Harmful substances were found in the air of offices at the new Sejong Government Complex in South Chungcheong Province, according to a report.
The Korea Institute of Construction Technology said Monday it measured late last year the level of total volatile organic compounds at an unspecified spot in the complex and the resulting figure was four to six times higher than the recommended level.
The Ministry of Environment’s upper limit for TVOC in indoor offices is 500 micrograms per cubic meter but the complex building contained 2,050-3100 micrograms per cubic meter.
|Public employees work at the Sejong Government Complex. (Yonhap News)|
Conditions were even worse in private offices for high-ranking officials, most of which exceeded the permissible level by up to 10 times.
TVOC, one of the key causes of “sick house syndrome,” refers to compounds which produce ozone and bad smells, such as benzene or toluene.
Often found in construction adhesives, varnishes and cleaning products, these toxic substances can enter the human body through the skin or inhalation and potentially cause health problems.
In order to improve the air quality and working environment, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security is to run a special petition center until the end of January, to embrace the complaints from the officials that work there.
Starting with the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in December, seven government departments have so far been relocated to the new administrative city.
By Bae Hyun-jung (email@example.com