmental annoyance rated their overall health significantly poorer than the general population. The association with subjective health and functional capacity increased with severity of annoyance, which suggests that there is some connection between environmental annoyance, well-being and functional capacity.</p>},
  author       = {Carlsson, Frida and Karlson, B and Ørbaek, P and Österberg, Kai and Östergren, Per-Olof},
  issn         = {1476-5616},
  keyword      = {Adult,Electricity,Electromagnetic Fields,Electronics,Environmental Exposure,Equipment and Supplies,Female,Health Status Indicators,Humans,Male,Mental Health,Middle Aged,Odors,Prevalence,Smell,Stress, Psychological,Sweden,Journal Article,Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {568--577},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Public Health},
  title        = {Prevalence of annoyance attributed to electrical equipment and smells in a Swedish population, and relationship with subjective health and daily functioning},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2004.07.011},
  volume       = {119},
  year         = {2005},
}