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Could your office building be making you sick?
Apparently so - the official term for it is Sick Building Syndrome and is a major contributor to employee absenteeism.

The South African economy loses up to R16 billion a year due to absenteeism. This is according to the organisation, Occupational Care South Africa, which states that about 15% of employees are absent on any given day. The syndrome is a key concern for many companies and organisations, as it also decreases employee productivity, even for those present at work.
 
One way in which Samsung is creating a solution, is through the inclusion of the Virus Doctor and easy filter technology in selected Samsung air conditioners, turning the tide on Sick Building Syndrome and improving the health of employees in the workplace.
 
South Africa is regarded as a port of entry for the African continent, and the endless possibilities are attractive to foreign investors and multinational companies. The country is fast becoming the new destination of choice for call centres as well as serving as a base for regional headquarters of these international firms.
 
This is great news for job creation and the proportional growth of the middle class. However, it has highlighted the very real threat of Sick Building Syndrome. Mike van Lier, Manager: Digital Air Solutions, Samsung South Africa, discusses how using innovative technology, this syndrome could be a thing of the past.
 
“Caused by inadequate ventilation, chemical contaminants from indoor sources, poorly located intake vents as well as faulty or poorly maintained air cooling systems, Sick Building Syndrome manifests through occupants of certain buildings presenting a myriad of symptoms,” says Van Lier.
 
Some of the negative health effects may present shortly after a single exposure or after repeated exposure. These symptoms include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These immediate effects are generally short-term and treatable, often the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution.
 
“Invested in cutting-edge technology which improves lives and lifestyles, Samsung as a leading consumer electronics brand, is working towards best-practice technologies which contain this syndrome,” says Van Lier.
 
The Virus Doctor and easy filter technology air conditioners are health-promoting units which eliminate up to 99% of airborne bacteria and viruses, as well as smoke, pollen, dust and other contaminants, keeping the air inside any room; including offices, clean and pure.
 
Additionally, the Virus Doctor has taken great strides in preventative health care through its ability to eliminate harmful viruses which cause serious airborne diseases such as Influenza A, subtype H1N1 and even Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. This is endorsed by the ** British Allergy Foundation, which has approved the Virus Doctor’s S-Plasma ion’s effectiveness in eliminating allergens, keeping the air you breathe clean and healthy.
 
An intangible benefit of consistently using an air conditioner on the same temperature throughout a season, is that by controlling the temperature of the room more consistently, you are less likely to contract the typical colds or viruses from constant changes in temperature. This is especially good news for employers grappling with their employees’ winter health blues and dealing with associated and unnecessary employee downtime due to illness.

(adapted from a press release)