Sick Building Syndrome – How Sick is Yours?

Sick Building Syndrome – How Sick is Yours?

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is the term used to describe symptoms and illnesses that are thought to be linked to people spending time in a specific building, often a place of work, but it can also be your home. These can range from headaches and dizziness, through to respiratory illnesses, allergies, and tiredness. Healthcare institutions operate strict cleaning regimes to minimize the impact of SBS on their staff, patients and visitors. Employers have responsibility for safety of the environment in which they ask their employees to work. But what about your own home?

A recent university study of 1,200 US homes identified that a single speck of dust can contain 9,000 microbes. The study identified around 2,000 separate fungi types and 7,000 different types of bacteria in house dust. The names may frighten you (Aspergillus, Staphylococcus etc) but the reality is that human beings have lived with dust for centuries, so it is important to strike a sensible balance. For many years there has been a debate raging as to whether textile surfaces such as furniture fabrics and carpets provide a healthier or worse environment within the home: fabric and carpet manufacturers argue that their products, well maintained, are just as safe if not safer than hard surfaces such as wood furniture and floors where the dust circulates more freely in the air. The answer probably lies somewhere between the two extremes, with ventilation playing a key role.

While there are many different attitudes towards hygiene in the home, there is general agreement that our healthcare, educational and commercial kitchen facilities should practise the highest standards of hygiene. We expect to see our hospital wards and corridors being cleaned regularly, and we expect exceptional standards of cleanliness in critical hygiene areas, and products such as BioClad antimicrobial wall panels make a big contribution to ensuring that operating theatres, maternity rooms, CT scan facilities, dental surgeries etc. are as free as possible from the incidence of bacteria and other potentially harmful microbes.

Silver ion technology is impregnated into every BioClad panel during manufacture, which means that the panels themselves work 24/7 to interrupt the breeding cycle of microbes that may land on its surface. Independent tests show that after two hours micro-organisms are not able to survive on its surface, which provides a clean, smooth, wipe-down surface that will last for the lifetime of the building in which it is installed.

While stories about outbreaks of superbugs such as MRSA, E.Coli, and C.Difficile continue to make headlines, the reality is that the critical hygiene areas of many of our public buildings have rarely been cleaner, and that the increasing number of antimicrobial products now on the market are helping to raise standards still further. And just as with our home environments, regular cleaning and maintenance will enhance cleanliness and therefore provide better protection for our families.

For further information please follow this link or give BioClad a call on 0330 100 0313 (UK) or +44 330 1000 313 (International).



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