Green cleaning matters: to your health, safety, and happiness. If you’re a business owner, green cleaning can protect your employees and clients from health hazards and chronic conditions. These health hazards can reduce the quality of life of anyone who works at your office, decrease your office morale, slow productivity, and cost your business money.
Just how important is green cleaning? Periodic deep cleaning with the right products can help get rid of hazardous dust. If you’re serious about caring for your employees and maintaining a safe business, green cleaning should be a key part of your office maintenance routine. Here’s what to know.
Studies Show Dust Can Be Dangerous
Years ago, researchers performed a study to analyze dust from around the United States. The dust was analyzed for the presence of six classes of hazardous chemicals: pesticides, phthalates, brominated flame retardants, alkylphenols, perfluorinated compounds, and organotins. This dust was collected from vacuums in Maine, California, Michigan, Oregon, New York, and Washington.
Each of these classes of chemicals were found in high concentrations in the household dust. What does this dust do to the human body? It depends. Some of these chemicals can disrupt the body’s natural processes and affect hormone levels, causing diseases like asthma and cancer. The chemicals in dust can also contribute to the spread of epidemics, particularly in colder climates where employees spend more time indoors, breathing in the recycled, dusty air.
Health Effects of Exposure to Dust
Particles that are small enough can be breathed deep in the respiratory tract. Symptoms of exposure are well documented on the New York State website. Symptoms can include:
- Irritation of the eyes, throat, and nose
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing and sneezing
For people who already suffer from conditions like heart disease and asthma, exposure to toxic particles can worsen those conditions. People who are exposed to these small particles can also suffer from increased rates of bronchitis, lung cancer, and more.
Why Is the Dust Toxic?
One of the questions that people often ask when confronted with this problem is: why is dust found in homes and businesses toxic? Where is the dust coming from?
The answer is relatively simple. Everything “sheds” dust particles – from insulation to office furniture. Over time, even outdoor pollutants find their way into our indoor spaces and settle there. These pollutants move through our indoor spaces via the air vents, eventually finding their way into every square inch of the building or home.
Other Hazards of Toxic Dust
Toxic dust – what we would call ordinary dust – is more than just toxic to people. It’s also highly flammable. In fact, up to 70% of dust is flammable if it is exposed to a fuel source and if it is found in a high enough concentration. It’s believed that dust-fueled fires occur every week in the United States. Even the smallest layer of dust – just 1/32 of an inch deep and covering as little as 5% of the floor – can cause significant damage in the event of a fire.
What Can You Do?
Toxic dust can be removed or at least controlled through a regular cleaning schedule. This is especially important in structures that have recently undergone construction. If your building is carpeted, dust may settle in the fibers of the carpet, which can increase exposure to toxic dust.
To ensure a safer and cleaner environment, sign up for green cleaning services with a professional cleaning service. At Blue Chip Building Maintenance, we help businesses like yours control dust and other indoor air pollutants. Our regular green cleaning service can help keep your office safe for workers and clients. To learn more, visit our website, request a free estimate or call us at 212-564-0100. We’ll be happy to provide a quote and devise a customized cleaning plan for your workplace.