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You could be getting sick for just sitting at your desk..

Updated: Mar 4


Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness are REAL.. How protected are you?


In this post, we want to expose what really lurks at work, your desk, office kitchen ect. At Purifi, we believe that prevention is better than the cure however; understanding what that is, needs some investigation first. So let's look in a little more detail.


Does this look or feel familiar - Headache, dizziness, nausea, eye, nose or throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itching skin, difficulty in concentration, fatigue, sensitivity to odours, hoarseness of voice, allergies, cold, flu-like symptoms, increased incidence of asthma attacks and personality changes


Sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. In contrast, "building related illness" (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnose illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne and/or surface contaminants.


Blame for SBS lies firmly with poor ventilation as many buildings over the years have become more airtight to meet efficiency standards. So guess what! The air you are breathing in ain’t that clean.. Combine that with surface germs and you get a nasty combination. A typical cleaning regime involves chemicals and harmful VOC’s from sprays that directly affect the quality of air and only tend to mask the problem. Is odour present? Another tell tale sign that bacteria is manifesting somewhere.


Contributors to indoor air quality (IAQ) are identified in two ways.


Occupancy or in other words “people at work” - below are some of the sources that affect us on a daily basis:

  1. VOC’s – Spray from a pressurized aerosol – Cosmetics, printers

  2. Odour – Toilet effluent, body, waste bins

  3. Ozone – Photo copiers

  4. Biological – Viruses, bacteria, mould, dander, dust

Non related occupants basically means the building we work in, what was used to build it, the fixtures and fittings inside and what is used in the cleaning policy. Here are some of the sources:

  1. Poor maintenance of the HVAC – moisture leads to mould

  2. Chemical based cleaning products

  3. Everything we touch, we mean everything

  4. VOC’s from fixtures and fittings – desks, flooring

Prevention or the control of poor air quality is so important to us all whether we are the employee, the business owner, landlord we all have our part to play in improving the quality of where we work. Consider these the next time you feel different at your desk:


  • Is there regular routine maintenance of HVAC systems

  • Are there water-stained ceiling tiles and/or carpets

  • Install stone, ceramic or hardwood flooring

  • Avoid synthetic or treated upholstery fabrics

  • Turn off idle electronic devices

  • Why is there a smell Odour = Bacteria

  • Eliminate the use of chemical based cleaning products

  • Remove off-gas in building materials or new equipment in new areas prior to occupancy


Air purification is a beneficial addition in the control of air and surface pollution in any building so education and communication are important parts of any business so we can go to work, become more effective and efficient and remain healthy whilst we are there. To prevent and solve the health problems faced in the workplace we must first understand the risks and ultimately challenge the process to find better solutions. Far too many of us go about our day to day and only when we become ill do, we do something about it – Prevention is far better than the cure.


Do you want to take action today by ensuring you air is clean?


Check out our home based products here

As always - Clean Air, Cleaner Living.

- Scott & Steve.


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