Air Pollution in the Office Environment

If you get frequent headaches at work, it could be something in the air. Research shows that laser printers and copying machines contaminate indoor air with various pollutants.

Last year, the journal Environmental Science & Technology reported that some laser printers emit as many pollutants as a burning cigarette! When these small particles are inhaled, they can damage the lungs and lead to respiratory disease over time. Continue reading…

How a DIY Toxic Mold Test Kit Saved Me Hundreds of Dollars

Last year when I rented a “fixer upper” house in the Atlanta area, I got a good deal on the rent in exchange for doing some cosmetic work to the interior of the house. Little did I know, the house needed more than a bit of lipstick.

After I ripped up the carpet, refinished the floors, and painted the whole interior, a foul odor still lingered. I tried everything to get rid of the smell – from air purifiers to specialized cleaning solutions. Nothing seemed to work.

The first time it rained, I realized why the odor wouldn’t go away. Every time it rained, water flooded the front sunroom. The water didn’t come from one particular place, as with a single leak; rather, it streamed down the walls like a waterfall, making a large puddle on the floor. There was something fundamentally wrong with the construction of this room. Talk about sick building syndrome! Continue reading…

Common Household Cleaners Pose Health Hazards

HealthDay reporter Serena Williams recently exposed the health hazards in common household cleaners. A recent study concluded that many air fresheners and cleaners contain a volatile organic compound (VOC) called 1,4 dicholorobenzene (1,4 DCB) that can reduce lung function by 4 percent. (1,4 DCB is the chemical that gives mothballs their distinctive odor.)

Another study found that regular use of household cleaners in spray cans may increase the risk of developing asthma by up to 50 percent! Continue reading…

Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums Lower Plant Operating Costs

When you have to clean a dusty 48-acre plant full of machinery, even the best household vacuum won’t get the job done. In this case, you need a specialized industrial vacuum.

Jim Ford, CEO of Harris Woolf Almonds, is in charge of a 48-acre almond processing plant in California. The plant packages 45 million pounds of almonds per year. But before the almonds can be packaged, they must be shelled and cleaned – and this creates a lot of dust.

“It’s a very fine dust,” explains Ford, “and it’s very difficult to sweep.”

Almond dust is problematic because it attracts insects, creates a fire hazard, and can interfere with the functioning of machinery. In the past, a team of sweepers had to work around the clock to keep the plant dust-free.

To combat the dust problem, Ford sought help from Nilfisk, the world’s leading manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment. Continue reading…