Cleaning Chemical Application |

Finally the homeowner can learn the little tricks of the cleaning trade that the professional power washing contractors have been using for years to make their work look better, go faster and be more cost efficient.The application of chemicals is one of the longest standing controversies in the power washing industry. There are just as many opinions on the correct method of doing so as there are chemical applicators. The one thing most contractors seem to agree on is that no single method will serve all circumstances efficiently. Of all the different methods, the three most often used are 1) down stream injection [after the pump], 2) chemical before the pump [through the pump], 3) and the chemical applicator pumps.Each of these methods has their benefits as well as their limitations. Down stream chemical injection is most often used on cold pressure washers because of low cost and the ability to turn the chemical on and off at the wand. Chemical injection before the pump is most often used on hot pressure washers because of the ability to apply chemicals with hot water, which makes them more effective. And chemical application pumps are used where the chemicals are not compatible with the pressure washer.The down stream injector is the most common to the power wash industry. They are coupled in-line and operate on waterpower. The water velocity is what creates the needed vacuum (venturi) to draw the chemical and mix it with the water flow. Changing the size of the discharge orifice regulates the water velocity. This is most often accomplished using a roll over valve, a double nozzle head (see page 4), or a dual lance wand (see page 12). Most manufacturers of these injectors claim that their draw rates are from 10% to 20%. With a few exceptions, I have found this accurate. The problem with this is that many people are requesting a draw rate in excess of 50%, which is only available with an injector that is especially designed to fit at the end of a spray lance (see page 13). The problems with this injector are cost and due to the location, it’s a cumbersome package to handle for some applications. The contractors who most commonly request higher draw rates are ones who are applying chlorine to exterior surfaces such as buildings, decks, and fences. The reason for their concern is that the strongest concentrate of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) available is 15%. When this is mixed at a 10% to 20% ratio in the injector, many people feel that it is too weak to adequately clean and remove mildew. From this springs another question, the advisability of using chlorine as a cleaning agent to begin with. We could pursue this to infinity and never reach a consensus.Another problem with this type of injector is due to the restriction created in the ¼” pressure hose that is used as an integral part of a telescoping wand. A down stream injector will not work in most cases with a ¼” pressure hose. This is because the ¼” hose creates too much restriction and reduces the water flow (increases the back pressure) causing the injector not to work.Other things that can inhibit the flow of water, thereby decreasing velocity and stopping the vacuum that is required to draw chemical, are: 1) discharge hose in lengths of 200 feet or more, 2) installing the injector before the hose reel, water heater, or other restrictive devices, 3) and using certain types of trigger guns that are too restrictive.One advantage of downstream injection is that you will use less chemical. On the downside you will clean slower because you will be applying the chemical under low pressure and rinsing on high pressure. With up stream injection {before the pump} you will apply your soap as you are washing on high pressure and rinse on high pressure as well. You will use more chemical this way but you will clean faster and more thoroughly. Also down stream injector allows the operator to turn the chemical draw on and off from the gun whereas upstream chemical injection [before the pump] requires that the operator return to the machine to turn the chemical on and off. As you can see down stream chemical injection can save many steps and a lot of time over the course of a day. Another major benefit down stream chemical application over before the pump injection is that you can use chemicals that are corrosive in nature (like acids) because they never enter the pump, unloader valve, or heater coils.Upstream chemical injection is done by restricting the inlet water to the pump. High-pressure pumps used on hot high-pressure washers can pull a vacuum. Therefore, these pumps do not have to be pressure fed and they have the ability to draw water and chemicals from water tanks and chemical tanks. The vacuum is created with a restrictor barb or gate valves in the inlet plumbing to the pump. The operator has to return to the pressure washer to turn the chemical on and off with a metering valve. These units have the advantage in any strength of chemical can be mixed with the inlet water. However, the chemical (usually a heavy duty alkaline detergent) must be compatible with the components in a pressure washer. Most quality high-pressure washer detergents are compatible with the internal parts of a pressure washer (example: R-109 or DNB-1430.When considering the selection of injectors it is important for you to understand how they work and to determine their value to your style of cleaning. It is a well-established fact that chemical is cheaper than labor and that the best way to assure return business is to do the best job that we can.The two types of chemical applicator pumps that are most commonly used in the mobile power wash industry are compressed air sprayers {pump up style} and electrical diaphragm pumps. Pump up sprayers are often used because of budgetary reasons. The mobile power wash industry is probably one of the least expensive fields of endeavor in which you can start and successfully run a business. Therefore, you will find many people searching for cheap answers to expensive problems. Mobile power wash contractors are on the whole some of the most inventive people that you will ever meet. Pump up sprayers are an inexpensive answer to an expensive problem that they face regularly.There are different styles and makes of these sprayers ranging in price from $ 14.00 to $ 145.00. The lower priced sprayers being the kind that you would find in a garden shop or hardware store that are designed for homeowner use. The more expensive sprayers are of the type that you might find at a contractor supply or a pressure washer distributor. Some of the differences would be better stronger construction, viton seals and diaphragms, stainless steel corrosion resistant tanks or wetted parts and epoxy coated steel. You will find all makes and models in use in the industry but most often you will find the medium priced sprayers being used because they offer some longevity without the extreme expense. Some people won’t use any other type of sprayer because they really prefer this method, but generally, they have chosen this method for economic reasons. Pumps up sprayers are available for spraying everything from acid to deck sealer. Although repair parts are available for these types of sprayers in many cases they are not worth rebuilding, depending upon the initial cost of the sprayer. When nothing else fits your budget, they can be quite useful. I have used these types of sprayers and for small jobs they are tough to beat. You can be in and out in less time than it takes to clean up a larger more sophisticated unit.The electrical pumps most often used are self-priming, positive displacement pumps driven by permanent magnet motors. They utilize a heavy-duty ball bearing/offset cam assembly, which drives a reciprocating two-piston plate. A diaphragm is clamped between the inner and outer pistons sealing the pumping chamber and when actuated creates an alternating suction and pressure condition that opens and closes the inlet and outlet check valves. They will have either an internal bypass system or an on demand system. These pumps are available in 12 volt DC and 120 volt AC and 240 volt AC powered models. The diaphragm that should be used for corrosive materials is made of viton because it is the most resistant to the type of chemicals used in the mobile power wash industry. You will also need to use a valve assembly with viton parts. This will be incorporated in the new pump that you purchase when you specify the use is for corrosives. These pumps are available in different output volumes {expressed in gallons per minute}. These volumes will range from ½ to 6 gallons per minute. The size that one would choose would be directly related to the type of work that he is doing. Obviously if you were applying aluminum brightner to a truck you would not want to use a 5 gpm pump. Nor would you want to use a ½ gpm pump to apply deck brightner when preparing it to be sealed.In choosing, the appropriate pump for your specific needs some of the things that you should consider is: the availability of electricity, the type of electricity available and the kind of chemicals to be applied. One of the more popular pumps used in the industry is the 12 volt model. This is because even if you don’t have a heavy duty charging system on your pressure washer and a large storage battery you probably do have some sort of vehicle with a 12-volt charging system that you can attach it to. This means that you can be totally self reliant without the added expense of a power generator. The 120-volt AC model is more popular to the contractor who will be working in areas where this type of power is readily available. Typically, you will find that these units are being used in kitchen grease exhaust cleaning, residential and industrial work where this type of power is readily available. The 240 volt pump is seldom used, because this type of power is seldom found around a power wash job site. In my opinion that high of voltage would be excessively dangerous.These pumps (most popular bands are Shurflo and Flojet) will vary in price from $ 65.00 to $180.00 and are totally rebuildable. If you are applying large amounts of chemical on a repetitive basis, this is definitely a method to consider. You can control the chemical mixture and the flow rate much better than most other ways of chemical application.Last but certainly not least is the application of chemicals through the use of foam generators {foamers}. There are many different styles of foamers on the market today. They vary in price ranging from $50.00 to $900.00. The advantage in applying chemicals using this method is that foam clings to vertical surfaces longer than less viscous liquids thus providing a greater dwell time for the chemical to work.There are many other ways of applying the chemicals that are used in this industry. These are the most commonly used methods.

New Chemical Security Rules Go Into Effect 6-8-07 |

On June 8th, 2007 the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations (6 CFR part 27) dealing with security requirements at chemical facilities go into effect. These new rules will be used to protect High-Risk Chemical Facilities from terrorist attack. These rules specify what organizations will be required to provide data to DHS to assist that agency in determining which facilities are declared to be High Risk Facilities.One of the important parts of this regulation is the broad definition it uses for ‘chemical facility’. Section 27.105 of the new regulation defines chemical facility this way:”Chemical Facility or facility shall mean any establishment that possesses or plans to possess, at any relevant point in time, a quantity of a chemical substance determined by the Secretary to be potentially dangerous or that meets other risk-related criteria identified by the Department.”The important thing here is that the definition says nothing about chemical manufacturing, or chemical warehouse. Any establishment that uses hazardous chemicals, and that includes a wide variety of businesses, can be classed as a Chemical Facility under this regulation. The regulation gives an operational definition that covers anybody that possesses a dangerous quantity of a chemical and leaves the definition of dangerous to the Secretary of Department of Homeland Security.Additionally, DHS has the discretion to define what a ‘High-Risk Chemical Facility’ is. Section 27.105 provides the following definition of High-Risk:”…high risk shall refer to a chemical facility that, in the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security, presents a high risk of significant adverse consequences for human life or health, national security and/or critical economic assets if subjected to terrorist attack, compromise, infiltration, or exploitation.”To adequately determine which facilities are High Risk Facilities, the Department will have to collect a data from a larger number of facilities that might be high risk, conduct some analysis, and then make some decisions. Additionally, DHS intends to rank High Risk Facilities into four tiers of relative level of risk to prioritize which facilities get DHS attention. To make it easy to collect this data and then efficiently analyze the collected data DHS has established a web-based tool called the Chemical Security Analysis Tool (CSAT) with various modules into which designated facilities will be required input data.The module that the largest number of facilities will be required to use will be the Top Screen Module. Facilities will be required to enter basic information about the chemicals on hand, location of facility, type of facility and surrounding area information. DHS will then take that information, do some analysis and determine whether the damage to the facility would cause any of thesignificant adverse consequences specified in the definition if successfully attacked by terrorist. If DHS provides an interim designation of being a High Risk Facility, then the facility would have to do more detailed security studies (a Security Vulnerability Assessment, SVA) and report that information to the SVA module of the CSAT. DHS would analyze that data and then make a final determination if the facility was indeed a High Risk Facility. High Risk Facilities would then be required to develop a Site Security Plan to be submitted to DHS for approval.The question then becomes, how does a facility know if it should submit a Top Screen?On April 9th of this year DHS published a draft of a list of specific hazardous chemicals (Appendix A, Chemicals of Interest, to 6 CFR part 27) and the quantity of each chemical that they were proposing to declare as dangerous. The comment period ended in early May and the final version will be published sometime in early to mid-June. Sixty days after that list is published, any establishment that possesses or plans to possess a chemical on that finalized list in excess of the Screening Threshold Quantity (STQ) listed for that chemical, will be required to submit information to the Top Screen Module.The STQ amounts listed in the draft appendix were surprisingly low for many chemicals. It was clear from these amounts that DHS is interested in collecting data from a wide range of chemical producers and users to ensure that as many of the potential High Risk Facilities as possible are identified in this process. While this will require a large number of facilities to submit information to the Top Screen that will have no other contact with DHS, it should capture all of the reasonable targets of a terrorist attack.While the vast majority of facilities that will have to complete the Top Screen will do so based on their possession of chemicals listed in Appendix A, DHS has two other methods to direct facilities to complete the Top Screen. These two methods, Direct Letter Notification, and Public Notification through the Federal Register, allow DHS to contact specific facilities starting on June 8th and requiring these facilities to complete the Top Screen before Appendix A officially goes into effect sometime in August. These methods are expected to be used for two types of facilities.The first type, the facilities that would receive individual letter notification, would be facilities that have already been tentatively identified by DHS to be at high risk for terrorist attack. These would be large chemical manufacturing or storage facilities that are in close proximity to large population concentrations. High on this list of facilities would be oil refineries, fuel storage facilities, and large manufacturing facilities of big name chemical companies. Most of these facilities will have already been working with DHS on security matters, but are the facilities that would be considered most likely targets by the public. It would be surprising if these facilities did not already know that they would be receiving one of these letters from DHS.The second type, the facilities being notified by notices in the Federal Register, would be used to notify classes of facilities. These would be facilities that manufacture or store significant amounts of chemicals that pose specific dangers of toxicity, or could be used to easily manufacture toxic chemical weapons. Any facility that manufactures or stores quantities of chemicals that are classified as Inhalation Hazards (Chlorine, Bromine, and Anhydrous Ammonia among others), or chemicals that are used as chemical weapons or identified as precursors to chemical weapons by the Chemical Weapons Treaty, can expect to see a notice in the Federal Register to complete a Top Screen.We can expect that DHS will not make public the names of companies to whom it sends letter notifications. DHS has no interest in publicizing potential terrorist targets if it does not have to. Likewise, while the Federal Register Notices will be public, the companies that respond to those notices will not be identified. Nor can we expect to see names of companies that do not respond to these notifications within the required sixty days, at least until DHS has the opportunity to make personal contact and do some political arm twisting to get compliance.What we can expect to see is that DHS will announce in early August that they have made an initial assessment that a number, and they will probably announce a specific number, of facilities had been designated High Risk Chemical Facilities and were working their way through the Security Vulnerability Assessment. Meanwhile, a much larger number of presumably less high risk facilities were submitting information to DHS for determination if they are high risk facilities.

Chemical Burn Risks and Safety Precautions |

Chemicals have recently become more and more prevalent in American households. Household products increasingly include synthetic chemicals to produce a more powerful product. Cleaners, solvents, pest poisons, cosmetic and hair products, and yard products are some of the many chemical solutions that many households keep around. While chemicals are extremely useful for household applications, they can also pose a health hazard to children and adults alike if not properly used with care.Burn RisksHousehold chemicals are purposely designed to be powerful so that they live up to their advertising. Many of these newer solutions are close to industrial strength and therefore should be treated as the potentially dangerous chemicals that they are. Many families don’t possess the proper cleanup materials to handle a chemical accident, so it is important to take precautions when chemical solutions are being used. Chemicals can burn your hand or other part of the body if they make contact with your skin and can be especially dangerous if splashed into your eyes. Also, depending on the chemical, trying to wash off a chemical burn with soap could make the burn worse if the chemical reacts with the soap.Safety PrecautionsWhenever storing and using chemicals around the house, there are a number of safety tips that can help minimize the risk of a chemical burn, including:

Store chemicals high up or in a locked cabinet. Always keep chemical bottles out of reach of children to prevent a chemical burn or accidental ingestion.

Dilute the chemical before use. Most household cleaning does not require industrial strength chemicals. If the bottle suggests dilution, follow the instructions and dilute as appropriate. This will reduce the strength of the chemical and decrease the risk of severe burn.

Wear gloves. Keep your hands covered at all times while chemicals are being used.

Wear long sleeves, long pants, and close toed shoes. Keeping your limbs covered minimizes the risk of burn if the chemical splashes you.

Protect your eyes. Wear eye goggles to protect from possible splashing.

If ingested, call poison control immediately. The Poison Control Center can advise you on what to do if you ingest a chemical.

Seek medical attention if burned. Don’t try to wash the chemical off with soap. Instead, seek medical attention immediately at an emergency treatment center or by calling an ambulance.
For More InformationTo learn more about chemical burn risks from household chemicals, please visit the website of experienced Waukesha personal injury lawyers Habush, Habush & Rottier, S.C. today.

Inferior Chemical Packaging Can Bring About Multiple Problems |

Burns, allergies, disabilities, death are just some examples of numerous effects chemicals can bring about if mishandling or improper storage takes place. The stakes are high because of the high cost of treatment and not to mention the looming possibility of death. That is why in the chemical industry, safety is top priority. And if chemical packaging is a part of the process, business owners should be wary of chemical effects on health and the environment.Manufacture and handling of chemicals are considered vital to the global economy. However, one cannot look right through the risks that are evident in the chemical industry. For this reason, numerous countries have already defined some precautionary measures on handling chemicals. Labels, manuals, and certifications are required to ensure that the best possible control measures are implemented during chemical packaging, handling, and transporting.In toll manufacturing, secondary manufacturers are normally required to submit safety data sheets and government requirements for assurance. These requirements will at some point prevent accidents, spoilage, and further damages.At home, you can also practice safety in chemical handling. In this way, you can avoid problems that might bring serious effects. Here’s how.1. Always remember to thoroughly wash your hands after handling chemicals. Some chemicals can easily burn your skin while some come contaminate food or water. If possible, try using rubber gloves. It is best if you use gloves that can resist any chemical.2. Keep them out of children’s reach. This may sound as an all-time rule at home but this is undoubtedly applicable. Younger children have the tendency to taste, feel, or touch anything that is of great interest to them. They will never know what will harm them unless supervised by an adult.3. Read labels thoroughly before handling chemicals. Always follow the instructions when applying chemicals. These things are provided to avoid further problems. For example, corrosive materials can be dangerous if safety precautions are not followed. The most general result if exposed to these types of chemicals is chemical burn. Technically, safety precautions are defined in the label. Hence, it is really important to read them to avoid accidents and more serious damage.4. If you are working on some chemicals, for example cleaning the bathroom, wear protective clothing or wear a mask. Goggles can be very useful to avoid any contact to the eyes. Most chemical injuries involve the eye as tiny splash can create big damage.5. If there is some chemical blending involve, try to read the instructions first before doing so. Some chemicals can be destructive when improperly blended with another chemical. There are also some instances wherein accurate measurements are important to ensure safe chemical mixing.6. It is best to store chemicals in a cool dry place. A good chemical packaging is really a must. Moisture along with oxidative degradation can entirely alter the structure of chemicals and can introduce decomposition. Exposure to sunlight can also bring problems. Some chemicals can even explode if exposed to heat.7. Always close chemical containers as tightly as possible. Any leak whether in liquid, solid or gas form can be risky. Inhalation is a common way of being exposed to chemicals. A simple drop of chemical can also damage skin tissues so it is best to keep containers tightly closed.8. If there is an emergency, do not delay and call for help immediately. Injuries resulting from chemical contact can be deadly whenever treatment is delayed. If you are not at home, orient your household members for first aid especially if you have babies or young children left at home.You can never tell when accidents will happen but you can surely avoid it.

Reducing the Dangers That Come With Chemical Filling and Manufacturing |

Workers in chemical labs and industrial plants are more exposed to dangerous substances than any other professionals. Dealing with several substances everyday can expose these people to the known hazards. There are different, hundreds of types of chemicals and many products we use everyday were first raw chemicals coming from laboratories. Soap and detergent, for instance, are a mixture of fat and a strong alkaline like sodium hydroxide, one of the chemicals sold at many chemical manufacturing plants. Manufacturers create and sell different formulations, reagents and solutions through chemical mixing by mixing chemicals in the standard way to achieve the desired and accurate results.The danger of the job to which workers are exposed comes from the very nature of many chemicals found in the area. Strong acids and bases, explosive chemicals, volatile liquids that emit irritating vapors and toxic gases are some of the hazardous chemicals. Reckless handling of chemicals can result to injury. Strong acids and alkaline can cause serious burns. Exposure can also lead to blindness and swelling of the air passages. Toxic gases can cause death upon prolonged exposure. Nonetheless, it is not only the injurious nature of many chemicals that pose danger to people. Many of them can cause damage to property through corrosion and contamination. The rehabilitation of damaged property could be costly and cumbersome.Another major concern that arises is the disposal measures employed by chemical and industrial establishments. Chemical filling and manufacturing companies are regulated by certain agencies to ensure they abide by the regulations encompassing proper disposal of their waste and sludge that harm the environment if not managed appropriately.The risks are always present. However, they can be mitigated by properly educating workers about different chemicals, about reactivity, about toxicity, and about contamination and exposure. Mishandling of many substances can pose various hazards at the working station and even the most trained personnel can be endangered by negligence and lack of tact. For instance, chemical leftovers should be left lying in unsafe places. They should be disposed of using the prescribed procedure and in the right location. Some strong chemicals are neutralized before disposal. Toxic chemicals should be kept in sealed containers. Hazardous substances may not be thrown away indiscreetly. They should be placed in discrete bottles and labeled.In any chemical manufacturing process, the importance of accurate measurements and standardized and calibrated equipment and instruments is basic. Production of chemicals involves stringent measurement procedures to make certain that the right amount and the right quality of products are obtained. Moreover, many companies relying on such chemical manufacturing industries expect that the substances are unadulterated. A certain substance may be required in varying amounts and concentrations. For example, hydrochloric acid may be produced in varying molarities or normalities and concentrations depending upon the basic application of the purchasing company or client.The workplace itself should be so structured as to lessen the effects of spontaneous accidents. Safety equipment such as gas masks, gas monitoring device, fire fighting equipment, and emergency phones must be installed in the area. Emergency exits are imperative.In addition, the equipment used for the chemical processing must be well inspected from time to time to ensure they function appropriately. Machine glitches and damaged instruments can produce poor quality products and put the risk of workers at the same time.The products should also be well assessed and tested to ensure that the resultant product is of excellent, standard quality. During chemical packaging, chemical packing should include label, directions, and precautions to give users general information about the product and how to and how not to use it. The most effective way to avoid accidents is to inform people about the chemical product, what it contains, and how to avoid the hazards that come with it.

Knowing the Many Dangers of Mixing Chemicals |

Chemicals can either be useful or dangerous. This is why safety precautions are employed in all chemical laboratories and these stringent measures are only appropriate to avoid life-threatening mistakes. Generally, substances are harmless under the appropriate conditions. When we speak of appropriate conditions we are considering the proper storage, right temperature and pressure in the storage area, and the handling. While handling and storage of chemicals should be done with care, the observance of precautions when mixing different substances is even more compelling.Watch all the household chemicals, for instance, and you will understand that all these items come in solutions and mixtures of two or more ingredients. Mixtures and solutions are also quite important in many industrial sectors from agricultural chemical processing to chemical reagent preparations. In many processes calling for chemical mixing, mixing chemicals should be done in the most controlled procedures, often requiring sophisticated instruments and safety gears or protective suits.There are many chemicals that are extremely hazardous. Mixing two or more substances can result to one of several types of reactions, all of which have one common feature and this is the production of new substances or new mixtures. Many useful chemicals have been manufactured through mixing of different chemicals. Various effects can happen when mixing substances though. These include precipitation of a new substance, evolution of heat, absorption of heat, and evolution of gas (if one of the products is a gaseous substance).Of course, change in the color of the mixture is an apparent indication of a reaction happening. The matter with combination of two or more substances is that toxic chemicals or gases may be the products of the formerly inert substances. In other cases, some chemicals could react vigorously with the production of enormous heat, which in uncontrolled instances can set nearby objects on fire. One of the most hazardous effects of crude mixing of certain substances is that a rapid evolution of toxic fumes may result. Doing such procedure without proper gears and instruments could expose one to hazardous substance.Companies that do substance mixing or chemical filling should ensure that the stringent procedures are followed to avoid fatal accidents from happening. A single mistake can risk the life of many. The education of workers is imperative. Everyone working in the area should understand the sheer danger of chemicals and the products upon mixing. The following of standard procedure is a basic necessity in any chemical labs. Safety apparatuses should be at hand. Protective suits must be worn if necessary and if chemicals that are to be handled are corrosive and toxic. Ventilation is a basic thing.It is also imperative that industrial workers who are often exposed to certain chemicals know which chemicals to watch out for. Some of them may not exactly understand what the exposure could mean. Furthermore, some do not understand the basics in mixing certain substances safely. Of course, there is no need to remind the chemists and the chemical engineers, but they, too, should realize the repercussions of complacency.As a general rule, anybody should not attempt to mix two or more unknown chemicals. Also avoid mixing household chemicals if you are unsure about the resulting products. There are certain chemicals at home that could generate dangerous gases when combined. For instance, bleach and ammonia may produce toxic chlorine and other irritating fumes that could render you unconscious. Even mixing some compounds with water should be done with precaution. For instance, mixing water and strong acids and alkaline can produce enormous quantities of heat.If you are purchasing chemicals, always ask the dealer about the properties of the substances. Also inquire about the proper handling and storage as well as the possible hazards. This information may not come with the chemical packaging, chemical packing, or chemical specifications.

Indoor Air Quality & Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) |

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), once widely regarded with skepticism, is a growing health concern for many Americans. The October 2006 issue of National Geographic magazine features an in-depth article about the chemical pollution within our bodies and the increasing prevalence of MCS.Most of the problematic chemicals did not exist until after World War II, when petrochemicals (petroleum-based chemicals) were synthesized. Many pesticides, synthetic fragrances, cleaning products, and detergents are made from toxic petrochemicals. These chemicals can be found all around us, especially inside the tightly sealed walls of homes, offices, and automobiles.Formaldehyde and other toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) enter the air from carpet, plastic, insulation, adhesives, and other building materials. Other dangerous chemicals include: pesticides in bug sprays, lawn chemicals, and household cleaners; nitrogen dioxide in unvented gas stoves or heaters and carbon monoxide gas appliances; solvents from household cleaners, paint strippers, and gasoline; dyes from clothing and other materials; and latex from paints, gloves, and caulking. These chemicals may cause sore throats, headaches, digestive problems, nervous system problems, respiratory problems, various allergic reactions, and even cancer in some cases.The right air purifier will remove these dangerous chemicals from the air in your home; however, the wrong air purifier will only make the air quality worse. If you suffer from MCS, you should avoid ozone generators and ionic air cleaners. Not only do these machines generate ozone, which is a powerful lung irritant, but the ozone can combine with ordinary household fumes to create formaldehyde, carbonyls, and other reactive, unstable, and carcinogenic compounds.”You start with a biologically innocent compound, and you expose it to ozone, and you get a carcinogen,” explains Professor William Nazaroff of the University of California, Berkeley. “There’s a lot of downside risk from reactive chemistry, as our investigations have begun to explore.”Not all air purifiers emit dangerous chemicals. Founded by a man whose wife developed MCS, AllerAir Industries specializes in correcting the problem of airborne chemical pollution. AllerAir air purifiers contain pounds of activated carbon to adsorb chemicals.The AllerAir MCS Series Air Purifiers include special features to handle even the smallest traces of chemical vapors. Additionally, they are manufactured with inert materials to ensure that the air purifier itself does not off-gas VOCs or other harmful chemicals. Even the pre-filter is made with unbleached, pesticide-free 100% cotton!AllerAir has perfected the art of creating special carbon blends to address different chemical pollution problems. The AllerAir 5000 DS Air Purifier adsorbs tobacco smoke, tar, fine ash, and other airborne particulates; its specially blended carbon traps up to 400 toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke. AllerAir VOCARB air purifiers specialize in the removal of VOCs and other gases and chemicals, while the AllerAir 6000 D Air Purifier and the AllerAir 6000 DX Air Purifier contain 28 and 36 pounds of activated carbon, respectively, for heavy-duty chemical, gas, and odor removal.Other effective, unique air cleaners for unique chemical pollution problems include the GC and GCX series air purifers by IQAir. The IQAir GC AM air purifier specializes in absorbing ammonia, a chemical found in many cleaning products which can cause difficulty breathing. The IQAir GC Chemisorber air purifier rids the air of many dangerous chemicals including hydrogen sulfite, nitric acid, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and formaldehyde. You may not even know that these chemicals are present in the air, but after prolonged exposure, they can cause respiratory disorders and other illnesses. The IQAir GC Multigas air purifier specializes in the removal of chemical fumes and tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke is one of the most harmful and longest-lingering types of smoke, and it’s no surprise that many people are allergic to it. The IQAir GC VOC air purifier specializes in the removal of VOCs.Constructed of solid steel (so the housing will never off-gas chemicals), Austin Air Healthmate Superblend Air Purifiers contain strategically placed impregnated carbon/zeolite filters for removal of VOCs, formaldehyde, ammonia, other chemical fumes, and odors. Blueair air purifiers with a SmokeStop Filter also use actived carbon to trap smoke, odors, and chemicals.Many people experience reactions to VOCs and other chemical fumes inside automobiles (especially new automobiles). The Amaircare Roomaid Portable HEPA Air Purifier with an optional auto adapter kit filters out allergens such as dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, and mold, as well as VOCs, auto exhaust, and other noxious fumes and odors. The compact, portable Blueair AirPod air purifier also provides clean air on-the-go.Unfortunately, if you have chemical sensitivities, you can’t always carry an air purifier with you, even if it is small and portable. But you can always carry a mask with you, and most people with extreme chemical sensitivities do just that. During her bout with MCS, Dr. Gloria Gilbere always carried an I Can Breathe mask. Dr. Gilbere says, “I use and recommend I Can Breathe masks because I found they are the least reactive for highly sensitive individuals as well as because of the protection of a disposable filter and the light weight. So many masks I tried were so thick and heavy that I felt like I was suffocating. Fortunately, I don’t have to wear one anymore, but I don’t leave home without one in my car, briefcase or handbag.”Our modern world is becoming increasingly toxic, and in order to live long, healthy lives, we must start paying closer attention to the pollutants that we inhale everyday. As David Ewing Duncan writes in the National Geographic article, “Thanks to modern chemistry, eggs don’t stick to the pan, underarms are fresh all day, SUVs hit 60 in six seconds. But such convenience has a price: Chemicals that suffuse modern life – from well-known toxins to newer compounds with unknown effects – are building up in our bodies and sometimes staying there for years.”

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Chemical Allergies – Tips on Managing Chemical Exposure |

Since the Second World War over 75,000 new chemicals have been introduced into our society. Only around 2% of these have been fully examined by scientists on an individual basis. Even less have been tested to see what their effect is when they are combined with the other chemicals they are used with.Worryingly, there is no research data available for over 50,000 commonly used chemicals today. Most western countries do not have laws requiring chemical companies to test or even reveal the chemicals they use. In many countries, manufacturers of chemical household cleaners, for example, are only required to reveal 1% of the toxins used with the rest being withheld as ‘trade secrets’.Multiple Chemical SensitivityMore and more people are becoming sensitive to chemicals found in every day life. The symptoms can range from sore eyes, nose and throat or coughing to severe anxiety and asthma in the most sensitive. The most sensitive can react to the smallest exposure to these chemicals and are categorised as suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).The symptoms can be triggered from anything from paints to carpets to household cleaning products.Many people are unaware that things they choose to have and use in their homes are exposing them to harmful chemicals.Some Ways to Reduce Chemicals in the homeHere we set out some suggestions on reducing the chemical exposure in the home which in turn will improve indoor air quality and protect your health:FlooringMany hard floors and carpets contain toxic materials which can affect our health.For hard floors, it is best to use a hard wood floorboard treated with natural beeswax or a woodstain that is safe to the MCS Sufferers, ceramic tiles or natural stone floors. With regard to carpets, use second hand carpets or carpet which has been aired for at least 6 months previously (some companies offer this). There are also pure wool carpets backed in hessian or jute that are chemical free.FurnitureMany fitted kitchens and self-assembly furniture is made of particle board which has the highest output of formaldehyde which is a major problem for MCS sufferers.Alternatives include hard wood furniture treated with beeswax, stainless steel and glass.Wall coveringsMany paints contain volatile organic compounds which are known irritants to MCS sufferers. Wallpaper and wallpaper pastes are also likely to give off gases.Water based paints are better than traditional paints as they are usually fume free. However, the eco-friendly paints that are solvent free are the best to use. As for wallpaper, it is best avoided as the pastes used to hang them contain irritants.FurnishingsSoft furnishings can produce particulate organic matter which is a form of dust in the air which creates issues for MCS sufferers as it can absorb VOC’s.Organic cotton curtains and bedding are much better as well as furniture with the least amount of foam padding/cushions.Cleaning productsHousehold cleaning products have, for some time now, been known to affect sufferers of multiple chemical sensitivity as well as people with allergies and asthma. Cleaning products have used increasingly large numbers of chemicals, including perfumes and fragrances, many of which have not been tested.A common misconception over the last few decades has been that we need chemicals in order to be able to clean effectively. This is the message promoted by the billions of pounds spent on advertising by the manufacturers of the chemical cleaners.In fact, it is possible to clean with more natural products. Care should, however, always be taken because many natural products will contain chemicals found naturally which may still affect users. Another common misconception is that the ‘eco-friendly’ cleaning products that have become popular in recent years are chemical free. Any liquid product needs to have some form of chemical in it in order to have cleaning power and so the eco-friendly ones often have plant based chemicals in them.A completely chemical free solution does exist however in the form of fibre technology. Fibre technology was pioneered and has spread around the world since then. In simple terms, fibres in specially manufactured textiles replace the chemicals by cleaning in a mechanical rather than a chemical way.Using only cold water, the fibres are able to reach into the microscopic pores of any surface and lift and hold onto the dirt and bacteria. The fibres have been tested extensively around the world and have been proved to clean over 6 times more effectively than traditional chemical cleaners.Eliminating the ever increasing number of chemical products used for cleaning the home has helped many MCS sufferers as well as asthma and allergy sufferers around the world. Fibre based cleaning is a must therefore for anyone seeking to reduce one of the biggest triggers of MCS in the home.