The Importance of Choosing the Right OSHA Compliance Consulting Firms

OSHA training includes critical factors like air quality testing that plays a vital role in the health of your employees. The factor 'good health' of your employees directly affects the growth of your business and determinates fruitful productivity too.

The simplest way to get trained or get your employees trained in OSHA guidelines is by approaching authentic OSHA compliance consulting services and enrolling for online OSHA training programs and related courses. Such programs help employees to get trained conveniently at the comfort of their chairs. It also eliminates the need to attend classes for gaining access to the methods of training or related courses. There are several firms on the market that offer online training modules and programs. It is important to gain access to such companies for better learning and productivity at the workplace.

Why approach the professionals?

If your organization necessitates an easy, convenient and approachable option to have both OSHA and your employees under an overall commitment to compliance and regulatory safety with Federal Workplace Safety Regulations, then look out for the best reliable and authentic Online OSHA Training websites on the Internet.

An authentic Online OSHA Training website will be a good option as it will offer everything that you will need to comply with the general industry and construction industry standards for OSHA safety compliance. Moreover, these programs are also beneficial in times when you need a tailor training program, an individualized program, or a program that requires training of a group of employees who are required to take OSHA training courses to meet their industry standards.

Furthermore, there are some quick benefits of approaching reliable and authentic websites for an online training course. They are as follows:

Benefits

The variety of OSHA compliance consulting and OSHA training courses are made available for immediate and easy access.

These courses are guaranteed to make a modulation from mandated OSHA compliance to completed and achieved OSHA compliance consulting for smoother administration.

An authentic OSHA compliance consulting website is committed to providing you with smooth processes starting from registration to employee presentation and more.

These websites are the best sources to gain access to the most up-to-date OSHA General Industry and Construction training courses available on the market.

Whether it is the construction or the general industry, OSHA training program is an important process that every industrial employee has to undertake and implement in their work environment. This training is an assured way of accessing all the facilities starting from registration to employee presentation and more. In some American states, a 10-hour OSHA training program is mandatory for various industries. However, this has to be only performed ensuring that you are partnering with a reputed and authentic OSHA training provider to gain better results.

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Types of Oil Skimmers You Must Know

There are different types of oil skimmers and they are used for the removal of oil, grease and other hydrocarbons from water and coolants. They are used for achieving the desired water purity level when used alone and in complex situations, they are used as a cost-effective method of removing oil before making use of expensive treatments like chemical processes.

Floating Drum Skimmer

This is a heavy duty skimmer and is available in different sizes with the capacity of skimming more than 100 gallons of heavy oil per minute. It comes with an on-board pump which makes it ideal for heavy and fast skimming. It has a hydraulic, bulletproof drive system which can pull large amount of oil and it is unsinkable because of sealed floatation. You can install the machine easily and it is not difficult to operate.

Rope Mop Wringer

This is a skimmer that is fixed in one location and you can operate it with a vertical or horizontal pulley system. The mop is designed in resemblance to a squirrel's tail that has a lot of little hairs. The pulley system allows it to reach wider surface area while the mop collects oil on the surface and wrings it inside the machine. This type of skimmer is good for water of little depth since the rope does not require too much water to float. It is usually used from a boat and can also be operated from the beach or dock.

Brush Skimmer

This is available as a standard unit or as a module for integration into a recovery vessel. It comes in different configurations and can be mounted on top of a weir skimmer. The stiffness and density of the bristles of the brush determine the type of oil that the skimmer will recover. If it has soft bristles, it is ideal for light oil and if it has stiff, widely spaced bristles, it is perfect for heavy oil.

Weir Skimmer

This comes in different types. There is the stainless steel skimmer which is an industrial oil skimmer used for industrial tanks and ponds containing acids and chemicals. The suction head can be flat or circular and can be used with suction pumps as well as vacuum trucks. A floating weir skimmer is ideal in skimming the surface of the water. It is not difficult to install and can be adjusted automatically to water levels. In addition, it has a flow rate of 75 gallons per minute which is on the high side.

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Avoid Health Problems Caused by the Environment

Climate change, dangerous water supplies, inadequate quality of air inside and outside, in addition to infected food products are just a few of the main environmental health conditions we are currently suffering from today. These types of issues may appear extremely frustrating, it may appear unavoidable and inescapable, however it is us that have the ability to avoid or repair these kinds of issues. It really is the people that have all the capacity to reduce polluting of the environment, reduce our direct exposure to harmful compounds, and most significantly, reinforce the body and environment in an effort to with toxic toxic contamination.

Below are some actions we can take.

Organic Ingredients
It will always be far better to consume all-natural, organically grown foods as well as take in fresh water and workout in clean surroundings. You should always be aware of what exactly you are consuming. You will discover that there are kinds of fish which are found in specific regions that have contaminants such as mercury within their tissues; this could trigger a number of developmental issues in fetuses as well as children. Although insect sprays boost crop yields, additionally they boost the occurrence of pollutants within our water and ground. The installation of a water filtration system will certainly guarantee that your water is going to be thoroughly clean. Try to remember that eating the natural way will definitely reduce contact with toxic pollutants.

Harmless Insect Poison and Cleaners
While it is strongly recommended that you stay away from pesticides absolutely, you should make use of them, use environmentally friendly and harmless insect sprays. In terms of cleaning chemicals, you must also use eco-friendly and risk-free cleaning agents. In maintaining your home, it is advisable to restrict the usage of chemical substances in order to avoid impurities from getting inside. Environmentally safe products may also keep the water supplies safe for ingesting.

Minimize Pollution
Make an effort to increase your standard of living by reducing your share of polluting of the environment. A case in point would be to lower the temperature setting during wintertime as doing this would minimize carbon dioxide emissions as well as increase the quality of interior air.

Heating ventilating and air conditioning will only circulate the toxic pollutants inside an establishment. In order to avoid using heating ventilating and air conditioning systems, make an effort to wear suitable clothes for the temperature. As an example, rather than increasing the heating unit through winter, just put on a thicker coat to avoid wasting electrical power; you will not simply save electricity, but your body's defense mechanisms will be improved and it will learn to stay well with nature.

Reduce Direct Exposure to Contaminants
If at all possible aim to restrict your contact with contaminants. Our body was created to process at a certain degree of contaminants. Environmental health issues are the results of exposure to amounts, which are way too high for your body system to process. As it is essential to lesser levels, when there are already a few impurities existing, safeguards bought to be taken to be able to restrict publicity.

An alternate way to stay away from exposure to lung illness factors is by ventilating your house. The use of HEPA-filtered systems in your house could possibly eliminate any paint chips filled with led which can make your kids protected from lead poisoning. An additional way to control your contact with chemical substances is assuring that your building supplies, clothing, home furniture, as well as other items you make use of every day are just manufactured from components that do not produce chemical substances.

By Clifford Woods

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Let’s Discuss Chloramines

There are a number of chemicals that water companies put into water as part of the disinfecting process. Chloramine is one of the newer types of chemicals put into water to disinfect water supplies instead of Chlorine, it is created by combining traditional Chlorine and Ammonia. It is used by water companies here in the UK, in the United States and many other nations. Like Chlorine, Chloramines react with organic material in water supplies and cause THMs (Trihalomethanes). THMs have been linked with causing certain cancers and are best eliminated from home water supplies altogether. In this article we will discuss what Chloramine is and also the method to best remove it from our water supplies at point of use.

Chloramine is actually a group of three different chemicals; Monochloramine (NH2CL), Dichloramine (NHCl2) and trichloramine (NC3). These chemicals are closely related and will easily shift into each form depending upon a variety of factors such as water pH, temperature, turbulence and even ratio of Chlorine to ammonia.

Like Chlorine, Chloramines are also respiratory irritants and as stated above when Chloramines react to organic substances in water supplies this can cause THMs, which have been linked to cancer. Chloramine has not been as extensively researched and studied as Chlorine has been, according to the World Health Organization, “monochloramine is about 2,000 and 100,000 times less effective than free chlorine for the inactivation of E. coli and rotaviruses, respectively.” As Chloramine is a respiratory irritant, fumes can cause respiratory issues in enclosed areas such as shower cubicles. Vital portions of the lung called mucosa can be damaged by exposure to Chloramines and it can also cause adverse skin reactions such as; rashing, dry skin, itching, flaking, etc. For people with sensitive skin and skin conditions such as Eczema it can aggravate these conditions. Ammonia is a vital part of any chloramine and it is known to effect skin adversely by breaking down cell structure proteins, extracting water from cells and can begin an inflammatory response which can further damage surrounding tissue.

Now that we are aware of the dangers of Chloramines, how does one actually protect oneself from Chloramines? Like any other water contaminant, Chloramines must be filtrated out of the water we use. Whether that be within our bathrooms or our kitchens, we need specific types of filter mediums to combat the dangers posed by Chloramines. The best and most economical filter medium to combat Chloramines is Granulated Active Carbon (or GAC for short). This filter medium has been around for many decades and is found in most home water filters and also a variety of shower and bath filters. The porous nature of the GAC means that when water laced with Chloramines passes through it, the Chloramines will get trapped within the carbon. Thereby effectively removing the Chloramine before it reaches us.

In our kitchens we should install a tap filter or filter jug. In our bathrooms we should install shower filters and basin tap filters. This will give us the best chance of not being effected by the adverse health risks of Chloramines.

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Physical Methods of Cleaning Oil Spills You Must Know

Oil spill can be a menace to marine and shoreline ecosystems and its impact can be reduced with prompt response. Containing it mechanically is one of the best defense strategies that can be employed in order to bring the situation back to normal. Chemical and biological substances are also effective in cleaning up shorelines and area of ​​open sea that are affected by a spill. The natural processes of evaporation and biodegradation can also go a long way in cleaning it up.

Booms

Containment booms are used to concentrate the oil so that it can be recouped before it gets to the shore. Curtain booms come with a circular flotation device and a continuous underwater skirt that is used to contain the oil in rough seas. Fence booms make use of plane flotation devices in order to sit on the surface of the water. Inflatable booms come in different sizes and shapes. Booms can be attached to a buoy or pier with the support of a vessel and they can float freely.

Skimmers

Skimmers are mechanical devices for cleaning oil from the surface of the water or the shoreline. They can be operated from the shore or used from a vessel. Suction skimmers work in similarity with vacuum cleaners by absorbing the oil by the means of floating heads and they are ideal for smooth waters. Floating weir skimmers are capable of handling thick layers of oil slicks. Oil-attracting skimmers make use of disks, belts and flooring rope-mops for the removal of oil in water.

Sorbents

Sorbents are materials that are highly absorbent and they are used for soaking up oil off the beach or in open water. They can be natural materials like sawdust, peat moss or hay and there are inorganic sorbents like sand, perlite and vermiculite. They have the capacity of retaining oil up to 4 to 20 times their weight. Synthetic sorbents that are made of nylon, polyethylene or polyurethane have the capacity of absorbing up to 70 times their weight. In addition to this, some synthetic sorbents can be cleaned and reused as many times as possible.

Power Washing

Power washing with hoses using sea water will flush out oil in seawalls and rocky or gravelly beaches. High- or low-pressure power washing is effective for loosing the oil globules and hot or cold water can be used. Low-pressure washing is ideal for removing oil from vegetation and power washing is more effective when the oil is fresh.

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Air-Quality Testing Methods You Must Know

It is important to keep your air clean in order to avoid diseases that are caused by microorganisms that may be hiding in your home. Diseases like asthma, cancer, cough and so on could be caused by poor air quality, hence, you should know how to test the quality of air in your home.

Pre-testing

You should first conduct a careful inspection of your house before beginning the quality testing of the indoor air so that the main sources of pollution can be identified. The inspection will enable you to determine whether to go ahead to test for special agents and it can also reveal the mechanical, environmental, structural or occupant behavior that can be responsible for the poor air quality.

Mold Testing

Mold is very common in moist places and it can damage floors and walls as well as cause health problems. In order to get rid of mold, the source of the moisture must be eliminated. There are lots of DIY home testing kits that can be used to test the quality of the air you are breathing to determine whether the mold is a pathogenic, toxigenic or allergenic organism. You can consult a certified inspector and he will be able to carry out an air sampling test with a specialized vacuum pump and an air sampling cassette. The sample will then be sent to the laboratory for proper analysis and the result will be ready in a day or two.

Allergen Testing

Even though mold is the commonest cause of poor air quality, there are other microorganisms that are responsible. Allergens such as cockroach parts and feces, dust mites, animal dander and cat saliva can lead to different allergies if they are not removed. Home test kits can be used to determine the allergens polluting your home if you are not sure whatever they are responsible for the pollution. The test involves the collection of biological and non-biological allergens which will then be sent to the laboratory for analysis. You can request for a free consultation with a reputable indoor-air-quality evaluator and if you want a professional to carry out the test, a sample of dust will be taken by the professional with special equipment and taken to the lab for detailed analysis.

Asbestos Testing

Asbestos inspection is also necessary in order to remove it from your home. It is a resistant type of fibrous mineral that is harmful to inhale. It can release small, dangerous fibers when disturbed and its removal is in accordance with the regulations of your state. There are several home kits that can be used for collecting asbestos samples but if you are going to do it on your own, you should not forget to wear a face mask.

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What Are The Health Benefits of Soundproofing?

Anyone who has ever lived on a busy road, next to a pub, above a night club, or simply next door to the neighbors from hell, will know what the benefits of soundproofing your home are. For those of you, however, who are fortunately enough not to have experienced one of these scenarios (yet), or are just considering installing soundproofing in your home, read on to discover why you really should …

Soundproofing has multiple benefits, because excessive noise can take its toll – both mentally and physically. These are just some of the problems excessive noise can cause …

• Stress
Stress is something that most of us have encountered at some point in our lives and it does not just make you feel strung out. Sleep can suffer when you're stressed, as too can relationships. UK insulation company, Rockwool, disclosed research that shows 33% of sufferers of domestic fluctuations have cited loud parties as the reason for stress or lack of sleep. If stress is not deal with properly, it can go onto create a domino effect of problems in other areas of your life too – anger, relationships, work, physical and mental health.

• Hearing
Probably the most obvious benefit to soundproofing your home properly is the fact you'll be protecting your hearing. Increased sound levels can cause damage and trauma to the cochlear in the ear ear which results in hearing loss which can not be undone.

• Cardiovascular
A study by the World Health Organization in 1999 revealed a link between lengthy exposure to excessive noise (above 67-70 dB (A) and hypertension. increased risk of myocardial infarction.

Elevated blood pressure has also been shown to occur in people who are affected by noise levels. This does, however, depend a certain amount on how you deal with noise – whether it stresses you out or whether you're not fussed by it. The more stressed you are by it the more likely you will be susceptible to increased blood pressure.

• Headaches
If you've ever had to end a toddler bashing a drum over and over again, or you've been forced to listen to your girlfriend singing in the shower, you'll understand how headaches can be caused by excessive noise. That pounding pain in that will not go away is never pleasant, and if it turns into a full blown migraine, it's much worse.

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7 Successful Tips to Composting!

Whether you have a big family or a small family, composting is fun, easy and good for the environment. Once you get the idea of ​​what to put in the compost and what not to put in the compost, it's simple from there.

  1. Select an area outside that you can dedicate to a compost pile. You will be putting food items here that will likely draw gnats, flies and bugs, so set it away from your house. If you live in an apartment, you can choose to put a small container on your balcony.
  2. Your compost pile can be an area in the yard on the ground, in a container (I use a large garbage can with holes in the bottom to allow drain) or you can purchase a fancy composter that has various compartments and turns to mix the compost material.
  3. Inside your kitchen, set aside a container dedicated to items that are going into the compost. Items from your kitchen will be mostly food items that are not edible such as peelings, stems, egg shells, coffee grinds, old lettuce and vegetables, pulp from juicers, rotten fruit, seeds from peppers, melons, etc. Do not put cooked food or grease in your compost container as that will draw animals and make your outside compost rancid.
  4. From your home office you can put shredded paper or newspaper as long as it is not the glossy, color printed kind.
  5. From the outside, you can add leaves, small sticks, and ashes from a fire pit or fireplace, sand, dried grass, hay. Do not put animal waste from a dog or cat in your compost, but you can add small amounts of horse or cow manure if you like, although it is not necessary and depends on how much space you have.
  6. Before taking your kitchen container out to add to your outside compost pile, add water to it to make it easy to slide the refuse out of the container onto your compost pile. You also want to add water to your outside compost pile, keeping it moist, not wet and turning it occasionally. I roll my garbage can around, turn it on its side and give it a few rolls to mix the contents inside. Do not keep a lid on your outside compost pile as you want the air to get to it so the contents can oxygenate and break down.
  7. For added fun, go out and catch some earth worms or buy some and add them to your compost pile to aid in breaking down the contents and before long your compost items will turn into beautiful, dark, nutrient rich soil to put in your garden, your flower beds or in your potted plants. Sometimes, magic happens in your compost pile and cantaloupes or strawberries will starting growing on their own from the seeds you have placed in there. In that case, nurture them till they are ripe, harvest them, refrigerate, cut and enjoy!

Some gardeners separate their compost into two or more piles or containers depending on the degree of breakout their compost has achieved. As it breaks into smaller particles, resembling dirt, some people cover it and keep it moist until they are ready to use it. I alternate mine from being in full sunlight to being in the shade. I add to it all year and by the time December rolls around, which in my area of ​​the country is the time I am planting my spring garden, I have a supple of wonderful rich dirt to add to my garden area! This is a wonderful way to use your food waste that feeds microbes and recyclables material and keeps it out of the landfill where it has the negative impact of producing methane gas that adds to global warming. So do something good for you and for the planet and have fun creating compost!

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Wasted Food, Money, and Resources – How You Can Save Money and Help The Planet

An estimated 25% of the food that enters American homes gets wasted. The average US household volunteers more than $ 133 a month, or $ 1,600 a year on food it throws away. That is not good economics, nor is it a reflection of good menu planning in the kitchen and there is a lot you can do to change that. But first, let's look at this issue on a national and global basis. In the US we waste 40% of our food from farm to table. That's enough food to fill a large stadium every day, before it even gets to us. Globally, up to 50% of edible food is wasted. A recent study mandated by the UN Food & Agricultural Organization estimated that 1.3 billion metric tons of food goes to waste annually around the world. Think of all the waste from individual kitchens, restaurants, hotels, parties, meetings, etc., world-wide! That equates to one-third of all food produced for humans. And yet, in America alone, 1 in 6 Americans (49 million) do not know where their next meal is coming from. Even more heart wrenching is the fact that over 16 million of those who are food insecure in the US are children. This is nearly the same number of all kids enrolled in every kindergarden through third grades across the nation.

Most of this wasted food goes straight to the landfill where it is sealed over with a layer of daily landfill cover, which leads to the anaerobic breakdown of the food. So rather than turning into soil through composting, it generates the potent greenhouse gas methane, contributing to global warming.

Many communities are taking on the challenge of shifting practices around food procurement, handling and disposal with the goal being to stop paying to put our food in landfills where it has the most negative impact and instead use that food to achieve positive results. The Environmental Protection Agency and the US Composting Council have recently developed a food-recovery chart showing the preferred uses of food waste. After all, food waste is still food whether for humans, animals or microbes in compost.

What can you do?

6 Tips to Save Money & Prevent Food Waste At Home

We all have produce cull and trimmings, and even the most vigilant food savers end up with the occasional wilted lettuce or moldy leftovers. Try these six tips to minimize the volume of waste.

1. Buy less, more often.

2. Scan your refrigerator, freezer and pantry before heading out to the farmers market or the store. Plan dishes and meals that incorporated what you already have that needs to be used first.

* Eat what is ripe and ready rather than what your palate may think it wants. In other words, when planning for dinner, ask yourself, what needs to be ateen? Let's say you open the refrigerator and see that you have some leftover fish cooked home from a restaurant meal two days ago, some old corn tortillas, of of a head of cabbage, part of an onion and of of a tomato you cut yesterday. You close the refrigerator and look on the counter to see some shriveling peaches, look in the pantry and see a can of black eyed peas. Most people would throw all that out and make something new, but you, with your newly discovered charge to save some money and save the planet, set your mind to work and soon, presto-chango, abracadabra, wha-la! Fish tacos with cage, topped with a tomato-peach-onion salsa and a side of black-eyed peas! Congratulations, you did it!

3. Learn about your food's shelf life and how long it can be stored in the freezer. “Best by” and “use by” dates are not standardized or regulated and do not necessarily mean that the food is inedible if it is past those dates. Let your nose and taste buds be your best guide in these circumstances.

4. Learn how to properly store food to extend its life. Putting food in the correct bag or container, adding water, a slice of bread or a paper towel in the bag or container and placing food on the correct shelf or in the correct drawer of the refrigerator can make the difference of many days of freshness.

5. Use the freezer to temporarily stop the aging process. Freeze fruit for smoothies (peel bananas before freezing them) or turn ripe fruit into ice pops. Freeze vegetables to use in soups or stews.

6. Create a system for saving unusable food (dried ends of celery, peelings, spoiled food, etc.) to use in composting or save for animals that enjoy food scraps (chickens and pigs).

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How You Can Separate Oil From Potable Water in a Well

Potable water can be ruined by the presence of oil and when a well is contaminated in such a manner, it is important to look for a way of getting rid of the oil. A small belt-fed skimmer is ideal for the removal of the oil so that the well could be restored back to normal.

In order to get the process started, you should measure surface depth of the well. You should get a tape measure and extend it to a length that is nearly equal to the estimated depth of the water in your well. The tape should then be covered in carpenter's chalk before inserting it into the well until the resistance from the surface of the water is felt. The measurement at the top edge of the well casing should be noted while the tape should be removed thereafter. The measurement at the point where the chalk is washed away should then be compared to the first number and this will enable you to get an accurate result of the surface depth.

Moreover, you should get an oil skimmer unit and mount it on your well. Your approach in doing is large dependent on the situation of things. You can screw the skimmer to a wall or any stable surface if you are dealing with an interior well and you can use a wooden post for a well that is outside. You can set the skimmer on a level surface if it has a stand.

The length of the belt of the skimmer should be adjusted so that it will suspend at least 2 inches below the surface of the water when it is installed, making use of the measurements you discovered earlier. The make and model of the skimmer will determine the steps that are necessary in doing this. You should consult the included manual if you need further assistance in this regard.

The belt and tail pulley should then be lowered into the well and the discharge tube should be properly connected to the included receptacle or an oil drum. The skimmer should be plugged in to a power source and thereafter switched on so that the oil will be removed from the surface of the water. The skimmer should be allowed to operate until no more oil is gushing into the container. Your well is now free of oil and you can use it as you have always been doing before.

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Sustainable As It Pertains to Green House Gas and Production of Fabrics and Fashion

Whether or not you believe that green house gas is of vital concern and that humans can significantly alter its effects in a detrimental fashion, we can all agree sustainability is a good concept. In this discussion we will turn our interest to a sustainable source for use in the fashion world and the production of fabric.

Present day clothing is predominately made from cotton or petroleum based. Petroleum is used for polyester, nylon and acrylic. Of significant note, cotton uses a disproportionate amount of all pesticides as well as a vast quantity of water in growth to harvest.

More eco-friendly currently used natural fibers are from the plant fiber or cellulose group. Bamboo is one of the forerunners in this group. There are several ecological reasons for using bamboo as a raw material.

Bamboo growth is a major advantage over other plant materials. They are the fastest growing woody plants in the world. A Japanese species has recorded a rate over 39 inches (1 meter) in a day. Over 1600 species of bamboo can be found in a very diverse range of climates. They can be found from cold mountain ranges to hot tropical regions. More than 97 million acres of the earth are covered with bamboo. Its fast growth rate and ability to grow in such diverse regions and climate make bamboo a sustainable and versatile reserve.

The Moso bamboo species is the bamboo most commonly used for clothing and currently is raised predominately in China. It reaches full height in just 8-10 week and full maturity in 3-5 years. Since it is in the grass family, it acts like a grass. It can be harvested and re harvested with no damage to its root system and no replanting is required. Other plant fiber groups require replanting after harvest.

Bamboo growth is economically and environmentally friendly. It grows in a very dense and clumping manner allowing large yields which in turn puts less pressure on land use. Yields can be up to 26.5 tons per acre greatly exceeding 8 tons per acre for most trees and 400-800 lbs. per acre for cotton. With land use becoming an important factor bamboo with its high yield becomes important.

Bamboo also relieves pressure on the rising green house gas CO2 and the available heat sinks (forests) that utilize it in the production of O2. As population increases pressure is put on available land for additional food, lodging, etc .. Deforestation produces more useable land but in so doing decreasing the number of trees to absorb the rising CO2 levels. Bamboo utilizes CO2 and produces up to 35% more O2 than an equivalent stand of trees. An acre of bamboo sequesters 68 tons of CO2 per year compared to only 16.5 tons per acre for a young forest.

Water demand for bamboo than trees or cotton. It can survive under conditions of drought and high temperature.

Soil erosion is less with bamboo because it is harvested without destroying its root system. Crops replanted annual lead to wind and water erosion.

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Dirty Secrets: Toxic Chemicals in Household Cleaners

Dirty Secrets: Toxic Chemicals in Household Cleaners

Everyday household cleaning products we use to wash our clothes and dishes, wipe off countertops, and perfume our air contain toxic chemicals; and reporting evidence proves they're getting into our bodies, & our kid's bodies!

These are facts contained in a recent report (2013) produced for consumers at: Women's Voices for the Earth called “Dirty Secrets: What's Hiding in Your Cleaning Products,”

The factual conclusions arrived at in the report are extremely worrisome for families.

The producers of Simple Green, had previously pledged to remove phthalates. But, they still produce a product that has phthalates in it.

(Definition: Phthalates are released into the environment because there is no covalent bond between the phthalates and plastics in which they are mixed. Because the phthalate plasticizers are not chemically bound to PVC, they can easily leach and evaporate into food or the atmosphere. Phthalate exposure can be through direct use or by indirect means through leaching and environmental contamination. Foods in person's diets are believed to be the main source of di2-ethylhexyl (phthalate) and other phthalates in the population. )

One soap product is marketed specifically to mothers of young children for sensitive skin. It's found to contain 1,4 dioxane, which the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held was a “probable human carcinogen.” Still, they allow it in products to be used on children's skin. Is that a form of insanity … or what?

Consumers (Mothers) Denied the “Right to Know”

Mothers and consumers have almost no way to find out which chemicals are contained in these cleaners due to extremely lax labeling laws as is the intent of wayward governmental agencies.

Keeping too many Secrets

Stronger public health regulations are needed immediately to better protect our families-mothers and children in particular, as well as to restore consumer trust in the household cleaning products market that is keeping way too many secrets about various harmful chemicals in their household products.

Every year more evidence goes on the record providing chemicals linked with illnesses, asthma, and reproductive harm as well as breast cancer are showing up in our bodies, causing illnesses.

Now, newborn babies are born with [over 200 industrial chemicals in their systems].

Daily exposures to these chemicals build up over time to cause cumulative, long-term health problems, especially in women and children. The mixtures of chemicals that combine and build up in our bodies-over time, that we're exposed to, are linked to a long list of illnesses that are on the rise in the population.

To their credit, a few cleaning product companies have engaged efforts to green-up their production practices by pledging to remove chemicals which suffer a particularly bad reputation, most notably phthalates and synthetic musks.

From a business perspective, companies can not afford to lose their steady customers and still survive. According to a 2011 Mintel report, combined with shifting habits and cultural demands, and a stronger concern with safety, have combined to force a noticeable drop in cleaning products sales in the United States. Since 2006, cleaning product sales have fallen close to 20 percent. The Mintel company currently forecasts another decline of about 10 percent in the market between 2010-2015, resulting in a loss of approximately a half billion dollars in sales per year.

There are some excellent Online websites that expose the thousands of harmful chemicals in our environment our children are ingesting everyday. The best non-profit consumer website I've found to date is The Environmental Group in Washington, DC at: http://www.ewg.org . They have up-to-date reports on the dirty drinking water in your area as well as contaminants on our food and in the air. Check them out ASAP.

Best wishes, Josh Holliday

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Air Purifiers for a Safe and Healthy Life

Fresh air is needed to maintain a healthy life style. In today's world, it is difficult to achieve that level of purity in the air. This is the reason for the popularity of air purifiers that filter out all the impurities from the atmosphere and leave fresh and healthy air for breathing.

Air purifiers use air filtration systems that are manufactured with HEPA technology. This cutting edge technology detects and eliminates allergens and other microscopic dust particles and pollutants from the air. Air filtration systems are designed with three layers of filters. The first layer in the air purifiers diminishes all the larger dust particles and pet hair, leaving the air with no visible impurities. The second layer focuses on eliminating the bad odor and pollution from the air that is filtered. Finally, the air has to pass through the third and the most advanced layer of filters. This is the layer that is manufactured with the HEPA technology and takes care of all the unseen harmful particles in the air. Passing through the three layers of the air filtration system, the ambiance is left fresh and healthy.

Air purifiers are compact and are designed to ensure that they do not occupy a huge space in the house. Also, the air purifiers are designed in a way that they look good to the eye and do not spoil the beauty of the interior of your home. Since they occupy very minimal space, they can be easily placed anywhere in the house.

These air purifiers are also inexpensive. They are priced in such a way that they are affordable for just about anyone. Therefore, they can be easily bought as per the size of the house and the requirements of the buyer. Most sellers of air filtration systems make their product available online making it easy for their clients to research about them and place their orders comfortably and confidently. The customers can simply make their purchase sitting at home through the website and the air filtration system will be delivered at their doorstep for their use. Companies selling these systems also make sure that they provide help with the installation and working of the equipment.

Since they require very little space, these air filtration systems can also be placed in the car where they will filter the air that the driver and passengers breathe. This ensures a clean environment when in the home and when on the road as well.

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Ground Water Contamination – Should We Be Concerned?

I can assure you that the subject of “ground water” had never come up in casual dinner conversations at my house until a dinner guest recounted his experience while visiting family and friends in his hometown in the US upper Midwest. It seems that homeowners there were detecting higher than average levels of certain EPA-regulated contaminants in their well water. The local water commission confirmed that contamination of the ground water had apparently occurred. However, the commission also confirmed that the EPA does not regulate private water systems and that the homeowner is solely responsible for filtering any contaminants which might exist.

My immediate thought was that this was probably an isolated occurrence, the result of some sort of “Superfund” activity by an irresponsible manufacturing operation. But further research shows that this is far from an isolated occurrence. In fact, our underground water is becoming increasingly contaminated all across the US, and not just in rural areas.

What is this thing called “ground water” anyway?

Simply stated, when rain falls or snow melts into the ground, it never stops moving. Some of the water flows along the surface and ends up in streams, lakes, or rivers. Some evaporates quickly back into the air. Some seeps into the soil, providing nourishment to plants and root systems. What's left of the water then flows through layers of sand, soil, and rock until it reaches a rock layer which blocks its progress.

The sand, soil, and rock above the blockage then saturate as seepage from the surface continues. The topmost saturation level at any time is called the “water table”. The water caught in saturation below the water table is called “ground water”.

And this ground water can move too. Once it can not see down any further, it can and often does move sideways, forming underground “aquifers”. In short, these aquifers can carry rain water many miles from where it actually fell to earth.

The USGS reports that over 50% of the US population relies upon ground water for drinking and other household uses, and nearly 100% in rural areas. It's further estimated that 75% of cities and manufacturing facilities use ground water in some way.

What's contaminating ground water in the US?

The population explosion, aging infrastructure, and industrial expansion the US has experienced over the last 50 years are having an increasingly negative effect on the quality of our ground water. More organic and inorganic chemicals, minerals, and bacteria are being released into water water aquifers than ever before.

Contamination sources include, but are not limited to, large and small industrial operations, landfills, oil and gas mining operations, agricultural fertilization, animal feeding operations, malfunctioning waste treatment facilities, septic systems, and even gas stations.

Further, the Groundwater Foundation estimates that there are over 10,000,000 underground commercial and private petroleum and chemical storage tanks located throughout urban and rural areas of the US, many of which are corroding and leaking due to age or lack of maintenance. Additionally, there is thought to be over 20,000 known abandoned and uncontrolled hazardous waste sites releasing toxic contaminants into the ground water, and that number is growing yearly.

Amazingly, even some treatments that are used to ensure the “safety” of our drinking water, eg Chlorine, can combine with rotting material to form known carcininogens in ground water.

Why should we be concerned?

Presence of these contaminants in drinking water can lead to serious health issues. Gastrointestinal, neurological, vascular, and reproductive problems have been seen across all demographics in both rural and urban settings, the severest of which are often seen in infants (blue baby syndrome), children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems due to chemotherapy, transplant medications, AIDS, etc. If the source of your drinking water is local underground water, you should be concerned and become an informed consumer.

What can we do about it?

Government agencies such as the CDC and EPA are responsible for the safety of our drinking water in the US. They and special interest non-profit organizations such as the Groundwater Foundation and the Environmental Working Group recommend:

  • Getting educated in local ground water issues by requesting water quality reports from your local water commission. Review relevant water quality reports published by both the CDC and EPA to better understand the trends in ground water contamination.
  • If you're drinking water is sourced by local groundwater, get your water tested annually by a certified testing lab.
  • Review your drinking water filtration options to ensure safe drinking water in your home.

Well, that innocent dinner conversation encouraged me to research the issues surrounding water quality both locally and across the US. I've also contacted my local water commission and requested a testing kit. In the meantime, I'll be reviewing remediation options. Hopefully, I will not need them. One thing for sure though, I will not take my water quality for granted anymore!

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The Role of Bacteria in the Oil Clean-Up Process

Remember the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a few years ago along the Gulf Coast? One of the buzzwords of the day was “dispersant.” Chemical dispersants were used to both above and below the surface of the water to break the oil slick into smaller droplets. If you've ever tried to mix oil and water, you know that while you can easily break the surface oil into tiny droplets by agitating the mixture, once you stop whisking, the oil droplets rise to the surface and the oil and water separate once again.

In an ocean, physical dispersion can occur through wave action. However, it's not practical or feasible to agitate the ocean in order to disperse oil. Thus, chemical dispersants and surface washing agents are typically used in an oil disaster. The goal is to create smaller droplets with more surface area that can then be consumed by bacteria before the oil slick has a chance to reform itself. Although the thought of dumping chemicals into the ocean is not appealing, many of these chemical products are made from plant-based materials and certified as biodegradable.

Why Bacteria is Effective at Cleaning Oil

Oil and hydrocarbons are used by microbes as a fuel source. While you may think of oil as a manufactured product and oil spills as a manmade disaster, crude oil is a natural resource. Although much of it is stored underground, some leaks to the surface. Microbes have feasted on oil for hundreds of thousands of years or longer. Oil is known as a “fossil fuel” because it is derived from ancient organisms that have been buried and projected to tremendous amounts of pressure for millions of years. Just as fossil fuel is a great source of energy for human uses, it is also a great source of energy for bacteria and other microorganisms that have evolved to use oil as a food source.

Microscopic organisms such as bacteria and fungi eat the oil and convert it into energy. The byproducts are carbon dioxide and water. By dispersing the oil into smaller droplets, clean-up technicians can make the oil more accessible to the microbial community. In addition to dispersing it as part of the oil clean-up process, technicians can also add iron, nitrogen, and other fertilizers to stimulate bacterial growth. The more oil-eating microbes in the water, the more it will be consumed.

Factors that Influence the Microbial Efficiency of Oil Degradation

According to the American Society for Microbiology's frequently asked questions about microbes and oil spills, microbes have the genetic information needed to produce oil-degrading enzymes. Their effectiveness relies on several important factors including:

– The physical and chemical nature of the oil slick
– The availability of nutrients and oxygen
– Water temperature
– Water pressure
– pH and salinity levels
– The presence of other microbes

These variables greatly affect the rates of oil degradation by bacteria. For oil spills with ideal conditions, the oil clean-up process can take anywhere from a decade to several centuries. Although the natural degradation process is reliant upon water and oil conditions, this process can be enhanced through the use of dispersants and surface water agents.

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