Posting in Architecture
Are office blocks damaging to a worker's health?
According to new research, individuals that spend long hours in office settings carry high levels of toxic chemicals, polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in their blood.
The office building. A place many of us spend a large proportion of our days in -- sallow lighting, cubicles and the continual buzz of phones and chatter in your ears. In some jobs it may be mind-numbing, but according to a new study, it may also affect your health.
The research, conducted by Boston University, questions whether office features including carpet and furniture, often treated with polyfluorinated compounds increases levels of PFCs in relation to time spent in such buildings.
The Boston researchers found that workers putting in long hours had higher levels of these chemicals within their bloodstreams than colleagues who spent more time outside of the office. An environmental health scientist at Boston, the author of the study Michael McClean said:
"When we think of occupational exposures, it’s easy to think about construction workers or welders. We wanted to look at those environments and see what was in the air."
The research was undertaken through 31 adults living and working in office buildings across Boston. 25 percent of the offices were located in recently constructed buildings, 50 percent in partially renovated, older buildings -- and one quarter that have not been recently renovated.
According to the research, the overall levels of PFCs within the air were highest in the new buildings, and accounts for 36 percent of PFC levels within a bloodstream.
This suggests that many office workers in the labor force are being exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals that are airborne, although no specific health issues were explored through the study. However, it has been linked in other studies to health issues including a range of developmental effects, smaller birth weight, developmental delays, organ abnormalities, and reproductive issues. A number of studies have suggested that exposure to PFCs have become widespread, and are global contaminants that pollute and damage the bodies of both humans and animals.
The study is published in the current Environmental Science & Technology journal, and was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
(via News Discovery)
Image credit: Phil Whitehouse
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This suggests that many office workers in the labor force are being exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals that are airborne, although no specific health issues were explored through the study.
Indoor smoking issue is only replaced with more pretty smelling toxins : scented cleaners, pesticides, and newer cheaper more toxic perfumes and beauty products that mix and fester in the airducts of those sealed envornments . We still just pick on the poorest so easiest group , (minorities ,disabled, veterans ,and other poorest tend to be the majority of smokers) while we plug it in plug it in on big biz's pretty smelling killers.
Not so smart as they claim "smart buildings" are often stupid buildings because people cant open windows in good weather costs energy and keeps toxins in. Pot heads against tobacco are not considering the pretty smelling toxins note outdoor smoking means childhood allergy & asthma is way down as proof right? NOPE. Indoor smoking issue is only replaced with more pretty smelling toxins : scented cleaners, pesticides, and newer cheaper more toxic perfumes and beauty products that mix and fester in the airducts of those sealed envornments . We still just pick on the poorest so easiest group , (minorities ,disabled, veterans ,and other poorest tend to be the majority of smokers) while we plug it in plug it in on big biz's pretty smelling killers.
It is common sense that confinement is not a natural condition for people. Get out and get some fresh air.
Many household cleaners and most new home construction materials give off VOC's which are an entirely different danger.
For telecommuters, are PFCs not as prevalent in home furniture & carpeting as they are in office furniture & carpeting? People who drive during work may not have as much exposure to PFCs, but they get exposed to other chemicals while they're on the road.
This study may be congruent with other studies, but I can't believe how this study is touted as conclusive evidence when there was a small sample size of 31 in a few buildings and in one particular location - Boston. Yet we are to believe that office work everywhere causes PFC toxicities. Most responsible researchers cite the limitations to their studies so one is getting the whole picture - but I guess that doesn't make for such an exciting article now does it.