Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Facility management: Use less toxic products for industrial and commercial cleaning purposes

Commercial cleaning involves more than slipping
hazards: Harmful chemicals may affect the air quality.
Retail stores, offices, laboratories, manufacturing facilities and other types of commercial spaces often need a good scrubbing – but the type of cleaning products can have an effect on the indoor air quality as well as the health and well-being of the employees or visitors.

Standard commercial cleaning products fall in the harsh chemical category, meaning they contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can become airborne and inhaled by building occupants.

They can not only contribute to poor indoor air quality and affect the people’s health, they can also be harmful to the environment and pollute groundwater.

It may be a better, safer and more cost-effective idea to go for greener industrial cleaning products.

A non-profit organization dedicated to setting standards for eco-friendly products/services/companies, Green Seal has established requirements for cleaning service providers, including in-house and external cleaning services, to create a green cleaning program that protects human health and the environment.

There are many ways facility managers and cleaning service providers can become greener.
  • Cleaning products: Opt for environmentally friendly, green cleaning products whenever possible (general-purpose, floor, bathroom, carpet and all other types of cleaning agents).
  • Chemical safety: Products with harsh chemicals need to be diluted properly, cleaners need to be trained properly and it’s a great idea to slowly phase out cleaning chemicals that may pose a risk to human health.
  • Bulk purchasing: Liquid hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning cloths and agents can be bought in large quantities to save on costs and packaging in the long run.
  • Sanitation and disinfection: Use EPA-registered products for special areas that need disinfecting or sanitizing.
  • Communicate: Good communication between cleaning personnel, facility managers and others involved is key to a safe and functional green cleaning program.

Source: Mother Nature Network, Green Seal guidelines

Reduce chemical pollutants in your facility

Electrocorp air filtration systems provide simple, cost-effective solutions to meet and exceed regulations and enhance a property’s environmental initiatives.

Our wide range of air cleaners feature advanced, proven technologies including deep-bed activated carbon, medical-grade HEPA and UV filtration to treat airborne chemicals, gases, odors and particles.

Using an industrial-strength filtration system at strategic points in the building can have a profound effect on the indoor air quality, reported health symptoms or complaints and perceived irritants.

Find out more about Electrocorp’s air cleaners for facility management or contact one of our IAQ specialists at 866-667-0297 for more information.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Polluted office air affects workers’ health and productivity

Newly renovated offices can expose workers to high levels
of toxic chemicals.
The indoor air quality in offices can have a profound effect on the well-being, morale and output of office workers.

In fact, a recent study involving office workers in Boston, researchers found that the indoor air in offices exposes workers to potentially dangerous substances emitted by carpets, furniture, paint and other items.

The toxins studied were polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and researchers showed that a high level of PFCs in the office air was reflected in the blood of the people working there.

PFCs are chemicals used in water-repellent coatings on carpet and furniture. They are widespread in the environment and in human beings and scientists are concerned about potential adverse health effects.

Exposure may occur through food, water, indoor air, indoor dust and direct contact with PFC-containing objects.

In the study, the researchers found that concentrations of one PFC called fluorotelomer alcohol (FTOH) were 3-5 times higher in the office air than what was previously measured in household air, meaning that office could constitute an important exposure environment.

The higher levels were reflected in the blood of the office workers.

The study also found that workers in newly renovated office buildings are exposed to higher levels of PFCs than workers in older buildings.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The results appeared in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology.

Source: American Chemical Society

Take a breath of fresh air at the office

Maintaining good indoor air quality at the office can be challenging – especially if the existing ventilation system is unable to provide enough fresh air exchanges for a crowded space or if the building has some other IAQ issue.

Apart from regular building maintenance, restricted use of harsh chemicals and ventilation, office and facility managers can help improve the indoor air quality in offices by using simple yet highly effective air cleaners.

Electrocorp’s air cleaners for offices feature a large activated carbon filter, which is the most important filter media for the removal of airborne chemicals, gases, fumes and odors, and they also trap 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns with their HEPA and pre-filters.
Air cleaners for office printers grab
toxic chemicals and particles at the source.

Optional UV germicidal filtration can help neutralize bacteria, viruses and molds, which may otherwise make the rounds in the office environment.

One of the worst offenders of office IAQ is the technical equipment – the big printers, copiers and other machines. They can emit harmful toxins and ozone, and it is not recommended to sit too close to one.

In fact, these machines should operate in an area that is well ventilated, or they can be outfitted with an air cleaner for office printers that features a customized hood intake. The air cleaner called PrintSafe grabs toxins at the exhaust and draws them through a multistage filtration system containing activated carbon and HEPA.

These air cleaners are built for 24/7 operation, they are energy efficient and they last for a long time, depending on the indoor air quality in the office.

For more information, contact Electrocorp today.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New policy: Hospital turns smoking job applicants away

Hospital will screen job seekers for signs
of smoking, even second-hand smoke.
A Pennsylvania hospital is planning to implement a no-nicotine policy on Feb. 1, which involves testing job applicants for signs of nicotine and turning them away if they are smokers.

The applicants will receive some help to quit the habit and they can re-apply after six months, hospital officials said.

The hospital already has a smoke-free policy in place on the facility’s grounds, and the new guidelines are aimed at increasing the number of staff members that do not smoke.

The hospital’s measures may seem a bit extreme to some, but the facility is within its rights to implement such as policy – and other employers may follow.

The United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics says 19 states allow employers to screen job applicants for signs of smoking. Pennsylvania is one of those states.

Existing employees won’t be affected by the new policy.

Hospital administrators point out that workers who smoke take more breaks and reduce their working hours. They may also increase health care costs over the long run.

A clinic in Ohio implemented a similar program in 2007.

Source: CNN


Air cleaners for the healthcare industry and hospitals

Even without the dangers of tobacco smoke, the indoor air quality in hospitals may be compromised by a wide range of pollutants, including bacteria and viruses, mold, chemicals, gases, odors, particles and dust.

Source control, ventilation and air cleaning can all help in making sure the air is healthy and breathable.

Well-placed air filtration systems (stand-alone or attached to existing ventilation systems) with many pounds of activated carbon as well as high efficiency particle filters (HEPA) and optional UV germicidal filtration can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

Electrocorp has designed a variety of air cleaners for hospitals and healthcare facilities that require stringent hygiene standards, infection control and comprehensive protection to meet occupational health and safety standards.

Contact one of our IAQ experts for more information and options.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Health and safety concerns in the auto repair industry

Auto body shop and garage workers can be exposed to
chemicals, vehicle exhaust, asbestos and other pollutants.
The automotive repair and maintenance industry employs more than 1.3 million U.S. workers and it involves a number of serious health risks.

That is why the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is working with partners to promote research and improve workplace practices.

Most of the auto repair and maintenance businesses are small, with fewer than 20 people, but they all face the same kind of health and safety issues:

  • Exposure to chemicals and vehicle exhaust
  • Exposure to biological materials and asbestos
  • Injuries like sprains, cuts and bruises
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Fatalities from falling objects, transportation events, fires and explosions
  • And more

Even small businesses can take inexpensive steps toward a safer workplace.

First, business owners and managers need to recognize the risks and become aware of the most pressing concerns.

Then they can take the following actions:
  1. Identify chemical, fire, noise, safety and environmental hazards and train workers on them
  2. Switch to water-based cleaners and safer products where possible
  3. Inspect tools and equipment regularly
  4. Ask workers to report hazards and symptoms right away
  5. Keep dust wet at all time and avoid cleaning with compressed air when repairing brakes and clutches to protect against cancer and lung disease from asbestos
  6. Wear protective gloves and other protective equipment when working with solvents and other hazardous materials
  7. Clean up spills promptly

Source: Risk & Insurance  

Improve indoor air quality in auto repair shops
The AirRhino combines activated carbon and HEPA filters
for superior chemical and particle filtration.

Auto repair and maintenance workers are routinely exposed to solvents, oil, gasoline fumes and other respiratory hazards, which can stay in the air long after the initial use.

One way to help clean the air is to use an industrial-strength air cleaner with a large activated carbon filter and a HEPA filter to remove airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors as well as tiny particles, dust and fibers.

Electrocorp’s air cleaners for auto body shops and garages can tackle large amounts of indoor air pollutants and help keep the air clean and healthy.

One of the most recommended air cleaners for this industry is the AirRhino, a versatile air cleaner that can be hung on the ceiling or stand on the ground and that features up to 100 lb. activated carbon filter and/or superior dust and particle filtration.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Will new building codes lead to sick buildings?

Energy-efficient construction codes have to take indoor air
quality concerns into consideration.
This month, new building requirements came into effect in Ontario, Canada, prompting builders to question the effect they will have on the indoor air quality.

Anyone applying for a building permit for a new structure in Ontario must fulfill much stricter energy efficiency measures.

But more efficiency often means there is less air entering the home, and this may result in poor indoor air quality.

Poor IAQ has been linked to a wide range of health effects, less productivity and more absenteeism.

The new energy efficient homes need to have effective heat recovery ventilators that circulate the air in and out, builders say.

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) consists of two separate air-handling systems – one collects and exhausts stale indoor air; the other draws in outdoor air and distributes it throughout the home.

Both the exhaust and outdoor air streams pass through the heat transfer module, and the heat from the exhaust air is used to pre-heat the outdoor air stream.

If the HRVs are unable to keep pace with the government’s stricter building codes, the buildings may be too airtight and could allow the buildup of indoor air pollutants, experts say.

Source: CBC News 

Manage IAQ properly in homes and buildings

Builders and planners need to take indoor air quality in consideration when they finalize their projects.

In many cases, IAQ suffers when buildings are too airtight. One solution is to incorporate an air filtration system into the plan.

Electrocorp offers HVAC-compatible as well as portable industrial-strength air cleaners with a multistage filtration system containing activated carbon and HEPA that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

The deep-bed activated carbon filter remove chemicals, gases, odors and fumes, while HEPA filters trap airborne particles and dust. Optional UV germicidal filtration helps neutralize pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and molds.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Occupational Health and Safety claims cost a quarter of a trillion annually

Workplace injury and illness can be costly.
Work injuries and sick days cost companies $250 billion each year, according to a study by J. Paul Leigh, professor of public health services at the University of California at Davis.

Much of the cost of being absorbed by Medicare, Medicaid and insurance provided by employers, the researcher says, but the numbers mean that workplace injury and illness are responsible for direct and indirect costs for cancer, diabetes and strokes (taking up $31 billion, $76 billion and $187 billion respectively).

Occupational health should be a more pressing concern in the workforce, Leigh says in an article on BusinessNewsDaily.com.

With most people between the ages of 22 and 65 spending 40 percent of their time at work, the potential for health risk is high and keeps on growing, he says.

The figures are based on occupational injury and illness data from 2007, which recorded the costs shouldered by workers, and Leigh also factored in underreported injuries and illnesses.

By taking the estimated number of cases and multiplying that by the average cost per case, he got the final estimation of $250 billion.

This research was published in a December issue of the Milbank Quarterly: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Population Health and Health Policy.

Source: Business News Daily 

Prevention is best when it comes to occupational health and safety

Risk awareness, appropriate safety measures and action plans are extremely important to keep workers safe and healthy and to keep costs down.

One major part of occupational health and safety is indoor air quality, which is often overlooked, but can become a huge contributor to workplace illness and injuries.

Most buildings have some IAQ problems. The solutions for better indoor air quality include source control, ventilation and air cleaning.

A good air cleaner with the right amount of filtration media and the right type of filters can help keep the air clean. For example,activated carbon is the most important filter media for gaseous pollutants and odors, while high-dust environments require an effective particle or bag filter.

Electrocorp specializes in air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications and offers an extensive product line that incorporates

Contact Electrocorp for more information and recommendations based on your IAQ concern.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Occupational risk: Former welders are often clumsier

Welding can expose workers to toxic fumes and particulate.
A new study shows that former welders who were exposed to manganese from welding fumes have a risk of developing increased clumsiness.

The effects last long after the exposure has stopped, according to the study of former shipyard workers in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Previous research has linked exposure to manganese and welding fumes to effects on the central nervous system, but this study focused on the long-term effects on fine motor skills.

The welders in the study underwent several tests that measured their manual dexterity and motor speed, eye-hand coordination, tremor and balance. The results were compared to the results of other shipyard workers that did not do any welding.

Those participants that had a higher total manganese exposure showed a poorer performance, the study authors say, giving reason to believe there is a lasting effect of manganese exposure.

What is manganese?

Manganese is a naturally occurring metal in the environment and human bodies, where it aids in the turnover of carbohydrates and fats.

Workers who are exposed to high concentrations of manganese over a considerable time can develop a condition called manganism, a disease with symptoms similar to Parkinson disease.

Experts say that many welders may be regularly exposed to high-risk levels of manganese that exceed official exposure limits.

Source: Health Canal

Source capture air cleaners for welding applications
One of Electrocorp's fume extractor air cleaners.

Electrocorp fume extractors offer a high-draw solution to welding smoke and fumes.

The portable fume extractors feature at-the-source protection for removing airborne chemicals, vapors, fumes and smoke directly from the workstation.

 The air cleaners feature 2" HEPA fume filters that capture airborne smoke particles and a 40 lb. deep-bed activated carbon filter for chemicals, gases and smoke odor.

 The fume extractors are ideal for MIG, TIG, arc and robotic welding.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Asbestos and air quality concerns

Asbestos exposure can lead to lung disease
and mesothelioma.
This is a guest post from Mesothelioma Center.

Air contamination occurs when unwanted or hazardous materials, such as asbestos, affect the air around us.

Asbestos is odorless, tasteless and the fibers are invisible to the naked eye. In comparison to a human hair, an asbestos fiber is about one ninth of the width.

Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause severe health problems including mesothelioma cancers, lung cancer and asbestosis, as well as other conditions.

Airborne asbestos fibers are the most dangerous because they can be easily inhaled into the lungs. The fibers can become lodged in the lining of the lungs and are unable to be broken down or expelled by the body’s natural defenses.

There are no immediate symptoms of an asbestos-related disease, in fact mesothelioma symptoms may take 20-50 years to develop.

Could you be at risk for exposure? 

Asbestos was widely used as a building material for insulation and fireproofing up until the late 1980’s.

Rooms with poor ventilation keep fresh air from circulating in, making it hazardous for people entering into rooms with asbestos such as attics and basements. Also, workers that installed asbestos-containing products are at a greater risk due to the large disturbance of loose fibers.

Concentration of fibers in homes, schools, or other buildings can range from 30 to 6,000 fibers per cubic meter. It is important to know if the buildings you spend time in contain asbestos.

The presence of loose or disturbed asbestos in your work or home creates a larger danger since you generally spend the majority of your time in those places.

Home renovations on houses built before the 1990’s can be another potential dangerous situation due to the likelihood of asbestos being present.

Go for professional inspections and removal services

If you are conducting a home renovation remember to keep your working area well ventilated, and if you come across a substance that might be asbestos or contains asbestos, stop and get it inspected. Asbestos removal should be performed by a professionally trained contractor.

As you can see, air contaminated with asbestos poses severe risks to your health. No amount of asbestos exposure is safe.

Feel free to learn more about asbestos and mesothelioma at the Mesothelioma Center and visit them on Facebook and Twitter.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Allergic reaction at work: When the workplace is making you sick

Some workplaces expose employees to
a wide range of contaminants.
Sick Building Syndrome is not a catch word from two decades ago that has since been forgotten.

A growing number of employees and workers file complaints about their workplace, saying it makes them sick.

It is common for buildings to expose workers to irritants that can lead to headaches, eyes, nose and throat irritation, respiratory problems and more.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), indoor air quality (IAQ) is “a major concern” because it can impact the health, comfort, well-being and productivity of building occupants and employees.

If a building has humidity or ventilation problems, occupants may be exposed to mold, chemicals, gases, odors, particles and other contaminants.

Here are some common workplace concerns and possible solutions.
The PrintSafe for large
office printers.

Office workers’ nemesis: Dust and mold as well as chemical emissions from office equipment, printers and other products can affect people’s health and well-being. Solutions: Better ventilation, building maintenance and mold remediation, portable air cleaners for offices, source capture air cleaner for office printers.

Salon and spa safety and health: Salon and spa products can contain or release irritating fumes and chemicals that can cause reactions in workers and clients. Solution: More natural products, source capture air cleaners for salons and spas.

Veterinarians’ client conundrum: Animals can trap dander, dust, molds and pollen that can lead to allergic reactions. Solution: Room air cleaners like the ones used for dental labs.
The RAP Series: Air cleaners
for law enforcement agencies
and commercial/industrial use.

Construction chaos: Construction sites often feature high levels of dust, fibers and chemical fumes. Solutions: Personal protective equipment (including masks), good ventilation, portable air cleaners like those used for mold and asbestos abatement.

Evidence protection problems: Law Enforcement agencies often have to deal with packed evidence rooms, marijuana storage and associated aspergillus mold problems, other drugs and chemical fumes. And don’t forget the administrative side of things. Solutions: Good ventilation, proper storage techniques and room maintenance, 24-7 use of an industrial-strength air cleaner for law enforcement agencies.

Many professions and industries can expose workers to irritants and poor indoor air quality.

An effective air cleaner with activated carbon + HEPA + UV filtration can help remove the widest range of contaminants, including chemicals, gases, odors, dust, particles, pollen, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and recommendations based on your workplace and IAQ concerns.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Doctors say studies needed on fracking health concerns

Medical studies on fracking could shed light on potential
health effects of the process, doctors say.
The natural gas recovery process known as fracking (or hydraulic fracturing) is booming in many parts of the United States, but doctors warn of possible health effects in populated areas.

At a conference on the drilling process, the doctors urged for a moratorium on fracking in populated areas until more studies can shed some light on health effects on the population.

The studies should be peer-reviewed and financed by gas producers as well as independent research foundations, the doctors say.

The fracking projects involve the injection of water, sand and chemicals into deep shale formations to get to the trapped natural gas.

In the past, the industry was very tight-lipped about the chemicals they were using in the process and some residents and healthcare professionals are concerned about tainted water supplies as well as exposure to airborne chemicals.

The industry says that they have used the process successfully for 65 years in 30 states.

Even when some of the chemicals are being disclosed, U.S. officials say they are not sure about the hazards associated with them in this context.

Fracking fluids often contain petroleum distillates, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and glycol ethers. The wastewater from the fracking wells can contain salts and radiation.

Some of the chemicals that have been found in the water and nearby wells:
  • Glycols
  • Alcohols
  • Benzene
  • Methane
Source: Bloomberg 

Want to learn more about airborne chemicals, effective adsorption solution and portable air cleaners? Electrocorp offers industrial-strength air cleaners with deep-bed activated carbon filters and HEPA + optional UV germicidal filtration to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including chemicals, VOCs, gases, odors, bacteria, viruses, mold, dust and particles. Contact Electrocorp for more information. Electrocorp is a division of AllerAir Industries.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

VIDEO: Indoor air pollution in schools

School buildings are often plagued by poor indoor air quality, which can affect students and teachers as well as administrative staff, experts say.

Reported symptoms include headaches, stuffed-up nose, irritated eyes, nose and throat and more.

CNN reports on the indoor air quality in schools:

Clean the indoor air in schools

Since many school buildings suffer from poor ventilation and poor IAQ, facility managers need to improve the situation with
  1. Source control - not intriducing any pollutants into the air;  
  2. Ventilation - opening windows regularly, maintaining or upgrading the HVAC system, making sure the air moves around and is exchanged at the proper rates; and 
  3. Air cleaning - portable, stand-alone air cleaners with many pounds of activated carbon and a medical-grade HEPA filter as well as optional UV germicidal filtration can help move the air around while cleaning it continuously.

Electrocorp offers industrial-strength air cleaners for schools and universities.

Contact us to find out more.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Exposure to formaldehyde at work

Workers in the beauty industry may be exposed to
formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
A whiff of formaldehyde, anyone?

Better skip it.

Federal agencies such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) have issued public hazard alerts about exposure to formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing chemical that is used in many industries, including the health and beauty industry (in hair straightening treatments, for example), in the funeral and embalming industry, in mortuaries and laboratories for tissue preservation etc.

Workers who may be exposed to formaldehyde are covered by the OSHA Formaldehyde standard (29 CFR 1910.1048) and equivalent regulations.

The permissible exposure limit (PEL) for formaldehyde in the workplace is 0.75 parts formaldehyde per million parts of air (0.75 ppm) measured as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA). There are also higher short-term exposure limits for a maximum of 15 minutes.

Exposure to formaldehyde has been deemed a risk because it is an irritant that can affect eyes, nose and throat and can make people cough or wheeze.

Continued exposure to formaldehyde fumes has also been linked to severe allergic reactions and asthma-like respiratory problems. In high concentrations, formaldehyde can be fatal.

At many small to medium workplaces, it is difficult to enforce the standards because of a lack of awareness of the dangers and mislabeled products, according to OSHA.

Formaldehyde “hides” in many products under the names methylene glycol, formalin and oxomethane.

Beauty and hair salons have been racking up citations for violating the formaldehyde standard, but funeral homes and crematories are also guilty of violations.

Source: Business Insurance 

Use activated carbon air scrubbers for better indoor air quality

In most buildings where formaldehyde is used, the existing ventilation system won’t be enough to provide adequate fresh air exchanges.
CleanBreeze 3: A powerful
air cleaner with source capture.

Who hasn’t been assaulted by the strong chemical smells upon entering a hair or nail salon?

Electrocorp provides strong and stand-alone air cleaners with many pounds of activated carbon plus HEPA filters to circulate clean and fresh air indoors.

Activated carbon is the safest and most effective filtration media to remove airborne chemicals, gases and fumes, and the other filters in the units also take care of dust, particles, bacteria, viruses and mold spores.

In their series of air cleaners for beauty salons and spas, Electrocorp offers source capture units with a flexible arm that can be placed right over the head of clients as treatments are applied.

The CleanBreeze 3 features up to 28 pounds of carbon in a very deep bed as well as a micro-HEPA filter and pre-filters.

Electrocorp’s RAP1224 FX8 is an even stronger source capture air cleaner with a 43 lb. carbon filter, a HEPA filter and pre-filters.

The units are equipped with long chords and wheels so that they can easily be moved from one workstation to the next.

Electrocorp also offers air cleaners for funeral homes and embalmers.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Refinery workers tested for benzene

Water contaminated with benzene can lead
to serious health effects, experts say.
Almost 500 workers at the Suncor Energy oil refinery north of Denver had to undergo blood tests to see if they have been exposed to benzene.

The concerns emerged as the tap water at the refinery was found contaminated with benzene and the company was struggling to contain contamination of Sand Creek.

The blood tests are confidential, but they may shed some light as to how long the tap water has been contaminated.

Benzene is a natural part of crude oil and a basic petrochemical. It has been identified as a human carcinogen and affects people’s blood, causing leukemia and bone marrow defects, among other health problems.

The area has been dealing with environmental pollution and underground plumes of contamination for a long time.

Suncor processes oil from the region as well as oil-sand crude from Canada. The plant is producing about 90,000 barrels a day of gasoline, diesel fuel and asphalt.

Source: The Denver Post

Remove benzene vapors with activated carbon air scrubbers

Electrocorp has designed powerful air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications that contain the largest activated carbon filters in the industry at the same price ranges.

Activated carbon has a high efficiency rating for the adsorption of gaseous pollutants such as benzene.

The air cleaners also feature pre-filters, micro-HEPA or medical-grade HEPA filters for particulate matter and optional UV germicidal filtration for biological contaminants.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mold forces school closing in Montreal

Many schools have poor indoor air quality that can affect
students as well as teachers and other staff members.
Mold is a serious indoor air quality issue – so much so that an elementary school in Montreal had to send more than 400 students home.

Officials don’t know when the school might reopen, since the mold remediation process may take up to two years.

The elementary school was infested with mold spores that were blamed for an increase in respiratory ailments, runny noses, coughing and other symptoms, according to an article in today’s Montreal Gazette.

These health effects surfaced after months of exposure to mold spores, experts say.

The school board involved the public health department when it received multiple complaints of minor health problems from adults and children.

Air samples from 29 rooms in the school revealed an unhealthy level of mold spores in each one.

As is so often the case when it comes to mold, a burst water pipe incident in November 2010 may be to blame for the high mold count.

Mold spores are ubiquitous in the environment and can start to settle down and actively grow mold if there is enough water or moisture.

The mold can be hidden or visible and for this school, the spores probably became airborne after the school had some masonry work done.

The students moved to an empty school building in Montreal but have to find different accommodations soon.

Source: Montreal Gazette

Keep indoor air healthy in schools
The 5000 and 6000 Series is a popular
choice for individual classrooms.

Mold is one of the most common indoor air quality issues in schools, but students and staff are also affected by particles and dust, allergens, chemicals and odors – especially in older schools where the ventilation system is simply not enough to provide the required fresh air exchanges.

Electrocorp has designed powerful stand-alone air cleaners for schools and universities that can help keep the air clean and healthy.

The air cleaners can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including chemicals and gases, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, mold and allergens. They feature a multistage air filtration system with activated carbon, HEPA and UV (optional).

The easy-to-use air cleaners are designed for around-the-clock operation at minimal cost, with a long filter lifespan and easy maneuverability.

For more information and options, please contact an Electrocorp air quality expert.

Related posts:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hair salons put focus on style and fresh air

Most hair salons use chemical-laden
products that can affect workers and clients.
Organic products are popular when it comes to food, baby products or clothing – but a lot of hairdressers and salons are also catching on.

Some hair salons are focusing on offering only organic products and treatments, while others are looking to minimize the exposure to toxic chemicals conventional products may contain.

Concerned with chemicals and fumes, some salon owners in New York State have switched to all organic hair and skin products, including shampoo, hair dye, nail polish remover and more.

In the process, they have to be less concerned about chemicals such as acetone, formaldehyde, ammonia and others that are commonly found in hair and nail products.

Indoor air quality in salons has become a major topic after OSHA released a health hazard warning about formaldehyde early last year.

The ventilation system in many salons is simply not strong enough to provide workers and clients with healthy and fresh air.

Perm and hair straightening treatments are typically the biggest odor culprits in salons, and many salon owners and operators are opting for a source capture air cleaner for added protection from released chemicals and fumes.

Capture chemicals and odors with air cleaners for salons and spas

As an expert in treating industrial strength chemicals and odors, Electrocorp has designed air cleaners specifically for spas and salons.

The air filtration systems feature proprietary blends of activated carbon filter media that can adsorb chemicals and odors commonly found in the beauty industry.

As complete air filter solutions, the units also contain medical-grade HEPA or micro-HEPA filters to remove 99.97% of all airborne particles at 0.3 microns.

Along with easy-to-use source capture units, Electrocorp also offers customizable and built-in air filtration systems to meet your needs.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dental practices take steps toward better IAQ

The air quality in dental practices or dental labs can be poor.
It’s always heartening to hear about companies or professionals going the extra mile to protect their clients’ health and well-being.

In the case of a dental practice in New York State’s Fredonia, the doctors are collaborating with a Tobacco Free Program and banning smoking outdoors as well to improve the overall indoor air quality in the building and to model good behavior to youngsters.

Even in smoke-free buildings, secondhand smoke can remain a pollution factor when people are allowed to smoke outside the building.

The smoke often enters the building through windows, cracks, vents and doors and impacts the indoor air quality.

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals and toxins that have been linked to serious health conditions and, of course, cancer.

Since smoking represents a high risk for the development of oral cancer as well, the dentists plan to make their practice a healthier place.

Dental practices are not the only ones taking non-smoking efforts very seriously.

An article in the Observer estimated that at least 400 locations across NY State have joined the movement of tobacco free outdoor areas, including Times Square and Central Park in New York City.

Improve indoor air quality in dental labs

Tobacco smoke is not the only pollutants that dental labs and dental practices should be concerned about.

A dental environment has the potential to contain anesthetic gases, chemical fumes, dental materials and even pathogenic microorganisms aerosolized from the patient, dental staff and equipment they use.
The I-6500 is a cabinet-style air cleaner
for high efficiency air purification.

Electrocorp has designed affordable, portable and highly efficient air cleaners for dental labs that can work around the clock to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

The air cleaners feature a multistage filtration system with many pounds of activated carbon for the adsorption of gaseous pollutants and odors, a HEPA filter to trap particles and dust and optional UV germicidal filtration to help neutralize contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

Dental clinics can easily improve their indoor air with air cleaners such as the RAP Series, the AirMedic+ Series or the I-6500 Series.

For more information and options, please contact an Electrocorp representative.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dry cleaning industry concerned with chemical exposure

Dry cleaners may have a higher risk of
developing Parkinson's, study shows.
The dry cleaning process revolves around chemicals and solvent-laden fluids, so the risk of chemical exposure is relatively high.

Occupational health and safety concerns are especially valid when it comes to the chemicals perchloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene (perc and TCE), which have been linked to Parkinson’s disease.

In a study released in November, researchers found strong links between exposure to these chemicals and a heightened risk of Parkinson’s disease, a disorder that causes tremor and unsteady gait.

Parkinson’s affects about 700,000 Americans. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's and is more common in the elderly.

The study found that risk of Parkinson’s disease was increased six-fold in people who worked with TCE and 10-fold in those who worked with perc. 

The effects were not immediate; exposure preceded the onset of Parkinson’s by 30 to 40 years.

Those working in the dry cleaning business and electricians were identified as being most at risk of exposure and subsequent health concerns.

Other industry players warn that the study included a small sample size and should not be seen as conclusive.

Source: National Clothesline

Improve indoor air quality with industrial air cleaners
RSU Series: Portable air cleaners
with many pounds of carbon.

Electrocorp specializes in portable, highly efficient air cleaners for businesses and commercial applications.

The air cleaners remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants with a multistage filtration system that contains activated carbon, HEPA, UV (optional) and pre-filters.

Activated carbon is the most effective filter media to remove gaseous pollutants and airborne chemicals.

For dry cleaning operations, Electrocorp offers a range of air cleaners, including the powerful RSU Series.

For more information, contact Electrocorp.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chemical exposure: Businesses looking for safer solutions

Smaller businesses listen to clients' concerns about toxic chemicals in household products and materials
Clients and businesses demand safer products and materials.

Small businesses need to be tuned into their clients’ preferences and concerns in order to survive.

Since chemical exposure and indoor air quality is now ranking high as a public health concern, it is no wonder many small businesses are supporting their clients’ wishes for safer alternatives and better regulations.

In Maine, for example, more than 100 businesses have signed or written letters urging government officials to take action on this issue, saying they are worried about recalls and their liability when toxic chemicals are revealed in the products they are using or selling.

More than 150 businesses also participated in a survey, which showed that businesses regularly encounter clients asking about toxic chemicals or potential hazards.

Many consumers and businesses have been calling for an updated federal standard, which would require chemical companies to demonstrate the safety of their products before they are widely used, allow more public information on chemicals and their health impacts, give EPA the best available science to do research on chemicals and support businesses that are developing safer chemicals.

The new Safe Chemicals Act would update the Toxic Substances Control Act from 1976.

Source: Sun Journal 

Cleaner air is safer air
Activated carbon is among the most effective and trusted
filter media to remove gaseous pollutants indoors.

Small businesses and professionals working in people’s homes can boost their chemical confidence by using a portable yet powerful air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPA filtration technologies.

Electrocorp offers industrial-strength air cleaners with many pounds of granular activated carbon to adsorb a wide range of chemicals, gases, fumes and odors, plus a HEPA filter to trap airborne particles and dust.

The air cleaners can be used for construction (like welding and fume extraction), mold and asbestos remediation, woodworking, interior decorating (and painting) and general purpose air cleaning (Electrocorp is a division of AllerAir Industries, which provides home and office air purifiers).

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bars still invaded by smoke, study shows

Bars and other establishments could expose patrons to
secondhand smoke even if a smoking ban is in effect: Study
Bars and pubs that have implemented a smoking ban have taken steps into the right direction, but their patrons may still be exposed to secondhand smoke, a Wellington (New Zealand) study shows.

Even years after smoking bans came into effect, the bars’ indoor air quality may suffer from smoke seeping into the indoor environment from outdoor smoking areas.

The Wellington researchers tested the air quality in seven establishments, seven years after the bans were implemented and measured the particulate levels in the outdoor smoking areas, inside the bar close to the area and further inside the bar.

The results showed poor air quality for all those areas, at higher pollution levels than recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The exposure to smoke affected bar patrons but also especially bar staff, the researchers say.

Based on the study’s results, the researchers said outdoor areas require tighter regulations, too.

Source: Waikato Times

Bars, restaurants and other establishments benefit from good IAQ
Air cleaners can be hidden or mounted to the ceiling to
help purify the air.

Poor indoor air quality not only affects patrons’ and staff’s health and well-being, it can also lead to disappointing stays and subsequent avoidance of the establishments.

For the most effective odor and smoke control, bar owners and operators need to take source control (an effective ban), ventilation and air cleaning into account.

Electrocorp’s line of industrial-strength air cleaners for the hospitality industry can help remove odors and chemical as well as particulate pollutants from the ambient air, which often tend to cling to indoor surfaces even after active smoking has been banned.

The air cleaners are so effective because they combine proven and trustworthy air filters, including a large activated carbon filter for odors and gaseous pollutants, HEPA filters for up to 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns and UV germicidal filtration for enhanced protection against mold, bacteria and viruses.

Want more information? Contact Electrocorp between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST at 866-667-0297 or any time by e-mail: info@electrocorp.net.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Asbestos fibers on worker's clothes proved fatal for wife

Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to lung diseases.
Exposing workers to unsafe levels of airborne pollutants can have dire consequences not only for workers but also their families.

A coroner ruled that a woman who washed her husband’s clothes died after contracting cancer from the asbestos dust from his overalls.

The woman contracted mesothelioma in the spring of 2011 and died in October the same year.

Her husband of more than 60 years was a carpenter and was working for a construction and renovation company, doing work that often involved handling asbestos-containing building materials such as ceiling tiles and asbestos-lined pipes.

His wife shook out his dusty clothes each day before washing them, which exposed her to asbestos fibers.

Asbestos fibers can be harmful when they are disturbed and inhaled.

They can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause lung disease such as asbestosis or cancer such as mesothelioma years after the exposure occurred.

The woman’s husband was arguably exposed to larger amounts of asbestos fibers, but never developed cancer.

Source: Reading Post 

Keeping the air clean a health and safety priority

During construction, renovations, mold remediation and asbestos abatement, employers need to be extra cautious about the levels of indoor air pollutants.

A portable, industrial-strength air cleaner with activated carbon, HEPA and UV germicidal filtration can help remove a wide range of chemicals, gases and odors, dust, particles, bacteria, viruses and mold to help keep the air clean.

For more information, contact Electrocorp.