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Is Your Office Air Making You Sick?

May 26, 2015

Do you suffer from allergies or asthma? Have you been getting frequent headaches or frequently feel tired? Are your symptoms worse during the day while you are at work instead of at home? Your symptoms might not be caused by typical outdoor allergens. Your office workplace air may be what is making your sick.

Some of the most common symptoms caused by poor quality office air are:

  • Respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies, and sinus problems
  • Frequent headaches and trouble concentrating
  • Feeling sleepy after being in the office for a few hours even though your sleep has been regular
  • Decreased productivity, especially during the afternoon hours
  • High absenteeism
  • Experiencing chronic cold/allergy symptoms year round, not just during peak allergen season

There are a number of things that may be negatively impacting your office indoor air quality. These problems may be caused by poor ventilation, difficulty controlling temperature, too high or too low humidity, or from a recent remodeling project. Dust from construction or renovation can significantly decrease air quality. Mold, cleaning supplies, pesticides, or other airborne chemicals may also cause poor indoor air quality.

Your employer has a responsibility to provide you with a work environment that is safe for your health. If you suspect that poor office air quality is causing you to suffer from any of the above listed symptoms, you will need to bring your concerns to management’s attention as soon as possible. Prolonged exposure to dangerous chemicals and pollutants can cause serious health afflictions. Speak up and enlist the help of other employees in approaching management about performing an initial and follow up Office Air Check.

 

How can an Office Air Check help?

An Office Air Check will help your employer to identify the presence of VOC’s, formaldehyde, active mold growth, and tobacco smoke. Detecting the presence of these harmful airborne threats is the first step in correcting them. Your office may have to meet ventilation requirements for commercial/office buildings put out by ASHRAE. Several states have their own set of indoor air regulations. Businesses that are located in converted homes or other non-standard buildings may not be required to meet these requirements because they weren’t designed that way when they were originally built.

An Office Air Check will alert your employer to any potential hazards. Once the test has been completed and any airborne pollutants have been identified, your employer can make the changes necessary for healthier office air.