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The process of making bread can add volatile organic compounds into the air.

Bakery fined for bad pollution management

No matter how big or small an operation is – a failure to manage pollutants can be costly.

The United States EPA recently issued a $1.3 million fine for a California bakery that did not get the necessary air pollution permits and controls to operate the facility’s three bread ovens.

During the leavening stage and baking of the breads, volatile organic compounds like ethanol can be generated and released.

The EPA considers volatile organic compounds to be a precursor to ozone pollution.

The company agreed to install and run machinery that can reduce VOCs by 95 percent.

Every business that releases VOCs or other pollutants into the air can have a major impact on the overall air quality, an EPA spokesperson said in a Lodi News-Sentinel article. Raising awareness and making small changes can make a difference for everyone.

Indoor air quality concerns for workers and residents

People living above small businesses or in the neighborhood can be affected by pollutants and should take steps to reduce exposure in their own homes. See AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office.

Electrocorp specializes in air cleaning equipment for industrial and commercial applications that can provide cleaner and healthier air for workers and management.

The air cleaners feature a deep-bed activated carbon filterfor the removal of volatile organic compounds, chemicals, odors and gases, a HEPA filter for fine particles and dust and optional UV germicidal filtration for the neutralization of biological contaminants such as mold, viruses and bacteria.

Air cleaners with cyclone collectors can manage fine particles at the workplace.

In bakeries and other workplaces where a lot of fine particles may be the main concern, Electrocorp has developed industrial-strength air cleaners with cyclone collectors for maximum protection.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Green building standards worry chemical manufacturers.

The proposed standards by the U.S. Green Building Council have many chemical manufacturers up in arms, saying that the new rules would unfairly target their products.

Business groups are lobbying lawmakers to reconsider the proposed standards to avoid job losses in the industry.

The proposed changes, known as LEED 2012 or LEED v4, encourage builders to avoid certain materials that go into roofing, piping and vinyl siding to earn a green building certification.

The chemical makers say that a fragile building construction sector will suffer from even more uncertainty if those materials are being avoided.

The Green Building Council, however, has rejected the notion that the building economy would be affected by the proposed changes.

The standards do not ban any products and instead rewards companies that produce more transparent and well-documented building materials, they say.

The final vote of the standards has been delayed until June 2013, and the standards may be changed until then.

Source: The Hill

Better indoor air quality in green construction and older buildings

Poor indoor air quality has been linked with a wide range of health symptoms and lower productivity, among other effects.

Electrocorp has teamed up with engineers, environmental consultants, government buyers and construction professionals to help provide cleaner and healthier air during and after building projects.

Electrocorp’s air cleaners for industrial and commercial applications feature deep-bed activated carbon (or charcoal) filters for chemicals and odors, a HEPA filter for particles and optional UV germicidal filtration for biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Children and teachers can be affected by poor indoor air quality in schools.

When the California Air Resources Board tested the state’s K-12 classrooms, they found alarming rates of toxic dust, stale indoor air, mold and formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound that is a known carcinogenic.

While most schools and classrooms had poor indoor air quality, the problems were especially acute in portable classrooms, often used to accommodate a growing student body when there is no other space available.

Some local businesses started working on ways to make classrooms greener and healthier, including net-zero energy use (they produce as much energy as they use) and improved ventilation, lighting and materials.

Traditionally, portable classrooms provide little insulation and energy efficiency, especially when it comes to ventilation and air conditioning.

The new and improved version would use less toxic materials to avoid formaldehyde emissions, high quality air filters, pressurizing systems, efficient heating and cooling systems and more natural light.

Source: Monterey County Weekly

The importance of good indoor air quality in schools

Children are among the most vulnerable groups when it comes to indoor air pollution and environmental toxins, but teachers and administrative staff can also develop health problems due to mold, stale indoor air and volatile organic compounds.

Millions of children and adults spend a majority of their day in schools each week, but the average school building is about 42 years old and in poor condition.

Exposure to indoor air pollution has been linked to respiratory problems, aggravated medical conditions (like asthma), increased absenteeism, lower productivity and learning ability as well as many more health effects.

Air cleaners for schools and universities

When it’s not feasible to open the windows or improve the ventilation system, portable air cleaners for schools and universities can easily and effectively provide cleaner and healthier air in minutes.

Electrocorp has a proven track record in schools and learning institutions, with air cleaners that remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants with a complete multistage filtration system:

  • A deep-bed activated carbon filter for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, airborne chemicals, odors and gases
  • A HEPA filter to trap fine particles, dust, allergens (pollen) and biological particles
  • Pre-filters to extend the other filters’ lifespan
  • Optional UV germicidal filtration to neutralize biological contaminants such as mold, bacteria and viruses

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

Hotel rooms can be full of bacteria and other pollutants

No matter how diligent hotels are with their cleaning regimen – the lack of cleaning standards and other factors allow many surfaces to be contaminated, researchers say.

Scientists from the University of Houston examined surfaces of hotel rooms and found television remotes to be the most contaminated with bacteria. Also, items on the housekeeping cart can potentially lead to cross-contamination between rooms, they say.

Most hotels and guests judge a room’s cleanliness by how clean it looks, but this is an ineffective method of measuring levels of sanitation.

Contaminated surfaces can spread infections during outbreaks in hotels, and immunocompromised individuals may be specifically at risk, the researchers warn.

As expected, other highly contaminated surfaces included the toilet and bathroom sink as well as the bedside lamp switch.

Source: The American Society for Microbiology

Other pollutants in hotel rooms

Mold – Typical causes for mold in hotels are deficient air conditioning systems and air and water leaks in the building walls. Most hotel rooms have little fresh air exchange and let mold and bacteria thrive in an environment of vinyl wall paper and shower steam.

Pesticides – It may be bed bugs or other insects or pests that have invaded a hotel – but the use of pesticides can be quite dangerous to hotel guests as well, since they often contain toxic chemicals.

Chemicals – Building materials, furniture, textiles, carpets and other substances in hotel rooms may off-gas chemicals and volatile organic compounds that can be irritants and known health hazards. Other chemical pollutants come from cleaning products and personal care products as well as air fresheners.

Allergens – The hotel’s mattress, pillow, rug, drapery and upholstered furniture can all easily collect dust, mites and bodily secretions — all of which can cause reactions in allergy sufferers.

Tobacco smoke – Smoking is banned in many hotels, but certain rooms may be designated as smoke rooms (and certain guests may light up, anyway). Stale tobacco smoke is difficult to eradicate and can leave behind harmful chemicals and toxins.

Air cleaners for hotels

Using non-toxic materials and products whenever possible, implementing a strict cleaning regimen and making sure there is adequate ventilation can all help to improve indoor air quality in hotels – but the right air cleaner will provide cleaner and healthier air around the clock.

The best air cleaners for hotels feature a combination of activated carbon, HEPA and a UV lamps to remove odors, chemicals, gases, particles, dust, mold spores, bacteria and viruses from the air. They should be easy to use, quiet and equipped with long-lasting filters.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and the best air cleaners for your hotel, motel, inn or hospitality business.

Exposing workers to hazards may be costly for companies.

An Australian court reiterated the importance of safety in a workplace when it comes to asbestos when it ruled that a company exposed workers to asbestos dust even though it knew of the potential health consequences.

The company now faces claims for millions of dollars of punitive damages.

An 86-year-old former shipyard worker sued the company under the state’s Dust Diseases Act, saying he developed asbestosis because of the exposure to asbestos dust.

The court ruled in his favor because he could prove that the company knew he was at risk of exposure when he worked at the shipyard in the 1970s and that the company was also aware that he could get sick from it.

Asbestosis is a lung disease that occurs from breathing in asbestos fibers, which causes scar tissue to form inside the lung. Symptoms include chest pain, cough, shortness of breath and more. There is no cure.

The worker and his council said the decision was important not only for the interpretation of the Dust Diseases Act but also for hundreds of other similar claims that were still before the courts.

Source: The Australian

Air cleaners for asbestos remediation and other workplace hazards

Even though asbestos has been heavily regulated in the past few decades, many buildings still feature asbestos-containing materials that may be a health hazard to the workers there.

Electrocorp has developed portable air cleaners for asbestos and mold remediation work that can help provide cleaner and healthier air, along with other health and safety measures.

As one of the leading providers of air cleaners for industrial and commercial applications, Electrocorp offers the most relevant filtration media, the most adsorbent surface areas and the most customizable options in units that work.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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