Your building making you sick?

Sick Building

Your home or office or place of work can affect your general health, energy and any chronic condition you might have. You might not be aware that buildings can have some serious problems that can affect your general health or make any condition you have worse.

There are companies that have far more sickness and absenteeism than other companies. This may not just be down to the management or pay structure or how much stress you have to deal with. Could it be down to a sick building?

Research has revealed some interesting things. Some businesses/offices such as large insurance or finance companies that have placed large amounts of plants in their offices, burn aromatherapy, changed the lighting and put into place many other measures. These companies have found over time that their employees were less tired, their productivity went up, people were generally happier, and there was far less absenteeism and sickness!

Sick Building -So what things can affect your building in a negative way?

Chemicals – nearly all the furniture today is made from synthetic materials or at least is coated in synthetic stuff unless you buy old furniture. Carpets, laminates, plastics, fabric treatments, polyurethane surfaces (varnishes but also foams), photocopies and cleaning fluids all giving off fumes.

Electro-magnetism – offices and homes are filled with electrical and electronic equipment. These give off significant amounts of electromagnetic fields that can affect us. Some people are more sensitive than others. Not all of us will react or get affected in the same way.

Lighting – it is well-known that fluorescent lighting can have a negative effect and make people feel unwell, or feel drained of their energy. Maybe you have just put this down to hard work. The lighting can be changed or turned off, sit nearer the window if you can. Or change the bulbs that fit the same fittings to ‘full spectrum’ lighting instead.

Humidity – humidity on a dry summer’s day is about 50% or so, cold wet days humidity could be as much as a 90%. Without realizing it bacteria, mites and fungi can increase in a building making some people feel quite uncomfortable but have no idea why.

Cooling Towers are part of an air-conditioning system – it is very well-known that there have been outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease. This infection can be fatal for some who are susceptible.

Airflow – often offices and homes do not have enough movement of fresh air. So there can be problems with air that can be too dry and/or too humid. Or the air is not refreshed or circulating enough, so people can suffer all manner of symptoms.

Carbon dioxide (OC2) – some solutions are added to the cooling towers for sterilizing purposes, the alkaline nature of this lowers the carbon dioxide in buildings.  Apparently, the respiratory centre loses its incentive to breath quite as much. Lower levels of blood oxygen can mean more tiredness, fatigue and yawning. People turn to quick fix snacks with sugar and caffeine to help them get over this feeling. Thinking their blood sugar levels have fallen.

Think about your office or home and see how you can improve your environment, improve your health and productivity. If your children have any breathing problems or allergies, think how you might improve their environment, especially in their bedrooms.

To do list:-

* Plants inside can do wonders for the air quality.
* Buy natural cleaning products
* Throw out the chemical air-fresheners and start burning essential oils.
* A better vacuum cleaner, helps remove more dust, mites, spores etc.
* Have a clear out to get rid of stuff you don’t use and is collecting dust.
* Buy some full-spectrum bulbs, easy to find these days.
* Make sure you are well hydrated.
* Turn off any electrical and electronic machines and gadgets while not in use. Better for the budget and less electromagnetic stress.


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