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Greener buildings can make workers more productive and help a company's bottom line.

A University of Notre Dame study shows that bank branches using LEED-certified buildings increases their revenues even if they offer the same products and services than other branches.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is awarded to certain buildings that have been built or renovated with energy efficiency and good indoor air quality in mind.

The five main categories are Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.

In their study, the researchers looked at 562 PNC branches (93 LEED, 469 non-LEED) and found that employees working in LEED-certified branches were more productive and engaged in their work.

This translated into big bucks for the branches: The study authors determined that sustainability equaled about $461,300 more per employee after controlling for other variables that influence performance.

This mirrors what many companies have been experiencing in the recent past: A high environmental and social impact can be maintained while achieving revenue and job growth.

In terms of the bank in the study, going green seems to work, whether it’s because the buildings look better or the people working there are more fulfilled and thus providing better services.

Source: University of Notre Dame

Good indoor air quality can improve productivity

Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of good indoor air quality on a company’s bottom line. While LEED-certification may not be possible to attain right away, companies can do other things to improve their indoor air quality and worker satisfaction.

  1. Source control: Companies can opt for products, furnishings and other materials that are more natural and environmentally friendly and won’t add any pollutants to the ambient air. For example, glass desks or untreated office furniture won’t emit VOCs and other toxins.
  2. Ventilation: Companies can make sure that existing ventilation systems are well maintained and that the filters are replaced regularly.
  3. Air cleaning: Using portable air cleaners with activated carbon and HEPA can help keep the air clean and much healthier. These air cleaners work around the clock to remove airborne chemicals, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Electrocorp offers high-quality air cleaners for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications, including

Contact Electrocorp for more information and more options.

Radon can enter thousands of classrooms in the U.S.

United States classrooms may be contaminated with radon, experts say.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that enters buildings through cracks and openings in the foundation and exterior.

It is a known carcinogenic and the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoke.

Once it seeps into buildings, radon can build up to dangerously high levels.

Since radon can enter any home or building, schools are no exception, but many schools could do more to protect students and staff by testing for radon and making sure that exposure is minimal, they say.

If a student is exposed at 4 picocuries per liter (the EPA’s action level), it is about the same as smoking half a pack of cigarettes per day, experts say.

There is no federal law mandating radon testing, so it is up to individual schools and districts to make the call.

Many school districts don’t test for radon because they say they don’t have the funds.

The EPA estimates that more than 70,000 classrooms across the country are at risk.

Source: UPI

Provide a healthy environment in schools

Radon is not the only polluting factor in the school environment.

Students and staff are often exposed to chemicals and gases, stuffy air, particles and dust, allergens like pollen, mold and other indoor air contaminants.

In many schools, the ventilation system is unable to provide the amount of fresh air that is needed to keep students and staff healthy and productive.

Electrocorp offers high quality air cleaners for schools and universities that can help remove those contaminants from the ambient air.

The air cleaners are equipped with an effective and reliable filtration system with deep-bed activated carbon filters for the removal of chemicals, VOCs, odors and gases, a HEPA filter for particles, dust and allergens and optional UV germicidal filtration for the neutralization of bacteria, viruses and mold.

For more information and options, contact Electrocorp today.

Chemical lab

The United States government aims to make improve labels on hazardous chemicals and make them conform to international guidelines developed by the United Nations, a recent AP report says.

According to OSHA, these new labels could help prevent 40 deaths and about 500 workplace injuries and illnesses related to exposure to harmful chemicals each year.

Hazardous materials are a common sight for US workers: About 43 million people come in contact with hazardous substances on the job.
The new labels will be less confusing and generally easier to understand.

Some companies might also benefit by saving on training costs and paperwork, OSHA says, since chemical manufacturers currently have to produce two sets of labels, one for U.S. standards and one for U.N. standards.

The new rules will be phased in over a period of time and will come into full effect in the year 2016.

The rules aim to improve protection for workers, employers and chemicals users and they also require companies to include hazard information about combustible dust.

Combustible dust can become an occupational hazard when tiny particles catch fire as a result of producing chemicals, plastics, metals and foods. In the future, there may be a separate rule specifically geared to combustible dust hazards.

Source: Washington Post

Cleaner indoor air at work with carbon air cleaners

Many companies have to deal with chemicals, gases and fumes from hazardous materials.

To increase workers’ protection and provide a cleaner and healthier environment, Electrocorp offers industrial-strength air cleaners with large activated carbon filters and HEPA filtration to remove a wide range of pollutants.

Electrocorp air cleaners can be used in a wide range of industries and applications; customized products are available as well as a variety of carbon blends to target specific pollutants.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Welders can be exposed to toxic fumes - but manganese can affect the public as well

In a new study, Penn State College of Medicine researchers try to understand the effects of metal manganese on brain functions.

They aim to expand on the insights of a previous, smaller scale study, which looked at welders specifically, since they are often exposed to manganese in the welding fumes.

But the general population should also be aware of manganese and its effects, the researchers say, since we may all be exposed to the toxin through gasoline additives and the burning of fossil fuels.

According to research, very low concentrations of manganese are essential for life, but high levels of exposure quickly become toxic for humans.

In the previous study on welders, the researchers found a link between exposures to manganese-containing welding fumes and decreased motor performance.

Technical advances make it easier for the researchers to study the effects of manganese exposure in the brain, so they are hoping to see how manganese affects the general population.

The study has received funding from the National Institute of Environmental Sciences.

Source: Gettysburg Times

Reduce exposure to welding fumes and other occupational hazards

Welders have to make sure they don’t breathe in too many welding fumes, which have been shown to be toxic.

Along with the usual precautionary measures (including good ventilation and personal protective equipment), Electrocorp’s industrial-strength welding fume extractorscan help reduce exposures.

FumeSafe

Welding fume extractors help remove dangerous toxins.

The welding fume extractors feature the most effective activated carbon blends for the removal of toxic chemicals, gases and fumes, the deepest carbon beds for more efficient adsorption and easy-to-use source capture attachments for more accurate toxin removal.

Electrocorp also features other air cleaners for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications, which contain activated carbon and HEPA air filters.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

The wrong building materials can lead to poor indoor air quality and respiratory disease.

Indoor air pollution is one of the top 5 risks to public health, and one of the main sources of exposure is the building materials.

The volatile organic compounds and other chemicals that can be emitted by common building materials can contribute to the onset or aggravation of respiratory diseases.

When building or renovating a home, people and contractors need to take building materials and indoor air quality into account.

Here is a selection of “healthy” building materials that won’t off-gas too many toxins and won’t affect the indoor air quality in a negative way.

  • Concrete, ceramic tile and stone
  • Paperless drywall
  • Low-VOC paint
  • Solid wood cabinets and doors (Products that contain plywood emit high levels of formaldehyde)
  • Butcher block for countertops (better for IAQ than plastics laminates with adhesives)
  • Factory finished flooring like bamboo and cork
  • Fiberglass insulation (that is formaldehyde-free)
  • Stainless steel

Look for eco-products that are certified and won’t pollute your indoor environment. A healthy home will require healthy air, and it all starts with the building materials.

Of course, keep ventilation systems and other air-quality friendly measures in mind when building or renovating a home.

Source: Business2Community

Use carbon + HEPA air cleaners when building or renovating homes

Along with proper planning, the right materials and good ventilation, a serious air cleaner with many pounds of activated carbon and HEPA air filters can help keep the air in the home clean and healthy.

Electrocorp offers industrial-strength air cleaners that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including VOCs, chemicals, gases, odors, dust, particles, fibers, mold, bacteria and viruses.

They can also keep the air clean after the work is done.

For more information, contact Electrocorp today.

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