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allergy season

5 Causes of Allergies at Work

Spring is officially here! With the sun shining bright and the scent of flowers in the air, it’s time to take off those winter coats and – sneeze.

That’s right, for many people the arrival of spring also signals allergy season. Aside from pollen and other outdoor allergens, there is a surprisingly large amount of allergy causing substances in the workplace. Below we’ve compiled our top 5 for you to avoid and prevent.

1. Fragrances: Your favorite perfume or cologne may be causing your co-worker in the next cubicle to wheeze. A surprising amount of people (30.5% of the population) suffer from fragrance sensitivity, leading to rashes and respiratory issues when they come in contact with perfumes. The problem is aggravated when sufferers of the allergy are forced to stay in a confined space (such as an office) for long periods of time.

2. Cleaning Supplies: Anti-bacterial sprays, all-purpose cleaners, and latex gloves are all ridden with harsh chemicals that can cause headaches, irritated eyes, and breathing problems when used excessively or improperly. While we do recommend cleaning your office furniture on a regular basis, be sure to be considerate of your co-workers around you.

3. Mold: A common cause of allergies in a household, mold is often found hidden in the workplace. Buildings with old plumbing, leaky sinks, or constant moisture may find mold hidden in behind their walls and ceilings. If you believe that there may be a mold problem in your office space, contact the building manager to have it dealt with immediately.

4. Dust: Even the newest of buildings will have dust somewhere. The culmination of pollen, hairs, and yes, dead human skin cells, dust is often found in the air vents of a building or behind office furniture. To prevent dust related allergies, make sure to have those areas cleaned out on a weekly basis.

5. Animals: As more and more offices are allowing their favorite four legged friends into the work place, more people are suffering the consequences of pet-related allergies. If pets are allowed in your workplace, be sure that clients and potential new employees are aware of this beforehand.

Photo credit: brookenovak / Foter / CC BY

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