Most Dangerous Spot in the Office

job interview Did you ever wonder where the riskiest place to work in your office might be? By the window, perhaps, where you could be injured by shattering glass? How about by the front door of a ground floor business, where a drunk driver could jump the curb and run into you?

Those spots could be risky indeed, but the worst place to work in the office poses a far more subtle -- yet consistent danger. It's right by the wet-toner copy machine. And it has nothing to do with your ears burning from the cursing you hear when the #$%@! thing malfunctions. The issue is all about the VOC's the copy machine emits, according to England's Daily Mail.

What are VOC's you may ask? They're chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, and they have a nasty tendency to be linked to maladies such as asthma and even cancer. VOC's can also be found in certain cleaning products, air fresheners, some synthetic carpets and TV screens. Some studies have linked asthma in children under three to high VOC levels at home. Makes you think twice about letting your child crawl around on the carpet, doesn't it?.

But back to the office... the copy machine (or that plug-in air freshener, for that matter) could put you at higher risk for cancer. What can you do about it?

  • Move your desk as far away from the copier as possible. Show this article to your boss if he or she is reluctant to let you make the move.
  • Open the windows! That's impossible in some offices, but if you can let fresh air in, do it! It will also help minimize the VOC's radiating up from the artificial carpet under your feet.
  • Put some live plants on your desk. They cleanse the air naturally, taking in C02 and giving out oxygen.
  • If there's any chance of moving the copies into a closet, or even putting a curtain around it, do it! You'll all breathe easier.

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