The days of cigarette smoking in the office are long gone, depicted only in period pieces like TV's Mad Men. But that doesn't mean there isn't pollution where we work.

These days we think of pollution in the workplace in an abstract fashion. The employee who pollutes the camaraderie and esprit de corps with his negative feelings and emotions. The woman who makes too much noise and disrupts the activities of her colleagues. The slacker who makes everyone else work harder.

There's a new study, however, suggesting that office pollution may now come in its purest form--toxic pollution in the air that we breathe every day. And we're not necessarily talking about the guy who decides to cook a fish dinner in the office's microwave. Wearing deodorant to the office may contribute to indoor air pollution, research suggests.

Scientists from Purdue University studied four different offices and discovered that concentrations of indoor air contaminants, especially from chemicals emitted by antiperspirants, make-up and hairspray are often 20 times higher than when they occur outdoors.

Peeling an orange releases organic compounds called monoterpenes, which mix with ozone to form particles that may adversely affect the lungs. Sometimes the compounds linger in the air long after employees had left for the day.

This build-up of contaminants could cause fatigue, headaches, and other maladies, especially if offices are not properly ventilated.

The findings from the Purdue University study is set to be presented at the American Association for Aerosol Research Conference.

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