Green carpet cleaning reduces volatile organic compounds which contribute to reduced worker cognitive function in stuffy offices.
Green Carpet Cleaning Reduces Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gases emitted from common everyday items that can have adverse effects on humans and animals, including;
- Eye, nose and throat irritation.
- Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea.
- Damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system, and;
- Cancer in animals and humans.
Common household and office items that emit low to harmful levels of VOC’s include;
- Aerosol sprays.
- Cleansers and disinfectants.
- Building materials and furnishings, and;
- Copiers and printers.
Indoor VOC levels typically range between two and five times higher than outdoors, with that number climbing to more than 1000 times after certain events, such as painting the walls or conventional carpet cleaning.
Occasional exposure is typically harmless, but ongoing exposure, compounded by increased CO2 levels in poorly ventilated offices has been shown to, within a short time, adversely affect work performance.
Stuffy Offices Increase VOCs and Reduce Cognitive Function
A commonly cited issue in conventional office design is its inability to regulate a comfortable temperature and airflow.
With winter approaching, windows will be shuttered, and heaters will be turned up, increasing levels of CO2 and VOCs due to a lack of ventilation.
Oddly, the nature of energy efficient homes, especially those built since 2000, renders them nearly air tight, decreasing natural ventilation and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ).
This was compounded in the U.S. during the 1980’s when residential and commercial ventilation requirements were lowered as a means to improve energy conservation.
Coincidently, this coincided with the first reports of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), a condition commonly associated with high levels of indoor air pollution.
Environmental Health Perspectives Study
A June 2016 study published by Environmental Health Perspectives set out to determine how poor ventilation affected worker performance.
The test was conducted in a LEED® Platinum Certified building, consisting of 24 individuals, over the course of six days.
The participants were exposed to varying levels of CO2 and VOCs while their cognitive performance levels were analyzed.
Their cognitive levels were tested with a software application called Strategic Management Simulations, a tool used to analyze knowledge, as well as how that knowledge is used.
The following functions were measured:
Three IEQ scenarios were tested.
- Green, and;
The results were both astounding, as well as a testament to the business-feasability of green building and cleaning technologies.
As you can see, respondents outperformed Conventional IEQ scenarios in every domain, while considerably outperforming Green IEQ scenarios in Applied Activity Level, Crisis Response, Information Usage, and Strategy, demonstrating the practicality of green building and cleaning technologies in business, especially those in creative or high-demand industries.
For More Information:
- Associations of Cognitive Function Scores with Carbon Dioxide, Ventilation, and Volatile Organic Compound Exposures in Office Workers: A Controlled Exposure Study of Green and Conventional Office Environments.
Conventional Carpet Cleaning Creates VOCs
Carpets, especially newly installed carpets, carpet pads, and adhesive contribute a substantial volume of VOCs into indoor air.
To make matters worse, conventional rug and upholstery cleaners also contain VOCs.
For More Information:
- American Lung Association – Cleaning Supplies and Household Chemicals
What that means is, cleaning your carpet, especially a new one, by conventional means without properly ventilating the space afterward can make people sick.
Prolonged exposure may actually cause cancer.
Tips to Reduce Indoor VOCs
VOCs and CO2 are easy to measure with current technology, even in large offices and warehouses.
- When using or installing products that contain VOCs, increase space ventilation.
- Eliminate chemicals and products that gas excessive levels of VOCs, such as conventional cleaning and carpet shampooing products.
- Use green or integrated pest control systems as opposed to toxic pesticides.
- Ars Technica – Stuffy offices can halve cognitive scores
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Volatile Organic Compounds’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality
Proper carpet care, combined with professional green cleaning services and LEED Certified building plans will increase has been proven to increase worker performance in dynamic areas important to modern business needs.
Conversely, conventional cleaning and carpet care can significantly contribute to environments proven to negatively impact worker performance and job satisfaction.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of green carpet cleaning services for your business, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790