Thursday, November 6, 2008

News You Can Use: Go Green, reduce sick days

It's that time of year again. Just when it seems that the half of your office down with a cold or flu recovers, the other half goes out on sick leave or struggles through the day, sniffing and sneezing at their desk.

The World Health Organization estimates that the cost of influenza to the U.S. economy in terms of health care costs and lost productivity can range from $71 billion to $167 billion a year.

In order to combat illness, consider latching on to the industry's hottest trend - green cleaning!

"Green cleaning provides demonstrable benefits to improved indoor environmental utility that directly relates to decreased absenteeism and increased productivity. As a tenant leasing space in a building, you want to lease space that will provide the healthiest possible environment for your occupants," said Keith Schneringer, President of USGBC San Diego.

Cleaning products can contribute to indoor air quality problems as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) evaporate and are circulated through the building's ventilation system. Indoor air is often several times more contaminated than outdoor air, and allergic reactions to unhealthy environments account for more than 10 million workdays missed by U.S. employees each year.

By replacing products that negatively affect indoor environmental quality, the health and productivity of all building occupants is improved.

"…[U]se non-toxic, non-reactive chemicals that have a minimal effect on the environment," said Kurt Lester, partner of Servi-Tek, a green cleaning specialist.

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