Going to the office? Be Careful, It Is A Chemical Soup

Office Space/Screen capture

As if you didn't have enough to worry about, what with filling out TPS reports and dealing with the boss. It turns out that the Office Space is full of polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) that may be causing reproductive, developmental, liver and immune problems. (TreeHugger has noted that they may also be linked to ADHD, which may account for some of the odd behavior at Initech)

Emily Sohn writes in Discovery News:

People who spend the most time at the office have the highest levels of polyfluorinated compounds (PFC) levels in their blood, found a new study, which also showed a direct link between chemical levels in the air of a person’s workplace and the amount of PFCs in his/her blood.

This is the stuff that makes fabrics stain resistant and water resistant, and is probably in the fabric that the cube farms are made of, the carpet tiles and in the upholstery in the chairs. The most surprising result of the study is that levels were highest in the new buildings and lowest in older offices; I thought that most manufacturers were phasing these chemicals out.

Its amazing that people can put up with spending a third of their day in a chemical soup of PFCs and flame retardants, not to mention every other chemical spouted out of the copiers and printers and used for cleaning, in sealed boxes with lousy ventilation. People deserve better. It is one reason I like LEED for offices; they give points for more ventilation and source control.

More at Discovery News.

Tags: Carpets | Chemicals | Ozone

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