The Negative Health Impact Of Dust In The Workplace

We know that dust can easily accumulate anywhere, and it is unavailable without regular cleanliness. Dust can be made up of various natural particles such as dirt, pollen, microorganisms, and dead skin, and it can enter the workplace in several ways. It can be carried in on employees’ shoes or clothing, float in through the ventilation ducts, or even be shed from the employees themselves.

Given how easy it is for dust to accumulate, regular cleaning is made even more essential, especially when you consider the numerous effects it can have on your employees’ health. Depending on the extent of dust collected, the consequences can range from a drop in productivity due to discomfort to severe respiratory issues. Despite there being a swift and simple solution in the form of commercial cleaning services, some may think that it is not worth the effort to hire them.

To prove that the benefits far outweigh the cost, here are some health consequences of a dusty workplace that you would want to avoid.

Irritation of the eyes and nose

Your eyes and the insides of your nose can be particularly sensitive to small particles coming into contact with them. When dust gets into your eyes, they may start to redden, and you could feel irritation and pain. This is exacerbated for people with eye allergies, which typically activate in response to pollen, dust mites or animal dander in the dust. Allergies can be activated in the respiratory tract as well when dust is inhaled.

Either way, contact with dust triggers the release of a chemical called histamines, which can cause inflammation in the tissues. You will experience this as itching and swelling around the eyes and nostrils, involuntary tearing of the eyes, and a runny or blocked nose. In extreme cases, you may even have difficulty breathing.

This discomfort would naturally affect productivity to a considerable degree, making professional office cleaning services a cost-effective option. We provide hi-dusting and carpet maintenance services to get rid of dust in those hard to reach areas, giving your employees a safe environment to work in.

Lung disease

The respiratory tract has mechanisms which allow it to remove most dust particles, but these are some limitations. First of all, not all dust is stopped in the nose, and some of it gets into the throat. You need to cough to get dust out of your windpipe. However, frequent coughing can be unsanitary and it can also damage the throat, opening it up to infection.

Furthermore, not all dust particles can be removed. Sometimes, extremely small particles evade the body’s defence mechanisms and travel to the lungs. If a lot of dust builds up, the body’s immune system could fail to take care of it, leading to lung damage. This is especially dangerous for industrial workplaces that deal with silica.  Immune cells that ingest silica particles die and release toxins, causing scarring of the lungs.

Other diseases

Dust may just look like a dead ball of fluff, but inside lies a whole community of bacteria and fungi. Since it contains lots of organic material, these microbes have plenty of food to thrive in collections of dust. The population of microbes can be very diverse, ranging from those usually found on the skin, to those usually found in faeces. While this is not too big a concern in small amounts, the microbes can quickly grow to concerning numbers if allowed to fester for long enough. While not all of them can cause diseases, you would be better off not taking the risk.

Both productivity and health suffer can tremendously in an unclean, dusty workplace. For the sake of your employees and business, consider enquiring about our commercial cleaning services. Whether you need to get rid of dust inside or on the outside of your establishment, our suite of interior and external façade maintenance services will be able to accommodate your company’s needs.