Indoor air quality-induced respiratory symptoms of a hospital staff in Iran

  • Rahmat Veysi
  • Behzad Heibati
  • Mehdi Jahangiri
  • Prashant Kumar
  • Mohd Talib Latif
  • Ali KarimiEmail author


The ambient air of hospitals contains a wide range of biological and chemical pollutants. Exposure to these indoor pollutants can be hazardous to the health of hospital staff. This study aims to evaluate the factors affecting indoor air quality and their effect on the respiratory health of staff members in a busy Iranian hospital. We surveyed 226 hospital staff as a case group and 222 office staff as a control group. All the subjects were asked to fill in a standard respiratory questionnaire. Pulmonary function parameters were simultaneously measured via a spirometry test. Environmental measurements of bio-aerosols, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds in the hospital and offices were conducted. T-tests, chi-square tests, and multivariable logistic regressions were used to analyze the data. The concentration of selected air pollutants measured in the hospital wards was more than those in the administrative wards. Parameters of pulmonary functions were not statistically significant (p > 0.05) between the two groups. However, respiratory symptoms such as coughs, phlegm, phlegmatic coughs, and wheezing were more prevalent among the hospital staff. Laboratory staff members were more at risk of respiratory symptoms compared to other occupational groups in the hospital. The prevalence of sputum among nurses was significant, and the odds ratio for the presence of phlegm among nurses was 4.61 times greater than office staff (p = 0.002). The accumulation of indoor pollutants in the hospital environment revealed the failure of hospital ventilation systems. Hence, the design and implementation of an improved ventilation system in the studied hospital is recommended.


Hospital Pulmonary function Respiratory disease 


Funding information

This research project is financially supported by the Vice president of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (grant number 93-7225).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rahmat Veysi
    • 1
  • Behzad Heibati
    • 2
  • Mehdi Jahangiri
    • 1
  • Prashant Kumar
    • 3
  • Mohd Talib Latif
    • 4
  • Ali Karimi
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public HealthShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran
  2. 2.Air Pollution Research Center, Faculty of HealthIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Physical SciencesUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK
  4. 4.School of Environmental and Natural Resource SciencesUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  5. 5.Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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