Sick Building Syndrome: Why Cleaning Green is the Best Remedy

DSCN8867Work itself has its tolls, but did you know your office can actually make you physically sick? Whether it’s a stuffy nose, dry eyes, or even an itchy sore throat, your symptoms (no matter how mild they might be at first) can be indicative of deeper problems with your building’s indoor air.

The culprit? Sick Building Syndrome (yep – it’s a real thing). From mold to dust to VOCs and neurotoxins from cleaning products, your building’s cleaning regimen is directly linked to the quality of your workplace’s indoor air and the health of your employees.

How do you prevent Sick Building Syndrome? In addition to better ventilation, cleaning green is at the top of the list. Ultimately, the key to a healthy building (and healthy employees) is reducing exposure to toxic chemicals that poison indoor air quality.

At GBS, our goal is to make your building safe, sanitary, and sustainable. Here are our top tips for maintaining an indoor environment that is clean, green, and free of public health woes.

Magical Microfiber

Do you know what type of dusting cloths your cleaning company uses? Or how often the surfaces, air ducts, and windowsills are dusted? First of all, feather dusters are always a no-no, as they are more likely to kick up dust and recirculate it around the room than actually trap it. Using a rag, even if it is clean, is also not the best method as rags usually just push dirt and dust around instead of removing it. Our go-to? Microfiber. High-quality, hypoallergenic, antibacterial microfiber is truly the best remedy for eradicating dust and germs. Microfiber is so effective at sanitizing surfaces, it’s almost magical! If your cleaning company doesn’t already use microfiber cleaning cloths, have them turn in their feather dusters ASAP.

The Right Products

If the cleaning products used in your building are giving off fumes that you can smell as soon as you walk in the door, then that’s a big red flag. In reality, despite the “fresh” fragrance, your building may be making you really sick. Toxic chemicals like phosphates, VOCs, formaldehyde, and phenol acid (just to name off a few) are all found in household cleaning products, and their effects on public health are seriously scary. At GBS, our cleaning solutions are all non-toxic and fragrance-free, and do not contain any harsh chemicals, allergens, or carcinogens. What’s in your cleaning products matters – make sure you commercial cleaners have chosen wisely.

Backpack Vacs

When we plug in a vacuum cleaner, we assume they will do their job: suck up all the dirt and dust so that our floors look clean. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Ordinary bulky, commercial vacuum cleaners have poor suction and very low-quality filters. They kick up tornadoes of dust into the air, and just like rags, they do a better job redistributing dirt than removing it. Energy efficient backpack vacuums with HEPA filtration technology are the only way to go, and are the only vacuums we use at GBS. They are specially engineered to actually get rid of dirt and dust while cleansing the air of germs, allergens, and other illness-causing pathogens. When it comes to cleaning, HEPA vacuums are truly a breath of fresh air.

With sick building syndrome on the horizon, now is the time to make sure your commercial cleaning company uses products and practices that keep your workplace as healthy and high-functioning as possible. For more information, contact us at GBS!

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