Workplace allergies straining economies
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Workplace allergens like chemical cleaners and perfumes can hurt productivity. Company photoWorkplace allergies are putting a strain on Turkey’s economy and offices should consider using more environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies and banning perfumes as has been done in some public sector offices abroad, Allergy Specialist Prof. Dr. Yonca Tabak has said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently 300 million asthma sufferers around the world and roughly 250,000 people lose their lives every year due to the illness. Furthermore, allergy related treatments including medication, hospital visits and sick days taken at work due to these conditions cost the European economy 25 billion euros and the American economy $707 billion.
According to Tabak, Turkey has 4 million asthma sufferers. She warns office managers about the risks of using chemical products at the office and works to educate them on the benefits of implementing a perfume ban.
Tabak says that cheap chemical cleaning detergents and perfumes are enough to trigger serious allergy attacks among people who are particularly sensitive to chemical products. America has begun implementing perfume bans in corporate offices and has opted to use healthier cleaning supplies due to the growing number of lawsuits brought by allergy sufferers. In order to increase worker productivity, Tabak argues that work places must provide clean and healthy working environments and should take the necessary precautions.
Tabak says that in an office environment where there is often low oxygen circulation, harsh chemical products and strong smells are enough to cause coughing, shortness of breath, itching and other skin allergies.