Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Truck drivers and commuters can breathe easier

The mobile air purifier fits into any vehicle - in the trunk,
under the seat or in a preferred spot.
Daily commutes and long drives in the vehicle can expose passengers to harmful chemicals and fumes as well as fine particles.

These have been connected to health concerns such as respiratory disease, cancer and other medical issues.

Built-in car filters will keep out a few of these particles, but Electrocorp's partner company AllerAir wanted to offer their trusted carbon and HEPA filter combo to those who drive a lot.

They developed a mobile unit with a 32 oz. granular activated carbon filter to adsorb airborne chemicals, fumes and gases (including diesel fumes, benzene and toluene) and particle filters to provide a complete air purification solution for the vehicle.

Check out their vehicle air purification series here.

Note: Electrocorp is AllerAir's industrial and commercial division and also offers carbon + HEPA air purifier solutions.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Most car pollution comes from 25% of cars

Stop-and-go traffic
increases emissions.
When it comes to polluting the environment, not all cars (or drivers) are created equal.

A recent study conducted by University of Toronto researchers found that just 25 percent of cars they measured produced about 90 percent of the total traffic-related air pollution.

Pollutants like carbon dioxide (CO2) are known to have a negative impact on climate change, but cars also emit a wide array of pollutants associated with lung cancer, respiratory diseases, and heart disease. The researchers focused on measuring these types of pollutants, and found that just a quarter of cars produced the majority of particulates and carbon monoxide in the area.

Jonathan Wang, one of the authors of the study and a chemical engineering PhD student at the University of Toronto, said the chief polluters were older cars in need of a tune-up.

“We found it was a large amount of transport trucks, but a good proportion was just cars – a mixture of both,” Wang said. “We suspect they were older vehicles.”

The researchers took real-time measurements of the exhaust of about 100,000 cars driving past air-sampling probes on one of Toronto’s busiest roads. The study was borne out of concern that vehicle fleet emissions spread farther than previously known.

In addition to total particulates and carbon monoxide, the researchers found that a quarter of cars measured produced over 76 percent of pollutants like benzene, toluene, and other known carcinogens.

Besides driving an older vehicle (anything older than seven years), Wang said driving behavior could also have a huge impact on pollution.

“Cruising at normal speeds is better than heavy braking and heavy acceleration,” he said. “Stop-and-go traffic can increase emissions for vehicles.”

The report shows that drivers have pretty good control over local car pollution, Wang said. Modifying your driving behavior, maintaining your vehicle with regular oil changes and air filter replacements, and choosing a newer car with good gas mileage could all impact air quality.

So if you want to buy a car that doesn’t ruin the world, here’s where to start:

• Buy newer
• Do your research
• Consider multiple pollutants
• Get a car record

This article has been edited for length. Source: Boston.com

Are you concerned about the air pollution in your area or place of work? Electrocorp offers a wide range of indoor air cleaners with activated carbon and HEPA that actually remove harmful pollutants. An air cleaner for inside the car is also available. Contact Electrocorp by calling 1-866-667-0297 or writing to sales@electrocorp.net.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Toxic pollutants in fracking county air

New study finds fracking releases cancer-causing chemicals into the air many times higher than the EPA considers safe

The fracking process releases toxic chemicals into the air.
Emissions generated by fracking operations may be exposing people to some toxic pollutants at levels higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for long-term exposure, according to scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Cincinnati.

The researchers took air samples in Carroll County, the home of 480 permitted wells––the most in any of Ohio's 88 counties.

The team found chemicals released during oil and gas extraction that can raise people's risk of cancer and respiratory ailments.

Researchers caution they don't want to create undue alarm with their findings, but they say they hope the results will highlight the urgent need to conduct more in-depth studies of fracking emissions and the potential effects on human health.

"What we see here suggests that more needs to be known about the risks people face when exposed," said study co-leader Erin Haynes, a University of Cincinnati scientist.

Based on the data collected, researchers calculated the cancer risk posed by airborne contaminants in the Carroll County study areas.

For the worst-case scenario––exposure 24 hours a day over 25 years––they found that a person anywhere in the study area would be exposed at a risk level exceeding the threshold the EPA deems acceptable.

The lifetime cancer risk in the study area estimated for maximum residential exposure was 2.9 in 10,000, which is nearly three times the EPA's acceptable risk level of 1 in 10,000, according to the study.

Anderson cautioned that the study numbers are worst-case estimates and can't predict the risk to any individual.

The EPA did not respond to questions about the findings.

The study focused on pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). These are organic compounds containing carbon and hydrogen, found in fossil fuels.

The study mirrored other research conducted in heavily fracked areas of the country, including Texas and Pennsylvania, that have focused on volatile organic compounds. These chemicals, including benzene and toluene, also are carbon-based chemicals in the same chain as those studied in Ohio––and they present similar dangers to human health.

With fracking on the rise across the country, the study authors and other scientists say there are simply too many unknowns about the potential health effects associated with the toxic chemicals released from oil and gas operations.

'Growing Concerns and a Lot of Questions'

The study got its start when a group of citizens approached Haynes, a public health expert at the University of Cincinnati, seeking information about health risks from natural gas extraction near their homes.

None of those people said they were sickened by breathing the air, but they wanted to know more about the potential consequences, Anderson said.

"There was some concern with all of the wells that were starting to go in around their homes," Anderson said. "People want to know; wanted to get answers about how all the [fracking] activity might be affecting them."

Anderson and her associates teamed with Haynes to design a study that relied on volunteers to collect air samples in Carroll County, which is home to about 30,000 people.

After volunteers were recruited through a community meeting and word-of-mouth, air samplers were placed on the properties of 23 volunteers; they lived or worked at sites ranging from immediate proximity to a gas well to a little more than three miles away.

The aluminum box monitors contained specially treated material that absorbed contaminants. The volunteers were trained in proper handling of the samplers and documenting data.

At the conclusion of the study, the samplers were sealed in airtight bags and returned to Anderson's lab at OSU for analysis.

The samplers picked up high levels of pollution associated with fracking in the areas studied, according to the report. Levels taken within one-tenth of a mile of a well were highest; they decreased by about 30 percent in samples taken a little more than three miles from a well.

Source: Inside Climate News 
This article has been edited for length.

Concerned about airborne pollution at work or at home? Electrocorp has designed a wide range of indoor air cleaners with activated carbon and HEPA that can remove airborne chemicals (such as toluene and benzene), gases, odors, fumes, particles and more. Electrocorp is the industrial division of AllerAir Industries, which offers carbon + HEPA air purifiers for the home. Contact Electrocorp by calling toll-free 1-866-667-0297 or writing to sales@electrocorp.net.