by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | November 01, 2006

My Office Is Killing Me!Plagued by headaches, sneezing, eye irritation and allergies? The conditions in your office might be the culprit, says Jeffrey May, author of My Office Is Killing Me! ( and an indoor air-quality expert and building consultant. Among his recommendations for alleviating symptoms:

Go for leather. Dust and moisture can build up in fabric, promoting the growth of dust mites. Swap that fabric-covered chair for a leather one.

Change the lights. Fluorescent light fixtures have a tendency to flicker and hum, which can cause headaches. Try using a plug-in desk lamp with an incandescent bulb.

Careful with carpet. Before installing new carpet, sniff-test a sample to determine if you are sensitive to any chemicals in the fiber.

Stay dry. Mold thrives in high humidity. If your work space is below ground level, where humidity levels are typically higher, be sure it is consistently heated to 64 degrees Fahrenheit in cold months, and run a dehumidifier in the warmer months to keep it dry.