Office Uses Toxic Products

Dear Sammi SaferBuilder,

My office is planning to do renovations which will take several months. I got headaches for a week the last time my house was painted, and I'm concerned that I'll have horrible headaches for months when they renovate.

It would be uncomfortable for me to say anything, but by the same token, I don't want be sick.


Needs My Job

Dear Needs Your Job,

Unfortunately, the air quality and occupational laws have not kept up with the building and maintenance products that are on the market. Employees tend to be made fun of or treated dismissively when they speak up.

Although now it is commonplace for people to not smoke indoors, years ago, people ridiculed asthmatics asking smokers to smoke outside.

The SaferBuilding™ Materials and Methods ( are new standards which are akin to taking the No Smoking indoor policies and applying them to chemicals which leave a toxic residue.

The difficulty is that when you ask your employer to use the SaferBuilding™ Materials and Methods, your employer may think that you're putting your needs ahead of the company needs or that you are exaggerating the need to keep toxic chemicals out of your air.

Our experience is that although very few employees are willing to speak up, many are relieved when an office adapts the SaferBuilding™ Materials and Methods. After all, breathing less toxic air is better for everyone who works there.

Perhaps sending this letter will help. It won't be anonymous, but a least it will let your employer know that it is a very common concern.

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