Thursday, May 31, 2012

Indoor air quality in malls and stores

Too many perfumes and scented
products can be irritating to shoppers.
Most stores and business owners want potential customers to spend as much time as possible in the mall, to increase the chance of them finding something they would want to buy.

But if there is a problem with the air quality, the shopping experience may have to be cut short.

In a recent incident at the Orlando Fashion Square mall, officials blamed too much perfume as a cause of irritating fumes that affected at least 20 people.

The victims were browsing at a Macy’s store when they started complaining of eye and throat irritation.

Police officers and firefighters and a hazmat team were dispatched to the scene to determine the source of the fumes.

All of the affected shoppers said they felt better once they were outside and away from the perfume scents.

The hazmat team checked for a variety of substances, but could not detect anything dangerous. The investigation was ongoing at the time of writing.

Source: Wesh

Air cleaners for malls, stores and businesses

With more and more people experiencing allergic-type reactions to strong scents and odors, business owners must be vigilant about the indoor air quality in their stores.

A mall’s built-in ventilation system may not be enough to dilute the pollutants found indoors, but a portable air cleaner with the right filters will provide cleaner and healthier air at all times.

Electrocorp has designed powerful air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications that feature a highly efficient activated carbon + HEPA filter combination to remove the widest range of pollutants from the ambient air.

The carbon removes airborne chemicals, gases, odors and fumes, while the HEPA helps control particulate matter. Optional UV germicidal filtration can also help neutralize biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and more options.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

“Green” roofs provide environmentally friendly solutions

Gone are the days that flat roofs need to be black tar – now they can be white, green, blue and solar-panel black.

On the green roof of the Mountain Equipment Co...
On the green roof of the Mountain Equipment
Co-op store in Toronto, Canada.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
These different kinds of green roofs help solve serious environmental concerns, including air pollution, urban heat spots, storm water runoff and more.

Turning roofs into gardens or painting them white helps them to have much lower surface temperatures.

A city's average temperature is often much higher than in the surrounding suburbs (where more green spaces and trees provide more shade).

Green roofs can retain 75 percent of a one-inch rainfall and use the moisture to cool down.

The idea of green roofs is not new, but it has become a more popular choice in the past 50 years or so, especially in Europe, where Germany’s green roofs top the list (10 percent of roofs in Germany are considered green).

Costs of green roofs 

Greening a roof requires some work and money and a lot of different materials: Insulation, waterproof membranes, barriers to control roots, drainage layers (gravel or clay), mats for erosion prevention, lightweight soil and plants.

Depending on the types of plants and maintenance work involves, a green roof can cost $15 to $30 per square foot.

But factoring in air conditioning and heating costs all year round, the expense may well be worth it.

Researchers from Columbia University and City University of New York found that a green roof can cut the rate of heat gained through the roof in summer by 84 percent, and the rate of heat lost through the roof in winter by 34 percent.

Reducing the storm runoff water can help curb sewer overflows and improve public health.

Green roofs can also help reduce air pollution in the city. One square meter can absorb all the emissions from a car being driven 12,000 miles a year, experts say.

Source: New York Times

Air cleaners for healthier buildings

Greener roofs may help with reducing air pollution, but until they become mainstream, many workers and city dwellers will be exposed to the harmful fumes, gases and particulate matter polluting the city.

Electrocorp has designed air cleaners for facility management, offices and other applications.

The portable or HVAC-compatible air cleaners feature a complete air filtration system with activated carbon and HEPA plus optional UV germicidal filtration to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

The air filters can capture airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, allergens, mold and more.

For more information, contact Electrocorp today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Paint spill causes evacuation of 800 employees

Paint can emit harmful
Exposure to chemical fumes is no laughing matter, as a recent evacuation of hundreds of workers at a company in Santa Monica shows.

Just before 8 a.m. on Friday morning, about 20 gallons of industrial-strength paint were spilled at C&D Zodiac Inc., causing one woman to be sent to the hospital for treatment of nausea.

There was a mandatory evacuation of the building affecting 800 employees, while hazardous material response crews were cleaning up.

The spill occurred after some shelves collapsed and dropped water-based paint cans to the floor.

Some of the cans were punctured in the process and spilled the paint, which is used to coat aircraft interiors (such as overhead baggage bins).

While the paint did not pose a big fire risk, the fumes were a major concern and made several employees feel ill.

Source: Santa Maria Times

Air cleaners for airborne fumes and chemicals

In any company that regularly uses paint, solvents and other chemical substances, the air can be rife with potentially hazardous toxins.

Even at low levels, healthcare professionals are warning about the accumulative effects these exposures may have on workers over longer periods of time.

Along with other health and safety measures, an industrial-strength air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPA can help provide cleaner and healthier air.

Electrocorp has designed air cleaners for chemical processing plants as well as many other commercial and industrial applications that feature some of the largest and longest-lasting air filters in the industry.

With their deep-bed activated carbon filters, HEPA filters and optional UV germicidal filtration, the air cleaners can remove airborne chemicals, fumes, odors and gases, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, mold and more.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Builders know: Air filtration improves air quality

All year round, indoor air pollution may affect
building occupants, experts say.
All year round, a home or building’s indoor air quality may be compromised by a wide range of pollutants.

In the summer, the main culprits may be pollen, dust and smoke particles and chemicals.

A good ventilation system will regularly exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air.

Building occupants can further improve indoor air quality by curbing certain habits or products such as smoking indoors, storing hazardous products indoors, paints and furnishings that release VOCs and more.

Still, a ventilation system may be unable to cope with the onslaught of particulate matter, odors and chemicals that can affect people’s health and well-being over time.

That is when an air filtration system becomes a valuable ally.

Some of the factors influencing a decision on air filtration are:
  • Size of the space
  • Air tightness
  • Existing ventilation system
  • A person’s sensitivity to pollutants
  • The level of pollutants

Many commonly used filtration systems target only particulate matter but won’t be effective when it comes to chemicals, gases and odors.

A stand-alone air purifier is one of the simplest and most effective solutions. They can be moved at will and simply plug into an outlet for instant air cleaning.

A stand-alone air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPA provides the most complete protection by targeting not only particles but also gaseous pollutants. They are typically used in the room or area where people spend most of their time (i.e. bedroom or living areas).

A whole-home system connected to the duct work is a good option for those suffering from allergies and respiratory problems.

Source: Fairbanks Daily News

Air cleaners for homes, buildings and commercial applications

In large buildings or single-family homes, a portable or HVAC-attached air cleaner can make a big difference in the overall air quality.

Electrocorp has designed powerful air cleaners with a deep-bed activated carbon filter, a HEPA filter and optional UV germicidal filtration to provide a complete air filtration system for any setting.

Whether it’s during construction, for facility management or other commercial and industrial uses, Electrocorp’s IAQ specialists will help determine the right air quality solution for the space in question.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Anti-tobacco law inspires workers to quit smoking

Workers' smoking habits changed
when the ban came into effect.
A commonly enforced ban for smoking in public spaces has led to a progressive reduction in the percentage of smokers.

According to a Spanish study, 5 percent of workers gave up smoking when the law took effect, and the overall numbers were reduced from 40.3% to 35.3% of smoking workers.

Men and women of all ages and occupations quit smoking after the ban.

The study examined the consumption of tobacco in the working population during the first months of a smoking ban that forbade smoking in all public spaces, including bars and restaurants.

The study involved 413,473 workers of all ages and occupations and followed their smoking habits for two years ending in June 2011.

The study’s findings were published in the journal Revista Española de Salud Pública.

The study authors found that even amongst workers who continued to smoke, there was a decrease in the amount of tobacco consumed.

The researchers argue that the study proves the health benefits of regulatory and fiscal policies when it comes to smoking.

Source: FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

Provide better indoor air quality at the workplace

Bars and restaurants that previously allowed smoking may suffer from lingering odors and irritants that can spoil a customer’s experience.

Specially equipped air cleaners
can handle stale smoke and more.
These tobacco-smoke related toxins can remain on surfaces, in nooks and crannies for a long time and be slowly released into the ambient air.

Air freshening products do not provide a satisfactory solution because they can be irritants in themselves and they only cover up existing smells while contributing to indoor air pollution.

A better way to deal with lingering smoke odors is ventilation and air cleaning. The ventilation system itself may not be enough to handle the odors, but an air cleaner with many pounds of activated carbon and HEPA filters can help provide cleaner and healthier air.

Electrocorp has designed air cleaners for the hospitality industry that provide some of the largest adsorbent surface areas and longest-lasting filters in the industry.

Electrocorp also offers air cleaners for other commercial and industrial applications, helping workers in various industries to breathe cleaner air.

For more information and options, contact Electrocorp today!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Random safety inspections work: Study

Safety inspections can lower the risk of injuries, study shows.
Researchers have shown that inspections of industrial workplaces in the US don’t hurt businesses and in fact lower the risk of workplace injuries.

The study showed that there was a decrease in worker injuries in companies that were inspected compared to companies that weren’t.

The inspected companies, chosen by the California’s OSHA for random inspections, had 9.4 percent fewer worker injuries.

Those companies also didn’t hurt in other ways and contrary to public opinion were not forced to cut jobs, lose sales, get lowered credit ratings, or go out of business because of the inspections when compared to those that were not inspected.

Inspections criticized from both sides

The study was inspired by the ongoing criticism against OSHA from both sides – the labor side thinks the agency isn’t doing enough to protect workers and the employer side thinks that it imposes unnecessary costs.

The study involved 409 businesses in California in a variety of industries, including woodworking and metalworking, which were randomly inspected by OSHA between 1996 and 2006 as well as 409 comparable companies that were not inspected.

The study shows that inspections help in keeping workers safe and that they are also good for business, experts say.

Critics argue that the study authors didn’t focus on the main issues – namely, regulations - which may have hurt businesses.

The research is published in the journal Science.

Source: Reuters

Air cleaners to reduce chemical exposure at the workplace

The problem with chemical exposure is that even at presumably safe limits, experts are divided about the effect these exposures can have over the long term – although some long-term exposures have been linked to serious health effects such as cancer and respiratory diseases.

In any case, it’s arguably better to have fewer chemicals floating around in the ambient air than more.

Electrocorp has developed portable and highly efficient air cleaners for industrial and commercial applications that can help remove those harmful chemicals, odors and fumes.

The air cleaners feature a proven activated carbon and HEPA filtration system with some of the largest adsorbent surface areas and the most customizable options.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vapor intrusion rising as main cleanup concern

Vapor intrusion can become a concern in any
home or building, experts say.
When it comes to human exposure to pollutants, regulators have traditionally been most concerned with contaminated soil and water – but polluted air caused by vapor intrusion is fast becoming a major cleanup issue, experts say.

According to the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council, polluted ground and water have been around for centuries, while vapor intrusion entered the public debate about two decades ago, making it the new kid on the block.

New guidelines, issued in 2010 by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, describe how to investigate and prevent vapors from entering homes or buildings.

Health effects of vapor intrusion

Regulators are becoming concerned about the health effects that potential vapor intrusion issues can cause in building occupants. Many chemicals and solvents have been linked to cancer and other serious health effects.

The EPA is still working on its own guidelines.

Well-known vapor intrusion offenders include dry cleaners. When dry cleaning operations contaminated the ground underneath their business with perchloroethylene (perc), the dry cleaning fluid, the chemical could often be detected in adjacent homes or buildings, having entered through cracks or opening in the foundation or building envelope.

Other solvents and chemical substances can become vapor intrusion concerns, including 1,1 dichloroethene and trichloroethene which were used in industrial applications.

Consultants and industrial hygienist often recommend indoor air mitigation systems similar to those used for radon to reduce risks of exposure.

Source: Sheboygan Press

Air cleaners for the removal of chemicals, gases and fumes

Electrocorp works with environmental consultants to provide industrial air cleaning solutions for facilities and residential dwellings affected by vapor intrusion.

Contact an Electrocorp air quality representative today for more information on vapor intrusion and our advanced activated carbon filtration systems designed to safely remove chemicals, gases, fumes and odors.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Toluene exposure kills workers, results in fines for company

Health and safety measures are a must to
protect workers and the company itself.
A company is learning a hard lesson about the importance of health and safety: It faces 12 citations for safety violations after a worker died and another was hospitalized in November.

The workers were overcome by fumes from toluene, a toxic chemical.

According to OSHA, the men did not wear any respiratory protection while working with toluene and they were exposed to higher levels than allowed.

The company specializes in coating production and microscreens and uses toluene, a clear and colorless liquid, as a solvent.

OSHA guidelines limit peak toluene exposure to 10 minutes per single time period for any eight-hour shift, with a time weighted average exposure of 200 parts per million.

The small company failed to monitor toluene air concentrations, adjust ventilation systems when working with toluene, control ignition sources, come up with a hazard communication program, offer worker training on the hazards of coating material and implement other safety measures.

The company can respond to the complaint and defend itself.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

Control airborne chemicals and fumes with air cleaners

Part of a comprehensive health and safety program includes the use of air cleaners to mitigate risks of chemical and toxic exposures.

Electrocorp has designed portable and attachable air cleaners for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications.

Featuring some of the largest adsorbent surface areas for gaseous pollutants and the most available options and customizations, the air cleaners can remove harmful chemicals, fumes, gases, odors, particles, dust and pathogens with a complete activated carbon + HEPA filtration system.

Contact Electrocorp for more information or options.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Schools in need of smart upgrades

Energy-saving measures and indoor air quality improvements at the forefront of priorities
A healthy indoor environment is important in schools.

Thousands of California school buildings are in urgent need of repair – and how the work is done will affect the health and productivity of future generations of students and teachers.

Following objectives set out by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) can make a huge difference in learning environments.

The criteria generally consist of site and materials selection, energy and water efficiency, indoor environmental quality (reducing indoor air pollution) and sustainability.

Schools can save money and energy when making improvements to their lighting and HVAC systems, standardized air filtration systems and other materials.

Experts also suggest monitoring the air quality and using an economizer on the HVAC unit.

Introducing natural light into learning environments has also been shown to improve student performance because they are more relaxed and focused on the materials being taught.

Commissioning certain elements of school renovations or upgrades may help improve installation and performance of these systems.

Source: Smart Business

Improve indoor air quality in schools

Students and teachers need to breathe clean air in order to be the most productive and successful, but many school environments are filled with stale or stagnant air, odors, chemicals, bacteria, viruses, mold, dust, allergens and other particles.

A good ventilation system may help to dilute some of these pollutants, but portable air cleaning systems can actually help to remove them as well.

Electrocorp has designed air cleaners for schools and universities that can tackle the indoor air contaminants mentioned above.

The air cleaners feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter and HEPA filtration as well as optional UV lamps for the most complete air cleaning.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Saving energy without compromising health

Indoor air quality is a huge concern in today’s efforts to make homes more energy-efficient

Airtight buildings and homes can affect the occupants'
health and well-being, experts say.
People all over North America are putting their renovation dollars where they think it counts – in eco-efficient updates and insulated structures that tighten up homes.

But while saving energy and thereby money in form of fuel costs is a good idea in general, it should not be done without special consideration to potential health impacts.

Airtight buildings do not have a natural air exchange between indoor and outdoor air that older buildings may have and insufficient ventilation and higher concentrations of indoor air pollutants have become serious public health risks.

Some of the most serious concerns include
  • Buildup of allergens indoors that can cause or aggravate conditions
  • VOCs like formaldehyde from constructions materials, flooring, cabinets, furniture and other sources
  • Toxic chemicals from new computers, appliances and common household cleaning products
  • Mold from lack of ventilation and high humidity or moisture problems
  • Undetected high levels of radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer
  • Carbon monoxide from appliances, fireplaces and other sources

Poor indoor air quality can cause people to experience symptoms of sick building syndrome and respiratory effects. It is no wonder that asthma rates are rising exponentially.

In any home, whether energy upgrades are being done or not, indoor air quality needs to be considered and measures need to be taken to keep indoor air pollution to a minimum.

Source: Maine Indoor Air Quality Council

Remove indoor air pollutants during and after home upgrades

Choosing the most eco-friendly and non-toxic materials and making sure there is adequate ventilation during and after renovation or building projects are important steps to better indoor air quality – but after all is said and done, an air cleaner with the right air filters will provide the most complete protection from airborne pollutants.

Electrocorp has designed portable air cleaners for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications that will also be the safest and most effective air filtration systems during and after home energy upgrades and construction projects.

The air cleaners feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter as well as HEPA filtration and optional UV lamps to capture not only airborne chemicals, VOCs, gases, fumes and odors but also particles, dust, allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses and other toxins.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fumes and solvents affecting train shop workers

Hazardous chemicals and toxins may be to blame for
former workers' ailments.
The railroad in Burlington has been an important employer for many family men, but years of chemical exposures and hazardous substances are taking their toll.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train stops (BNSF) have been handing out settlement checks to workers in the last 10 years for alleged asbestos exposure and other chemical exposures at the shops.

Many former workers have been diagnosed with asbestosis and respiratory diseases, including lung cancer.

The train shops used many organic and chemical industrial solvents, and even though BNSF has been closed since 2003, the site is still contaminated with those.

Train shops have been a fixture in Burlington since the 1850s and were used to repair a lot of locomotives before BNSF moved operations to Illinois and Kansas.

Now all that remains is overgrown old rails and a lingering presence of lead, arsenic, diesel, silicates, PCB-1260, trichloroethylene, chloro-benzene, xylene and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) from the mineral spirits, degreasers, paint thinners and other solvents that were used for decades.

The workers say they handled these industrial chemicals on a daily basis without knowing the risks until in the 1980s a safety officer was hired.

Cleanup of the site has been difficult, since neither the EPA nor the DNR say they have been involved for decades, and confusion reigns over which agency is responsible.

Despite the settlements given to former workers, BNSF maintains it is not responsible for the illness of any workers in Burlington.

Source: The Hawk Eye

Protecting workers from organic and chemical solvent fumes
They come in different sizes and they work:
Electrocorp's RSU series for chemical and
particle control.

Occupational health and safety has become a hot topic, and litigation and settlement payments can be quite expensive for companies.

Prevention is always better than having to react to health problems, and a good preventative management program includes protective equipment whenever necessary, educating workers about hazards, implementing strategies and reducing exposure as much as possible.

Electrocorp has designed powerful air cleaners for industrial and commercial applications that feature a multistage filtration system to improve the indoor air quality in plants, shops and other facilities.

The air cleaners feature a deep-bed activated carbon and HEPA filter system that can remove airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, fibers, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

For more information, contact Electrocorp today.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exposure to chemical fumes from evidence leaves police officers ill

Improper storage and escaping fumes put
officers in evidence rooms at risk.
The risks for those working in law enforcement don’t stop at the street level – they can lurk in evidence rooms and exhibit centers where old drugs, chemicals and other materials are stored.

The story of two Australian police officers who got sick after being exposed to toxic fumes is an extreme example of what can happen when inadequate health and safety measures are in place.

The two policemen were asked in March 2009 to perform a drug audit in the Sydney Police Centre’s drug exhibit center.

The room was about 4 x 5 meters big, not ventilated and was crammed with drugs and other chemicals up to 15 years old.

The officers walked in without wearing protective equipment and were hit with the toxic fumes instantly.

Three years later, they are unable to work and allege they were not given any training, special equipment or instructions.

The officers claim they were exposed to old methamphetamine in a particularly toxic exposure incident. Not only did they develop severe headaches, coughing, burning sensation in nose and throat and other symptoms during the drug audit, but their health continued to deteriorate over time, they say.

They are suing the police force for dozens of negligent acts and more than 50 breaches of the duty of care.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Remove airborne chemicals with carbon air cleaners

It is a fact of work-life that the drugs and evidence collected from various cases will have to be stored somewhere, often for a long time.

The right air cleaners can help remove
dangerous chemicals, fumes and particles.
In evidence rooms and other such rooms, the chemical fumes, aspergillus mold and other toxins emitted by the evidence can cause very serious health effects.

Along with adequate health and safety measures, a good ventilation system and safe storage systems, a portable activated carbon + HEPA air cleaner can help provide cleaner and healthier air.

Electrocorp has designed air cleaners for law enforcement and evidence rooms that can remove airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, mold spores, mycotoxins, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and other contaminants.

The air cleaners feature some of the largest adsorbent surface areas for gaseous pollutants and they are designed to work around the clock for reliable air cleaning.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Chemical allergies cost shipyard worker his job

Exposure to chemicals can cause adverse
health symptoms in many people.
A BC shipyard worker who developed allergies after being exposed to harsh chemicals did not cooperate enough to keep his job and won’t get it back, a court of appeals has ruled.

The man had worked in the machine shop for 35 years but lost his job in 2007 after failing to do a medical exam to determine what work he could do at the shipyard.

The man was considered a competent and motivated worker when he developed an allergic condition in the 1990s, diagnosed as rhinitis and asbestosis.

The workplace made several changes, including upgrades to the ventilation system and doing certain work only when he wasn’t on shift, but in January 2007, he was exposed to a blast of chemicals from cutting oils and solvents in his office and suffered a bad allergic reaction.

He told his bosses he wasn’t willing to work in the shipyard anymore, but also refused to get tested to see how he could be accommodated.

Source: North Shore News

Remove dangerous fumes and odors with air cleaners

Chemical allergies can affect many people who are exposed to low doses of chemicals over a long time or to a large dose once (chemical injury).

The best way to protect workers is to implement strict health and safety procedures, use less toxic compounds whenever possible, provide adequate ventilation and use an efficient air cleaner.

Electrocorp offers portable as well as other highly efficient air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications that can remove airborne chemicals, gases, fumes and odors as well as other pollutants like particles, dust, mold, bacteria and viruses.

The air cleaners feature a deep-bed activated carbon and HEPA filter system, plus optional UV germicidal filtration.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ground Zero toxic dust whistle blower reinstated

Manhattan was engulfed in a cloud of toxic dust after the
collapse of the World Trade Center, scientists claimed.
A senior chemist got her job back at the EPA after she said she was let go in retaliation for accusing the agency of underestimating the danger of the dust at ground zero.

An administrative board ruled in her favor, saying she was not informed of all the charges against her when she was fired in 2010.

The chemist sued under the federal whistle-blower protection act, saying that the agency fired her for accusing them for relying on data that it knew measured the wrong pH levels of the dust released by the World Trade Center collapse in 2001.

The EPA said it fired her for threatening a supervisor. The chemist had a record of disagreeing with colleagues and supervisors and was suspended for two days in 2009.

Now that the chemist was reinstated with back pay, the EPA is free to bring charges against her again.

The particles released by the towers’ collapse were more toxic to workers’ lungs that experts thought.

The collapse shot up a cloud of unknown gases, chemicals and particulates into the Manhattan area, which also may have contained asbestos fibers.

Source: New York Times

Want to know more about workers’ health and safety issues and indoor air quality? Electrocorp specializes in portable and powerful air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications. The filtration system of activated carbon and HEPA can remove pollutants such as airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, fibers, mold, bacteria and viruses. Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Using only green-certified products a challenge, contractors say

While green products are popular in general,
a green-only approach is still difficult.
The green industry has been flourishing not only with the growing popularity of LEED-certified buildings, but also with an abundance of greener products entering the market.

Many business cleaning services are making the switch to certified versions of commonly used green products such as cleaning agents, soap and hand sanitizer.

However, green specialty products seem to have a harder time becoming mainstream.

Green-certified carpet extractors, furniture polishes, metal polishes, concrete stripping or graffiti removal are products that are used only occasionally and need to work quickly.

Green specialty products more expensive

A lower demand in these types of products, high certification costs and questions of efficiency can all translate into higher prices – especially because the makers of these products have to amortize their certification costs in rising prices.

At least a third-party standard is now available for these products, with the launch of the new Green Seal GS-53 for Specialty Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use in 2011.

The standard covers a wide range of products, including dish soaps, graffiti removers, automotive cleansers, outdoor cleaners, odor removers and polishes and waxes.

Many contractors are also finding that a tough economic environment makes it difficult to keep making green products a priority since many building owners are facing a growing vacancy rate and lower lease rates.

A healthy environment is still important to most building owners, the contractors say, but cost is also an issue.

Source: Clean Link

A healthy environment needs clean indoor air

Indoor air pollution is one of the main reasons people get sick, feel unwell or may not be as productive as usual.

The indoor air in many buildings, offices and workplaces can be contaminated by airborne chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, mold and more.

A portable air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPA filters can help remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants.

Electrocorp has developed air cleaners for industrial and commercial purposes with a proven track record in offices, facility management, schools and universities, libraries and archives, law enforcement and more.

For more information, contact Electrocorp.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Compensation fund set up for workers affected by welding fumes

Plaintiffs in welding fume litigation cases
may be able to benefit from a resolution fund.
Exposure to welding fumes is a high-risk occupational hazard and often the subject of legal pursuits.

Now a US District Judge has set up a fund for a $21.5 million settlement in a multidistrict litigation over the hazardous effects of welding fumes.

The Welding Fume Resolution Fund created by Judge Kathleen M. O’Malley is overseen by a fund administrator, who can determine how the money is dispersed, in accordance with Law360.

The multidistrict litigation involved almost 100 lawsuits, and another 700 or more were pending in other state or federal courts.

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits sought compensation for allegedly developing brain damage after exposure to dangerous welding fumes containing manganese from welding rods.

What are the effects of manganese?

Manganese poisoning (also known as manganism or “welders’ disease”) is caused by excessive exposure to the chemical element manganese (Mn), which is an essential component in iron and steel production.

The disease is sometimes mistaken for Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, or multiple sclerosis.

Manganese poisoning has been the subject of a number of product liability suits brought by welders who claim that manufacturers failed to warn that their products could cause welding fumes to contain dangerously high manganese concentrations.

The MDL agreement was reached earlier this year and affects many of these plaintiffs trying to get some justice in court.

Source: Sokolove Law

Welding fume extractors can remove dangerous chemicals, gases
One of Electrocorp's
welding fume extractors
with source capture.

Welding is an important part of many business processes, but keeping workers’ health and safety in mind has to be of utmost importance.

Electrocorp has developed industrial strength air cleaners for welding fume extraction that can handle the different chemicals, gases and toxins present in welding fumes.

The welding fume extractors contain a deep-bed activated carbon filter for gaseous pollutants, a source capture attachment for protection right where it’s needed and other filters for maximum overall dependability.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Related posts:  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pulp and paper mills’ chemical legacies

The pulp and paper industry deals with
many chemicals and pollutants.
During operation and after they are gone, pulp and paper mills can leave behind significant chemical pollutants – dioxins (a by-product from the chlorine used in the bleaching process of paper) and petroleum as well as many others.

Dioxins can also come from “sulfate liquor,” which is used to break wood down into pulp. In fact, dioxin is a general term for a group of hundreds of toxic chemicals that can come from numerous sources.

The chemicals can contaminate nearby waterways, groundwater, soil and air.

Dioxin exposure becomes a health problem when the chemicals accumulate in fatty tissue of animals, becoming a food chain problem.

They have been liked to cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, hormonal changes and cancer, the World Health Organization says.

In the case of a recently closed mill in Everett, the contamination could have been the reason why a potential buyer walked away and it may require an urgent cleanup.

Pulp and paper mills produce 9 million tons of pulp annually according to the U.S. EPA and are a strong player in the economy.

Source: The Herald

Want to know more about health and safety issues and chemicals concerns? Electrocorp manufactures industrial-strength air cleaners for superior chemical and odor control and has designed air cleaners for the pulp and paper mill industry. Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Green classroom project evaluates effects on students

Classrooms (and students) can benefit from better indoor
air quality, ventilation, lighting and acoustics.
The United States Green Building Council is helping schools become greener and cleaner.

The council defines a green school as a school building or facility that creates a healthy environment that is conducive to learning while saving energy, resources and money.

With their Green Classroom Project, they help to renovate and “greenify” an existing classroom in schools to show what a difference certain elements such as a new energy-efficient HVAV system, day-lighting and natural light installations, improved acoustics and improved indoor air quality can have on students.

A second classroom without any updates serves as a control room.

The project includes the installation of air-quality monitoring equipment in both classrooms, which collect information on carbon dioxide levels, temperature and humidity, energy usage and more.

The project often relies on corporate donations from local and national businesses to provide funding for the materials and labor.

Source: OC Metro, US Green Building Council

Improve indoor air quality in schools and learning facilities

Among other factors, indoor air quality can have a big impact on student success with regards to learning and retaining information.
A good air cleaner can help
provide healthier air in schools.

Even small steps like keeping classrooms clutter-free and clean, using non-toxic cleaning agents, opening windows regularly and more can lead to a much improved indoor air environment.

The indoor air quality in classrooms can not only be compromised by lack of ventilation and too many students in a small space, other sources such as building materials, certain indoor activities and outdoor air pollution can also build up a toxic soup of contaminants.

A portable air cleaner with the right air filters can help remove pollutants such as chemicals, gases, odors, dust, particles, allergens, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Electrocorp has designed the most efficient and long-lasting air cleaners for schools and universities that contain a deep-bed activated carbon filter and HEPA filter as well as UV germicidal filtration (optional).

For more information, contact Electrocorp today.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Majority of builders see green home trend growing

The green trend is continuing in the construction industry
and indoor air quality is becoming more important.
More than 80% of builders surveyed in a new report say that construction now is greener than just two years ago and that energy-efficient features are more prevalent in new homes.

The goal to save money on utility bills may drive a lot of those energy-efficient choices, as does the need to differentiate a home from the competition.

Green homes also gained popularity because they are seen as being higher quality (and therefore higher value) and providing better indoor air quality.

Speaking of indoor air quality - it is growing in importance and focus for home builders. 60% of home builders believe that efforts to improve indoor air quality make homes greener than they were two years ago, and 95% of high volume home builders report including features that impact air quality.

Green homes made up a 17% share in the construction market in 2011, which amounts to $17 billion, but the report estimates that this market share will increase to between 29% and 38% by the year 2016.

A growing number of projects are also seeking green certification, the report says, and higher first costs for building green are noted by a much lower percentage of builders as an obstacle now than they were reported in 2008.

The SmartMarket report was released by McGraw-Hill Construction and surveyed members of the National Association of Home Builders.

Source: USA Today, NAHB

Taking care of indoor air quality

When the energy-saving wave first hit the construction and renovation market, it was driven by a desire to save on heating costs and utility bills.

However, the ensuing airtight houses gave rise to a new risk to public health – indoor air pollution, which was named as one of the top 5 risks to public health by health authorities like the EPA.
Electrocorp offers portable
air cleaners like the RAP series.

So it’s good to hear that indoor air quality has been growing in importance in the building industry.

Electrocorp has been a long-time promoter of good indoor air quality and offers air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

Electrocorp’s air cleaners contain a multistage filtration system with activated carbon + HEPA + optional UV germicidal filtration.

Together, these filters can remove airborne chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, mold and other contaminants.

Whether it’s during construction or renovation work, remediation projects or for air cleaning after the work is done in single-family dwellings or larger settings, Electrocorp can provide the right air cleaners, the most effective air filters and the most customizable options.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Male fertility at risk from formaldehyde exposure

Researchers found work-related formaldehyde
exposure could lead to fertility problems.
Men who are exposed to formaldehyde at work could have a harder time starting a family, according to a team of Chinese researchers.

Their research suggests that high levels of exposure to the chemical may reduce fertility in men.

The study involved a group of married men who were exposed to formaldehyde at their workplace in a wood processing facility.

It took their wives three times as long to get pregnant, compared to the wives of men who were not exposed to formaldehyde on the job.

Previous animal studies have shown that exposure to formaldehyde can decrease the quality and quantity of sperm, so this research is in line with those findings.

Source: Private MD Labs

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas or liquid with a pungent, suffocating odor. It is a volatile organic compound that has been linked to cancer.

Formaldehyde is used in a wide range of commercial and industrial applications, including as a tissue preservative in medical laboratories and as an embalming fluid in mortuaries.

Occupational health and safety concerns from formaldehyde are especially a concern for workers in a hospital, laboratory, mortuary, or chemical plant.

Higher amounts of formaldehyde can become a problem for people who work as a doctor, nurse, dentist, veterinarian, pharmacist, pathologist, embalmer, clothing or furniture factory worker, or teacher or student working in a laboratory with preserved specimens.

Source: National Library of Medicine

Remove formaldehyde vapors with GAC air filters

Specially impregnated granular activated carbon (GAC) is one of the most efficient and affordable filtration media to remove airborne formaldehyde fumes as well as other VOCs and chemicals.
Activated carbon can remove
formaldehyde and other VOCs.

Electrocorp offers portable and powerful air cleaners that maximize the effectiveness of carbon with superior airflow design, the largest adsorbent surface areas and custom carbon blends.

With a vast line of air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications, Electrocorp offers air purification systems for

Contact Electrocorp for more information and recommendations.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Preventing produce spoilage in supermarkets

Spoiled fruits and vegetables can eat into
the profits of supermarkets.
Supermarkets in the United States lose about 10 percent of their fruits and vegetables to spoilage every single year, eating into their profit margins and making things difficult.

Fresh fruits and vegetables often spoil when they are exposed to too much ethylene gas, which promotes ripening and is produced by many fresh products themselves.

For example, bananas will stay green until they release enough ethylene to start the ripening process.

Once ripening begins, more ethylene is produced, and the ripening accelerates. If that perfect yellow banana is not eaten at peak ripeness, ethylene will turn it brown and mushy.

Fruit distributors often keep an eye on ethylene levels by installing monitors, but these systems are generally too pricey for supermarkets to install.

Supermarkets may be able to detect ripe produce with a new sensor that is being developed by an MIT professor and his students, which can detect tiny amounts of ethylene gas and help grocers decide which items to put on sale before they get too ripe.

The sensor consists of carbon nanotubes and copper atoms as well as tiny beads of polystyrene. It can detect concentrations of ethylene as low as 0.5 parts per million. Ethylene concentration required for food ripening is usually between 0.1 and one part per million.

If the sensors become commercialized, they will be very affordable, since it costs about one dollar to make it.

Source: MIT News Office

Remove ethylene gas with a carbon air cleaner

Activated carbon can remove
gases, odors and chemicals.
A portable, powerful air cleaner with a deep-bed activated carbon filter can also help control the concentrations of ethylene gas in supermarkets and similar environments.

Electrocorp offers high efficiency air cleaners with a specially impregnated carbon that can adsorb ethylene gas and help fruits and vegetables last longer.

The air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications come in all sizes and filter combinations, promising the best overall protection from airborne chemicals and gases, odors and fumes, particles and dust, bacteria and viruses as well as mold.

For more information and specific recommendations, contact Electrocorp today.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Occupational health alert: Workplace illnesses kill millions of Asians each year

Work-related illnesses and deaths in Asian countries may
be under-reported and ignored, a report says.
Millions of workers in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand may be contracting fatal diseases at work, but the suffering is often ignored, unreported and uncompensated, a labor rights group reports.

The Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC) is warning that death tolls may be much higher than estimated because official figures often don’t cover deaths of migrant workers.

That is why the actual number is bound to be much higher than the 1.1 million deaths in Asia due to work-related factors as estimated by the International Labour Organisation.

Some countries like Cambodia have no laws on occupational safety and produce no official figures.

But many poisonings or exposures cause fatal diseases in Asian factory workers, including silicosis due to fine dust settling in the lungs, cadmium poisoning from working in battery factories, and a lot more.

Since occupational health and safety standards are often non-existent or not enforced, many workers may be unaware of the risks and exacerbate the risks.

Source: The Guardian

Workplace illnesses need to be prevented

Many industries and companies are working with potentially harmful materials and processes and worker health and safety has to come first, no matter where these workers are employed.

When it comes to airborne gases, chemicals and fumes, Electrocorp’s high-efficiency air cleaners with activated carbon and HEPA filters can help remove pollutants and provide cleaner and healthier air.

The air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications can address a wide range of indoor air pollutants that may cause or aggravate workers’ conditions.

For more information and a consultation, contact Electrocorp today.