Contaminated offices: Which elements are the most harmful?

Considering the average hours to be spent at the office (8 hours a day, 5 days a week), it can be said that office constitutes a second home. This is why everything going on there impacts on workers in a direct way.
And in this “second home” there are certain everyday elements that may result highly contaminating, thus negatively influencing work and environmental harmony as well as employees’ health. These are the most common ones:

Plastic bags: this is undoubtedly one of the most important ones. Their indiscriminate (and most often, unnecessary) use, cause more contamination than one can imagine. Fortunately, new efficient alternatives, such as recyclable cloth bags, are available to replace them.

Paper: Even though it cannot be denied that it constitutes a key element in day-to-day work at the office, the use of paper can be moderated in order to obtain benefits: preferring recycled paper and digitalizing information will result in both monetary and environmental benefits.

Ink Cartridges: Many people are not aware of the fact that ink cartridges contain dangerous components both to environment and health. So, it is important to recycle them in order to extend their useful life. Our recommendation is to choose solid ink cartridges, which reduce waste by 90%.

Air Conditioning:  In hot or cold climates, their use is essential. However, their use should be restricted to strictly necessary situations, always preferring alternative solutions such as opening windows or adding a piece of garment. This will contribute to reduce environmental impact, save electricity bill and reduce CO2 or carbon-dioxide emissions.

Personal Computers:  All electronic devices emit CO2, even when in stand-by or suspension mode. All equipment should be shut down if they are not to be used over a long period in order to save energy and protect the environment.

How do bad odors affect health?

Besides being a simple nuisance, the effect of bad odors may be really harmful to health and may take the form of headaches, dizziness, breathing anomalies and psychological disorders.

The causes may be external but may also originate in the office. There are certain recommendations to follow in order to neutralize bad odors depending on each particular situation:

INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Have filters of fume extractors revised and replace or clean them regularly.

Do not block or obstruct shunts, extractors or ways out to backyards or terraces, since they have been planned to extract the air and, hence, to improve the quality of the air of those in such places.

OUTDOOR AIR QUALITY

Hermetic windows are very effective since they reduce exposure to odors and external agents.

If the odor focus originates from the outside, the confinement must be as effective as possible. The closure of windows and the joints and seals between materials is a key element to avoid external odors.

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