Sick at work? Could be Building Related Illness or Sick Building Syndrome
Indoor air quality is on average 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, filled with allergens and airborne irritants. With Americans spending up to 90 percent of their time indoors—much of that time working inside—it is no surprise health conditions linked to poor indoor air quality are on the rise. Conditions caused by indoor air are often divided into two categories, Building-Related Illness and Sick Building Syndrome. Building-Related Illness is related to identifiable microbes, or fungi, that can be linked to diseases. Sick Building Syndrome occurs when occupants of a building claim to have symptoms which cannot be traced to one cause*.
Symptoms of Building-Related Illnesses can be clearly defined and have identifiable causes. They include: cough, chest tightness, fever, chills and muscle aches. Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome have no direct cause and most report relief soon after leaving the building. They include: headache, eye, nose or throat irritation, difficulty concentrating or fatigue*.
Causes of Sick Building Syndrome are often inadequate ventilation, indoor air pollutants, outdoor pollution, biological contaminants and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, like adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, manufactured wood products, copy machines and cleaning agents—many of which are contained in offices buildings. Short-term and long-term health effects from breathing VOCs are both possible, ranging from headaches to memory impairment*.
Often Sick Building Syndrome is a temporary condition, resolved by source control and air cleaning. If the source of the problem can be identified and safely removed, it is suggested to do so as soon as possible. Once the source has been identified and removed, air cleaning may help further control future contamination. Leading indoor air quality experts recommend utilizing air purifiers to remove contaminants and maintain air cleaning. Alen Air Purifiers are the safest and most effective technology utilizing HEPA style filtration, cleaning the air of VOCs, mold spores, dust and other indoor air pollutants.
Breathing pure, clean air enables employees to produce high quality work without the distraction of headaches, dizziness or fatigue from airborne irritants. According to BusinessWeek, U.S. companies could save over $250 billion annually by creating offices with better indoor air, improving worker performance and minimizing sick days. To us at Alen the connection is simple, if you breathe better, you work better.
Does this information apply to you? Are you interested in Alen Air Purifiers for your office? Visit the Alen Air Purifier shop page or call an Alen Air Quality Specialist 800-630-2396 to find the solution for your office.
*According to the Environmental Protection Agency