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AIR CONDITIONING: It's more likely to make you ill

When the summer is hot, workers in air-conditioned offices probably consider themselves to be luckier than those poor souls who have to open a window.
But a new French study has found that women who work in these offices are more than twice as likely to suffer from some ear, nose or throat problem that warrants a visit to a specialist. They are also more likely to take time off work.
It's not the first time that air conditioning systems have been linked to illness. They have been blamed for sick building syndrome, headache and fatigue.

The study involved 920 women who worked in offices. The researchers found that the 15 per cent of women in air-conditioned premises were 2.3 times more likely to consult an ear, nose and throat specialist than those who worked in offices that were ventilated naturally, and they were 1.7 times more likely to be absent from work because of sickness.


  • International Journal of Epidemiology, 2004; 33: 1-4