The Dangers Of Sick Building Syndrome (Part Two)
Combat sick building syndrome in your building today!
In part one, we explored what sick building syndrome is and the tell-tale signs that accompany it. In today’s post, we’re going to further examine the main causes if SBS and ways to prevent it.
At Pionair, clean air should be a part of your business’s health plan! Find what you need to know about the causes of sick building syndrome and how to protect your employees.
Common Causes of Sick Building Syndrome
Chemical Air Pollutants
We’ve mentioned chemical air pollutants at great length because they’re contaminants that most people don’t even think twice about, yet they are extremely harmful to our health. In our homes, furniture, cleaning products, paint, and air fresheners all add to poor indoor air quality because of the chemicals they leech, and this is only amplified in a building.
Buildings can bring in chemicals through outside sources such as building exhausts and plumbing vents, so if you’re near a high traffic area like a major highway, you’re much more likely to breathe in the combustion and air pollution from cars.
Indoor chemical pollutants sources come from volatile organic compounds (VOC) which are present in paint, carpeting, copy machines, upholstery, cleaning agents, manufactures wood products, and synthetic fragrances that employees wear to work.
Biological particulates include bacteria, viruses, mold, pollen, fungus, etc and are present in buildings in standing, stagnant water, drainpipes, humidifiers, and ducts — anywhere water has a chance to collect (Ceilings, floors, walls, upholstery, etc) there is a chance for biological growth, thus poor air quality.
It’s also important to note that illness spreads rapidly in tight workspaces and offices, so if you’re sick or you even think you’re sick, do everyone a favor and stay home! Otherwise, when you don’t stay home when you’re sick, you swiftly spread your illness and the bacteria or virus can also contaminate the air, further spreading it through the buildings HVAC — don’t be that person!
This type of air pollution is less commonly covered, but it’s important to mention if you work in an office. Electronics such as computers and televisions and appliances such as microwaves emit electromagnetic radiation and ionizers the air we breathe, and with faulty wiring or improper grounding, this creates a high magnetic field which has been linked to a myriad of health conditions.
How To Prevent Sick Building Syndrome
When it comes to the building you work in, many times you have very little control over your environment. With that said, if you are able to make changes there are some very practical things you can do.
Maintain the HVAC.
This cannot be stressed enough — your HVAC blows cool air in the summer and hot air in the winter, so if it’s defective, this can mean real issues to the people in the building which is which regular HVAC maintenance is a must!
While opening windows and doors may not be an option, you can help move air and keep it circulating with floor and ceiling fans. A little airflow does a lot for a contained space and stagnant air does nothing good for the people within the environment.
Consider what you purchase.
One of the easiest ways to prevent SBS is to control the chemicals you use, which means purchasing better-for-you office products and trying out things such as:
- Low-VOC or VOC-free paint
- Real hardwood furnishings
- Natural materials (stone, metal, wood, bamboo)
- Cleaning agents scented with only essential oils and no synthetic fragrances
- Ask employees to avoid wearing synthetic perfumes and colognes
Invest in a top-rated air purifier.
While there are many ways to prevent and promote a healthy indoor air quality, one of the quickest ways to improve your indoor air quality is through a high-quality air purifier.
When you invest in a Smart Pointe unit from Pionair you get NASA-developed technology that cleans the air through photocatalysis or electrostatic filtration. This innovative air purification is filterless and transforms harmful air particulates molecules such as carbon dioxide and water!
With all the solutions to tackle SBS, it’s also important to recognize how small, unnoticeable factors can make a huge difference. Consider your outdoor smoking section — are the employees truly smoking far enough away from the building? Smoke is a huge air pollutant and if they’re smoking to close to the building it can easily be drawn into the indoor air. The best course of action, take a quick inventory of what could be happening and seek to tweak these issues.
Sick building syndrome is an evident occurrence that affects many employees because of poor building ventilation, the use of chemicals, and radiation from gadgets and it’s prevented by addressing any HVAC issues, getting the air moving, purchasing better products, and using an air purifier.
Keep your building healthy and your employees productive with clean air!
Need an easy fix to poor indoor air quality and sick building syndrome? Turn to Pinoair air filtration units. Shop today!