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An associate of Alan Hedge, at Cornell University's Department of Design and Environmental Analysis. Hedge, Erickson and Rubin conducted a series of studies examining the problem of sick building syndrome in buildings in a half-dozen states using questionnaires and IAQ testing equipment. They concluded that ETS was only a minor problem. Rubin was the statistician who did the number work, so she could well have not been involved with the tobacco industry side of this research.
PRELIMINARY MATERIAL ONLY
In fact, this research was generously funded by the tobacco industry through the Center for Indoor Air Research (CIAR) which maintained that it was an independent research/grants organization. It also relied on air testing equipment supplied and calibrated by RJ Reynolds, and on the RJ Reynolds laboratories for conducting the analytical work on nicotine and particulate levels.
It is a highly dubious way to conduct such research because it opens the findings to manipulation on many levels, and puts an organization with a vested interest in manipulating the findings in a prime position to do so.
1993 Nov 10: A Cornell University press release proclaims "SICK BUILDING SYNDROME LINKED TO MINERAL FIBERS AND JOB STRESS, NOT INDOOR SMOKING OR AIR QUALITY."
The findings implicate man-made mineral fibers (MMMF) as a cause of SBS and also dispel the view that cigarette smoke substantially affects a building's indoor air quality and that poor indoor air quality alone causes SBS.
"Although people assume that sick building syndrome is related to gaseous air pollutants, many studies, including ours, have been unable to find the link" said Alan Hedge, associate professor of design and environmental analysis at Cornell and an expert on indoor environments who conducted the studies.
"When we look at MMMF, however, which are currently often not measured in buildings, we find much higher reports of SBS where the MMMF are high. And when we install filters that collect the fibers, the number of reports dramatically declines."
Rubin is listed vaguely as a "Statistician" on most of the 29 papers that they managed to mine from this one CIAR study.
The most significant point [repeatedly in this release] is that 'women' and 'people under stress' suffer the most from sick building syndrome — thereby suggesting that it is a hysterical problem. The paper also manages to implicate a range of other factors, including the then-current one of the VDT (computer monitor) — while simultaneously exonerating tobacco smoke.
1994 Oct: /E Study results and financial details: "Building Ventilation and Smoking Policy Effects on IAQ and Employee Comfort and Health" conducted by Alan Hedge, Cornell University, Department of Design and Environmental Analysis ($562,000)
His long-term associates are WA Erickson and G Rubin. This study involved "IAQ and questionnaire surveys in 9 buildings. Final survey sample will exceed 5000 workers.
Preliminary Findings: Associations between IAQ and employee reports of SBS symptoms were investigated for 4479 workers in 27 office buildings with 5 different smoking policies.
See the actual report for details of later findings.
- No significant effects of smoking policy were found for levels of CO, CO2 , RSP, air temperature, relative humidity, and illumination.
- Significant policy effects were found for concentrations of formaldehyde, UV-PM, and nicotine, with the highest concentrations found in the "smoking restricted to areas with filtration" policy.
- The results show that the average concentrations of most pollutants were lowest in the "smoking prohibited" and "smoking restricted to areas with separate ventilation" policies.
- However, the concentrations were very low, and in all buildings IAQ measures met the current ASHRAE standards for acceptable indoor air quality.
[Most significant is the sheer number of reports and citations this team managed to mine out of this single study. This document lists 29 "Publications, Abstracts and presentations supported by the CIAR" in the years 1990 to 1994.]