Archive for Made in the USA

After the Storm, Pt. 2

The death toll from Hurricane Harvey has surpassed 60, Beaumont’s federal prisoners have gone a week without food and are drinking toilet water as I type this, and Irma has grown larger than Ohio on its collision course with Puerto Rico and Florida. If my calculations are right, 161,997.07 acres of California land are currently on fire, as are massive swaths of Montana and Oregon. This is America in 2017, and many more disasters are to come. Where will you be? What will you do? How will you be remembered?

 

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a professional laborer or an employer of laborers looking for great deals on high-quality safety equipment, and you’re in the right place to do so. Here at Enviro we have a large selection of products from several top-rated brands, engineered to serve all kinds of labor needs. But disaster cleanup is a significantly grimmer occasion to need our products than just another day at the factory. There’s a degree of solemnity that is appropriate for situations where the dead are multiplying and the dying are in dire straits.

 

What are we to do? Well, for us the solution is to keep doing what we do best: provide the market with top-tier products at unbeatable prices. If you read last week’s post, we covered the hazards of contamination by the fetid water and airborne debris. We’re still dealing with those same concerns, but your eyes are also at risk in this situation.

 

Proper eye protection for this job must seal out foreign matter and have anti-fog coating on the lenses to prevent perspiration distorting your vision. Ideally, they should also have side-shields to protect from impacts by flying objects. An airtight seal around the eye will do the trick to stay infection-free. Some goggles, like Pyramex’s chem splash (PYR304T-N) even have one-way air vents to allow some airflow without compromising the protection. 3M has a cheap and convenient option (AOS40661-00000-10) that can easily be bought in massive bulk and distributed to hundreds of rescuers.

 

Also necessary is protection for your hands, which will be your most essential tools in the field. Two great products come to mind. HexArmor’s Chrome Series 4036 is a waterproof heavy-duty work glove. Besides looking like something Tony Stark would make (HexArmor gloves are instantly recognizable), it feature level-5 cut protection, impact-resistant back-of-hand protection, and top-tier abrasion resistance on the palms. Combine all that with the waterproof H2X lining that fends off the bitterly wet and cold conditions you’ll be facing, and you have an excellent choice for the more extreme situations. In more predictable contexts, you can go with a disposable glove such as the Micromax N89. These are nitrile-coated medical-grade gloves designed for lab work, but what makes this particular product stand out is its long cuff. Even the best gloves are useless if water rushes into them, so this glove can serve a similar function to waders, except for the arms rather than legs.

 

Hurricane season is not over. America is facing devastating natural threats that we can do nothing to stop. But if we prepare in advance and go into recovery operations with a high level of organization, grit, and passion for the suffering, then we can come out of this stronger than ever before. Thanks for reading.

After the Storm

Few things are more devastating or confusing than to be in the path of a natural disaster, and hurricanes are among the worst. Last week, the most brutal storm to hit the United States in 12 years made landfall in Texas: Hurricane Harvey. By now you’ve seen more than enough images of devastation, rescue crews driving boats through flooded neighborhoods, and overcrowded shelters. It hasn’t been as deadly so far as Katrina or Sandy, thank God, but it’s far costlier than any other disaster in American history. The jaw-dropping combination of 132 mph winds and 19 trillion gallons of water, which AccuWeather hauntingly rendered as a gargantuan cube hovering over downtown Houston like the New Jersualem in the Revelation of John (the phrase “Biblical proportions” has been invoked numerous times in the media) have clobbered the region with an estimated $190 billion recovery cost.

 

Here at Enviro we have a track record of stepping up to provide rescue supplies in times of crisis, such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa earlier in 2014. We’re committed to contributing similarly to the Harvey relief effort. It’s the least we can do as Americans and human beings to serve the heroes on the ground with the best of our equipment.

 

In a full-scale cleanup after a disaster of this scale, contamination is the primary concern. The water has wreaked havoc on Texas’s urban infrastructure. The sewers have overflown and deadly parasites and molds are free to infest the environment, as well as toxins from industrial sites. You need protection from those hazards, and companies like DuPont have got your back with Tyvek coveralls. Their signature flashspun polyethylene fabric protects against particles as small as 1 micron, and its protective qualities are inherent to the fabric and therefore resist wear and abrasion. You’ll want serged seams on the wrists to keep water from rushing into the sleeves, but for your legs you’ll need full waders. If you’re feeling particularly cautious, you might want to get the variety that comes with a respirator-fit hood, which brings us to the next item.

 

Airborne contaminants are everywhere in a situation like this. The National Hurricane Center website has a helpful animation that shows the spectrum of damage that hurricane winds can cause to a house and to a stand of palm trees. If you adjust the wind speed approximately to where Harvey’s winds reached their zenith, half of the house is disintegrated and blowing in the wind, and the trees are stripped of their fronds. That’s a cloud of building material (possibly predating the asbestos ban) floating free in the air to be inhaled. You need a respirator that has the right balance of high-performance and portability. The N95 particulate respirators from 3M are a good family of products to explore, some of which feature a nifty exhalation valve that prevents it getting too hot in there. The punishing heat of Texas in summer combined with the oppressively wet conditions and the level of exertion involved in rescue work way well make it a necessity.

 

This won’t be the final word on Harvey in this space, since it only covers two categories of product that we carry at Enviro. There will probably be more posts about the relief effort after the weekend, so stay tuned and stay safe.

Introduction to Hearing Protection

The landscape of the safety industry is complex, with an abundance of variations on a core group of products and concepts that can be paralyzingly overwhelming to even look at, let alone navigate. How is the average everyman supposed to know what he needs when the market is glutted with options that all seem the same? There are dozens if not hundreds of blogs out there to help guide the consumer towards the purchasing choice that’s best for them, and it’s anyone’s guess if reviving this blog will contribute meaningfully to that conversation. But here at Enviro we try to make it a point to reach out to the consumer base and help them determine what they need. We’ve organized our site to sort products into the most prominent categories that the industry recognizes, and we partner with the finest brands in the industry so that you get only the best. One of our most popular categories is hearing protection, which has been receiving a lot more attention lately.

Hearing protection has gone underrecognized and underregulated for decades, and labor environments have only been getting louder. Multiple generations of workers have suffered permanent damage to their hearing systems that could have been avoided if protection were emphasized in their workplace. OSHA’s estimate is that 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise annually, and that $242 million goes toward hearing disability comp. That’s money down the drain! Thankfully, interest in the hazards of occupational noise exposure is increasing, and we’re seeing more proactivity towards conserving the hearing of the working class.

So at what point is noise dangerous? The medium that carries sound from its source to your ear is air (that’s why you can’t hear anything in outer space), and the volume of sound is measured in decibels, the difference in air pressure that is created when a sound wave is present. Every hearing protection product has a noise reduction rating (NRR) that approximates how many decibels are subtracted from the sound entering the ear when the product is being used correctly.

There are many brands out there that offer hearing protection, but 3M is the one that we carry that has the largest presence on the site and draws the most enthusiastic response. 3M is one of the titans of the research/development world, and the innovations that come out of their labs are second to none. A few months ago their E-A-R EasyTouch earplugs hit the market, which feature a winning combination of comfortable thermoplastic resin coating and polypropylene stem that allows the worker to push it into the ear and find the perfect fit, without worrying about contamination. If you prefer the classic model, we also carry standard roll-down earplugs in a wide array of styles and functionalities.

Where our inventory really shines, in my opinion, is in earmuffs and headsets. This is where you can see some of that overwhelming variety I mentioned before. The most important distinction to know, however, is that between active and passive hearing protection. Earplugs and most earmuffs are passive: they block out all sounds, including those you might want to hear, such as conversation. Active hearing protection has a sophisticated, hypersensitive inner system that measures how loud sounds in the area are and selectively mutes those that are above a certain decibel threshold. I’ll get more into the exciting particulars of these products in future posts.

Made with Pride in the USA!

It is not a secret to anyone who lives in this great country of ours we call The United States of America, that our economy is in trouble. Big trouble. In the past, the USA was responsible for a large portion of the exporting, however, in recent years things have changed. Other countries are exporting their goods to the USA in large quantities that are produced at cheaper costs, which usually makes it less expensive for the end user. Sounds like a good deal doesn’t it? Spending less money. Cutting costs. Everyone wants to save a dollar, right? Well, as many of us Americans are purchasing products made in other countries, businesses are closing and jobs are being lost here at home.

So, why not buy American and keep our country going strong? Purchasing products from manufacturers located in the USA will boost the morale of the nation, which will in turn keep the American economy going. Typically, products that are made in the USA are of better quality because of the strict regulations, which produces a better quality products in the end. Buy American and save the American economy.

There are American citizens who only purchase American made products and take the time to do research to find out what products fit their standards. For some, cheaper price wins, no matter where the product came from. There are many safety products that are Made in the USA. Here are just a few of the most popular safety products that are American made:

Uvex and AO Safety make safety glasses for those seeking American made products. All meet ANSI Z87.1 standards. With a variety of shapes, lenses, colors, and styles available you will be sure to find what you are looking for.

If you have been looking for Uvex Protege safety glasses but have stopped short of purchasing because they aren’t made in the USA, well now you have no reason not to buy! As of July 2009, Uvex Protege are proudly made in the USA. Featuring a unique design, lightweight comfort, and exceptional performance.

The ever-so-popular Peltor Kids Earmuffs are also Made in the USA. These earmuffs provide excellent hearing protection for children with sensitive hearing and kids that need hearing protection. Perfect for kids up to age 7, these low profile earmuffs are lightweight and easy to wear. Most children aren’t bothered by the earmuffs and don’t fuss or take them off.

With the Swine Flu Pandemic all around us, you need to be protected. 3M Particulate Respirators are some of the most popular Swine Flu protection products in the market and they’re Made in the USA! You can’t go wrong with 3M respirators. 3M respirators are not only for protection against the Swine Flu, but their selection helps match the respirator to the work environment.

Every American has the ability to help prevent businesses downsizing or closing. When you buy American made products it helps keep our country working, and helps keep the companies that you work for in business, and it helps our country. So, don’t just be American, Buy American!