Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Occupational Health and Safety: Salons and keratin-based smoothers

(UPI) -- A hair relaxer found in Brazilian Blowout and some other brands may not only be smelly but presents a health risk due to formaldehyde, Oregon officials say.

An investigation by Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Administration was conducted after salon hairstylists in Portland reported nosebleeds, breathing problems and eye irritation linked to the use of keratin-based smoothers used by curly haired women of all races about every four months for $350 to $600, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Oregon OSHA issued a 30-page report last October, but the report concluded there's a lack of information available about the safety of keratin products.

However, the report did say that although many of the keratin-based smoothing products were labeled "formaldehyde-free," state officials found 37 of 56 samples of Brazilian Blowout products from various salons contained 6.4 percent to 11.8 percent formaldehyde, the Tribune says. Most other brands had less than 2 percent formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen.

"There are meaningful risks to salon workers when they are confronted with hair smoothing products," Oregon OSHA said after further testing.

The manufacturers of Brazilian Blowout have sued Oregon OSHA, alleging the testing methods in the study were improper, the test results were "greatly exaggerated" and statements made by the state were "false and misleading."
Electrocorp carries a range of air cleaners designed specifically for salons
Call today for a free consultation or visit our website to start a live chat with an air quality expert.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

University Building Management and Air Quality

Image: jscreationzs /
Campus Life: Diversity and Air Pollution
Due to the multifaceted nature of building-use on a campus, air quality management within a University campus can be a significant challenge. It’s not uncommon to find art studios, laboratories and classrooms co-existing in the same facility with libraries, food services, faculty offices and student housing. This unique mix of activities produces a wide range of indoor air contaminants which, if not properly controlled, will reduce indoor air quality, even if HVAC systems are regularly maintained.

Ideal for LEED Buildings and Environmental Stewardship Initiatives
Electrocorp offers a full line of cost-effective, low maintenance solutions to improve indoor air quality and compliment LEED green building projects and environmental stewardship initiatives. Among the most effective and eco-friendly on the market, Electrocorp air cleaning systems use only safe and proven technology and are designed for reliable, 24/7 operation.  Choose from a wide selection of stand-alone room air cleaners or larger units that can be integrated into existing HVAC systems.

Custom Applications
Our exclusive deep-bed activated carbon and HEPA filtration system is ideal for removing a wide spectrum of chemicals, gases, odors, particles, bacteria and allergens.  We stock over 40 blends of activated carbon to target specific airborne pollutants and can customize units specifically for art or photography studios, laboratories, clean rooms, archives, food preparation and many other specialized applications. 

Contact us today for a customized product recommendation: 1-866-667-0297

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Art Safety: Unprotected artists using the same chemicals and as labs and industry

Image: scottchan /
Artists are exposed to a wide variety of hazardous airborne chemicals, fumes, heavy metals and dust, yet art safety is still routinely overlooked by both professionals and hobbyists. Art safety risks have been well documented since the early 1700’s. The legendary works of many of the Old Masters were created with toxic pigments and heavy metals which contributed to disease and illness.  While many of those additives have been phased out, art safety risks are just as prevalent today, with an even more extensive range of materials used in artist’s creations. 

Many artists in fact, would be surprised to learn that they use the same acids, solvents, metals, pigments and dyes as chemists. Yet while a chemist will pour a substance out of a meticulously labeled container, under an air cleaning hood and steps away from an emergency eyewash station, an artist will pour the same substance from an unmarked jam jar, in an unventilated studio space steps from where they sleep. 

Art Safety Knowledge Limited
Despite the fact that artists are using the same chemicals as lab technicians and heavy industry, most artists may be unwilling or unable to invest in industrial ventilation hoods.  To offer a more affordable solution, Electrocorp manufacturers a number of smaller air cleaners with art safety in mind. They feature industrial grade, deep-bed activated carbon filters that work like a gas mask to remove airborne chemicals and fumes. The units also incorporate particle filters for fine dust. As experts in air quality issues related to art safety, Electrocorp, works with independent artists, art schools, universities  and museums to offer affordable solutions to protect artists and artifacts from the devastating effects of airborne pollutants. 

Speak with one of our air quality experts today for a free recommendation: 1-866-667-0297.