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Additives in acrylic paint make them dirt collectors and difficult to keep clean.

They were made famous by artists like Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, and David Hockney: Acrylic paintings.

But 60 years after they first garnered public attention, art conservators are having trouble protecting these paintings from obvious signs of aging.

Acrylic paints were invented in the 1940s and quickly developed into an artistic mainstay. Many artists preferred using acrylic paints to oil because acrylics dry within hours, while oil paints can take weeks or months to dry.

The problem, as art conservators are experiencing these days, lies in the additives that hold acrylic paints together in the liquid stage. The additives turn acrylic paintings into dirt collectors and can make them appear soiled.

Scientists specializing in art conservation are currently concentrating their efforts to find ways to rejuvenate the paintings and keep them looking their best.

Source: American Chemical Society news release

Source capture air cleaners for art conservation

CleanBreeze 3 air cleaner with source capture hood.

For valuable paintings and collection pieces at risk of soiling or damage from indoor air pollutants, Electrocorp has designed highly efficient portable air cleaners for art conservation and restoration, with a flexible arm and source capture attachment to keep the air as clean as possible.

The air cleaners remove a wide range of indoor air pollutants, including chemicals, VOCs, gases, fumes, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and molds with an activated carbon + HEPA filter combination.

Exclusive carbon blends can target specific contaminants and the units feature many other customizable options that can help conserve the artifacts.

Contact us for more information: 1-866-667-0297.

Welders need to protect themselves from dangerous fumes.

The students enrolled in the welding program at Washington’s Columbia Basin College learned a tough lesson this week about the importance of proper ventilation and adequate protection against welding fumes.

Their lab was shut down after several students were affected by welding fumes that were not vented properly.

After working in the lab, students reported

  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • Visible fumes that lingered
  • Sore throat
  • Other symptoms and complaints

Welding can produce noxious fumes from the metal, the coatings, residues and solvents, many of which have been linked to short-term and long-term health effects.

The university is installing new metal hoods to improve ventilation.

Source: NBC News 

Portable welding fume extractors can help protect welders

Electrocorp has designed a customizable line of welding fume extraction air cleaners with a spark arrestor, flexible arm and source capture attachment that can remove chemicals, fumes, gases, odors and particles.

The activated carbon and HEPA filtration system combines the most efficient filter media for enhanced protection against harmful fumes.

Contact Electrocorp and ask about our different models and customizable options.

Hotels can make big and small changes to be more green and profitable.

Big hotel chains seem to have the advantage when it comes to going green, a new analysis by Washington State University researchers shows.

Chain hotels often have more green practices in place, including:

  • Energy efficient light bulbs
  • Staff training to conserve energy by turning off lights, heaters and air conditioning in unoccupied rooms
  • Bulk purchasing to save on packaging
  • Using less toxic cleaners and chemicals
  • Offering tips to guests on how to save water and energy during their stay (reusing towels and sheets, for example)

The researchers found that the appearance of being green impacted a guest’s decision when it came to similar rooms at the same price.

Traditionally, hotels have had large environmental footprints in the hospitality industry because they use so much water and cleaning chemicals, electricity by keeping lights on all night, etc.

The green hotel movement has become more and more popular since the 1990s.

“It’s a smart practice for hotels,” says Dennis Reynolds, Ivar B. Haglund Endowed Chair in the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management.

“When it started, no one acknowledged that. They said, ‘This is a green practice. We’re doing it for the environment.’ That caught on very quickly because, yes, it’s good for the environment but it’s also good for the bottom line.”

Greener buildings with better insulation, improved ventilation systems and increased control over room temperature and air quality can cut energy costs significantly.

Source: Washington State University press release

Improve a room’s air quality for more comfort

Many hotels are seeing the benefits of green practices – and indoor air quality plays an important role in the experience provided to guests.

A portable air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPA air filters can remove the widest range of odors, chemicals, gases, allergens, molds, bacteria and viruses and provide relief to guests affected by allergies and asthma or chemical sensitivities. Units can also be ducted or otherwise incorporated into existing ventilation systems.

Contact Electrocorp for more information about our line of air cleaners for the hospitality industry and other options.

Green office can provide better office temperature and air quality.

While workers’ productivity and satisfaction depend on a variety of factors, one important aspect is indoor air quality, experts say.

Green buildings that offer improved indoor air quality, lighting, thermal comfort, views and acoustics can have a positive effect on worker health and well-being, morale, comfort and productivity, a growing number of studies show.

Companies, in turn, can save money on sick leaves, absenteeism, replacement training, overtime pay, compensation and other costs.

A case study done by Sustainability Victoria and the Kador Group in 2005-2006, examining a green retrofit and the effects on the workers showed that there was:

  • A 44 percent reduction in the monthly average cost of sick leave
  • A 9 percent improvement in the average typing speed of secretaries and noticeable improvement in overall accuracy
  • Up to 20 percent reduced incidence of headaches among workers and improvements in colds and flu, sore eyes, fatigue and concentration issues
  • A 12 percent rise in self-reported productivity

According to a March 2010 British study of 10,000 property and construction professionals, more than half (55 percent) complained about the office temperature and 45 percent were unhappy with the ventilation or air quality.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Improve IAQ at the workplace

Electrocorp specializes in a variety of versatile air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications.

The air cleaners can be stand-alone, plug-and-play units, they can be attached to the HVAC system or they can be mounted to the ceiling.

They remove a wide range of indoor air contaminants commonly found in offices and workplaces, including chemicals, odors, gases, fumes, particles, bacteria, viruses and molds. Find out more about the activated carbon + HEPA filtration system.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and customizable solutions.

News and research

Most members will disclose fracking chemicals, the coalition says.

With mounting concerns over the chemicals used in the natural gas hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process by natural gas drillers in the Marcellus shale region, people in the area might soon be one step closer to knowing what may be in their water or air.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, the industry trade group representing 200 gas drilling companies, has said that most of its members have agreed to disclose voluntarily the chemicals that are used.

They are planning to make the chemicals used in each well public, by listing them in a national database titled FracFocus.org.

The companies have previously declined to disclose the chemicals in their fracking fluids because they claimed it was a “trade secret”.

As of January 1, 2012, the coalition will require all of its members to disclose the chemicals, a spokesman said in an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The chemicals are mixed into the millions of gallons of water and sand pumped underground to release the natural gas.

Many of the chemicals can be found in most household cleaners, according to the article, and often, the fluid contains acids, chlorides, methanol and ethylene.

The controversy has centered on the potential health effects linked to the fracking fluid that returns to the surface and how the waste is handled.

Top 5 gas drillers in the U.S.

As the natural gas industry keeps growing at an explosive pace, concerns are starting to surface about the safety of the hydraulic fracturing process and the health effects that may be associated with it.

The concerns center on the chemicals that are being used in the process (which are often deemed proprietary and are not publicized), the VOCs that may be entering nearby residents’ homes and the symptoms that may be linked with the chemical exposure.

More research and studies may be needed to get an accurate picture of the human and environmental impact of gas drilling, but in the meantime, it may help to learn more about the industry itself.

While the industry has kept more than 14,000 oil and gas companies busy in 2009, here are the top 5:

  1. Exxon Mobil
  2. Chesapeake Energy
  3. Anadarko
  4. Devon Energy
  5. BP

The questions remain: Are the chemicals potentially harmful? Will the chemicals be listed properly?

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, ProPublica

Industrial-strength air cleaners for businesses and homes: Electrocorp works with environmental consultants and government agencies on providing simple and cost-effective solutions for better indoor air quality. Contact us for more information.

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