Fragrances for Living Blog
How Aromatherapy May Combat ‘Sick Building Syndrome’
There’s no denying the fact that the use of essential oils has exploded in popularity in recent years as a trend that has grown beyond the consumer market. Now businesses are increasingly looking for ways that they can use scenting and aromatherapy to enhance sales, productivity and much more. Some are even looking into the many ways that diffused oils may be able to improve air quality, and prevent so-called ‘Sick Building Syndrome’, especially during the cold and flu season.
Several studies have shown that various plants have powerful healing effects. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the fact that for thousands of years, humanity relied on plants to treat a variety of ailments and lived in much closer proximity to greenery in their day to day lives overall. Most of us now spend a considerable portion of our lives indoors, often in the same spaces both at work and home. If these living and working areas are full of potentially harmful bacteria and mold, this may result in chronic allergies, discomfort, or even prolonged sickness. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as many as 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings may be affected by poor indoor air quality. In the most severe cases, a mysterious environmental factor known as Sick Building Syndrome may be to blame.
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a term used to describe any indoor location that has persistently unhealthy air quality. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sick Building Syndrome is used to describe “situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building”. While the precise causes of SBS are currently unknown, people who work or frequent such areas often complain of getting frequent headaches, runny noses, respiratory issues, fevers and other distressing symptoms. Inspections of such spaces typically reveal high concentrations of fungal spores, mold, bacteria, and other airborne contaminants. Because these culprits are so tiny, they can seep into the flooring and furniture, making them particularly challenging to combat.
Diffusing oils is a small yet effective way that business can integrate the positive benefits that certain plants offer in terms of purifying scent to help clear the air, especially during the times of the year when microbes flourish. With the use of pure organic essential oils, business owners can also avoid having to rely on using a lot of heavy-duty cleaners that often contain harsh chemicals and can even contribute to even worse air quality.
It’s easy to see the appeal in using plant-based aromatherapy as a possible solution for Sick Building Syndrome, but you may be wondering if there is any scientific evidence to back up this practice. While the mainstream medical community has only started to take an interest in aromatherapy in recent decades, a few promising studies have emerged that appear to show that essential oils are useful in purifying the air, especially when it comes to potentially harmful fungi and molds. In one study that focused specifically on the effects of diffused essential oils on airborne fungus, it was found that several scents, in particular, were effective in reducing the indoor airborne concentration of spores from a variety of species of fungi, including those known to cause illness or trigger allergies in humans.
Some of the most effective antifungal and air purifying scents, according to this and similar studies are:
- Tea Tree Oil
One aroma oil blend from AromaTech that uses the cleansing power of lavender and lemon to freshen air is our aptly-named Fresh Air Aroma and Essential Oil Blend. This clean-smelling scent not only helps to purify the air of fungus, mold and other contaminants but also leaves air smelling sweet and fresh like a pleasant spring afternoon. The bright citrus and cardamom notes also add to its appeal and are sure to transform any dusty or musty smelling location into one your customers and staff will enjoy spending their time.
These and any of our other scenting oils may be used along with any of our state-of-the-air cold air diffusers, several of which have been designed specifically with business in mind. The microparticle mist that AromaTech diffusers produce is so fine that it can reach the surfaces where mold and bacteria collect, purifying every inch of your office or store location in a way that most other kinds of diffusers, including reed diffusers or ultrasonic devices, cannot.
In fact, some forms of diffusing may even worsen air quality, especially those that use heat to release the aroma. Essential oils contain complex and delicate chemical components, that when exposed to heat may transform into Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that pollute the air and result in eye or respiratory irritation. With cold air nebulizing technology from AromaTech, essential oils remain in their purest and most complete state and are therefore far less likely to turn into potentially harmful airborne VOCs.
Another benefit of AromaTech’s diffusers is the fact that our medium- to large- space scenting machines are capable of connecting to your HVAC system, giving you the ability to scent multiple rooms or areas of your premises with ease. Each scenting machine is fully programmable as well so that you can set a daily or weekly schedule for diffusing in whatever way works most conveniently for you, your clients and your staff.
Diffusing your office or store could help keep the air in your building healthier year-round, especially during allergy season or when seasonal colds and flu are going around. This may mitigate the effects of lost productivity due to sick staff and help keep your customers and clients happier. Best of all, you’ll be able to enjoy the pleasant scents that our many aroma oils provide at the precise level of concentration that you desire.
AromaTech’s scenting machines and oils may not be able to prevent all forms of airborne contamination from occurring, but they are a powerful tool that businesses can use to combat the effects of fungus, bacteria and mold that are associated with poor indoor air quality. With a little assistance from this all-natural and safe form of aromatherapy, you may be able to avoid having to deal with dreaded Sick Building Syndrome or use diffusion as a way to help counter its effects.