Friday, July 6, 2012

Workplace issues: Dust can become a health risk

Ventilation and air cleaning are important for better
indoor air quality and higher productivity.
Indoor air pollution can affect anyone working indoors for the majority of the day, including office workers, police officers, social workers and court employees.

Common symptoms are
  • Chronic coughs and sneezing
  • Scratchy throats
  • Itchy eyes
  • Headaches
  • Recurrent bouts of sinus infections, bronchitis, allergies and asthma
The symptoms may only be apparent in some workers, while other remain unaffected, making it difficult for sufferers to be taken seriously.

The health effects can be caused by indoor air pollutants such as mold, chemicals and dust.

In fact, dust is often overlooked as a main irritant in indoor environments, according to an occupational hygienist working at Connecticut’s OSHA division.

Every indoor environment will be polluted by dust, which is generally comprised of fine particles, skin dander, insect parts, pollen, cobwebs, dirt and other contaminants. Dust can also be a source of exposure for chemicals and bacteria that have attached themselves to the particles.

Indoor air pollution - a hidden danger at the workplace

With less money available for cleaning services and similar tasks, indoor air quality has become a growing problem in most buildings.

Workers may be too busy or unwilling to clean their own work spaces, and the rising occurrence of extreme weather events leads to increased leaks and flooding and possible mold infestations.

According to the EPA, poor indoor air quality costs tens of billions of dollars annually in lost productivity and health care.

Source: The Day Connecticut

Tips for a healthier and cleaner office
  1. Keep offices free of clutter and obstructions. Airflow is essential to good air quality, so an overcrowded and cluttered office will be a challenge
  2. Maintain heating and air conditioning equipment. This includes regular cleanings or at least spot checks to ensure that there is no mold or other biological growth. Air vents and intakes should not be obstructed.
  3. Regular dusting and cleaning of the office space should include the walls and floors behind desks and all surfaces, regardless of whether people like to have their things moved or not.
  4. Keep it healthy. Do not use scented air fresheners or harsh cleaning products
  5. Use an air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPA. This combination of air filters can remove airborne pollutants such as dust, particles, mold, bacteria, viruses, chemicals, odors and fumes.
Want to know more about air cleaners for offices and large buildings? Electrocorp offers a wide range of air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications that feature an activated carbon, HEPA and optional UV filter combination. Contact an IAQ specialist from Electrocorp for more information and recommendations.

No comments:

Post a Comment