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The air quality in most cities is bad news for public health.

The air quality in most cities is bad news for public health.

The World Health Organization says air pollution in many of the world’s cities is breaching its guidelines.

Its survey of 1,600 cities in 91 countries revealed that nearly 90% of people in urban centres breathe air that fails to meet levels deemed safe.

The WHO says that about half of the world’s urban population is exposed to pollution at least 2.5 times higher than it recommends.

Air quality was poorest in Asia, followed by South America and Africa.

“Too many urban centres today are so enveloped in dirty air that their skylines are invisible,” said Dr Flavia Bustreo, the WHO’s assistant director-general for family, children and women’s health.

“Not surprisingly, this air is dangerous to breathe.”

The WHO currently sets safe levels of air quality based on the concentration of polluting particles called particulate matter (PM) found in the air.

It recommends that levels of fine particles called PM2.5 should not be more than 10 micrograms per cubic metre on average over a year, and slightly larger pollutants, called PM10, should not reach more than 20 micrograms per cubic metre on average.

But the Urban Air Quality database showed that many areas were breaching these levels.

Some cities in Asia showed extremely high levels of pollution. Peshawar in Pakistan registered a PM10 level of 540 micrograms per cubic metre over a period of two months in 2010, while Delhi in India had an average PM2.5 of 153 micrograms per cubic metre in the same year.

Cities in South America, including Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, also fared badly.

But the WHO says it is still lacking data, especially from cities in Africa, where poor air quality is a growing concern.

The most recent figures suggest that seven million people around the world died as a result of air pollution in 2012. It is estimated that 3.7 million of these deaths were from outdoor air pollution.

The WHO calls it the world’s single largest environmental health risk, and links poor air quality to heart disease, respiratory problems and cancer.

“We cannot buy clean air in a bottle, but cities can adopt measures that will clean the air and save the lives of their people,” said Dr Carlos Dora from the WHO.

Source: BBC

Are you concerned about the air quality in your city and workplace? Electrocorp has designed a wide range of industrial and commercial air purifiers with activated carbon and HEPA to remove dangerous chemicals and vapors, fine particles and other contaminants from the ambient air. Contact Electrocorp for more information. Call 1-866-667-0297.

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Cities like San Francisco will
benefit from cleaner air in the years to come
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

California has been stereotyped as a health-crazed, fresh food-eating, bikini-wearing destination, but ironically, it is also one of the most polluted states in the country. In last year’s State of the Air report, Californian cities were featured, overall, six times in the top 10 most polluted cities in the United States.

But the Golden state is looking to change that… eventually.

Since $3.3 billion were freed up this year, plans to build a high-speed railway system were approved. Groundbreaking starts in 2013 and there is a lot buzz around this project as experts look forward to what this will mean for the state’s environmental status.

A study published in the journal, Environmental Research Letters, determined this project would be the greenest public transportation yet: greener anyway than automobiles and airplanes. This conclusion was based on greenhouse gas emissions as well as energy consumption for all three forms of transportation.

The new high-speed railway system will serve several cities by linking them together. Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego will one day be connected by something other than a highway.

But don’t hold your breath just now. It may take up to 30 years for California to start to reap environmental benefits from this project: around the time the railway system will become fully operational.

What do you think of this project? Is it too little too late? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: ScienceDaily

While we’re waiting…

 In the meantime, it is up to companies and individuals to do their part in reducing emissions, through carpooling, reducing energy use within companies and taking care of each others’ health and well-being while indoors.

Electrocorp’s I-6500 series is just one of many units that can clean indoor air pollution in the workplace

 Environmental experts specialize in helping individuals and businesses develop more eco-conscious solutions to both indoor and outdoor air pollution.

For companies looking to improve indoor air quality, there are many different air cleaners available at Electrocorp that can make work spaces healthier for employees.

Our air cleaners include activated carbon filters to adsorb chemicals and gases that enter offices from the outdoors, and HEPA filters to extract particulates from the air.

For more information on Electrocorp’s units, contact us.

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.

Poor indoor air quality can affect workers’ health and productivity, studies show.

The indoor air in offices and other types of workplaces has long become a major concern to health officials – it exposes employees to many different pollutants and toxins that can affect health and well-being as well as working performance.

Indoor air pollution can come from

  • Office equipment (e.g. printers)
  • Building materials (paint, finishes, stain repellents)
  • Personal care products and air fresheners
  • Cleaning products
  • Poor ventilation
  • Poor air exchange
  • Water damage (mold) or other indoor air quality problems

When a workplace exposes employees to poor indoor air quality, common complaints include headaches, sneezing, discomfort, lower productivity, respiratory conditions and other ailments.

Studies have confirmed that a healthier indoor environment can increase productivity and benefit a company’s bottom line.

There are certain things every workplace can do to provide a cleaner and healthier indoor environment:

  1. Ban smoking indoors and close to the building
  2. Make sure garbage is regularly and properly disposed of
  3. Act quickly to fix water leaks and spills to avoid active mold growth
  4. Use an air purifier – the best air purifiers contain activated carbon, HEPA and UV filtration technologies to remove the widest range of contaminants
  5. Avoid clutter in the workplace for best circulation of air
  6. Make sure fresh air can get inside the building
  7. Get professional help if there is a serious indoor air quality problem

Source: Wamda

Air cleaners with carbon and HEPA filters

Air cleaners and air purifiers are invaluable tools when it comes to improving the air quality at the workplace.

Electrocorp specializes in air filtration systems for industrial and commercial applications and has developed portable as well as HVAC-compatible or wall-mountable air cleaners for the office, office printers, and air purifiers for facility management.

The air cleaners feature a large activated carbon filter for gaseous pollutants and odors, a HEPA filter for particles and optional UV germicidal filtration for pathogens.

Electrocorp also works with environmental consultants and other experts to solve indoor air quality concerns in all types of environments.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

There are ways to protect chemically sensitive workers from low level everyday exposures.

Chemical sensitivities are on the rise – experts estimate that up to 16 percent of the population may be affected by low levels of everyday chemicals at home and on the job.

While some people develop extreme chemical sensitivities that are chronic and disabling, others can be managed with the right types of precautionary measures and policies.

In a recent presentation with the title “Accommodating Consumers and Staff with Chemical Sensitivities” by the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc., Mary Lamielle listed workplace policies and measures that are recommended for people affected by CS.

The recommendations include

  • No smoking policy
  • Fragrance-free policy
  • Integrated pest management (IPM) to avoid pesticide exposure
  • Promotion of least toxic  or low impact cleaning and maintenance products, practices, materials and remodeling substances
  • Notification policy
  • Vehicle idling policy
  • Cell phone and EMF shielding policy
  • Private office with window that opens for person with chemical sensitivities
  • Increasing fresh air supply and ventilation
  • Swap carpeting with hard surface flooring and discuss suitability of all materials with affected person
  • Keep immediate work environment free of office equipment (i.e. large format printers)
  • Off-gas all new materials, furnishings, supplies before installation
  • Metal or glass desk and shelving (no veneered wood or particle board to avoid formaldehyde emissions)
  • Work schedule options and work-from-home options
  • Educate management and co-workers to avert stigma and harassment

A worker with chemical sensitivities may also need to use a charcoal mask or other personal protection equipment, oxygen, a carbon + HEPA air filter, a reading box, low emission equipment and localized exhaust for office equipment, incandescent or natural lighting as opposed to fluorescent lighting, a speaker phone and intercom system to participate in meetings as well as an assistant or errand runner.

Carbon or charcoal is the best air filter media for chemicals, gases and odors.

Source: National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc.

Carbon and HEPA air cleaners for the workplace

Good indoor air quality is a must for workers suffering from chemical sensitivities.

Unfortunately, most indoor environments – including offices, schools, restaurants, hospitals and other settings – can expose workers to indoor air pollutants such as chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Electrocorp has developed highly efficient and portable air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications that feature the most relevant filtration media (deep-bed granular activated carbon and HEPA plus optional UV germicidal filtration), the largest adsorbent surface areas and the most customizable options and features.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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