Friday, December 30, 2011

IAQ concerns at work: Even health departments can be unhealthy

Poor indoor air quality can affect workers' well-being
and productivity.
Indoor air quality has become a top public health concern, and the problems are not confined to people’s homes.

In many cases, their offices and work sites also expose them to indoor air pollutants such as VOCs, mold, chemicals and dust or smaller particles.

Long-term exposure to indoor air pollution has been linked to a wide range of health effects for some people, including respiratory issues, Sick Building Syndrome and more.

Even health departments are affected.

In the case of the Fairfield County Health Department in Connecticut, workers were exposed to moisture and mold problems as well as a flea infestation, bats and rodents, poor indoor air quality due to a lack of air circulation, lead and high radon levels.

Officials say some of the concerns have been addressed already, but humidity problems and black mold as well as other IAQ concerns have been too costly to fix.

The employees have been submitting complaints and voicing their frustration, but finding a new location may take some time, they say.

Source: Columbus Dispatch

Improve IAQ with powerful air cleaners

Electrocorp has designed portable and multistage air filtration systems for many industrial and commercial applications, including

The air cleaners remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants from the ambient air with the help of a deep-bed activated carbon air filter (which adsorbs airborne chemicals, gases, odors and fumes), a HEPA filter (to trap as much as 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns in size) as well as UV germicidal filtration (to neutralize mold spores, bacteria and viruses).

Along with source control and proper ventilation, the right air cleaner can help keep the indoor air clean and healthy.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Report pegs industrial air cleaner market at $6.3 billion US for 2012

Activated carbon is a preferred adsorbent for
gaseous contaminants in many industrial applications.
The Scrubber/Adsorber/Biofilter World Markets report by McIlvaine paints a positive outlook for the industry for next year – forecasting demand from the pulp and paper, chemicals, metals, mining, waste incineration, refining and waste-water industries.

The biggest market will be East Asia by far, the report says, with North America in the second position.

The Canadian and American pulp and paper industry may be looking at scrubbers for recovery furnaces, lime kilns and toxin remobal elsewhere in the processes.

China and Indonesia are expected to be big purchasers, especially for the steel industry (to capture dust and other emissions) and the cement industry, while Indonesia and other East Asia countries have a growing pulp and paper industry in need of odor and chemical control.

Source: Filtration+Separation

Industrial air cleaners for improved IAQ
AirRhino: Powerful air cleaner

Electrocorp offers complete air treatment solutions for a range of industry and business application, including

The air cleaners feature a large activated carbon filter, HEPA and UV filtration to remove many chemicals, odors, gases, fumes, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold from the ambient air.

Different carbon blends are available to target specific gaseous pollutants.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and recommendations.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Researchers develop new cleaning technique for hospital rooms

Disinfection system a cost-cutting tool for health care and hospitality industries
Hospital-acquired diseases
are preventable: Experts

Infectious diseases acquired during a hospital stay cost 100,000 people their lives each year – a number that is entirely preventable, researchers say.

A Queen’s University infectious disease expert and others have developed a new disinfection system that can be used to clean hospital rooms as well as bed-bug infested hotel rooms.

The new technology pumps a specific ozone and hydrogen peroxide vapor gas mixture into a room to sterilize all surfaces, including floors, walls, drapes, mattresses, chairs etc.

The technique takes its cue from natural human responses:  If an antibody attacks a germ, it generates ozone and a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide for a new compound that neutralizes bacteria, viruses and mold.

Study results on the process are published in the December issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

The technique will be commercialized and is expected to be ready for sale in 2012.

Source: Queen’s University

Air cleaning for hospitals and hotels
I-6500 air cleaner for hospitals,
hotels and other applications.

For the times between sterilization processes, hospitals and hotels can help keep the air clean and healthier with stand-alone air filtration systems.

Electrocorp has developed complete industrial-strength air cleaners with deep-bed activated carbon filters and HEPA as well as UV to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Find out more about air cleaners for hospitals and healthcare plus air cleaners for the hospitality industry.

For more information, contact Electrocorp at 866-667-0297.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Study determines high-impact indoor air pollutants

Gaseous pollutants such as formaldehyde can affect
a building's occupants, study says.
Indoor air pollution can affect a person’s health and well-being, health authorities say, but not all contaminants are equal.

In a study on the negative effects of poor indoor air quality, gaseous pollutants such as formaldehyde and acrolein as well as small particles and particulates turned out to be the bad guys.

Formaldehyde and acrolein had the largest estimated number of annual disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost per 100,000 people of all the various indoor pollutants considered, at 46 (95% CI 0.2 to 14,000) and 47 (95% CI 2.4 to 1050), respectively, according to Jennifer Logue and colleagues from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, California, as reported by MedPage Today.

The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death.

This means that these pollutants are just as bad as or even worse than radon and secondhand smoke.
Tiny particles proved to be another concern, because they have been linked to incidents of stroke, chronic bronchitis, and premature death.

The researchers wanted to find out the health impact of poor indoor air quality at home. They used disease impact models and incidence to identify those indoor air pollutants (IAPs) with the greatest impacts on health.

Without taking radon and secondhand smoke into account, the researchers estimate that the total annual health impact of poor IAQ in U.S. homes is 1,100 DALYs per 100,000 people.

Simple steps to clean indoor air

Concerned building owners and facility managers can easily improve the indoor air quality in their home, with three simple action steps:
  1. Source control: Limit chemical-laden products and choose more natural products whenever possible. This pertains to renovation and constructions materials, furniture, cleaning products, textiles, etc.
  2. Ventilation: Make sure the existing ventilation system is working and is well maintained. Change the filters regularly.
  3. Air cleaning: A portable air cleaner with many pounds of activated carbon + HEPA can help remove contaminants from the air, including many chemicals and VOCs such as formaldehyde and acrolein, particles, dust, allergens and more.
Electrocorp offers industrial-strength air cleaners for specific rooms or to be attached to existing ventilation systems, featuring large activated carbon filters, HEPA and UV (optional).

The multistage filtration system traps a wide range of contaminants, including VOCs and gases, particulate matter, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and more options.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Smoking bans in hospitals need consideration: Researchers

Indoor air quality in hospitals is an
important health issue.
The indoor air quality in hospitals should be the best and healthiest possible. That's a given.

But it may not be as simple as banning smoking from indoors and around entrances or parking lots, a new study shows.

The researchers enrolled 186 participants (82 patients and 81 health care professionals) at two large hospitals in Canada.

They found that despite the ban and prohibiting signs, patients and staff continued to smoke on hospital grounds, probably because strict bans don’t take into account that some tobacco users are actually addicted.

Patients and staff identified safety concerns over leaving the hospital wards to smoke. The researchers say that hospitals need to view the tobacco smoking ban as a treatment issue and offer support and guidance to manage tobacco withdrawal symptoms and abstain from smoking during the hospital stay.

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal

Clean air in hospitals

Even when smoking is banned, the indoor air in hospitals can be polluted – and conventional heating and ventilation systems are generally not enough to filter out contaminants.

Portable, stand-alone air cleaners with activated carbon + HEPA + UV can help clean the air by removing many chemicals, odors, dust, particles, bacteria, viruses and mold. Electrocorp has specifically designed air cleaners for hospitals and healthcare environments.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and recommendations.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Refinery chemicals blamed for man’s bladder cancer

Health and safety lawsuits can damage a company's
reputation and bottom line.
Exposure to carcinogens throughout his career has allegedly caused the development of bladder cancer for one man, who is suing his employer.

A Texas man working as a journeyman machinist and a machinist mechanic for more than 30 years claims he was exposed to nitrates in a lawsuit filed in November.

The suit alleges that he got bladder cancer because of the exposure to the chemicals, and also suffered physical pain and mental anguish. Part of the claim concerns disfigurement and lost wages.

The man’s wife is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, claiming the chemical exposure and subsequent suffering cost her her husband’s affection, solace, comfort, companionship, assistance and sexual relations among others.

The complaint states that the defendants (a long list of chemical and oil companies) failed to protect, warn and monitor workers.

The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified judgment, plus interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Source: Southeast Texas Record 

Occupational health and safety a must

Employers have a responsibility to put appropriate health and safety measures into place to provide the safest and healthiest workplace possible.
The AirRhino: Effective odor,
chemical and particle control.

In many cases, these measures include a proactive indoor air quality management program.

The ventilation system in a lot of buildings and factories may be unable to provide enough air exchanges and filtration to keep the air clean and healthy.

That is when a portable or ceiling-mountable air cleaner from Electrocorp provides an affordable and effective solution.

Electrocorp’s air cleaners are equipped with a powerful activated carbon and HEPA filter combination, which can remove a wide range of indoor air pollutants, including chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

The air cleaners are versatile, customizable and can be filled with different carbon types and blends to enhance adsorption capacity for specific gaseous pollutants.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A great idea: State grants that help address health hazards in homes

Almost all homes have some kind of
indoor air quality concern.
The Minnesota Department of Health has awarded a quarter of a million dollars to seven health agencies in order to reach out to homeowners about health hazards in the home.

The initiative hopes to raise awareness of common indoor health hazards such as:
  • Lead
  • Radon
  • Indoor air pollutants such as tobacco smoke
The funds are supposed to support local efforts  to encourage prevention activities as well as providing guidance and support.

The program builds on another initiative that is already addressing lead poisoning prevention for people moist likely to be exposed.

It was expanded because many homes that have one type of health hazard also suffer from other indoor air pollution issues, officials say.

The grants are set up to help target high-risk population groups, including young children, low-income and minorities, the elderly and areas with high levels of radon or lead hazards.

The local agencies that received a grant will set up healthy home networks in their communities consisting of professional staff, community members and other members.

The goal is to raise awareness of indoor air quality issues and to help people get healthy homes for a healthy population.

Source: Echo Press

Air cleaners for IAQ concerns

Electrocorp has designed industrial-grade air cleaners for a wide range of industry applications, including mold and asbestos abatement, construction, environmental consulting and more.

The air cleaners are equipped with a multistage filtration system featuring activated carbon and HEPA, capable of removing the widest range of indoor air contaminants (including chemicals, gases, odors, particles, pathogens and more).

For more information, contact Electrocorp: 866-667-0297.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Is silica dust the new asbestos?

Health and Safety officials warn against
gaseous and particulate contaminants.
Health and safety officials are honing in on a new threat in the construction industry – silica dust, which is emerging as an occupational risk for workers in the industry.

Airborne chemical contaminants, including silica dust, have been identified as an area of concern for occupational health and safety enforcers.

According to information by WorkSafeBC, a Canadian health and safety organization, statistics show that traumatic work site fatalities have dropped, while fatalities due to occupational disease are on the rise.

Health effects due to chemical exposure typically take longer to emerge, but people that are exposed over a lifetime are dying in the 50s to 70s, meaning that preventative measures should be put in place.

Silica dust is one of many potentially harmful exposures on construction sites. Crystalline silica dust is commonly found in sand, rock and building materials, such as concrete and brick, and is released into the air each time these materials are cut, ground or drilled.

Prolonged exposure to the fine particles at higher than accepted concentrations can lead to lung damage, experts say, and it is a suspected carcinogen. Chronic silicosis develops after 10 or more years of exposure in relatively low doses.

The Canadian exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica (including quartz) is 0.025 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3). 

Workers could be exposed to this concentration eight hours per day, five days per week, without adverse health effects, according to the occupational health and safety regulation. However, the official word is that exposures should be kept as low as possible at all time.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers
  • Protect themselves with a respirator
  • Have the right equipment, including special vacuum cleaners  that capture concrete grinding dust and drills with built-in vacuums
  • Use the safest materials possible, ideally without silica

Air monitoring is also advisable to make sure that certain exposure limits are not exceeded.

Source: Journal of Commerce

Air cleaners for the construction industry

Tiny particles, airborne chemicals and other indoor air pollutants can become a burden for workers and employers alike.

Electrocorp has designed portable yet powerful industrial air cleaners that can help keep the air clean at construction sites.

Whether it’s high efficiency particle filter for woodworkers, chemical and odor control on site, asbestos and mold remediation or any other restoration process, Electrocorp’s product line offers the right unit.

Contact Electrocorp for more information or recommendations.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Report warns of rising levels of flame retardants

Researchers found that flame retardant levels are rising.
They replace one type of chemical with another, but the health effects of new flame retardants have become a new topic of concern.

Originally created to replace older chemicals that were believed to be a threat to the environment, the new flame retardants are now widespread in the air near the Great Lakes, a new report shows.

Back in the 1970s, manufacturers started using old flame retardant chemicals in their products (including upholstered furniture, electronics, clothing, mattresses).

The problem with those flame retardants was their volatility. The polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) easily off-gas into the ambient air where they can become an environmental threat.

In order to replace PBDEs, the industry introduced new formulations  that contain 2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB) and bis(2-ethylhexyl)-tetrabromophthalate (TBPH). But these chemicals could also have environmental risks: Research has suggested that the compounds can build up in fish and damage their DNA.

As it turns out, these new flame retardants can be found in the air in the Great Lakes region. Researchers monitored the air for levels of TBB and TBPH and collected samples between 2008 and 2010.

They detected TBB and TBPH in the vast majority of samples from Chicago and Cleveland, where levels of the compounds doubled approximately every 13 months.

It wasn’t only an urban phenomenon, as they also found the compounds in air samples from rural sites (those levels doubled every 19 months).

More research is needed into the effects of these new flame retardants on the environment.

Source: Chemical & Engineering News 

Want to know more about indoor air quality and the pollutants that may affect employees at the workplace? Electrocorp offers industrial air cleaners that can help remove a wide range of indoor air pollutants, including chemicals, gases, VOCs, odors, mold, bacteria, viruses, particles and dust. Contact us for more information.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Laser printers as bad for the lungs as cigarettes, studies show

Printers and copiers may emit VOCs.
Large-scale laser printers are a common sight in office buildings across North America - but their emissions may be putting employees at risk.

A 2008 study on laser printer emissions by the German research company Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft measured numerous pollutants that were emitted during laser printing, including

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as ozone
  • Silicon oil
  • Paraffin
  • Tiny particles
In an Australian 2007 study, 17 out of 62 laser printers were "high particle emitters" because they released such elevated quantities of particles, which the researchers believe to be toner, the ultra fine powder used in laser printers instead of ink to form text and images. One of the printers released particles into an experimental chamber at a rate comparable to the particle emissions from cigarette smoking, the report stated.

The ozone emitted by laser printers is a concern because it can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.

When toner cartridges are new, they are emitting more particles than when they are old.Tiny particles have been shown to penetrate deep into the lungs, where they can cause permanent damage.

Other printers that do not use toner but some other form of high heat printing mechanism were also found to emit certain types of chemicals.

The researchers concluded that office laser printers contributed to high levels of indoor air pollution in certain office buildings, especially when they were used in unventilated spaces.

Electrocorp's PrintSafe air cleaner
PrintSafe for a cleaner office environment

Electrocorp realizes large office printers can lead to poor indoor air quality and has designed a number of industrial-strength air cleaners for the office.

One of the specialized air cleaners for office printers is the PrintSafe, which features a custom-built intake hood that covers the exhaust outlet of the printer and draws the air through a deep-bed activated carbon filter as well as a HEPA filter to remove a wide range of VOCs, chemicals, particles and odors.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Healthy schools? Many students report asthma symptoms

Breathing problems are widespread in schools, study shows.
A recent survey of school-aged children in Ohio showed that almost four in 10 fourth-graders said they had asthma symptoms, while only one in 10 had an official diagnosis of asthma by a doctor.

According to an article in the Dispatch, the research took indoor and outdoor air quality into account and included more than 1,050 children at 13 central Ohio schools.

The goal of the study was to pinpoint where asthma is most prevalent and develop ways to make schools healthier.

The data is still being analyzed, but preliminary findings already highlight the connection between schools and asthma, researchers say.

The survey contained questions pertaining to the child’s breathing (is it noisy or wheezy?), whether the child found it difficult to take a deep breath or stop coughing.

An average of 37 percent of children answered with “sometimes” or “a lot” to three or more to these questions, which gives them a high asthma score. It doesn’t mean they all have asthma, the experts say, but it could mean they are not getting the appropriate medical care.

The preliminary findings already offer some clues as to how schools can improve their indoor air quality and become healthier:
  • Eliminate aerosol cleaners
  • Ban markers that aren’t water-based
  • Clean up dusty piles of paper
  • Stop idling buses in front of schools
  • Properly filter air inside of schools

Almost all of the schools in the study had a problem with ventilation.

IAQ in schools gets poor grade

It is not a big secret that most schools could use some help in improving their indoor air quality.

Most ventilation systems are simply not enough to provide adequate air exchanges and filtered air to the students, who could be experiencing health effects or suffer in terms of concentration and productivity.

Electrocorp offers simple yet efficient air filtration solutions with its product line of air cleaners for schools and universities.

The air cleaners feature a complete air filtration system with many pounds of activated carbon (for the adsorption of chemicals, gases, odors and fumes) plus HEPA (for particles, dust, allergens and pathogens) plus UV (to neutralize biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold).

The air cleaners are designed for quiet, 24/7 operation and come in different sizes and models to address specific IAQ requirements.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Productivity suffers from poor air quality at the workplace: Experts

Poor IAQ at work can hamper productivity, experts say.
Poor indoor air quality at work is a widespread phenomenon and may have a detrimental impact on the economy, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) says.

Indoor air pollution can affect workers’ health, they say, which in turn hampers productivity and absenteeism.

PAHO is set to visit Antigua & Barbuda early next year to help the Ministry of Health raise awareness about poor indoor air quality.

The building that houses the Ministry of Health is among the IAQ-challenged buildings. It has been identified as having asbestos in the roofing and other health and safety concerns.

The employees continue using the building on a half-day basis.

The organization hopes to address various IAQ issues at the workplace, including asbestos and other hazardous substances, air monitoring, cleaning agents and more.

Source: Daily Observer 
Take care of workplace air

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the quality of indoor air inside offices, schools, and other workplaces is important not only for workers' comfort but also for their health.

Workers exposed to poor IAQ may experience symptoms like headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lung, OSHA says, and the problems can come from many different areas.

Ways to control indoor air quality issues include good building maintenance, regular cleaning (without harsh chemicals), ventilation and air cleaning.

The industrial-strength air cleaners from Electrocorp are user-friendly, powerful and versatile. They feature an activated carbon + HEPA filter combination to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including many chemicals and gases, particles and dust, bacteria and viruses or mold.

For more information, contact Electrocorp.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Experts say nose can be re-trained for better sense of smell

A new study gives hope to people who are losing their sense of smell.

A loss of smell can be the result of disease or aging,
experts say.
New York University researchers have identified possible ways to reverse the loss of smell due to aging or disease and say training may be the answer.

Human sense of smell is not easily explained or treated, the authors suggest.

The olfactory bulb, a structure beneath the frontal cortex that receives nerve impulses from the nose, also has direct connections to the amygdala, which controls emotions and physiology, and to higher-order regions like the prefrontal cortex, involved in cognition and planning.

"Unlike information from your eyes and ears that has gone through many connections to reach the frontal cortex, the olfactory system is just two connections away," says Donald A. Wilson, PhD, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center and senior research scientist at the Emotional Brain Institute at Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, who led the study.

"The result is an immediate pathway from the environment through our nose to our memory."

Loss of smell linked to disease, aging

Many illnesses can bring about a loss of smell, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia, and it is also often associated with normal aging.

While the exact cause remains unknown, the researchers discovered the part of the brain where loss of smell may happen, and they showed in the lab rat study that training can affect it for better or for worse.

“In some cases it may be a 'use it or lose it' phenomenon," says Dr. Wilson, adding that smell training therapies have the potential to restore smell function in some cases.

The study’s findings are published online in Nature Neuroscience.

Source: New York University

A bad smell may be linked to poor indoor air quality and potential health effects. Find out more about industrial-strength air cleaners with activated carbon plus HEPA or contact Electrocorp directly.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fear of lawsuits drives employers to take Health and Safety seriously

Health and Safety lawsuits can involve
a lot of money, cases show.
Sometimes, fear can be a good thing.

Fear of court is a powerful motivator for employers to go above and beyond the necessary health and safety regulations, says a new UK report.

Researchers reviewed the regulations and approved codes of practice by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and how they are interpreted and applied.

It seems an employer’s fear of court is justified, as they are often encouraged to
  • Keep large numbers of paper records as evidence
  • Settle compensation claims if possible

Even if employers are doing everything “reasonably practicable”, they might lose a court case because of some strict regulations.

This type of compensation culture is widespread in the UK and in North America, where employees tend to seek financial compensation for perceived failings in occupational health and safety measures.

Source: Health Insurance & Protection

Indoor air quality is part of health and safety

Whether it’s people working in an office, at a welding workstation or in a chemical processing plant – the air may contain harmful pollutants.

Electrocorp offers industrial air cleaners for a wide range of applications that can be portable, HVAC-compatible, wall- or ceiling-mountable to fit into any space.

The air cleaners help keep the air clean by removing gaseous pollutants, particulate matter and pathogens from the air with the help of a powerful multistage filtration system with activated carbon and HEPA.

For more information, contact Electrocorp.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Canadian government buildings get costly asbestos removal work done

Asbestos removal is costly
and dangerous, but necessary.
The Canadian government is spending millions of dollars to remove asbestos-containing materials from the Parliamentary Buildings, while at the same time refusing to include asbestos on the UN agreement on hazardous materials.

A total of more than 1,000 metric tons of asbestos have been removed from buildings since August, according to an in-depth article in The Hill-Times.

Some of the buildings housing offices, committee rooms, food production facilities and more are still in the demolition phase, which include asbestos abatement.

Many of the buildings were built in the early 20th century, when asbestos was still commonly used. It was hailed as a miracle substance once because of its high resistance to fire (it is heat-resistant up to 500 degrees Celsius).

Canada was a major exporter of chrysotile asbestos to developing countries and the fifth largest producer in the world. However, the two asbestos mines in Quebec recently stopped production, and no one knows if or when they will open again.

The World Health Organization has named asbestos as a proven human carcinogen. The danger of exposure is highest when asbestos fibres are being disturbed and can be inhaled, for example during renovations, demolition and construction work.

Protect workers and occupants with air cleaners

Electrocorp designs and manufactures customizable industrial air cleaners, including air cleaners for asbestos abatement.

They feature a multistage filtration system for particulate matter and gaseous pollutants, the largest adsorbent surface areas in the industry and more relevant filter media than other units at the same price point.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Indoor air quality improves with restaurant smoking bans

A Michigan-wide smoking ban has led to much
better indoor air quality in restaurants, study shows.
Restaurants in Michigan are serving up much cleaner and healthier air these days.

After 18 months of a no-smoking rule, a study found a 93 percent reduction in indoor air pollution from secondhand smoke, the Michigan Department of Community Health says.

The study tested 77 restaurants from 13 cities before the law was passed, in the time between 2005 and 2008.

The cities include Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette, Midland, Novi, Saginaw, Sault Ste. Marie, Traverse City and West Branch.

The law came into effect on May 1, 2010, and the restaurants were then re-tested, the agency said.

The study included three casinos from Detroit. Casinos are exempt from the smoking ban, which is why the study results were not 100 percent reduction of indoor air pollutants, they say.

The agency hopes for better health outcomes because of the ban as well and plans another study to measure hospitalizations and heart problems. Another study is planned to measure the overall impact of the Smoke-Free Air Law and economic results.

Another year-long study by the American Cancer Association showed that more than 90 percent of residents support the ban.

Source: Holland Sentinel

Persistent tobacco smells can be cured with an air cleaner

The cigarettes may be gone, but the smells may still be there.

Tobacco smoke toxins have a habit of infiltrating every nook and cranny of a room, making it extremely difficult to remove odors after the fact.

An air cleaner that promises to be able to handle lingering stale tobacco smoke odors and other smells in restaurants and bars needs a complete air filter system with activated carbon and HEPA.

Activated carbon is the most efficient and affordable filtration media to adsorb chemicals, gases and odors, while HEPA is the gold standard in particle and dust filtration. Together, the filters can help keep the air clean and patrons happy and comfortable.

For more information on Electrocorp’s air cleaners for restaurants, bars and the hospitality industry as well as other customizable options, please contact Electrocorp (toll-free): 866-667-0297.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Louisiana oil refineries admit to accidental air pollution

The refineries call the accidents
"unauthorized discharges."
The state of Louisiana supports 17 oil refineries, which have been polluting less and less in the past 20+ years, but a new study shows that accidents still spew toxic emissions into the air.

According to an article in the Times-Picayune, a new study led by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade found the refineries averaged about an accident a day in 2010, often due to poor maintenance and aging piping.

The air pollution from accidents made up a little less than half of the total emissions by refineries.

One accident per day seems to be a bit worrying, but at least the 2010 accident rate was lower than the average rate for the five previous years.

State records could be underestimating pollution from refineries, the study’s leader says, since departments generally rely on company self-reporting and on estimates rather than direct measurements.

In one accident on March 2, 2010, about 100,000 pounds of volatile organic compounds were released when an emergency flare’s pilot flame failed to light.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Industrial air cleaners to remove chemicals and VOCs

Electrocorp is a leader in customized industrial air cleaners with activated carbon + HEPA air treatment systems for best air cleaning results.

With the largest adsorbent surface areas, safe and proven air filters and powerful airflow configurations, the industrial air cleaners can remove a wide range of chemicals, gases, VOCs, fumes, particles, dust and pathogens.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and more options.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Business success tied to workers' health and safety

A functional health and safety program requires team work.
Putting a health and safety program in place and making sure to educate and oversee all workers has many benefits, especially for manufacturing companies and plants.

It’s often the fear of major disasters or leaks propelling businesses to action, but it can also improve employee morale and productivity.

A good health and safety program, especially for chemical manufacturers, should include (among other things):
  • A risk assessment process
  • Communication with workers and managers about risks and safety steps
  • Highly visible safety regulations (hearing protection, hand-washing, etc)
  • Personal protective equipment when needed
  • Regular maintenance of building envelope, equipment
  • Annual medical assessments when warranted
  • Responsible waste management
  • Etc.

Source: Business Day 

Industrial air cleaners improve indoor air quality

Poor indoor air quality at the workplace has been linked to a variety of pitfalls for businesses, including occupational illness, absenteeism, low productivity, high turnover, legal action and more.

In indoor environments where high levels of chemicals, gases, particles or dust may become a problem, an industrial-strength air cleaner with activated carbon + HEPA + UV can help.

Electrocorp has designed portable and powerful air cleaners for chemical processing plants, chemical and odor control, and many other commercial applications.

Contact us for more information.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More lawsuits filed over alleged benzene exposure

Living near an oil refinery may expose
you to airborne chemicals and gases.
Shell Oil Co. and others have been hit with a steady stream of lawsuits claiming that benzene leaks around the oil refinery caused cancer.

The latest comes from a 28-year-old man who attended school next to the Shell Oil Co. refinery. His complaint states that he suffers from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system (blood cancer).

He is the sixth plaintiff to file a lawsuit against the company, but the only one with non-Hodgkin’s so far – the other plaintiffs had different blood cancers.

In their complaints, the plaintiffs allege that Shell and BP Amoco knew about the dangers of benzene and publicly minimized the risks. They are each asking for damages well above $50,000.

The complaint alleges that Shell has known about the dangers of airborne benzene because of a high incidence of cancer at the Wood River Refinery in the 1970s and soil vapor intrusion studies in the 1980s.

Soil vapor intrusion describes the process of contaminants from soil or groundwater entering a home or building through cracks and fissures in the foundation.

In May 2008, the Illinois EPA cited Shell for violating the Illinois Environmental Protection Act 41 times by exceeding the standards for the release of benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene into the groundwater of Roxana, the complaint says.

Shell has filed an answer in at least one of the cases. It admits that the company has processed, handled and stored benzene. It admits that benzene has been classified as a human carcinogen "when exposed to it at significant levels over a sufficient period of time."

However, Shell denies it caused or contributed to injuries and damages, any cover-up or negligence and that it knew of the dangers it allegedly caused. BP has filed a similar answer.

Source: The Telegraph

GAC air scrubbers can remove gaseous pollutants

Electrocorp has designed deep-bed activated carbon + HEPA air cleaners for soil vapor intrusion and environmental concerns, which can adsorb a wide range of gases and chemicals, including benzene, toluene and xylene.

The air cleaners can be equipped with custom carbon blends or impregnated carbon to increase their adsorption capacity, and they are portable and powerful enough to be used in single and multi-family dwellings.

For more information, contact Electrocorp: 1-866-667-0297.