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Are Your Cleaning Products Injuring Building Occupants?

May 11, 2022

Facility managers and building service contractors work to ensure their buildings are safe and healthy for occupants. But sometimes they unintentionally cause injuries with the products they choose.

A journalist working in an office in Wales suffered with a red, flaky and burning skin condition on his face for years, but dermatologists could never pinpoint the source of his problem, European Cleaning Journal reports. After six years of flare ups, he was diagnosed with rosacea and given creams, but nothing helped his face. Then his workplace closed due to COVID-19 in 2020.

The man’s skin condition cleared up during the 18 months he worked from home. But as soon as he returned to the office it flared up again. His dermatologist conducted a patch test which revealed he was allergic to Methylisothiazolinone, a chemical commonly found in products such as soaps, shower gels, shampoos, and sunscreens. The journalist discovered the culprit was an air freshener spray in his workplace restroom that was set to disperse product at regular intervals. As soon as his employer removed the spray dispenser from the building, the man’s condition went away.

“For the first time in years my skin doesn’t hurt while I’m at my desk,” said the journalist, Will Hayward.

Learn about odor-control solutions for your facility restrooms, including natural, plant-based options.

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