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The region's cleaning techniques are dated, experts

Health, wellbeing, environment and factors contributing to the sick building syndrome need to be considered by FM companies

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Experts from the facilities management (FM) sector have highlighted the slightly outdated cleaning practices followed in the region.

Khidmah soft services division manager Shadi Akeel told fmME: “While the FM industry continues the race towards new technologies, sustainability, innovation and techniques; elements of the cleaning Industry also remains in the past.

“Even with new technology being adapted in the market, there is still a lack of focus on the impacts to our clients particularly in areas relating to health, wellbeing and the local environment,” Akeel said.

Akeel said the practise of lugging around large containers of chemicals is not an uncommon sight across the region’s FM sector. These chemicals are then mixed with the water or used in a diluted form for cleaning purposes.

“There is an age old perception in the region that you need to smell the chemicals used to clean, when in fact this can be contributing to ‘sick building syndrome’ for its inhabitants due to the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and other harmful chemicals,” Akeel says.

VOC’s are chemicals found in the built environment that become airborne and can be harmful to indoor air quality. VOC’s can be commonly found in some paints, carpets and especially in cleaning and sanitising products.

Akeel added: “In fact, many sanitisers contain bleach which can cause irritation to building occupants along with other respiratory conditions, more so in children.”

Read the entire special report on cleaning in the upcoming issue of Facilities Management Middle East issue.

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