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7 Surprising Things at Your Work That Might Cause Allergies
You’ve probably got all of your allergens under control at home, because you know anything and everything that goes on in your living quarters. If you’re beginning to notice your allergies picking up at work, the culprit could be something lurking in the building that you may not have known about.
1. Old Carpet
Just vacuuming isn’t enough, especially if your office has old carpeting. Trace amounts of pet hair your coworkers have tracked in over the years, combined with dust and dust mites lurking deep in the carpet, can trigger allergies in people who aren’t even especially sensitive – it’s the slow buildup that leads to high levels over time that creates a problem before anyone can see it coming.
2. Neglected Air Filters
Air filters are really easy to forget about, particularly because you don’t see them every day. When was the last time your employer replaced the air filters in your office with new, allergen friendly filters? In a busy environment like an office, these filters can fill up faster than most employers realize.
3. Cleaning Products
If your workplace uses a cleaning service, they likely use a vast combination of specialty chemicals to get the job done. Buildup of the residue from these products on workplace surfaces can cause rashes or itchiness in people who come into contact with them. It might be time to swap out the hard stuff for some natural alternatives.
4. Hidden Rodents
Mice and cockroaches can evoke allergy symptoms in some people – and they’re particularly severe in asthmatics. Even if you don’t see mice or roaches, they can still be lurking in the walls, waiting to come out at night when the coast is clear. You might want to ask the boss to give the exterminator a call.
5. Your Coworker’s Fragrance
A lot of people are sensitive to perfume and cologne, and this sensitivity becomes apparent when you have a coworker that likes to wear an awful lot of it. This is exactly why so many workplaces have policies about how much fragrance (and what kinds of fragrance) employees can wear to work. If yours doesn’t, you might want to politely ask the person in the cubicle next to yours to take things down a notch.
6. Mold in the Building
Mold allergies are very serious, and they have the potential to be life threatening. If a pipe has been leaking in the wall and nobody noticed, there’s most likely mold spreading around the interior of the building. When mold growth takes over, it’s easier to just buy a new office building than it is to attempt to eradicate all of that mold in a timely manner.
7. Your Group Lunch
It’s always fun when everyone brings a dish for a company lunch, and it’s even more fun when the company has the event catered so no one has to do any of the hard work. The problem is that these lunches may not always be prepared in an allergy friendly way, with cross contamination being the most common form of exposure. When in doubt, treat yourself to something else special that you know won’t trigger an allergic reaction.
So, there you go – 7 surprising and often forgotten things that might give you allergies at workplace. Do you know any other? Be sure to share them with me and other readers in the comment section.