Industrial workers are accustomed to workplace dangers. However, those with more sedentary jobs still face health hazards at the office. It’s up to business owners and managers to discover toxic substances that may be lingering in walls, ceilings, and floorboards.
Signs of unhealthy substances include various symptoms ranging from skin irritation to extreme respiratory distress. If you or your coworkers experience frequent, unexpected illnesses, it might be time to do some digging. Keep an eye out for these toxins that could be hiding in your workplace.
The Roosevelt Island Daily News
If your office building existed before the 1970s, asbestos might still linger in various parts of the structure. This is especially true for New York businesses, where reports of mesothelioma, a type of cancer, are higher than in other parts of the country. Asbestos exposure can cause lung and gastrointestinal cancers as well as asbestosis.
The good news is that getting rid of this material is a common service waste management companies offer. However, something to know about asbestos removal is that it’s a thorough process. You’ll have to close your office doors for a few days while cleaning takes place.
Like asbestos, lead was a common building material used before the 1970s. Contractors would put lead paint on office walls until the government banned its use. However, old buildings may still have traces of lead under layers of paint.
You may also find lead in old piping systems around the country. Medical professionals found that lead exposure causes various forms of cancer, neurological problems, and developmental disabilities in children. Professionals use wet sanding techniques and HEPA filters to remove lead from facilities.
Some toxins that could be hiding in your workplace aren’t building materials at all. Mold grows in dark, damp places that don’t get much air circulation. Its signature musty smell usually alerts people to its presence; however, mold could be affecting your health before you even know it’s there.
Mold will irritate people with allergies and cause respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. You’ll likely find it growing in bathrooms and office kitchens. If your building sustained water damage, there’s a good chance mold spores are developing somewhere near the site.
It’s up to business owners and building managers to maintain a healthy work environment for all employees. Doing so will improve staff retention, boost morale, and may even help your professional reputation.