Companies around the globe are beginning to fully understand the “Sick Building Syndrome” and the toll it is taking on personnel and productivity. In addition to promoting a healthier environment, green cleaning has taken aim on the conditions that cause Sick Building Syndrome. Through the use of less invasive products and better cleaning techniques, great progress has been made.
30 percent of U.S. workers suffer health problems caused by Sick Building Syndrome. In the 1960’s, the Sick Building Syndrome was exposed when research revealed that volatile, organic compounds from carpeting and furniture, inadequate air circulation, poor lighting, mold buildup and disruptive temperature variances were contributing to a host of unhealthy conditions. In terms of lost productivity, these conditions were costing American business billions of dollars per year.
In 2002, a study by the Indoor Environment Department at the Lawrence Berkley National Design Laboratory in California found that improved air quality used in LEED approved green designs, green building materials and technologies can lower the risk of Sick Building Syndrome by 20 – 50%. Incidents of allergic reactions and asthmatic eruptions diminish by 8-25% in green buildings.
The most common effects of the Sick Building Syndrome are skin rashes, nausea, respiratory problems, headaches and numerous other symptoms. Since green cleaning procedures have been implemented, buildings that utilize the new age cleaning techniques have drastically reduced sick days, improved morale and productivity for occupants. And, American business has taken note.
Today’s tenants are filling LEED certified buildings, encouraging existing buildings to apply for LEED EB certification and incorporate green cleaning as part of the building maintenance protocol. Buildings with LEED certification are showing as much as a 20% reduction in absenteeism and even bigger production increases. Local municipalities are also recognizing the advantages of LEED certifications and, along with state and federal initiatives, are offering healthy tax incentives for conversion. Is your business operating at maximum efficiency? Get on the green cleaning wave and look for better attendance and increased productivity.