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As people live longer, the need for retirement homes, nursing homes and adult congregate living facilities increases.

To date, approximately 10 million seniors in the United States are or will live in one of these types of homes.

For the average healthy person, exposure to harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, furniture and paints may not have immediate or long-term effects. Seniors, however, are particularly at risk.

As we age, our immune systems become less effective, making us more vulnerable to disease and infection. As a result, autoimmune diseases and cancers are more prevalent, as are cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

What the experts suggest

Indoor environmental experts have come up with three important elements necessary for ensuring good indoor air quality:         

  • Source control
  • Ventilation
  • Air cleaning

Source Control

Source control is the process of eliminating the causes of air pollution at the source, such as in building materials. The EPA agrees that source control is the only way to eliminate indoor air pollution, but it is impossible to completely rid the air of contaminants. As a result, it is suggested that buildings are outfitted with furniture, paint and cleaning products that are low in volatile organic compounds. It is also important to regularly test for high humidity. This is a sure-fire way of detecting early signs of mold. By starting as simply as that, the quantity of pollutants will be reduced.

Ventilation

A good HVAC ventilation system will allow for a constant flow of air to pass. It can also aid in minimizing the threat of mold. But an HVAC system alone is not enough. It can bring in pollutants, such as pollen and dust from the outside as well as circulate pollutants that are already indoors. Ensuring a regular cleaning of the filters in the HVAC system will aid greatly in reducing built-up contaminants indoors.

Air Cleaning

A good ventilation system is incomplete without an air cleaning solution. Because HVACs are limited in their capacity to rid the air of allergens and pollutants, air cleaners will pick up the slack. These cleaning units will adsorb airborne chemicals with activated carbon filters. HEPA filters will trap particles and the need for constant cleaning will be significantly reduced.

Source: GREENGUARD

Electrocorp’s air cleaners

Electrocorp’s air filtration systems can outfit retirement homes with air cleaners that will help reduce the risk of illness through airborne chemicals. With options for HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, and even UV germidical lamps, Electrocorp can provide cleaner air solutions for seniors.

Do you or someone you know live in a retirement home, nursing home or adult congregate living facility? Tell us your indoor air quality stories.

Show your support for greener and healthier working and living environments by becoming a follower of this blog!

To learn more about Electrocorp’s products, contact us through our website.

Offices can expose workers to dust, mold and chemicals.
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many people don’t mind being indoors in their air conditioned offices during the hot summer months, but office buildings have to be well maintained in order to avoid indoor air quality problems.

Spending day after day in offices with poor indoor air quality can lead to reduced productivity and health effects such as chronic coughs and sneezing, scratchy throats, itchy eyes, headaches and aggravated respiratory conditions like asthma.

When it comes to indoor air pollution, a lot of people tend to blame mold for health issues, occupational hygienists say.

However, mold may not be the cause of the IAQ concerns – in many cases the culprits are airborne chemicals and dust.

Health effects of dust exposure

Dust, which contains fine particles of fibers, skin scales, insect parts, pollen, cobwebs, dirt, dander and more, settles on surfaces everywhere in the office.

Regular cleaning can help control this aspect of indoor air quality, although companies should insist on non-toxic cleaning agents to avoid the spread of irritating chemicals throughout the office.

Unfortunately, experts note that even with regular cleaning, dust may settle in areas that are inaccessible, including the building’s air ducts.

Once dust gets in the air ducts, it can stay there for years, or it might be circulated throughout the office where it can affect employees’ health and well-being.

Since people spend so much time in offices and there could be a lot of dust, yearly air duct cleanings are recommended, as long as they are done by professionals with the right equipment.

Source: Digital Journal press release

Removing pollutants from the office air

The PrintSafe features a custom source capture hood that removes pollutants from the printer exhaust.

Dust, allergens, fine particles, chemicals, VOCs, odors, gases and biological contaminants can be removed easily and efficiently with Electrocorp’s air cleaners for offices and air cleaners for office printers.

As an industry leader in air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications, Electrocorp offers some of the largest adsorbent surface areas, the most customizable options and features and the most relevant filtration media at the best price. The air cleaners contain a multistage filtration system with activated carbon, HEPA and optional UV germicidal filtration.

The company’s portable and HVAC-compatible air cleaners can help keep the office air clean and healthy.

Contact Electrocorp to talk to an IAQ expert about your concerns and space.

Is the air in your office making you sick? We’d like to hear from you.


Show your support for green and healthy working environments by becoming a follower of this blog.

Toxic chemicals from contaminated soil can find their way inside homes and affect the residents.

Whenever homes, schools or other buildings are constructed on top of previously contaminated land, toxic chemicals and gases may find their way inside, where they can affect people’s health and well-being.

This is supposedly what happened in a Scottish neighborhood near Glasgow.

Built on a site that was used by industrial plants from the 1940s until the 1970s, homes that were tested showed high levels of toxic chemicals in the ambient air.

The toxins were

  • Trichloroethylene (an industrial solvent)
  • Tetrachloroethylene (dry-cleaning fluid)
  • Polychlorinated biphenols
  • Polyaromatic carbons

The air inside 25 homes was tested in June and July 2011 and found levels of the chemicals at much higher levels than deemed acceptable by WHO standards. Apart from the high levels of chemicals, experts also worried about the mixture of toxins people are exposed to.

One family moved away after the wife developed nose bleeds, headaches and nausea a few years after moving there.

The family is suing the landlord over the toxic fume exposure in a test case that may be of interest to more than 40 families living in the area.

The plaintiffs allege that a required remediation of the place did not take place.

The chemicals in question have been linked to irritations, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and developmental disorders.

Source: The Scotsman

Air cleaners for vapor intrusion and environmental concerns

Soil vapor intrusion is a common concern in buildings atop contaminated sites, and the right air cleaners with deep-bed activated carbon filters can help reduce gaseous pollutants inside those homes.

Electrocorp, an industry leader in air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications, works with environmental consultants to help improve the indoor air quality in single- and double-family dwellings.

The air cleaners from Electrocorp feature some of the largest adsorbent surface areas, and the company also offers more than 40 different carbon types and blends to address specific chemical concerns.

The air cleaners are portable, affordable and long-lasting, and the carbon filters can be refilled according to need.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

Most Americans still choose
burial over cremation.
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

The business of death is often a difficult one. How does a family put their loved one to rest? Do they choose cremation or burial?

In 2010, more than 50 percent of Americans chose to bury their loved ones.

Traditionally, burial practices have been difficult on the environment. What many people don’t realize, however, is that it is also very difficult on the morticians.

Although there is a trend toward greener burial practices:

  • Using biodegradable caskets
  • Dressing the deceased in clothing made from natural fiber
  • Using ethyl alcohol-polyethylene glycol for embalming

most bodies are still preserved with formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, and morticians need to work with it almost daily as it is one of the major components used for embalming.

From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, arsenic was the chemical of choice for embalming. When its poisonous long-term effects were revealed, arsenic was replaced with formaldehyde.

Since the 1980s, formaldehyde has been studied for its ill-effects.

Many funeral homes have made some changes in the way they handle the product, but most continue to use it regardless of the greener alternatives that are now available.

Though more effective protective gear is used and many mortuaries have installed ventilation units at their work benches, the noxious fumes are simply being moved from inside to outside.

A safer, greener option for formaldehyde removal

The best way to rid both the indoor and the outdoor air of formaldehyde is to use an air cleaner, which can be attached to a ventilator.

Electrocorp’s RAP series is a perfect complement to a ventilation system

Electrocorp’s RAP series will take the air ventilators have sucked out from the room and clean it with activated carbon filters. The carbon will adsorb the chemicals and either release clean air back into the workroom or push it outdoors (depending on the air-flow configuration of the ventilation system).

Using an air cleaner to complement the ventilation system will not only help eradicate the toxic effects of formaldehyde for people working in the industry, but it will also create a greener working environment that reduces its toxic output.

Have you considered what imprint you’d like to leave on earth?  Will you support green practices in funeral homes? 

Post your comments, questions and concerns and we’d be happy to reply.

For more information on Electrocorp’s air cleaners, call us toll free at 1-866-667-0297 or contact us through our website.

Women can be exposed through synthetic textiles
and dyes, among many other sources.
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

Women who are exposed to organic solvents at the workplace have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with a heart defect, new research shows.

Many pregnant women may be exposed to solvents, which are often used in chemical manufacturing and in industries where substances such as fats, oils and waxes need to be dissolved or cleaned.

Organic solvents are common ingredients in

  • Paints
  • Varnishes
  • Adhesives
  • Degreasing and cleaning agents
  • Dyes
  • Polymers
  • Plastic
  • Synthetic textiles
  • Printing inks
  • Agricultural products

By handling these products, workers may breathe in organic chemicals, or they may enter the body through mouth or skin.

The researchers assessed the levels of workplace exposure to solvents in 5000 women in the United States from one month before conception up to the end of the first trimester.

Pregnant women exposed to solvents at work
may put their babies at risk, a study shows.
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

The women took part in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study and their babies were delivered between 1997 and 2002.

Since exposure to organic solvents (chlorinated solvents, aromatic solvents, hydrocarbons) is relatively common in the workplace, industrial hygienists focused on these chemicals and possible associations to birth defects.

Their approach showed a 4-5% higher risk of heart defects, but they cautioned that the results did not allow the drawing of definitive conclusions on specific types of exposure and specific congenital heart defects.

The study appeared online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Source: Science Daily Press Release

Cleaner air at the workplace

Since many industries and workplaces rely on the use of solvents, the indoor air quality may be affected by the volatile organic compounds and chemicals known to be a health risk.

Electrocorp has specialized in air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications that come in customizable sizes and with the most efficient filters to provide cleaner and healthier air.

The air cleaners are equipped with an activated carbon and HEPA multistage filtration system to remove airborne chemicals, gases, odors, fumes, VOCs as well as particles and other IAQ concerns.

More than 40 different carbon blends can also target specific chemicals and gases, such as those from organic solvents.

For more information on Electrocorp and its products, contact us.

 

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