Monthly Archives: December 2013

State of the Air 2013

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While the last few months we have heard news about how unhealthy the air is in several parts of the country and the world and as well as “Spare the Air” alerts, the American Lung Association shares the State of the Air 2013 report. According to their website, for 14 years the American Lung Association has analyzed data from air quality monitors to compile the State of the Air report. This is a great tool to use to learn about the air you breathe and take action to make the air you breathe healthier and protect your health. You can see what grade your area received. You may type in your zip code or search by state. For instance, if type in a zip code that is in the Los Angeles area, most likely the grade is an F. Although, we here how bad the air in Southern California, it is still not a great feeling to receive an F on the air we breathe. The report will give you information about:

  1. High Ozone days

  2. Particle Pollution (24 hours)

  3. Particle Pollution (annual)

  4. Groups at risk

An example of groups at risk are people with asthma, people with Cardiovascular Disease and children and teens. This is just an example of the groups who’s health is at risk. In total, more than 9 million who live in the Los Angeles County health is at risk. This is a great tool to use to see how you can take action and learn more about the air you breathe. To learn more about air quality news you may follow our Facebook Community Page and Twitter page.

Air Quality Concerns in 2013

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The year is ending and many social media sites are doing a collage and video recaps of 2013. This year, many individuals have been more aware of environmental issue and it has mainly been air quality issues. This past two months China’s air quality has been trending in every social media site and have been on the news. In Southern California, the air quality has also been news for a long time. However, we have come a long way and the air quality has been getting better and better every year. But how is air quality measured?

Air particulates less than 2.5 micrometers. PM 2.5 pose the largest health risks when inhaled because the air particulates are small enough to travel through your lungs and bloodstream. We have also talked about in previous blogs about the Air Quality Index. With all this information, clean air should be a priority for everyone. Other facts about the air quality in the United States, is according to the American Lung Association Report State of the Air 2012, 2% of people living in the United States live in an area with unhealthy year round levels of particle pollution and 16.2% Americans live in counties with too many unhealthy spikes in particle pollution levels. These are just a few of many facts that we have blogged about in previous blogs. Below is a documentary film about the air quality issues in Southern California. It’s a great informative film to watch and share.

Holiday Season Highlights

As Christmas rapidly recedes into memory, we are taking a look back at the last few weeks of holiday fun!

We started collecting toys for our Toy Drive in November and ended up with over 600 toys and 10 bikes for We Care East LA:

Customer Donations to the Toy Drive

Customer donations to our Toy Drive

The parties came on quickly starting with the SCCA Holiday Mixer:

SCCA Holiday Mixer

Followed by our own party with ServiceMASTER Complete Restoration, Master Plumbing, and Patriot Environmental Laboratory Services:

Holiday party flyer

Last week brought us the actual We Care East LA event, which was fantastic:

Bicycles for We Care ELA

And last but not least, the IFMA Holiday Party:

IFMA Holiday Party

If you would like to see more photos of our holiday fun, please visit us on Facebook!

It’s been quite a year! What does 2014 have in store? Who knows! But we do know that it will be busy!

See you next week and Happy Boxing Day!

Wendy

Keep Your Home Safe While You Are Out For The Holidays

Happy Monday!

As many of us are preparing ourselves to travel to be with our friends and family, it’s also a good idea to prepare your property for the holidays. That means making sure that everything on your checklist is checked besides your luggage. Advanta Clean an emergency loss mitigation service company has a great article about this subject. In a previous blog, we talked about exercising caution during the holidays. Mostly being cautious about fire safety in your home. However, when one leaves for the holidays, you never know what can happen in your home. Below is a list of some tips and a video with more information on how to prepare your home for the holidays.

  • Check your plumbing
  • Turn off water lines running to your washer
  • Unplug any electronics
  • Wrap any insulation around any water pipes

Another tip while leaving your home for the holidays is programming the thermostat of your HVAC system. Even if appliances are off they still draw power. Programming the thermostat on your HVAC system to around 50 degrees will save you money. If you have a programmable touchscreen thermostat you can use several apps that helps you control the temperature of your home. You may do so by using your smartphone. These are a few important tips to keep in mind while you travel for the holidays. What are some other tips you use while you prep for the holidays to keep your property safe? Let us know by leaving a comment.

 

Oil field in South L.A upgrading air pollution controls

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(Image Source: L.A Times)

Happy Friday!

Today in the morning while browsing through some articles in the LA Times, an update on the South L.A oil field caught my attention. The air quality in Los Angeles has always been an issue and a battle to reduce air pollution. An oil field in South L.A has also been a health concern earlier this year. Several events have taken place a few months ago. During the month of September in the neighborhood of University Park, several residents were asked to sign their names and explain the symptoms they were having. Another resident was handling flyers to residents in the University Park to bring awareness of the air quality in their neighborhood. In October, a town hall meeting was taken place at Mount St. Mary’s College and was moderated by South Coast Quality Management District officials. In the month of November, EPA officers visited the area and had symptoms that many residents in University Park had.

As a result,the oil field is modifying their operations. According to the article, the company will be fixing any leaks and upgrade air pollution controls.The District engineers in that area, will be taking air samples during the upgrades and will continue doing so, when the restart operations. The County Environmental Health Director has stated, “The company must decide whether to invest in the best available technology to abate those odors, or shut the facility down.” So far, the company will do what is necessary to restart operations.These are scenarios that affects a community and will keep doing so if no one does anything. Just sharing information on a simple subject as air quality can make a huge difference. If you would like to read more about other air quality news and other environmental news you may follow our AirTek Weekly and our social media sites, Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: We Care East LA Holiday Party Was a Great Success!

Customer Donations to our Toy Drive

Customer Donations to our Toy Drive

UPDATE: We got some more details about this event from Albert today and thought you might like an update.

Alliance CEO Joe McLean emailed me:

“Alliance and AirTek raised over $6,000 for the drive. With the help of Target in Azusa we were able to purchase over 600 toys and 10 bikes for the event.”

There is nothing like a new bike for Christmas and 10 children got their dearest wish! Thank you so much to Target in Azusa and to everyone on our team!

Great thanks again to Albert Rolon for his leadership!

In case you missed it, here are the pictures in a short slideshow accompanied by the Marine Band. Don’t miss the toy table or the smile on the face of the little girl with her new bike!

Here is a short slideshow of the event but you can see more photos on our Facebook Page! And Like us while you’re there!

We hope you had a wonderful weekend-before-the-weekend-before. We sure did!

Traveling with Asthma during the Holidays

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(image source:kidshealth.org)

Traveling season will be very busy this holiday according to travel exports. We might read and research on traveling tips but if we have someone who is traveling with asthma or you might have a loved one who has asthma, the American Lung Association gives some tips on “Surviving the Holidays” during this holiday season.The American Lung Association gives several tips and helpful resources to prepare and help those with asthma in control. The first resource that is provided is a checklist. This checklist will give you a list of important things to have with you when you are traveling. To download and print the checklist you may access it by clicking here. In the checklist, a Asthma Travel Pack is recommended. An Asthma Travel Pack may include a list of your medications, dosage information and doctors phone numbers. In addition, packing any hand held devices such as a spacer, chamber, or peak flow meter with you while traveling can be part of your traveling must haves.

While traveling the most asked question is where one would be staying. Whether you are staying in a hotel, cabin or at a family member’s home, the air quality in several environments might not be the best. The American Lung Association gives some tips on how you can feel comfortable where ever you might be lodging:

  • Request a Smoke-Free Environment: Choose a hotel that is completely smoke-free. Cigarette and cigar smoke can travel through the heating and cooling systems into your room. If a smoke-free hotel is not available, stay in a non-smoking room on a non-smoking floor. If you are staying with family or friends, ask to stay with those who don’t smoke. If residents do smoke, ask them to smoke outside.
  • Reduce Allergens: Some hotels now offer rooms that minimize allergens. They may be furnished with hardwood floors instead of carpet, have shades instead of fabric drapes, and use hypoallergenic linens.
  • Go Fragrance Free: If strong odors trigger your asthma, ask for a hotel room without scented soaps, lotions or cleaning products. If you are a houseguest, ask your host not to burn candles or incense, or use air fresheners.
  • Staying Warm: Gathering around the fireplace or warming your home with wood-burning stoves are part of the season, but their smoke can trigger an asthma episode. Kerosene and gas space heaters can also worsen asthma symptoms.
  • Reduce Exposure to Pets: If pet dander is a trigger, ask for a hotel room that has not housed pets. If those hosting you have pets, ask that the pet stay out of the room you are staying in to reduce your exposure. Wash your hands after touching the pet to remove any dander.
  • BYOB – Bring Your Own Bedding: If you use a special pillowcase or mattress covers to reduce dust mite exposure consider bringing them with you. Hypoallergenic “sleep sacks” are designed to use when staying in hotels to protect you from allergens, and can be purchased at stores that sell bedding.
  • Watch Out for Chlorine: Swimming is great exercise, but chlorine and other chemicals found in indoor and outdoor pools can trigger asthma. Before jumping in the deep end make sure the pool area is well ventilated and doesn’t have a strong chlorine or chemical odor.

These are all great tips recommended by the American Lung Association and not only for those who have asthma but as well as for several individuals who might be traveling with family members who have respiratory problems. These are helpful tips that can make your experience travel friendly during the holidays. If you have any other traveling tips, please share by leaving a comment or by telling us through our social media sites, Facebook and Twitter.

Exercise Caution during the Holidays

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Happy Monday!

Christmas is right around the corner and many of us have already put up our christmas trees or have our christmas tree decorations and lights up. Others are traveling during the holidays.However, every year there are fire accidents in the news and home theft claims every year. Property Casualty 360 had a great article on this topic. According to statistics by Nationwide, more than 15,000 home thefts occurred in a 3 month period. Home theft is one of the top claims that are made by individuals when they are traveling during the holidays. The second one is fire related claims. For example, in Hawaii a fire claim can be extremely expensive for a Hawaii resident. During this time of the year, a Christmas Tree claim can go up to $100,000.The article also gives a shocking statistic of a fire claim that happen in Hawaii. In 2008, a Christmas tree fire claim was the most expensive claim.

The Christmas Tree caught on fire in the homeowners living room. The author of the article states,”The claim amounted to a total financial loss of $2.4 million.” When a fire starts it not only affects your entire home and family but as well as your environment. Exercise caution during the holidays and take precaution. Be aware of the fire hazard one spark can cause and always watch any candles that are lit as well, since lighting scented candles are popular during the holidays. Also keep in mind that fire can also start in the kitchen so keep an eye on any food that is being prepared as well. One mishap can lead to a million dollar claim.Be cautious and safe during the holidays.

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