Monthly Archives: December 2014

pollution

Pollution Regulations In California

Los Angeles County is known for it’s bad air quality. Due to it’s bad air quality, California has some of the strictest pollution regulations in the country.

A former environmental advisor to the President states, ” Climate change is the biggest issue our generation has ever faced.” Mary Nicholas California’s top regulator for air pollution is fighting to keep these strict pollution regulations.

What Plans are Coming in the Upcoming Year to Regulate Pollution in California:

  •  Reducing greenhouse gas emission
  • Fund organizations to promote air quality issues
  • Bring fuels under the emission cap

We have seen great process overall in California in preserving the air quality outdoors and indoors.

Keeping greenhouse gas out of the air is important to preserve the quality of the air. It can take years to see a huge difference in the air quality outdoors but we can keep the air indoors clean.

If you are looking into creating a comfortable and healthier environment for your property, AirTek provides Indoor Air Quality Services for several industries and have been creating healthier, cleaner and more energy efficient environments for over 25 years.

Contact your local AirTek office to set up an appointment with us.

To follow other indoor and outdoor air news, be part of our Facebook Community Page and join the conversation via Twitter

400 Hospitalized in Iran Due to Air Pollution

Here in Southern California, we are quite familiar with being concerned about outdoor air pollution. Our air has improved enormously in the past few decades, but we still do have poor air quality days and days when it is unhealthy to do outdoor activities if you are sensitive, due to air pollution.

Other countries around the world also have well-known air pollution issues:

  • London, England–Levels of Particulate Matter and Nitrogen Dioxide continue to exceed national air quality standards, even while many other pollutants have dramatically decreased. People are discouraged from driving cars in London and the public transportation system there is excellent.
  • Beijing, China–well-known for their terrible outdoor air pollution, the residents of Beijing often wear ventilation masks to try to protect their health. Particulates can get as high as over nine hundred micrograms per cubic meter. The World Health Organization recommends levels no higher than 25 micrograms per cubic meter and even 85 is defined as hazardous.
  • But those aren’t even among the top ten cities in the world for air pollution, according to Mother Nature Network: Delhi, India; Patna, India; Gwalior, India; Raipur, India; Karachi, Pakistan; Peshwar, Pakistan; Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Khoramabad, Iran; Ahmedabad, India; and Lucknow, India.

Today, however, we are reading about 400 people hospitalized in Teheran, Iran with heart and respiratory issues and almost 1500 more receiving treatment. An inversion caused by winter weather has trapped a combination of carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particles in the city. An estimated 4500 residents of Teheran died in 2012 from air pollution related illness.

Air pollution is a problem all around the world, in industrialized countries, developing countries and even the third world. We can all do our part to reduce outdoor air pollution at home and abroad by using public transportation when possible, carpooling, recycling, choosing greener alternatives, and just reducing our energy use. Even electric cars cause pollution by getting their electricity from coal-burning power plants.

We certainly hope the weather in Teheran breaks soon!

indoor air quality

Funding Program to Improve the Indoor Air Quality

There are new news for the industry to improve the indoor air quality. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants $4.5 million to improve the air quality indoors to reduce lung disease. The EPA finds ways to promote public health by funding and helping organizations.

The funding will help and support low-income minority and tribal communities.

The program is called National Indoor Environments Program: Reducing Public Exposure to Indoor Pollutants:

  • The program will establish a three year agreement with the different institutions to educate and promote this program.
  • Seek and address poor health consequences
  • Improve indoor air quality by promoting best practices and policies

The assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation states, “Partnering with these leading organizations will increase national awareness on the importance of healthy indoor air quality in our changing climate and will empower communities to implement public health projects locally.”

If you are looking into creating a comfortable and healthier environment for your property, AirTek provides Indoor Air Quality Services for several industries and have been creating healthier, cleaner and more energy efficient environments for over 25 years.

Contact your local AirTek office to set up an appointment with us.

To follow other indoor and outdoor air news, be part of our Facebook Community Page and join the conversation via Twitter

 

A Green Christmas

As the big day approaches, we are thinking about alternatives to some common holiday decorations you might want to consider to make it a green Christmas and keep your home healthy during this season of celebrations and get-togethers.

Alternatives to Scented Candles

  • Whether you have put up a real pine tree (maybe even a living tree in a pot to plant later) or put garlands on the mantel, your home probably smells like Christmas. Many people also add scented candles to the mix, but there are better alternatives.

  • Candles can be adding chemicals including acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, acrolein, and naphthalene to your indoor air. Check the ingredients and choose candles made from beeswax, vegetable wax or coconut wax.

  • You can also scent your home with essential oils in a diffuser, rather than relying on air fresheners.

  • We love the simplest solution, though. Put a couple of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and allspice in a small pot on the back burner and let it simmer–but remember to turn it off before you go out to see the lights!

Speaking of Lights

  • LED lights are becoming the norm for decorations, but many have switched to Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs for their regular home lighting. Unfortunately, CFL bulbs contain mercury that has to be carefully disposed of. They do last longer than incandescent bulbs, but LED lights can last ten times longer still. They also stay cool, presenting less of a fire hazard, whether on the tree or in a lamp.

Emulate the Japanese: Take Off Your Shoes

  • Ever wonder how all those contaminants get into your indoor air in the first place? Some of them are coming in with you. The Japanese have this one right: take off your shoes at the door and leave dirt, dust and mold spores outside when your friends and family come in to celebrate!

We always have a green Christmas in Southern California, but we could make it greener and healthier with just a few changes.

Everyone at AirTek wishes you a happy and healthy holiday!

air quality checklist

Indoor Air Quality Checklist

The average American spends 90 percent of their time indoors. Whether it is at home or at work we are usually indoors most of the time. An indoor air quality checklist can help improve the air quality indoors.

Property managers should partner with professional companies that offer indoor air quality services to provide a better indoor air environment for the people who occupy their buildings.

If there are individuals who are complaining about breathing issues or health problems, it might be time to do a indoor air quality (IAQ) checklist and service your HVAC system as well.

What Basic Components Should an Indoor Air Quality Checklist Include?

  • Section for Moisture Control.
  • Ventilation and HVAC System
  • Potential Source of Contaminants (radon, asbestos, indoor pollutants)
  • Exposure and Comfort Level of Individual
  • Inspection of general indoor environment (odor,visible inspection, walk-through)

Providing a IAQ Checklist will support the decision maker and building owner to consider the next steps to help improve a healthy and comfortable environment for the occupants.

Below is a video provided by the IAQA Network that talks about the importance of having a IAQ Checklist.

If you are looking into creating a comfortable and healthier environment for your property, AirTek provides Indoor Air Quality Services for several industries and have been creating healthier, cleaner and more energy efficient environments for over 25 years.

Contact your local AirTek office to set up an appointment with us.

To follow other indoor and outdoor air news, be part of our Facebook Community Page and join the conversation via Twitter

 

Gifts for the Indoor Environment

Trying to think of some last minute gifts you can get on the way to a party or playdate? Give an improved indoor environment! Flowers are pretty and cookies are yummy, but a houseplant is a gift that keeps on giving all year long!

Indoor air quality can be worse than outdoors and air pollution is now linked to heart disease, asthma and even autism by some studies. Since we can’t stop breathing, we need to be breathing better, both indoors and out. Now that the gift-giving season is upon us, a thoughtful hostess gift could be a plant, rather than that fruitcake or bottle of wine (or along with, don’t let us discourage you). We have been posting a Plant-of-the-Day this fall, highlighting plants that absorb contaminants that get into the indoor environment.

Some of the Best Houseplants for Your Indoor Environment

Draceana removes formaldehyde and other gasses

Golden Pothos removes formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and benzene. They are also extremely hardy so if you have a “black thumb,” this plant might be right for you.

Spider plant absorbs benzene and formaldehyde and propogates easily. Grab a bit of a friend’s plant and stick it in a pot–it will grow!

Aloe is good for more than sunburn, it also absorbs formaldehyde and benzene from your indoor environment.

Snake plant takes care of benzene and formaldehyde and reduces carbon dioxide. They are succulents and drought resistant, good for us in Southern California’s now three-year drought and recent watering limitation rules.

Gerbera daisies are great for removing trichloroethylene and benzene, as well as being beautiful. “Deadhead” them to keep them in bloom.

A live holiday tree and even the ubiquitous poinsettia will remove carbon dioxide from your own indoor environment or a friend’s Do your loved ones a big favor and improve their indoor air this year for Christmas! They will thank you long after the lights are back in the attic!

lead poisoning

Lead Poisoning Still A Concern for California Workers

Thousands of workers who work in different industries are exposed to lead. Many workers who get tested for lead in their blood have high levels.

Lead has become a concern for California workers because lead is a common pollutant.

Those who work in different industries that require workers to be expose to lead not only exposed themselves but can expose their families. Toxic lead levels especially in children can produce learning disabilities as well as hearing loss.

Lead poisoning is preventable.There are several ways you can help prevent work- related lead poisoning.

How to Prevent Lead Poisoning in the work area:

  • Assist employers in lead safety practices
  • Identify lead poisoned workers
  • Get proper medical attention and medical care for workers
  • Track adult blood levels
  • If possible remove work clothes and put it in a plastic bag
  • Wear proper safety equipment and after work wash face and hands

These are simple tasks that one can do if you work in an area where lead may be present. If you have any further questions speak with your manager so that he/she can better assist you.

At AirTek we are strong advocates of caring for the environment and caring about the air quality in different environments. We focus on achieving a cleaner, healthier, and more energy efficient indoor environment.

Contact your local AirTek office to set up an appointment with us.

To follow other indoor and outdoor air news, be part of our Facebook Community Page and join the conversation via Twitter

 

SLIDESHOW: We Care East LA Community Holiday 2014

For our 500th post (hard to believe!), we would like to share a slideshow of this year’s We Care East LA Community Holiday party that took place on Saturday, December 13th.

600 families attended and all went home with both food and toys–1500 toys all together!

Great thanks to everyone who donated, especially Carstar LaHabra Collision for being our Secret Santa and donating $500 worth of toys to the Toy Drive!

Enjoy!

kitchen exhaust system

Ensure Your Kitchen Exhaust System is Regularly Serviced

Fire in restaurants usually begin in the kitchen and can cause severe problems to employees and to the property. These fire hazards can be managed with regular and professional maintenance and cleaning of the exhaust system.

When these fires originate in the cooking area, the fire can spread to the exhaust system. A build up of grease can ignite a fire and threaten the business and safety of the public.

Benefits of a Clean Kitchen Exhaust System:

  • Will ensure a secure cooking and serving environment.
  • The system can work at it’s best performance
  • Create a safe and clean environment for employees and staff.
  • Business does not run the risk of having insurance claims rejected.
  • Better ventilation for smoke and odor removal.
  • Compliance with local and national fire and health codes.

Consistent maintenance of the kitchen exhaust system in your commercial restaurant of facility can ensure the safety and primarily defend your business from a fire hazard.

Visit the International Kitchen Cleaning Association website to view an exhaust system inspection schedule.

AirTek understands the importance of properly maintaining the kitchen exhaust system of your business. if your company needs kitchen hood exhaust cleaning and any other hospitality services contact us to set up an appointment.

To follow other indoor and outdoor air news, be part of our Facebook Community Page and join the conversation via Twitter

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