Tag Archives: clean air

The recent coronavirus pandemic has placed a spotlight on school safety and the reopening of classrooms across the United States; a mix of local mandates and orders have kept some kids home with virtual learning, while others have opted for in-person classes. Still, parents, school officials and community members are concerned about the health and welfare of children in classrooms.

And for good reason. Kids spend upwards of 1,000 hours in classrooms each year—and those classrooms often have poor indoor air quality, what with germs, viruses, odors and bacteria floating in stale, recirculated air. This air quality is one reason childhood asthma is on the rise: according to the Centers for Disease Control, asthma increased by 25 percent between 2001 and 2011, with an increase highest among Black children at more than a 50 percent jump. Indeed, 5.5 million children under the age of 18 are affected by asthma. And, according to the CDC, poor indoor air quality can trigger asthma events.

Kids in school wearing masks

Air needs to be a priority.

While wearing masks inside classrooms and school buildings can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, wearing masks can’t solve the health concerns entirely. Instead, focusing on cleaning indoor air is a priority. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency believes improving indoor air quality can reduce absenteeism, boost performance and enhance test scores.

A key to improving indoor air lies in exploring the ventilation system and the ability to provide more air exchanges per hour. To this end, many schools can’t overhaul their existing HVAC systems, but can augment them with standalone units. According to Joshua Santarpia, a microbiologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, air purifiers—like our own line of AeraMax Professional commercial grade units—could “dramatically reduce airborne contaminants.”

Public health experts advocate air filtration and ventilation

That sentiment is echoed by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which advocates for freestanding air filtration units to complement existing HVAC systems in schools to reduce airborne contaminants.

And while portable air purification units can augment the use of Personal Protective Equipment, like face masks and shields, there’s an added benefit: they help the overall cleaning process for schools, which typically focus on hand washing and surface cleaning.

Classroom with Aeramax Pro

School administrators see the benefits

That’s what Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School in Athens, Georgia found out when it installed AeraMax Professional air purifiers in select classrooms. These commercial-grade four-stage filtration systems feature HEPA filters to effectively and efficiently remove up to 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants, like the flu, bacteria, germs, viruses, odors and volatile organic compounds, for classroom air.

“Within the first week of installation, we could tell a difference in the rooms,” Dr. Scarlett Dunne, principal at Oglethorpe, said. “There was a noticeable change…It smelled much fresher and we could see a difference in (the amount of) coughing and sneezing.” Facilities personnel also noticed less dust on surfaces, accelerating the nightly cleaning process.

Additionally, a survey conducted by administrators of teachers showed that the teachers also felt better. Likewise, anecdotal conversations with parents revealed that the parents noticed a difference in their children’s health.

So, AeraMax Professional can be an integral part in bringing about a new normal to classrooms, one involving more than just face masks and social distancing. Instead, this new normal will hinge on one thing: fresher air.

In recent years, the market for legal marijuana across states has created a boomtime for  growers and dispensaries. Problem is, places like legal grow labs, dispensaries and marijuana cafes have created a problem in the smoke and smell.

Marijuana case study: Las Vegas

Take, for example, the situation in Las Vegas, Nevada, which recently legalized recreational marijuana use in all its forms; consumers can purchase pot products at various dispensaries throughout Sin City but can’t actually smoke or use the products anywhere but inside their homes.

Shopping at the dispensaries, however, can be a daunting task. The inside of the facilities are often a haze of smoke and dank, thick smells, and staying in them for mere minutes can leave customers with a clinging odor to their clothes. So, a person could go to a dispensary and come out smelling like they’ve been partying for days. Not exactly a good perception for a businessperson dashing out for some edibles during his or her lunch hour—because the trip could brand him or her amongst coworkers or superiors who still view marijuana in stark terms.

The hidden problem of VOCs

There’s another hazard. Research published in the journal Atmospheric Environment showcases that the marijuana plants themselves give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute indoor air. Scientists measured gases from marijuana plants and found that terpenes, gases that are considered VOCs, are emitted. VOCs contribute to the chemistry that makes up air pollution, so the presence of marijuana plants can negatively affect air quality.

So, can marijuana entrepreneurs—and their customers—solve the air quality problem created by marijuana, reducing odors and VOCs? In a word, yes.

Cleaning the air in dispensaries, growing facilities and cafes can help

Installing AeraMax Professional air purifiers in grow labs, dispensaries and marijuana cafes can effectively eliminate 99.97 percent of airborne pollutants like odors and VOCs—as well as viruses, allergens, bacteria, smoke and dust—with a unique four-stage HEPA filtration system. The units feature a “set it and forget it” feature, where the system automatically scan and sense the air in the room, increasing or decreasing filtration to maximize air quality. So, customers can get fresh product—but enjoy fresh air as well.

From time to time, AeraMax Professional taps into the expertise of dental industry professionals to share their viewpoints on issues facing the dental industry. This month, we talk with Mary Borg-Bartlett, the Co-founder and President of SafeLink Consulting Inc.

Since 1991, she has actively participated as a presenter and on-site instructor to audiences of dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and dental laboratory technicians throughout the U.S.

Q: What, in your estimation, is the most pressing concern facing dental labs leading up to 2026?

A: There are several: keeping up with technology; hiring and retention of technicians; and dealing with the DSO structuring of dental practices are the primary concerns. All three of these issues are creating the need for dental lab owners to stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry and adapting their business model to ensure they can compete in this type of market. 

From the perspective of regulations, I’d say staying educated on which regulations apply to their dental lab as they change their business model. These regulations range from OSHA, whose concern is employee health and safety to the FDA, whose concern is quality assurance.  Introducing new technology into the dental lab can trigger additional regulatory requirements both from the OSHA and FDA perspectives.

Q: We think installing AeraMax Professional air purifiers can boost the health of dental lab employees. What other ways can dental labs ensure the health of employees in the future

A: As materials and equipment change, lab owners must understand the hazards associated with them. The hazards can range from air quality to use of hazardous materials. The lab owner can improve safety and attempt to ensure the safety of their employees by developing a safety program that is applicable to their work environment.

The first step is to make a commitment by providing adequate resources for those responsible for the development of this program. A Safety Coordinator should be appointed who either has the education in health and safety or has the time to become educated on health and safety. Just appointing someone to that position is not enough. The Safety Coordinator needs the education about how to identify hazards and then make recommendations to the owner for controlling the hazards. Without proper education, this is impossible.

Q; What types of technologies do you see emerging in the dental lab industry?

A: It appears that the use of digital and electronic functions will continue to increase in dentistry.  Digital impressions can eliminate some of the infection control issues that dental labs have to deal with when they receive regular impressions from their dental clients. Most labs are milling and have CAD/CAM departments, but the use of 3D printing appears to be increasing…3D printers are becoming more affordable and the technology is being applied to more and more processes.

This technology seems to be not only decreasing errors but improving infection control issues in the dental lab. The technology, however, brings about the potential of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among dental workers, since the workstations are more like computer stations. So, providing ergonomic workspaces and furnishings is imperative to preventing MSDs.

Dental lab owners also need to realize that workers’ compensation premiums increase significantly due to work-related MSDs. MSDs are preventable but only if the employer provides ergonomically designed workstations and furnishings…plus trains employees on proper use of these items. Enforcement of the safety rules is always a challenge to business owners but necessary to prevent injuries—MSDs are at the forefront of work-related injuries in the dental lab.

Q; With an increasingly graying population, there’ll be more need for dental appliances in the coming years. How can dental labs gear up for additional workload?

A: Dental labs are already experiencing problems in hiring and retaining experienced denture technicians. Those technicians are also a part of that graying population, so they are usually working toward retirement. In fact, so many dental lab schools have closed over the past ten years that many of our clients have begun their own training program.

Of course, technology may help [to lessen the additional workload], but as of now, I haven’t heard very many positive comments about printed dentures. Surely though, the developers and manufacturers of this equipment will be able to fill this need soon. Since denture technicians are becoming scarce, it looks like it will take technology to meet production needs. 

Q: What are the ramifications of this increased workload on: The dental lab environment? The workers? Management?

A: From my experience in consulting with dental lab owners, production has always been the top priority. However, it can affect worker safety, morale and the quality of the product.  From the safety standpoint, a lack of time to organize work areas and clean work areas results in clutter which can contribute to injuries. Increased workload can also create stress, which is unhealthy in any environment. Burnout can occur, which can result in poor morale and ultimately the loss of employees. It’s always disheartening to a business owner to invest money and time in the training of employees only to see them move on to another job. Younger people today seem to have the balance between their personal life and their work life figured out better than those of us who grew up in a different era. Perhaps that’s why it’s not as common today to see the younger generation taking over the Mom and Dad’s dental laboratory business. They saw how hard the parents worked and don’t see that in their own careers. 

The quality of the product can also suffer when the increased workload cannot be managed properly. Shortcuts may be taken and errors can occur. Internal reworks and external remakes can increase. Both of these cut into the bottom line…not to mention create poor customer relations. Dental clients want consistency, on time delivery and work done right the first time.  Managing increased workload can be detrimental to the dental lab owner who hasn’t planned how to handle this increase.

In most cases it’s best not to go after more business if it hasn’t been planned for and that can include having enough trained technicians, adequate equipment, materials and space to take on the new business. It’s a juggling act—but can be dealt with when proper planning takes place.

Cleanliness is one of the critical points for parents searching for the perfect daycare. A combination of surface cleaning and handwashing are standard protocol for any daycare center. Yet, the added benefit of cleaning the air is usually overlooked

Why Clean Air Matters for Daycare

Children are more susceptible to the effects of contaminated air because they breathe in more oxygen relative to their body weight than adults. This sensitivity makes younger children more likely to get a respiratory illness from germs, allergens and other airborne pollutants.

In a shared space like daycare centers, especially during cold and flu season, airborne cold and flu germs pass from child to child more quickly. Flu viruses can survive in the air for several hours and one sneeze from a child can spray 3000 infectious droplets into a play area.

Offering Enhanced Germ Protection

Along with maintaining robust policies of surface sanitation and personal hygiene for staff, a day care manager that wants to stand apart as a champion of clean environment learning will also adopt commercial air purifier solutions.

AeraMax air purifiers feature a four-stage filtration system designed for facilities like daycare centers. Using this hospital-grade air purification system featuring HEPA filters, AeraMax removes up to 99.97% of airborne allergies, viruses and germs. AeraMax is also H1N1 certified. This plus means daycare owners can provide a “above and beyond” service to parents by offering a clean air childcare center that reduces the risk of illness during cold and flu season.

AeraMax air purifiers also remove airborne dust and mold particles that may cause reactions in children with asthma or allergies.  Twenty percent of children may experience some immune-based reaction to airborne allergens such as pollen or dust.2  Parents with children suffering from these ailments will appreciate the added value of an AeraMax protected daycare.

Odor-Free Facility Appeal

While sanitation is always a top priority, most daycare center still struggle with odors, especially those that care for newborns and toddlers. AeraMax air purifiers use carbon filters to remove odors, which can completely change the atmosphere in diaper changing areas. When parents are comparing day care centers, they will definitely notice the AeraMax difference in the air.

Day Care Centers Using the AeraMax Solution

The Tiny Sprouts Early Childhood Center in Rutherford, New Jersey offers a diverse range of childcare from infants and toddlers to PreK4. With four classrooms providing care for up to 50-60 children a day, odors from diapers and the prevalence of airborne germs during cold and flu season was a concern to owner and director Emily Sousa.

Tiny Sprouts installed 5 AeraMax Professional Air Purifiers with PureView Technology and began to notice the difference in air quality. Emily Sousa indicates that parents had come from other schools and actually switched their kids to Tiny Sprouts specifically because they have the AeraMax Professional machines purifying the air. “Parents were really excited to see we installed AeraMax Professional machines in our facility. We were able to solve on-going problems with odors and germs.“ Tiny Sprouts is just one of many daycare centers adding air care as a facility benefit: See the YMCA Daycare Video.

Taking the Next Steps for Improving Daycare Air Quality

Get a free indoor air consultation and see if how AeraMax air protection can improve your facility. Learn More.

  1. MIT News:In the cloud: How coughs and sneezes float farther than you think
  2. Healthland Time.Location, Location: Being Born in the U.S. Puts Kids at Higher Risk of Allergies