The Industry’s First UL-Certified Compostable Replacement Filter Bag for Commercial Vacuum Cleaners

COM-PTMV-4(5)A few months ago, we discussed the process of obtaining UL/EcoLogo certification for our compostable vacuum cleaner filter bags. If you thought the year and a half process of filter media research and product testing was the biggest challenge, you’re wrong—the UL certification was. We’re thrilled to (finally) announce that we’ve just received the industry’s first UL certified compostable vacuum cleaner bag that meets Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Green Guidelines.

Compostable vacuum bags will be sold under the Janitized brand, a premium line of high filtration replacement vacuum bags, and other types of filters that meet or exceed OEM specifications. Janitized is at the forefront of the JAN/SAN commercial cleaning industry and we pay close attention to industry trends and what end users want and are looking for. Over the last 8 years the demand for “green” products has grown significantly. The conceptualization process for a biodegradable vacuum cleaner bag began in 2010, and from there we moved into product development, pilot-runs of raw materials, product manufacturing, product testing and onward toward the certification process.

A standard household vacuum cleaner picks up relatively smaller amounts of dust from hardwood floors including carpet fiber and debris however commercial vacuums pick up so much more. Office and government buildings, schools and trade show halls, for example, have significantly more surface area to clean and contain all types of dust, dirt, sand, pollens, paper, staples and types of debris. Therefore, our commercial grade vacuum bags have to be designed to withstand more abuse yet still provide sustainability. Our compostable vacuum bags are designed with four (4) individual layers or ply’s of filter media to meet an Environmental Claim Validation to meet Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Green Guidelines.

We have received a very favorable response from distributors, dealers and end users and expect to expand our current compostable product offering later in 2014.

Interested in learning more about our compostable vacuum cleaner bags or other filter products? Head over to our website www.janitized.com or give us a call at 888-689-1235.

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HEPA Filter requirements for Biosafe Engineering, Pathological & Medical Applications

2stage-redundant-hepa-filterFor most professionals in the medical industry, the focus is on patient care—whether it’s before, during, or after surgery.  A sterile environment for health and safety is very important in the prevention of airborne contaminates to patients and hospital staff, which is why HEPA filters are used in hospital HVAC systems and operating rooms. The same focus on HEPA indoor air-quality applies to many other facilities and applications as categorized under the term biosafety.

Have you ever wondered what happens to human organs after they have been removed? In ancient times, Egyptians preserved human organs in canopic jars, but in modern times, it’s a little different. Today, these are considered major biohazards to public health therefore removed organs are placed into an incinerator and burned to ash killing all pathogens in the process.
While this process is completely effective in removing pathological toxins, a crucial step involves filtering the smoke before the air is exhausted outside from the incinerator. This is an essential part of the process that many hospitals and biosafety equipment manufacturers rely on APC Filtration’s expertise to design, manufacturer and test HEPA and ULPA critical air filters.

hepa-filter-for-biological-safety-cabinet

One example of APC’s capabilities for a biosaftey equipment manufacturer is our two-stage filter and frame for a biological safety cabinet . This specific application was designed to meet Europe’s EN1822 test standard H14 which is equivalent to North America’s IEST test standard meeting a filtration efficiency of 99.995% down @ 0.3 microns. This non-toxic, custom-designed HEPA filter was rigorously tested using APC’s certified lab testing facility and exceeded customer expectations including third party lab verification testing. APC provides critical air filters for many other equipment and appliance manufacturers and research facilities where viruses are grown and tested for antibiotics.

Interested in more information on how our HEPA filters reduce pathological waste for biosafety applications? Visit us at www.apcfilters.com or call us toll free at 1-888-689-1235.

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Air Filtration Guidelines for Gun Ranges

Our last blog discussed the importance of air filtration in shooting range facilities, and we wanted to continue on with the topic to bring attention to another important point in that industry: government regulation.

While many facilities take advantage of how our products keep the breathing air safe, some might not realize the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict rules in place to protect the health of employees and facility patrons.

Just ask two workers at a gun range in Illinois, who “were exposed to airborne lead levels up to 12 times the permissible level,” according to an OSHA regional news release. For this particular case, more than 28 health violations resulted in proposed fines of $111,000, but others have faced more staggering costs for poor air filtration systems.

We want our products in these facilities—not just to grow our company, but we understand the value and importance of proper air filtration. We hate reading about health issues related to air quality when they could be so easily avoided, and we’re more than happy to work with and advise on the best possible steps to ensuring the ranges adhere to OSHA standards.

Reach out to us directly at 888-689-1235 or inquiry@apcfilters.com to discuss what our air filter manufacturing, design, and engineering solutions can do for your business.

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Air Filter Solutions for Gun Ranges

gunrangeAcross the globe, shooting ranges serve as facilities to fire artillery in a controlled and heavily supervised environment. While it varies from country to country on the specifics, regulations and function of gun ranges, both military and private operations fire off hundreds of rounds per day. With all the contaminates that come from explosions in firearms, air quality and lead dust exposure is of great concern which is why air filtration is essential.

Shooting off heavy artillery—even small handguns—releases lead and other toxins into the air, which is why gun range facilities must invest in huge ventilation systems. The potential for toxic exposure is evident, which is why the National Air Filtration Association and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have  guidelines and recommendations in place.

“Exposure to lead and fumes from a firing range can present a potential health risk to shooters as well as the employees of a firing range,” NAFA’s guidelines state. “Protecting the health and welfare of occupants in a firing range, while minimizing the environmental contamination from lead exposures, is an important element in the operational procedures for a firing range.”

We can’t agree more with NAFA’s guidelines, because at APC Filtration, we make air quality a priority. Our HEPA filters function in cabin air, submarine and many other applications, but these gun range air filtration solutions are a growing business for us. For questions on similar air filtration applications, visit www.apcfilters.com or call us toll free at 888-689-1235.

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No Boundaries: The State of Global Air Pollution

Fotosearch_k7681391The World Health Organization is just one example of an initiative that has long challenged governments to adopt stricter environmental standards, with the goal of improving healthy living conditions. But now, their message, along with many from other organizations, is made more urgent today as the estimated number of yearly deaths from air pollution rises.

New studies linking air pollution to premature deaths has brought the issue of air quality back into the spotlight.  A study published in Environmental Research Letters estimates that air pollution causes over two million deaths a year. Another study in “Climate Change” warns that global warming might increase that number to more than 100,000 adults per year.

According to the WHO, one way to reduce air pollution and mitigate global warming is by lowering emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels—and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency aims to do just that. The organization enforces National Ambient Air Quality Standards to help protect the health of the public. Backed by federal law, these standards limit emissions of air pollutants from common sources such as chemical plants, steel mills and other manufacturing facilities. According to the EPA, the Clean Air Act “has a proven record of public health and environmental protection.”

The EPA continues to work with many forms of government to further improve air quality for citizens. However, the people most at risk for illnesses and death caused by air pollution are actually in developing countries with large populations, especially in East and South Asia.

China is a classic example. In 2010, the air quality index in Beijing hit 755—255 levels above what was supposed to be the top of the scale.  In comparison, the reading in New York City on that same day was 19.

Since then, Beijing has strengthened its efforts to control air quality by promoting clean energy autos, reducing coal consumption and closing hundreds of heavily polluting plants. It is an ongoing campaign that politicians admit requires long-term commitment.

As the EPA points out, “air pollution does not recognize state or international boundaries.” Polluted air from one country can travel thousands of miles to another country, damaging the health of all those who are exposed. The issue of air quality is thus a global concern that necessitates cooperation from countries all over the world.

APC Filtration’s business is all about air filtration. We work with a diverse, global client base designing air filter solutions to meet their equipment needs. For more information call us toll free at 888-689-1235 or visit us at www.apcfilters.com.

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Research and Regulations Target Proper Cabin Air Filtration Systems

apc-hvac069-arm_11080609In our last blog, we discussed the importance of cabin air filtration in heavy-duty construction equipment.  As dust and other containments are released into the air as machinery moves above ground, underground, sorts materials or digs into the earth, it’s important to keep equipment operators safe by cleaning the air they breath within the cabin.

Recently, OEM Off-Highway, a publication focusing on the off-road equipment industry, covered the dangers of poor air quality out in the field on their website. APC Filtration’s president, Russell Kelly, was interviewed by this publication to discuss what steps are being taken to improve worker safety and cleaner air requirements.

“Improved ventilation and air filtration is a growing part of this industry. APC is working with HVAC manufacturers on filter design to meet the filtration requirements for off-road vehicle cabin ventilation systems,” Kelly said.

The concern over air quality in these applications is increasing, and more companies are seeing the benefits of using high efficiency and/or HEPA filters opposed to standard air filters. As mentioned in a previous blog, HEPA filters are designed to meet and/or exceed a minimum filtration efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 micron.

We’ve worked with a variety of different clients—both OEMs and HVAC manufacturers—to determine the best solutions for their needs. As stated in OEM Off-Highway’s article, “ensuring operator health will continue to be a key design factor for OEMs and their component suppliers as customers and government regulations alike pursue the importance of clean air,” and we can’t agree more. For more information on our cabin air filtration for off-road vehicles or similar applications, call us toll free at 888-689-1235 or visit us at www.apcfilters.com.

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Cabin Air Filtration is Important for Heavy-Duty Construction Jobs

Cabin Air FilterConstruction jobs sites are typically scattered with large pieces of machinery, workers in bright orange vests and hard hats, the occasional (controlled) explosion, and plenty of dirt. While the dusty environment is typical for a workday in that industry, it’s not ideal to breathe in.

Whether workers are deep in mines or in above-ground construction zones, air filtration is essential to the safety and quality of the air. As heavy machinery digs into the ground or moves piles of material around, contaminants are released into the air. Large filter systems function in the cabins of vehicles, such as dump trucks, as well as in the smaller Bobcat models.

Once APC Filtration’s engineers realized standard cabin air filters did not encompass the capabilities of HEPA filtration, we jumped at the chance to better serve this industry and fill the gap. First, we researched each dust-particle type to better design a filter fit to each application’s need. We then realized the optimal solution was to design a multi-level filtration system with three filter chambers. Our cabin air filtration systems include a lower-cost disposable pre-filter, five options of primary filters up to HEPA standards, and odor filters to handle various molecular pollutants. This is the optimal protection for workers in this industry.

But these systems aren’t limited to construction zones—they could be used in anything from garbage dumps and farming to cleaning up hazardous waste and contaminated oil. Check out our website for more information on how our air filtration system services function in varying industries.

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The Process of Getting UL Certified for our Biodegradable Vacuum Cleaner Bag

Our entire business centers on making the world a better place to live and breathe in.  APC progresses forward with research and development initiatives to make our environment more “green” these days.

Although we’ve always been eco-conscious, APC diversified our business to include biodegradable products for the JAN/SAN commercial cleaning industry. After 18 months of filter media research and product testing, we created a biodegradable vacuum cleaner bag made from 100 percent renewable resources for commercial-grade vacuum cleaners and floor sweepers. In comparison, household vacuums typically pick up dust and small debris, however commercial vacuums are designed to pick up much more debris—including staples, paper clips, and other materials and are subject to significantly more use and abuse.

Surprisingly developing a biodegradable filter media and vacuum bag wasn’t the difficult part. The most challenging issue is to obtain UL, EcoLogo product certification, which took three years in the making. Why so long? The UL, EcoLogo certification is the most difficult and prestigious to obtain especially for a vacuum cleaner bag, it was unprecedented. The entire manufacturing process of all raw materials is subjected to rigorous testing to make sure the earths natural resources such as air and water is not negatively affected. UL tests for effluents from the paper mill deposited into streams and water tables are checked. Fish studies for chemical leaching are conducted 3 miles upstream and down stream where effluents are discharged to ensure food chains are not affected. Air emission samples are taken from smoke stacks to insure air pollution is not being created in both raw material and finished product production.

After years of testing, UL/EcoLogo certification for Janitized® Biodegradable Vacuum Bags is projected for September 2013. We’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, to learn more about our biodegradable vacuum bags and other filter development projects, visit our website.

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Air Filters Play Important Role in Submarine Life

Submarine Air FilterWhen you’re living and working in a 300-foot by 30-foot space with hundreds of other people at more than 800 feet below sea level, it seems there would be little breathing room—but, at least for the U.S. Navy, the air is clean.

Since 1862, when the Navy’s Alligator submarine became the first to include an air filtration system, air quality and filtration has been a priority. For many years, diesel-powered submarines were the norm, which means the vessel could only stay underwater for a few days before resurfacing to recharge batteries and exchanging stale air for fresh air. Nuclear submarines with complex air filtration systems are typical in today’s fleet and only limited by the amount of food carried on board—typically up to 90 days.

The Navy uses APC Filtration’s high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to clear air of containments after bringing in air while at port. Oxygen-generation equipment is also used, but it’s vital to continuously monitor the submarine’s air quality. Depth ratings are primary design parameters and measures of a submarines ability to operate underwater and filter air inside the cabin. The depths to which submarines can dive are limited by the strengths of their hulls. It is important to realize that there is a limit to how high the pressure can build inside the sub, as problems develop. For example, oxygen becomes toxic at high pressures, thus the pressure cannot be simply allowed to equalize.

Within the past few years, the Navy eliminated a major air contaminant on board: cigarette smoke. The Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs anti-tobacco programs are intended to protect health and save millions on health-care costs, according to the New York Times. The amount of secondhand smoke, despite first-rate air filtration, became a health hazard. This is a major health issue on a global scale, and it’s mindboggling to imagine the risks associated with smoking in such a small space.

At APC Filtration, air quality is our top priority, and we take the lungs of the U.S. Navy sailors very seriously. We engineer the best filters in our industry and are constantly seeking improvement, driven by integrity and innovation.

To learn more about the many industries and applications we deal with visit our website or drop us a line today.

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How Is HEPA Filtration Used in Food Processing?

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration dates back to the 1940s, when this specific filter was used to prevent airborne contaminates from spreading during the Manhattan Project. The system, which traps microscopic particles and eliminates 99.97% of gas particulates with a diameter greater than 0.3 micron, evolved to suit consumers’ needs.

The efficiency of HEPA filters only improves with use, and they are essential for places that require clean-air—such as hospital operating rooms, scientific laboratory’s, clean rooms and NASA. Consumer’s typically associate air filters with cars, vacuums, and vents, but there’s one major industry where filters are essential to production: food.

Without this high-efficiency filter system, consumers would be subjected to a slew of bacteria and other debris. Take yogurt, for example. Whether the product ends up in bottles, cups, or big tubs, it must travel through a yogurt-dispensing machine that has a closed-cell system made up of stainless steel and glass chambers. This positive air system pumps filtered air into the chamber where the yogurt is dispensed then subsequently vacuums it out, which removes all contaminants from the air. Because yogurt contains live cultures, it’s essential to have contaminate-free air to further culture the product.

But HEPA Filtration doesn’t solely apply to dairy products. Industrial, commercial and household equipment use HEPA filters to perform many functions. HEPA filters are used in Cabin Air Filters for off-road vehicles, Laminar Flow Air Hoods for laboratory equipment manufacturers and household air filtration HVAC equipment, and standalone air cleaner appliances.

To learn more about the many industries and applications we work with, visit our website.

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