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Introduction: Dry Air in the Workplace and What It May Lead to
The recent researches on the key problems of most workplace environment types have shown that a range of employees suffer from extremely low humidity rates (Smith & Pitt, 2011).
Though the issue might be seen as a minor problem compared to the rest of the issues that an ordinary employee faces on a regular basis in their workplace environment, it should be kept in mind that the problem in question may lead to rather serious diseases, including such disorders as stress, neurosis and even depression.
Because of a seeming lack of the link between depression and low humidity rates in the place where a person spends 1/3 of their day, one may misinterpret the reasons for the depression developed and, therefore, make the process of recovery long and very complicated, with a very high chance for an instance of recidivism in the future.
Occupational Health: Dry Air as a Hazard for Office Employees
Though in a number of offices, local managers fall into the other extreme, and the office becomes oversaturated with humidity (OSHA, 2006), the problem of dry air is clearly the second worst factor that affects the staff’s health impressively.
As a rule, the issue is triggered by a specific construction of the building (e.g., numerous ventilation holes, enhanced air conditioning, etc.), and specific rules, which lead to having little to no sources of water in the office (e.g., prohibition to drink tea or coffee in the workplace).
Dry air poses a tangible threat to the health of the employees, especially to those, whose job is related to personal communication, i.e., requires an impressive strain of the throat muscles. The problem becomes especially evident when it comes to considering such jobs as a lecturer, a consultant, etc.
According to the results of recent researches, an eight-hour exposal to a dry air environment may lead to such health issues, starting from heat stress and ending with neurosis (McCool, Reeder, Robinson, Petrie & Gorman, 2009).
Environmental Health: Dry Air and Change of Climate
Despite the on-coming climate change and a rapid increase in humidity rates triggered by the so-called greenhouse effect, the air in some cities, especially industrial ones, remains dry.
According to what most sources say, the phenomenon of dry air in the era of global warming and, therefore, an impressive rise in humidity rates in most parts of the Earth (Hurricanes in a warmer world, 2006) is much more of a threat to both people’s health and the environment in general.
As a result, little to no attention is paid to a nonetheless serious threat of people being exposed to a dry air environment on a regular basis (Berlin, 2014). As recent researches state, such places as Nevada, Florida and Texas suffer from low rates of humidity greatly, and people are exposed to a serious threat in the specified regions (Annual average relative humidity by US state, 2014).
Conclusion: Dry Air as a Major Concern for Office Employees
Although the problem of dry air may seem not as threatening as the opposite extreme, it still affects people’s health greatly. More importantly, because of the lack of attention paid to the issue, it becomes even more dangerous. Addressing the problem by installing humidifiers in the workplace environment is not enough; it is crucial that awareness concerning the threat of dry air in the workplace environment should be spread.
Annual average relative humidity by US state (2014). Web.
Berlin, G. L. (2014). Restoring the low limit for indoor relative humidity. Engineered Systems, 31(2), 48–52.
Hurricanes in a warmer world (2006). Web.
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McCool, J., Reeder, A., Robinson, E., Petrie, K. & Gorman, D. (2009). Outdoor workers’ perceptions of the risks of excess sun exposure. Journal of Occupational Health, 51(5), 404–411.
OSHA (2006). Preventing mold-related problems in the indoor workplace. Web.
Smith, A. & Pitt, M. (2011). Healthy workplaces: plantscaping for indoor environmental quality. Facilities, 29(3/4), pp. 169-187.