Treating Toxic Building Syndrome
A toxic building may also be called a sick building. As the name infers, there is something wrong in the building that is making people sick. Most reports suggest that at least 70% of commercial or public buildings are toxic or semi-toxic.
Toxic buildings happen in a couple of ways.
- The construction materials were impregnated with multiple chemicals that leach out into the air.
- Cleaning products and other toxic products, like pesticides, fragrances, and internal processes produce VOCS
- Remodeling, new carpet, paints, and glues add to the pollution
- Notably, some sick buildings happen from infectious diseases, like Legionnaires, infect the building
- Years of chemical debris collect in the building
- Mold and mildew are growing in isolates and damp areas.
Think of an aquarium, which is a microcosm of a closed system like a building. Maintaining the balance of pollutants in the water is literally life and death for the fish. As the pollution increases, the fish start getting sick or diseased. Unless the water is cleaned and detoxified, the fish will die.
In a building, instead of water, we will and breathe the air which can be filled a wide variety of invisible threats. Even though some fresh air is introduced via the HVAC system, the pollution literally builds week-by-week and year-by-year. Simple things like the carbon dust from copiers add to the problem.
Day after day, the cleaning service bring in gallons of chemical cleaner (even the supposed Green cleaning services), use non-HEPA vacuum, and spray the air with window cleaning products and fragrances. The pest control company routinely spray pesticides. Particles from everyday activities produce billions and billions of free-floating particles in every cubic foot of air.
Here's other than what the overworked and under-effective furnace filter may remove, none of these pollutants ever leave the building.
Treatments can detoxify and decontaminate nearly any building. Various treatments of ozone, hydroxyl, Decon Five, probiotics, or filtration can gradually restore a building to a safe status, but it takes much more than a cleaning service, recycling program, or a better filter system. What took years to create may take months to correct, but the process can be a huge help to your company, your workers, absenteeism, medical insurance, and even the liability of a lawsuit from a vulnerable employee.