Something in the Air: Airborne Allergens

With the increase of pollen and spores in the summer months, many people with allergies seek refuge indoors.  There is however, the issue of allergen particles being carried in the air, and settling onto furniture, carpet and floor surfaces. These particles vary in size and are measured in microns.  The larger the particles, the faster they will settle out of the air. Pollen and dust mite debris are larger and settle out of the air more quickly than molds.

Given this, there may be more allergens on surfaces in your office than in the air. Surface allergens can become airborne easily when workers sit down in their chairs or move around the office.

So what steps can you take to improve indoor air quality in your office? 

With aggressive cleaning, you can improve indoor air quality and reduce allergy symptoms. First you need to remove the source of as many allergens as possible, by employing the following tactics:

Vacuum regularly.  Vacuuming helps to keep allergens to a minimum.  However, it is important that the proper equipment is used.  A vacuum with a HEPA filter and a canister that can trap the soil and allergens for safe removal from the premises is best.

Dust hard surfaces.  It is important to use equipment that will trap dust and allergens from hard surface areas.  Traditional dusting disturbs dust and pollen and moves it around rather than removing it.  Microfibre clothes and other specialize dusting equipment will trap these particles and dramatically decrease airborne particles, allergens, VOCs and bacteria.

Clean carpets.  A professionally cleaned carpet provides a significant contribution to overall building health.  Carpet fibres act as a filter and trap dust, pollen and other allergens out of the breathing zone.  Regular carpet cleaning will remove these contaminants and undesired substances such as allergens from your carpet.

Remove dust from prime accumulation points.  Dust and particles accumulate rapidly in ductwork, air vents and around electronic equipment.  Periodic cleaning of these areas throughout the year by professionals is important for removing contaminants and allergens from the premises.

Use green cleaning products.  Especially during times when workers are more sensitive to allergens, it is important to use green products instead of harsh chemicals, which may ultimately aggravate and cause more allergy problems.

Following these steps will provide for a healthier work environment for your employees and go a long way to helping maintain a healthy and happy work environment.