Allergy prevention tips from Tommy Petagna of Corvus of New Orleans
What’s the need for allergy prevention in the office?
Allergies are an ailment that affect many in the American workforce. Allergic disease (including Asthma) is the sixth leading chronic disease in our country, affecting more than 30% of US adults, and in 2022 approximately 8% of adults in the United States had hay fever. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, “Allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever, is a common condition that causes symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, watery eyes and itching of the nose, eyes or the roof of the mouth”. You may have hay fever and not even know it!
As many as 4 million workdays a year are lost due to hay fever, and people with asthma will miss approximately five workdays per year because of their disease. On average, Americans will spend about 90% of their lives indoors. With that being said, it is important that work facilities are properly maintained in order to ensure a productive, healthy work environment for employees. With a few simple steps, business owners and managers can improve allergy prevention in the office.
Allergy prevention tips
Check your office air filter regularly
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems create a comfortable work environment, however they can be a source of air contaminants in the office if they are not properly maintained. Air filters can become dirty and clogged, which can lead to even more allergens entering the office than simply not having an air filtration system.
To avoid a dirty air filter, regular inspections should be done. Checking the air filter once a month is a good rule of thumb, but checks should be done more frequently during peak allergy season.
Go Green: Plants lead the way in dust allergy prevention
Phytoremediation is the use of live plants to clean soil, water, and, of course, the air of contaminates. According to researchers from the University of Technology, Sydney, “Potted plants can provide an efficient, self-regulating, low-cost, sustainable bioremediation system for indoor air pollution”.
Plants absorb air pollutants through their stomata and via microorganisms living in their soil. Only adding plants to your office will not be a sufficient method to make your office allergen free, but adding plants along with an air filtration system is a good strategy to office allergy prevention.
Steer clear of feather dusters – they do more to harm allergy prevention than to help
Feather dusters have been widely used since their inception in 1870. From maids, to moms, to janitors, the feather duster has been a go-to tool for cleaners across the board. Feather dusters may have been the cream of the crop for dusting in the 1800s. However, as times have changed, more effective dusting tools have come into circulation. If allergy prevention is a main concern, a feather duster, which oftentimes simply scatter dust off of surfaces and into the air, is not the way to go.
Dusty offices lead to dusty office allergies. Other cleaning supplies, such as microfiber clothes, electrostatic clothes, backpack vacuums, and extendable microfiber dusters will do a much better job of dust removal. Don’t be a victim of the appeal to tradition fallacy and continue to use feather dusters; they may actually increase the amount of dust in the air and will hinder allergy prevention in the office.
Vacuuming and carpet cleaning is key to allergy prevention
Everyone knows that regular carpet vacuuming is needed in an office setting, but the carpet is not the only surface that requires regular vacuuming. For example, cubicles often have carpeted walls, which can trap dust right near employees’ faces. These walls must be vacuumed regularly to prevent the inhalation of dust day in and day out. Any curtains, shades or draperies should also be vacuumed regularly. Furniture such as desks, chairs, and tables should be moved while vacuuming in order to ensure a complete clean.
For hard to reach and awkward areas, there are countless universal dusting attachments available for both regular and backpack vacuums. Carpet cleaning should be used in addition to vacuuming to rid carpets of allergens. When carpet cleaning, it is best to use low-moisture or dry carpet cleaning techniques. Traditional carpet shampooing leaves behind lots of moisture than can lead to the growth of mold and increase dust mites.
We can help you with office allergy prevention!
At Corvus Janitorial, we know the importance of maintaining an allergen-free facility. Our professionals have the skills, tools, and technical know-how to service your office with the highest quality possible. Let us help you with our professional cleaning services…contact us today for a free quote!