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Protect Your Home Through The Year.

http://www.pctonline.com/article/bed-bug-seasonal-study/

https://www.freshfromflorida.com/content/download/3145/19791/p01742_consumerinfo_drywood_0910.pdf

 

The beginning of the year is a time to plan for the upcoming year. One thing that is never planned for is a disaster. While disasters are usually sudden and unexpected, having a plan is the best way to prepare for the worst.

The above graph outlines the relative activity and danger that Termites, Bedbugs, Floods pose to your homes and families.

Floods are prevalent across the country as heavy rain and snowfalls saturate the ground in the winter. Then, when the snow melts, and continued spring rains fall, the ground can’t hold anymore water and floods are caused. Flash floods are also a danger, especially in drought prone areas that have sudden heavy downpours.

Termites pose a threat to your house almost all year round. Subterranean termites are active mostly during summer because the ground is softer and easier for them to burrow into your homes. However,they can be active all year round in temperate places that don’t get too cold. Another major type of termite is the drywood termite. These termites breed and live primarily inside houses and only leave to start new colonies. Because they aren’t affected as much by the outside weather they are active all year but swarmers are most commonly seen during the summer months.

Bedbugs are another pest that pose problems, not so much to your houses but to families and health. Bedbugs become more active in warmer climates. Bedbugs can also travel anywhere on clothing or in luggage. That is why the season for bedbugs is during peak travel months.

We hope this information helps you plan for your home maintenance in the upcoming years. If you need help taking care of any of these problems, using clean, pure heat visit our website www.thermapure.com or call our office at 805 641 9333.

 

ACTIVE DRY HEATING FOR BED BUG ERADICATION WITHOUT AIR FILTRATION IS DANGEROUS AND NEGLIGENT

By: Michael Geyer, PE, CIH, CSP

Heating structures, or areas within structures, is fast becoming the most effective method for bed bug eradication. Active structural heating relies on aggressive air mixing in order to be effective.  However, aggressive air mixing generates significant, potentially harmful, aerosols of particulate matter. Methods exist to control the aerosols and they should be judiciously implemented when using heated air to treat for bed bugs, or any other insect or microorganism. Failing to control the aerosol generated during aggressive air mixing may be negligent.

Why Actively Heat Structures

Structures can be actively heated to kill bed bugs, termites, cockroaches and other insects, as well as to dry- out wet materials, accelerate off-gassing VOCs, and kill and/or reduce the concentration (load) of biological organisms within the structure. Active heating of structures constitutes a “green” approach to insect and organism eradication – it is not a chemical pesticide! In fact, structural heating has been prescribed for the treatment of residences for asthma patients.

Killing Insects and/reducing other biological organisms

Bed bugs specifically, and other biologicals, (e.g., fungi, bacteria, other insects, etc.), enjoy the creature comforts of our buildings and enjoy similar temperatures that us humans enjoy, (i.e., room temperature –

70F (21C)). Particularly, bed bugs gravitate to the warmth of the human body, carbon dioxide that humans exhale, tiny cracks and crevices, and darkness. Like most biological organisms, they suffer when heated to temperatures that are extreme. Most biological organisms do not survive temperatures above 135F (57C) and when structures are actively heated to temperatures of 145F (63C), or more, most biological organisms cease to survive – they die. Therefore, actively heating structures to elevated, lethal, temperatures is an effective method of bed bug control – it kills them.

Effectively Heating Structures

Effective structural heating requires a combination of elevated temperatures, temperature duration, and equal distribution uniformity of the elevated temperature coupled with controlled air movement using fans, pressure differences inside heated areas (relative to outside), and the capacity of the air-delivery and heater system. Effective structural heating is an active methodology; it is not passive.

Elevated Temperature and Duration

In order to increase temperatures within a structure, it is accomplished by delivering hot and relatively dry air into a treatment area. There are several methods of structural heating with hot, dry air. For example the heat source may provide electrically-generated heat using infrared heaters, or burning a fuel-gas via forced- air burners or boilers, and the heat can be delivered directly or indirectly, or both. The method of heat generation and the delivery method are somewhat irrelevant to this discussion  regarding why actively heating structures without air filtration is dangerous. Consequently, the means and methods of heating structures will be limited in this narrative. However, suffice it to say that active structural heating involves elevated temperatures and requires holding the target temperature for a duration that is sufficient to achieve the intended goal, e.g., kill bed bugs.

Distribution uniformity

To achieve the goal of eradicating bed bugs or other insects, just as with drying, off-gassing chemical vapors, and/or reducing biological loads, the distribution of heat must be uniform and equal. If materials, buildings, rooms, furnishing, etc., are not heated uniformly and equally, and if lethal temperatures are not achieved,

the result is a “no kill”. If too high of temperatures are delivered into a treatment area, then damage to heat sensitive items may occur. Also, moisture and chemical vapors can be liberated from hot materials only to be reabsorbed into cool materials. Insects have legs and wings (i.e., they are motile) and they may move from hot, uncomfortable areas into areas that are less stressful. Moreover, materials that are only slightly heated, to a temperature of 90F to 100F (32C to 38C), may exhibit ideal conditions for some microorganisms (e.g., fungi, bacteria, protozoa, etc.) to flourish; as if they were in an incubator and their concentrations may actually increase due to (raised) temperatures that are less than lethal. Thus, effective structural heating must achieve a uniform and equal temperature increase to a target, lethal temperature.

Aggressive air mixing/currents

In order to achieve uniform and equal distribution of elevated temperatures within a structure or area being actively heated, aggressive air mixing must be employed. Hot air is more buoyant than cool air, and if not aggressively mixed, a heated room will have a hot ceiling and a cool floor, with varying degrees of temperature in between. When aggressive air mixing is employed, which is necessary for heating uniformly and equally, particulate aerosols will be generated – lots of aerosols! Experts have measured, via hand-held, direct-read laser particle counters, significant increases in particulate concentrations in contained structures when aggressive air mixing is employed, with or without heating. Increases in particulate concentrations have been measured 5 to 10 orders of magnitude above that of ambient and/or passive conditions, i.e., conditions prior to activating the fan units to create the aggressive air-mixing environment.

Aggressive air mixing is necessary to uniformly and equally distribute hot air when actively heating an area, to raise temperatures of target locations and materials. It should be anticipated that the aggressive air mixing will also create significant aerosols and distribute those aerosols far and wide; even into areas not targeted for the heat treatment effort. If not controlled, it is likely that surfaces (be it floors, furniture, counters, etc.) within the treatment area, post aggressive air mixing, are covered with a layer of fine particulate matter. This matter, having been released and distributed during the active heating process, may be extremely harmful to building occupants if not mitigated. In the case of bed bugs, pillows, blankets, sheets and the like are covered with particulate matter. Occupants’ head and nose are placed in direct contact with this particulate matter.

Controlled exhaust air

When structures are actively heated, the air within the treatment area may quickly saturate with vapors that need  to  be  removed,  and  particulates  that  need  to  be  filtered.  Moreover,  aggressive  air  mixing  will distribute these out-gassed vapors similar to aerosol distribution. Vapor concentration can be controlled via controlled exhaust. Effective filtration will reduce particulates inside the treatment to safe levels and also within the exhaust air. Consequently, filtration will mitigate particulates released into the environment; where they may harm sensitive receptors downwind.

Aerosols Form When Structures Are Actively Heated

A known effect of active heating is the generation of significant concentration of aerosols. There are several mechanisms involved that contribute to the generation of aerosols and the mixing of particulates when structures are purposefully heated with hot air. As mentioned above, aggressive air mixing is substantive in the liberation and distribution of particulates. Aggressive air mixing also breaks-up matrixes and bundles of particles ( i.e., large aggregate particles are broken into many smaller particles.) Also significant is the drying aspects of hot air. Many hydrophilic organic particles have hydroscopic water molecules adsorbed onto them,  thus  increasing  their  weight.  Heating  increases  the  vapor  pressure  exhibited  on  these  water molecules, liberating some of them, and this phenomenon makes the hydrophilic particle lighter in weight and more easily made airborne. Water molecules are also polar and small particles may be held together due  to  the  attraction  with  polar  water molecules. These  small  particles  may  be  released  when  water

molecules are no longer present. Fungi, when pressured with aggressive air currents and/or drying air, are known to sporulate (release spores). Even small quantities of fungal biomass can be anticipated to release millions of mold spores when stressed by hot, dry air in an aggressive air mixing environment. Moreover, as the fungal biomass dries it can be anticipated to break apart and fracture in small particles, thus releasing many small mold products. Lastly, hot mixing air currents generate static electrical potentials along with the movement of particulates in the hot air. Static electrical potentials in the mixing air will affect particulates that are polar (i.e., have electrical potentials on their surface) and some will become airborne that may not necessarily do so. Bottom line…in a hot, aggressive, air mixing environment, significant concentrations of aerosols  must   be   expected.  Moreover,   they  must  be   mitigated.  Otherwise  a  potentially  harmful concentration of aerosols will be present in the air during treatment and residue (post-heat) on surfaces.

What Makes Airborne Particulates Dangerous

Large and small particulates – PM10’s, PM2.5’s, nano-particles

It is well known that it is the small particulates that cause the most damage to lung tissues when inhaled deep into the gas exchange region of the lungs, and very small particles can cross cell membranes. Large particles are typically trapped by impaction on mucous surfaces of the nose and throat, impingement on bronchi, and entrapment within cilia. Small inert particles, those much less than a micron, are thought to move in and out of the lungs with minimal affect, but this is not true of chemically reactive or sensitizing particles.  Many  atmospheric  studies  have  confirmed that  aerosols  of  an aerodynamic  diameter of  10- microns or less, or PM10’s, are dangerous. More recent studies have looked at the damaging affects of smaller particulates, those that are near 2.5 microns in size, or PM2.5’s. There is current concern for engineered products referred to as nano-particles that are far smaller than 1 micron; yet their health affects are not fully understood at this time.

Of some relevance in this study of lung-damaging particulates is the difference between particles that are organic versus inorganic. Organic particles, in general, have a much lower density and less mass than most inorganic particles, and larger organic particles are more buoyant than most inorganic particles of similar size. In structures that are aggressively treated with hot air, both organic and inorganic particulates must be anticipated. In situations where biological particulates are of concern (e.g., water-damaged buildings with mold   spores,   mold   fragments,   dust   mites,   bacteria,   etc.)   the   hazard   of   bio-aerosols   cannot   be underestimated because of their potential to be bio-reactive, toxigenic, and/or infectious. Moreover, inert airborne particles have been shown to contain microorganisms…essentially hitching a ride on the inert particle. Moreover, particulates cannot be thought of as unique, pure, or isolated. More often, airborne particles are clusters, bundles, and matrixes of a combination of several sub-particles, organic and inorganic, active and inert. A sampling of airborne particles generated during aggressive air mixing will detect major and minor fractions of fibrous and non-fibrous elements; inerts such as quartz, feldspars, and silicates; chemical sensitizers such as zinc and related corrosion products; organic sensitizers such as mold spores, pollen, and insect feces; and a host of other stuff.

Recent studies show inhaled particulates are dangerous

Studies have shown that the inhalation of small particulates, especially those less than 10- microns in size, may increase respiratory disease, cause lung damage, and induce asthma, allergic reactions, cancer, and premature death. Most affected by the inhalation of small particulates are children with young and developing   lung   tissue,   people   with   respiratory   dysfunction   and/or   sensitivity,   and   people   with compromised immune systems. It is speculated that some bio-aerosols may trigger hypersensitivity in compromised individuals. Moreover, there are claims by some indicating that an acute exposure to bio- aerosols may also trigger hypersensitivity. This said, and given that hot, dry, aggressive air mixing environments  have  all  the  attributes  to  generate  and  distribute  significant concentrations  of  aerosols,

aerosol control is essential. Given that structural heating often occurs in buildings that are water-damaged, exhibit uncontrolled growth of fungi and bacteria, or excessive and uncontrolled growth of insects (e.g., bed bugs, fleas, termites, etc.), the control of harmful bio-aerosols generated when actively heating a structure for bed bugs or other insects or for biological remediation is a necessity. Not controlling aerosols generated within an aggressive air mixing treatment area is negligent; especially when given the fact that there are effective controls that can mitigate aerosols.

Engineering Controls – Air Filtering to Remove Aerosols

Exhaust  alone  is  not  effective  or  prudent  to  mitigate  aerosols  generated  in  an  aggressive  air  mixing

environment. Solely exhausting air from an area subject to aggressive air mixing will assist in diluting the concentration of aerosols within the treatment area, however, a significant portion of the aerosol will remain and settle-out, and the rest is emitted with the exhaust air. If not controlled, even the particulate- laden exhaust air may be dangerous to receptors downwind from the point of exhaust. The most effective and practical method of capturing and removing the aerosol is through the prodigious use of fan units equipped with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter media. HEPA-filtered fan units have a proven ability to mitigate particulate aerosols and where enhanced filtration is warranted, ultra-HEPA filter media is available. Moreover, when HEPA-filtered fan units are incorporated into remediation projects where biological control is warranted and where biologicals may become airborne (e.g., mold spores), capturing the bio-mass on a filter media is similar to other methods of physical, gross removal, i.e., the filter is a physical removal method. HEPA air filtration is effective and warranted to control particulate aerosols, but several elements must be designed into the use of HEPA-filtered fan units to achieve efficacy.

Sized for rate of air exchange

To control aerosols, HEPA-filtered fan units must be adequately sized, in number and in capacity (i.e., flow rate), to cycle sufficient air through the treatment area being subjected to aggressive air mixing. In some circumstances, a rate of 4 to 6 air exchanges per hour (AE/hr) may be adequate to control the aerosol generated. In other circumstances 10 to 20-AE/hr, or more, may be necessary to achieve control in soiled (dirty) locations. If the area to be heat-treated is very clean, 1-AE/hr may be adequate to maintain ambient conditions (i.e., pre-mixing particulate concentrations). Only through the use of direct read aerosol monitors can the immediate concentration of airborne particulates be measured in areas subjected to aggressive air mixing and, subsequently, the capacity of filtration and air exchange rates thus determined; to mitigate aerosol concentrations to ambient conditions or less.

The environmental remediation industry’s standard of care is based on 4-AE/hr, then modified (based on direct-read measurements) as conditions warrant. In lieu of using direct-read aerosol monitors, areas being heat-treated, when coupled with aggressive air mixing, should use HEPA filtered fan units sized for a minimum air exchange rate of 4 per hour.

Controlled input and output

In situations where it is necessary to exhaust air laden with moisture and/or chemical vapors, some HEPA- filtered fan units’ exhaust can be ducted-out of the treatment area to remove the vapors. In doing so, the exhaust air is clean and filtered of particulates. Other HEPA-filtered fan units can sit inside the treatment area, un-ducted, and cycle air through the filter element – solely to capture particulates and physically remove them. Where exhaust is warranted, it must be controlled and the flow rate of moisture-chemical laden air removed from the treatment area must be measured relative to the flow rate of air (hot or ambient) into the treatment area. Too much or too quickly removed, and the treatment area will not rise in temperature if heating is a goal; this is especially critical when the treatment area is indirectly heated via heat exchangers. Too high an input flow of hot air into a treatment area and the movement of aerosols may be difficult to control; thus air filtration is essential to mitigate the movement of particulates into spaces

that are not part of the treatment area when high input flow rates are used. When HEPA-filtered fan units are judiciously used, the movement of “clean” hot air within the treatment area and into other “non- treatment” spaces does not carry the risk of particulate contamination.

Located to mitigate dead-zones

HEPA-filtered fan units must be located in sufficient quantity and capacity to achieve an air exchange rate, and so located to filter air in locations that would otherwise allow particulates to settle-out. Corners, small alcoves, nooks, and enclosed spaces are typical locations where air mixing currents may be limited or reduced, and these are locations where an un-ducted HEPA-filtered fan unit can assist and enhance air mixing currents, as well as capturing particulates (for physical removal) that might otherwise settle-out (in these areas).

Cleaning the Air – Before, During and After Heating

In most circumstances, areas that will be treated with hot air also warrant cleaning, i.e., they are dirty, soiled, and/or contaminated. During the time that equipment is being mobilized and set-up to generate and deliver hot air into a treatment area, HEPA-filtered fan units should be one of the first pieces of equipment placed, put into operation, and activated. They can immediately begin to capture aerosols generated by activities taking place to prep and deliver heat to a treatment area. When hot air is being delivered into a treatment area and being actively distributed therein, HEPA-filtered fan units should be operating continuously and without interruption. Once the target temperature and duration is reached and the cool- down phase begins, HEPA-filtered fan units should still be continuously operating. Moreover, they should continue to operate during the demobilization effort and be one of the last pieces of equipment turned-off and packed out; thus mitigating particulate aerosols the entire event, from beginning to end.

Measuring effectiveness

Where heat treatment is performed, an easy and effective method of measuring the effectiveness (post- treatment) of particulate removal is with a tape lift – similar to the tape lift method used to determine to presence-species of mold on a surface. Particles adhered to the tape lift can be evaluated and identified using a polarized light microscope. In some circumstances it may be useful to compare surfaces within the treatment area to surfaces outside of the treatment area. This said, the tape lift and particle identification should not replace the application and use of direct-read, real-time particle counters – hand-held devices that can provide real-time data on the effectiveness of dust mitigation measures during aggressive air mixing efforts.

Summary

In summary, heating structures or areas within structures is fast becoming the most effective bed bug eradication method and as a remediation technique. Effective structural heating relies on equal and uniform distribution of the hot air and this is best accomplished with aggressive air mixing. However, aggressive air mixing generates significant aerosols. Methods exist to control the aerosols and they should be judiciously implemented  to  do  so  –  HEPA-filtered  fan units  are  the  best  available  control  technology  to  mitigate aerosols generated during active heat treatment. Failing to control the aerosol generated during an effort that employs aggressive air mixing may be negligent, because studies have indicated that it is very likely to be harmful or injurious to persons exposed to the post-treatment aerosol.

About Michael Geyer, PE, CIH, CSP

An expert in mitigating chemical-biological contaminants in buildings, conducting property conditions assessments, improving indoor air quality, mitigating vapor intrusion, characterizing landfill gas, and building off-grid homes.

Michael has 20-years of professional experience in environmental engineering, preceded by 15-years of construction experience working in the trades, building off-grid power systems, and supervising building projects. He has built hundreds of residential homes (both tract developments, custom houses and remote ranch-style homes) and commercial buildings, and many special-use structures, e.g., theater, sport venue and schools. His unique construction experience has been valued by developers/owners building on compromised property (e.g., Brownfields) with known chemical or biological hazards. He specializes in high- hazard construction efforts and those impacted with methane, hydrogen sulfide, VOCs or radon. His experience in the remediation of buildings compromised with biological agents using heat as a remediation technique, is extensive.

Michael’s current work includes: mitigating soil-gas vapor intrusion (VI); assessing outdoor and indoor air quality (IAQ); conducting building envelope and property condition assessments (PCAs); designing engineering controls to enhance occupant safety; and oversight of construction projects impacted by chemical hazards. Michael also designs and builds off-grid and utility inter-tie power systems, super- insulated cabins and high-performance homes for private parties. Michael contracts with all types of clients, including: municipalities, developers, private property owners/managers, and industrial sector clientele, as well as professional practice firms such as engineering, architecture, insurance and law. Michael is often retained by counsel to assist litigation, review case documents, provide expert opinion, and support arbitration. Michael also shares his considerable knowledge with others. He routinely presents case studies at national conferences and seminars and is often requested to provide classes at industry-sponsored professional development courses (PDCs), and for five years he has volunteered his time to the Kern County (California) Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee. He is active with his community, his 4-H club and supports home-education.

 

REFERENCES

1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Air Quality System, Hazardous Air Pollu http://www.epa.gov/oar/data/help/haqshaps.html

2. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, OSHA Technical Manual – Section III: Chapter 2, Indoor Air Quality Investigation. http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_iii/otm_iii_2.html

3. California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board, ARB Fact Sheet: Air Pollution Sources, Effects and Contro http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/health/fs/fs2/fs2.htm

4. American Lung Association: Selected Key Studies on Particulate Matter and Health:1997 – 2001. http://www.kintera.org/atf/cf/%7B7A8D42C2-FCCA-4604-8ADE-

7F5D5E762256%7D/PMSTUDIES.PDF

  1. 5. Baron, Paul A, PhD. National Institute of Safety and Health/DART – Measurement of

Fibers. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nmam/pdfs/chapter-l.pdf

  1. 6. Peter Adams, Carnegie Mellon University – Medical News Today – Harmful

Particulates Blanket East Coast. March 2, 2007

  1. 7. Health Impacts of Smog in Toronto – Toronto Environmental Alliance 2008 http://www.torontoenvironment.org/campaigns/climate/smogfacts
  2. 8. National Institute of Health and John Hopkins University – Particulate Reduction

Education in City Homes (PREACH). May 2008 http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00466024

  1. 9. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) – Fine Particulate Matter

Associated with Increase in Hospital Admissions for Cardiovascular Diseases. September 2006 (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/sep/2006/pmcardio.cfm)

  1. 10. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) – Risks of Coarse

Particulate Air Pollution. September 2008 http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/sep/2008/particulate.cfm

  1. 11. Nanoparticle Handling Fact Shee Environmental Health and Radiation Safety.

University of Pennsylvania. May 2003 http://www.ehrs.upenn.edu/resources/docs/labsafety/nanoparticles.pdf

  1. 12. Bed Bugs – Biology and Managem Harvard School of Public Health. 2005 http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/bedbugs/

How to Safely Heat Treat for Bedbugs, Termites, etc.

ThermaPure® Overview of Heat Illness Prevention Programs[i]

ThermaPure Heat Problems

Heat Illness Prevention

The application of high temperature to a structure is currently being applied by a variety of different contractors, including restoration, pest control, environmental remediation and IAQ. These are industries that use process(es) to significantly increase the temperature in a target area. These contractors need to be concerned over the well being of their workers and workers need to be concerned with their health. Indoor heat is a potential worker hazard. It is important that these businesses have a Heat Illness Prevention program is in place.

Indoor Heat – A Potential Worker Hazard

Humidity increases the risk to worker health and safety. When performing pest treatments or while killing microbes if the substrates are dry the relative humidity in the work area will be low.  But as you begin to dry a wet building the relative humidity will increase in the work area and potentially cause a more dangerous environment for the workers.

In 2005 the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health investigated[ii] twenty-five cases of heat related illnesses that occurred between May and November of that year.  The cases investigated involved only men employed in various industries including agriculture, construction, transportation, service and public safety.  Over two-thirds of the individuals spoke Spanish as their primary language.  Most of the incidences occurred outdoors, although one involved indoor-only work.  The work performed was described as moderate in regard to degree of strain required to complete the tasks.  These 25 incidences resulted in 13 deaths and 9 hospitalizations greater than 24 hours, some for significantly longer times.

Heat Illness Prevention Standard – CA Title 8 §3395.

As a result of their investigation, on June 15, 2005 the State of California enacted a Standard[iii] proposed and developed by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) for Heat Illness Prevention. This Standard was developed with a conviction that the best defense against heat-related illnesses and fatalities is through prevention.  The Standard was developed primarily out of response to heat related injuries in outdoor work settings.

Revisions to CA Standard– 2015

On May 14, 2015 Title 8 §3395, Heat Illness Prevention Standard was revised with new and additional information and procedural requirements. In the revised standard Heat Illness is defined as: a serious medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load, and includes heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, and heat stroke.

California Standard Includes “Indoor Heat”

A November 2, 2015 News Release[iv] from the CA Department of Industrial Relations announced that “Cal/OSHA Wins Unprecedented Decision in Case Protecting Workers from Indoor Heat. In this decision, the ruling affirmed that California’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) can be used “to address hazards that the standard does not specifically identify, including indoor heat.”

ThermaPure® Encourages Adopting a Heat Illness Prevention Program

Companies that deploy high temperatures in or to a structure should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the California Standard.  ThermaPure® encourages this. If not, the OSHA “General Duty Clause” and Injury and Illness Prevention Programs and any other appropriate guidelines should be followed.  OSHA does not have a specific guidelines section for heat illness, but does have a webpage addressing the issue.[v]However, the Cal/OSHA Standard is reflective of a higher standard of care for Heat Illness Prevention and ThermaPure® recommends that it be considered as a best practice. For California licensees it is necessary that a Heat Illness Prevention Program is included as a part of the Illness and Injury Prevention Program. For licensees outside of California, this is the only specific heat illness prevention program available.

Heat Illness Prevention – Cal-OSHA – 2016

The following sections are taken verbatim from the Heat Illness Prevention e-tool from the California Department of Industrial Relations Cal-OSHA website.[vi] Some of the copied sections have comments added by ThermaPure for clarification primarily regarding the ThermaPure process:

  • Heat Illness – “More to the Story”,
  • Types of Heat Illness and Common Signs/Symptoms,
  • What Causes Heat Illness,
  • Loss of Heat Balance, and
  • Preventing and Responding to Heat Illness

Heat Illness – “More to the Story”

What Happens to the Body

Human beings need to maintain their internal body temperature within a very narrow range of a few degrees above or below 98.6 °F. People suffer from heat illness when their bodies are not able to get rid of excess heat and properly cool. The body losses it’s “heat balance” because it cannot shed heat at a fast enough rate.

When the body starts to overheat the blood vessels get bigger and the heart beats faster and harder. More blood flows to the outer layers of the skin from the internal “core” so that the heat can be released into the cooler outside environment. If this process does not cool the body fast enough, or the outside air is warmer than the skin, the brain triggers sweating to cool the body. Sweat glands in the skin draw water from the bloodstream making sweat. The sweat evaporates and releases the heat from the body. During an hour of heavy work in hot weather, the body can easily sweat out one quart of water.

Shifting blood to outer body layers (the “shell”) causes less blood to go to the brain, muscles, and other organs (the “core”). Prolonged sweating can deplete the body of water and salt causing dehydration. Because the body looses water and the salts that are needed for the muscles to work, muscle cramping may occur. The physiological strain on the body from heat illness may cause the person to become dehydrated, weak, tired, and confused.

As dehydration gets worse the body can no longer keep its temperature within the normal range, sweating stops and severe heat illness occurs. In heatstroke, the person’s body temperature rises rapidly damaging the brain, muscles and vital organs causing death.

Rapid Onset

Heat illness can develop very rapidly and is not always obvious before it becomes life-threatening. During high heat, heat illness can develop faster and even employees who have been doing their job for sometime are a risk.

 

Variability in Symptom Recognition and Reporting

The symptoms of heat illness may vary between individuals. Also, employees may not accurately recognize and report the symptoms. As a result victims may be placed at a greater health risk. A person certified to provide first aid should be available at the work site to initially evaluate potential heat illness victims. See Emergency Response Procedures

Victims of heat illness may not report the full range of symptoms they are feeling because they:

·                     Choose not to for fear of negative consequences

·                     Deny that the symptoms may be serious

·                     Have not been trained to identify the symptoms of heat illness

·                     Are not physically able to report (e.g., they may have fainted)

·                     Are not fully aware of what is happening to their bodies (e.g., they may be delirious or mentally confused)

Types of Heat Illness and Common Signs/Symptoms

Heat illness affects the body, causing employees with mild symptoms to experience weakness, tiredness, and mental confusion, or even exhibit irritable or erratic behavior. Heat illness can also affect employees work performance and increase their risk of having accidents.

Employees should be encouraged never to discount any discomfort or symptoms they are experiencing when working in heat, after work or before the next workday. Heat illness symptoms can occur even after work has stopped. They should immediately report any problems they are experiencing to a supervisor and coworker, or a family member to seek prompt medical attention. Employees and supervisors must be fully trained on the prevention of heat illness before they are assigned to work in locations where they are at risk for heat illness.

 

Heat illness can be one or more of the following medical conditions including: heat rash, heat cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. The following symptoms are commonly associated with the different heat illness medical conditions. Given the variability in recognition and reporting of heat illness symptoms, the information listed below should be used only as a general guideline to train employees and supervisors.

Heat Rash (Prickly Heat) – Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating and clogged pores during hot, humid weather.

General Symptoms:

  • Can cover large parts of the body
  • Looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters
  • Often occurs on the neck, chest, groin, under the breasts, or in elbow creases
  • Uncomfortable so it can disrupt sleep and work performance
  • Complicated by infections

Heat Cramps – Heat cramps affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous work activity. Sweating makes the body loose salts and fluids and minerals. If only the fluids are replaced and not the salts and minerals painful muscles cramps may result.

General Symptom:

  • Painful muscle spasms in the stomach, arms, legs, and other body parts may occur after work or at night

Fainting (Heat Syncope) – Employees who stand for long periods or suddenly get up from a sitting or lying position when working in the heat may experience sudden dizziness and fainting. In both cases, the fainting is caused by a lack of adequate blood supply to the brain. Dehydration and lack of acclimatization to work in warm or hot environments can increase the susceptibility to fainting. Victims normally recover consciousness rapidly after they faint.

General Symptoms:

  • Sudden dizziness
  • light-headedness
  • unconsciousness

Heat Exhaustion – Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and the salt contained in sweat.

 

Cool skin temperature is not a valid indicator of a normal body temperature. Although the skin feels cool the internal body temperature may be dangerously high and a serious medical condition may exist.

General Symptoms:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Painful muscle cramps
  • Extreme weakness and/or fatigue
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizziness and/or headache
  • Body temperature normal or slightly high
  • Fainting
  • Pulse fast and weak
  • Breathing fast and shallow
  • Clammy, pale, cool, and/or moist skin

 

Heatstroke

Heatstroke is usually fatal unless emergency medical treatment is provided promptly.

General Symptoms:

  • No sweating because the body cannot release heat or cool down
  • Mental confusion, delirium, convulsions, dizziness
  • Hot and dry skin (e.g., red, bluish, or mottled)
  • Muscles may twitch uncontrollably
  • Pulse can be rapid and weak
  • Throbbing headache, shallow breathing, seizures and/or fits
  • Unconsciousness and coma
  • Body temperature may range from 102 – 104 °F or higher within 10-15 minutes

If the muscles begin to twitch uncontrollably, keep the person from self-injury. Do not place any objects in the mouth.

Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until emergency medical treatment is provided to the victim.

What causes Heat Illness?

The following is taken from the Cal/OSHA website:

T8CCR 3395 (b) Definitions states the following:

“Environmental risk factors for heat illness” means working conditions that create the possibility that heat illness could occur, including:

  • Air temperature
  • Relative humidity
  • Radiant heat from the sun and other sources
  • Conductive heat sources such as the ground
  • Air movement
  • Workload severity and duration
  • Protective clothing and personal protective equipment worn by employees

“Personal risk factors for heat illness” means factors such as:

  • Water consumption
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Degree of acclimatization
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Use of prescription medications that affect the body’s water retention or other physiological responses to heat.
  • An individual’s age
  • Health

More on what causes Heat Illness:

Loss of Heat Balance

Heat illness results when the body is out of heat balance. Heat balance means that the heat the body produces equals the heat it looses. When the body is out of Heat balance it produces and retains more heat than it looses causing heat illness.

Sources of Body Heat

Heat building-up inside the body from moving muscles during physical work activities is the major source of heat build-up in the body. About 75% of the stored energy the body uses to do physical work is converted into heat. Only about 25% of the energy is converted into the movements required to perform work. The more strenuous the physical activity, the more internal heat the body produces. Performing physical work activities when risk factors for heat illness are present increases the internal heat the body produces.

Added to this internal heat is the external heat load on the body which comes from working where environmental risk factors (e.g., hot air, direct sunlight or lack of effective shading) are present. A major danger from warm and hot weather, high relative humidity and lack of air movement is that these factors greatly slow the body’s natural processes of releasing heat to the surrounding environment. All of these and other risk factors can increase the risk of heat illness.

Body Heat – Losses and Gains

The body looses and gains heat in various ways. These include:

  • Evaporation– the loss of heat through sweating. This is a major way the body loses heat. High relative humidity reduces this heat loss and thus reduces the body’s main cooling mechanism. Therefore, during periods of high relative humidity (such as in a water restoration application) there is a greater risk of developing Heat Illness. An indication of how relative humidity affects the risk of developing Heat Illness is called a Heat Index Value. Heat Index Values or Apparent Temperatures, are given in degrees Fahrenheit and measure how hot it really feels when relative humidity and air temperatures are both considered.
  • Radiation– the transfer of heat through space. The body loses or radiates heat to surrounding surfaces if the body is hotter than these surfaces. The body can gain heat from these surfaces if they are hotter than the body.
  • Convection– the transfer of heat in a moving fluid like air. Air flowing past the body can cool the body if the air temperature is cooler than about 95 °F. The body can gain heat through convection if the air is hotter than about 95 °F.
  • Conduction– the transfer of heat between surfaces touching each other. The body can loose heat directly through the skin if surfaces it touches (e.g., clothes, chairs, floors) are cooler than the skin. The body can gain heat through conduction if the surfaces it touches are hotter than the skin.
  • Inhalation/Exhalation– the loss of heat from warming and wetting of the air by breathing in and out. Accounts for about 10% of the body’s heat loss.
  • Heat Storage– some heat is lost through storage in the body.
  • Excretion– excretion of urine and feces accounts for about 3% of the body’s heat loss.

Risk Factors

Heat build-up inside the body from physical work activities is the major source of heat load. In combination with this, working where the environmental and personal risk factors listed above are present, creates an even greater possibility that heat illness could occur.

Cal/OSHA investigations (Study 2) showed that in 2006 heat illness cases occurred in temperatures as low as 80 °F.

Environmental risk factors can increase the external heat load on the body. Personal risk factors may increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing heat illness. For example, not drinking enough water or drinking alcohol can both cause dehydration. Other personal risk factors which may increase the risk of heat illness include previous heat illness, excessive weight of the person, and poor levels of fitness. They can also affect an individual’s ability to acclimatize or adapt to working in hot or warm conditions.

More on Environmental Risk Factors

Heat build-up inside the body from physical work activities is the major source of heat load on the body. During a high heat period, the external heat load on the body from working in extremely hot temperatures is much greater. Also, if it does not cool down at night the heat load in the body continues to build up and the body never has a chance to cool down. This is especially true for employees who do not have access to air conditioned environments or other ways to cool down and rest in the evening. In addition, if there is humidity sweat does not readily evaporate off the skin. This greatly slows the body’s natural processes of releasing heat to the surrounding environment causing the body to quickly overheat. These cumulative effects of high heat can occur over one or more days causing employees to return to work with increased risks of developing heat illness.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – The more the body is covered with materials which limit cooling, the greater the potential risk for heat illness. Wearing PPE which covers the body or face, limits air movement and the cooling effects of sweating. This results in the greatly reduced release of heat from the body to the surrounding environment and an increased heat load on the body. These factors make work tasks harder.

The type and level of PPE worn and the nature and duration of the work tasks, are the main factors which determine employee’s additional risk of heat illness from PPE. The types of PPE employees are required to wear can vary widely depending on their work tasks and exposures. PPE worn can range from hard hats, gloves or boots all the way up to a fully encapsulating chemical protective suit and a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

Inappropriate Work Clothing – In warm or hot work environments, or where other environmental risk factors are present, wearing inappropriate work clothing (e.g., dark colored or tight fitting clothing), can increase the risk of heat illness. Under these conditions wearing appropriate work clothing can protect against the sun and other risk factors.

 

More on Personal Risk Factors

Not Drinking Enough Water – In warm or hot conditions, drinking enough water (one quart per hour during the entire work shift) to stay healthy is vital for maintaining a normal body temperature. When working in these conditions the body looses a lot of water through sweating. Sweating helps lower the internal body heat but as the body continues to loose water it needs to be replaced to prevent dehydration and heat illness. Dehydration results in less perspiration so the body cannot get rid of heat fast enough causing increased heat load. Without sufficient water the body overheats.

Dehydration

Remind employees not to wait until they are thirsty to drink water. Being thirsty is not a good signal of the body’s need for water. By the time a person is thirsty they may have already lost too much water and their work performance has already declined. Employees should be encouraged to drink water frequently before and after work. Common symptoms of moderate to severe dehydration to make employees aware of and to have them check for include:

·                     Dark yellow or brown urine

·                     Reduced output of urine

·                     Rapid heart rate, muscle fatigue

·                     Loss of strength and dexterity

·                     Lightheadedness, dizziness

·                     Headache, blurred vision

Note: Drinking sufficient amounts of water allows for light or “straw” colored urine

 

Alcohol consumption

It is important to avoid drinking alcohol altogether. This is because alcohol increases dehydration and the body’s requirements for water. Sweating can cause the body to loose large amount of water. As the body becomes dehydrated more water is required to replace bodily fluids. Dehydration increases a person’s susceptibility to heat illness and deteriorates their work performance. Therefore, it is important for employees working in warm or hot environments to drink sufficient amounts of water and avoid drinking any alcohol beverages.

 

Lack of Acclimatization – In general, individuals are more susceptible to heat illness until their bodies have had time to adjust. Adjusting to working in the heat is called acclimatization.

Individual differences

Acclimatization is important for all employees working in warm or hot temperatures or where other risk factors for heat illness are present. However, in any large group of workers, remember that there are wide differences in the ability of individuals to adapt to the heat. These differences in individuals cannot be accurately predicted prior to exposure to warm or hot conditions. For these reasons even some acclimatized individuals may still develop heat illness given the temperatures and other risk factors present at a particular worksite at a given time.

 

Changes in work activities, locations or conditions

Even employees who were previously fully acclimatized may still be susceptible to heat illness and need further acclimatization when workplace conditions change. Such changes include:

·                     More physically demanding work tasks

·                     Working with required respiratory or personal protective equipment which reduce heat loss from the body

·                     Work locations with hotter temperatures

·                     High heat

Caffeine, Carbonated Sodas, Sports Drinks and Other Beverages – Sodas and drinks containing caffeine and sugar may increase dehydration. Therefore it is important to encourage employees to choose water over these types of drinks. Also, if employees choose these other drinks they may drink less water.

Note: The cautious use of sports drinks may be appropriate in the treatment of certain heat illnesses (e.g., heat cramps) but employees need to consult with their health care provider first.

Medications and Drugs – Certain “over-the-counter” medicines, prescription medicines, and other drugs may increase the risk for heat illness and other serious medical conditions. These substances may alter the body’s ability to deal with heat and reduce the individual’s awareness of the symptoms of heat illness. Because of this it is important:

  • For employees to consult with their health care provider and inform them that they will be working in warm or hot conditions, before taking any prescription, “over-the-counter” medications or other drugs
  • To only take these medications or other drugs under the advice of their doctor

Preventing and Responding to Heat Illness

Preventing heat illness protects your workers and is good business. Health and safety problems and other health problems like heart attacks and falls, may result from heat illness at the workplace. Heat illness may increase the costs of doing business by:

  • Reducing employee productivity and efficiency
  • Increasing your medical and emergency services costs
  • Taking up supervisory and administrative time
  • Increasing workers’ compensation premiums

Effective communication and the 10 elements listed below are keys to an effective program for preventing and responding to Heat Illness in your workplace.

California employers are required to take these four steps to prevent heat illness:

Training

  • Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.

Water

  • Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, or four 8 ounce glasses, of water per hour, andencourage them to do so.

Shade

  • Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes.They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down. (ThermaPure note: Because a ThermaPureHeat project is indoors, a cool-down location is analogous to “shade”).

Planning

Cal/OSHA investigations showed that in 80% of the cases in which suspected heat illness occurred, the employer did not have a heat illness prevention program. Not having such a program caused harms including fatalities, serious injuries etc. The Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention regulation requires employer’s procedures to be in writing, and to be made available to employees and representatives of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) upon request.

These written procedures must include:

  • Complying with the requirements of the standardT8 CCR 3395(f)(1)(B)
  • Responding to symptoms of possible heat illness, including how emergency medical services will be provided should they become necessaryT8 CCR 3395(f)(1)(G)
  • Contacting emergency medical services, and if necessary, for transporting employees to a point where they can be reached by an emergency medical service providerT8 CCR 3395(f)(1)(H)
  • Ensuring that, in the event of an emergency, clear and precise directions to the work site can and will be provided as needed to emergency responders. These procedures shall include designating a person to be available to ensure that emergency procedures are invoked when appropriate.T8 CCR 3395(f)(1)(I)

As a general rule ThermaPure recommends that no one stay in a treated building during the heating process for more than 20 minutes.  Even if you do go inside be sure the other person onsite knows where in the structure you are going and if possible always have a “buddy” as you enter buildings that are being heated.  This recommendation applies to workers, property owners, tenants and the like who might be participating, in some form or another, in a ThermaPureHeat® treatment.

The Buddy System

As was previously mentioned, the “Buddy System” is recommended. When your technician team is performing a ThermaPureHeat® treatment and a worker goes into the treatment area make sure that the technician is either with somebody, or has contact via a mobile radio or cell phone with another person who is outside the treatment area. At the very least, make sure that the person entering the treatment informs a co-worker what he/she is doing and where he/she is going to be working inside the project.  Think of what happened to the worker who was immobilized by cramping. If he were in the treatment area by himself and had fainted, he probably would not have been discovered until 30 minutes later when workers were going back inside to check the temperatures and the moisture levels.

Cal/OSHA Employer Sample Procedures for Heat Illness Prevention, Title 8 §3395

As a major component of Title 8 CCR §3395, Heat Illness Prevention Standard, Cal/OSHA stresses prevention as the primary tool to fight heat illness.  The Standard specifically states that California employers with any outdoor places of employment must comply with Title 8 CCR §3395, the Heat Illness Prevention Standard.  To assist employers in the development of a program to implement the Standard, Cal/OSHA developed a sample procedure[vii] as a tool.

In this sample procedure Cal/OSHA states that the procedure provides minimal steps for application in most outdoor work settings.  They further state that “in working environments with a higher risk for heat illness (e.g., during a heat wave, or other severe working or environmental conditions), it is the employer’s duty to exercise greater caution and additional protective measures beyond what is listed in this document, as needed to protect their employers.”  ThermaPure® has interpreted this statement to encompass California workers employed by E-Therm and TPE licensees to deploy the ThermaPureHeat® process. This interpretation has been confirmed in California by a 2015 court ruling in which Cal/OSHA won an unprecedented decision in a case protecting workers from Indoor Heat. In this press release, Juliann Sum, Chief of Cal/OSHA stated: “California is the only state with an outdoor Heat Illness Prevention standard. Now all workers, including those who work indoors like warehouse workers, are protected from the hazard of heat.”

It is important to understand that Cal/OSHA does not intend for these procedures to supersede or replace the application of any other Title 8 regulation, particularly Title 8 CCR §3203, Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).  The Heat Illness Prevention Program may be incorporated into the Employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program.  Although this standard is specific to California employers, E-Therm and TPE recommend all licensees develop a similar program for incorporation into their Illness and Injury Prevention Program or Safety and Health Program.

Applicable Regulations or Standards

  • 29 CFR 1910 – General Industry Standards
  • 29 CFR 1926 – Construction Industry Standards
  • OSHA Technical Manual (OTM) TED 1-0.15A, Chapter 4 – Heat Stress
  • Title 8 CCR §3395 – Heat Illness Prevention Standard
  • Title 8 CCR §3203 – Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP)

[i] ThermaPure® Heat Technician Training Manual, 2016.

[ii] “Cal-OSHA Investigation of Heat Related Illnesses”, State of California Memorandum, February 17, 2006, https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/heatillnessinvestigations-2005.pdf.

[iii] California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Subchapter 7, General Industry Safety Orders Group 2, Safe Practices and Personal Protection, Article 10. Personal Safety Devices and Safeguards §3395. Heat Illness Prevention.

[iv] “Cal/OSHA Wins Unprecedented Decision in Case Protecting Workers from Indoor Heat” Department of Industrial Relations, State of California, News Release No.: 2015-101, November 2, 2015.

[v] “Water. Rest. Shade. The Work Can’t Get Done Without Them”, July 27, 2016, United States Department of Labor, OSHA, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html?utm_source=Twitter.

[vi] “Heat Illness Prevention etool”, California Department of Industrial Relations, Cal-OSHA division, Jul 27, 2016, http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/etools/08-006/index.htm.

[vii] “Employer Sample Procedures for Heat Illness Prevention,” California Department of Industrial Relations, Cal/OSHA, May 2015.

Learning from History

This short documentary on the history of asbestos is very interesting. It can really make you think about current chemicals, GMOs, and manufactured materials that we are using in society today. It took over one hundred years from the time asbestos was first recognised as causing health concerns, to the time that asbestos was banned. Asbestos is still used in places like India!

The remnants of asbestos will be found in the United States for years to come. That is one of the reasons why filtration is so important to the ThermaPure process. Please check with your heat technician and make sure that they are running a HEPA filter.

STEFANY HEDMAN WESTENSKOW ASSUMES PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE POSITIONS AT THERMAPURE AND ITS LICENSING COMPANIES

New CEO Succeeds her Father, David Hedman, the Companies’ Late Founder, President and CEO

VENTURA, Calif., June 8 – The ThermaPure companies announced today that Stefany Hedman Westenskow has assumed the role of president and chief executive officer of E-Therm, Inc, and TPE Associates, LLC, the licensing companies for ThermaPureHeat®. Westenskow succeeds her father, David Hedman, who passed away peacefully at home on May 13 after battling cancer for several months. Age 59, Hedman was founder, president and CEO of the ThermaPure family of companies – Precision Environmental, PrecisionWorks, E-Therm, TPE and ThermaPure – and made remarkable contributions to the pest control and restoration industries by developing Thermapure’s structural pasteurization process of sterilizing structures using clean, hot air.

“Our family and all of us at ThermaPure are deeply saddened to share the news of my father’s passing,” stated Westenskow. “He leaves behind an important legacy of leadership, dedication to service, family and faith.” David Hedman also leaves behind substantial intellectual property; his patented processes prevented hundreds of thousands of pounds of deadly toxins from polluting the environment.
Hedman’s Legacy
Mr. Hedman’s passion as an inventor and entrepreneur began when studying engineering and economics at Stanford University. He started the first of a series of companies out of a desire to reduce environmental hazards in residential and commercial structures without using toxic chemicals. In the 1990s, he began developing ThermaPureHeat®, the now patented technology that is the application of clean, dry, hot air instead of dangerous and deadly chemicals to a structure to reduce or eliminate environmental contaminants. Nearly 30 years later, Hedman’s invention is the leading technology in removing environmental hazards from homes and workplaces, with numerous patents and trademarks.

New Leadership
Stefany Hedman Westenskow has been part of the ThermaPure companies’ leadership since 2007 and worked closely with her father on all management and operations issues at the companies while also overseeing the legal department for three years beginning in 2013. Maintaining the current, capable team, Westenskow plans to grow the ThermaPure brand with a renewed mission to protect and pursue innovative and environmentally sound solutions for pest and restoration issues. In an internal statement, Westenskow committed to honoring Stedman’s memory by “continuing the work he believed in so deeply and protecting what he worked so hard to achieve.” She pledged to run the companies as usual and as her father founded them, “with a stalwart and dedicated focus on innovation, environmental consciousness, teamwork, honesty, and smart and ethical business practices.”

Memorial Service
A memorial service to honor Mr. Hedman’s life was held in May. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a special fund set up by the Boy Scouts of America:
Hedman Philanthropic Fund
1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, Texas 75038

About ThermaPure
ThermaPureHeat® is a patented technology that has revolutionized the pest control and restoration industries through the controlled application of sauna like temperatures to a structure or portion of a structure with a strong emphasis on simultaneous filtration to reduce the potential for spreading contaminants. It has been proven in tens of thousands of applications to be an effective treatment for wood-destroying organisms, bed bugs, mold, bacteria and viruses without the use of toxic chemicals.
ThermaPure’s intellectual property includes several patents and trademarks. Additional companies in the ThermaPure family include Precision Environmental, Inc., an environmental remediation services and operating company; PrecisionWorks; E-Therm, Inc., a licensing company; and TPE Associates, LLC, a pest services licensing company. With headquarters in Ventura, California, the mission of these companies is to reduce humanity’s exposure to lethal chemicals and carcinogenic substances, to improve the quality of life for asthma sufferers, and to provide living and working conditions that have less exposure to dangerous mold, bacteria, viruses and chemicals.

What Does a Bed Bug Look Like?

When you first begin to suspect you have bed bugs, you probably haven’t even seen them yet. You may wonder, “How big is a bedbug, what does it even look like?” For your reference and convenience, here is a bedbug image guide.

Here is an image of a bedbug next to a penny, you can see how small it is:

Bedbug with penny

Here is a picture of a bedbug on a cotton swab, this gives you a closer look at one:

bedbug on q-tip

Here is an image we took of a bedbug next to a small paperclip:

bedbug and blurry paperclip

Here is a photograph of a bedbug next to the tip of a pencil:

Bedbug with Pencil

This is a photo of a bedbug next to a stamp:

Bedbug stamp travel closeup

Here is a bedbug compared with a seed on lined paper:

closeup bedbug and seed

As you can see, from far away they would look similar:

Bedbug with seed

Here is an picture of a bedbug on a scale, you can see how small it is, it doesn’t weigh much:

Closeup bed bug on scale

We hope these pictures have helped you to see how big (or rather small) a bed bug is. ThermaPure has a long history of treating structures for bed bugs. If you have a problem with them, please contact us.

How do you protect workers from heat exhaustion? Do consultants require specific heat illness prevention safety measures as a part of a spec?

An increasing number of restoration contractors are utilizing high temperatures to dry water-damaged structures. Temperatures inside the structure are frequently heated over 105F and as high as 150F. What types of protection is available for workers in these conditions?

In 2005 the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, investigated twenty-five cases of heat related illnesses that occurred between May and November of that year.  The cases investigated involved only men employed in various industries including agriculture, construction, transportation, service and public safety.  Over two-thirds of the individuals spoke Spanish as their primary language. The work performed was described as moderate in regard to degree of strain required to complete the tasks.  These 25 incidences resulted in 13 deaths and 9 hospitalizations greater than 24 hours, some for significantly longer times. As a result, Cal-OSHA has since developed a Standard for Heat Illness Prevention and incorporated it into Title 8. Part of the requirement is a prevention program.

Do most restoration contractors have a Heat Illness Prevention program and what does it consist of? Do consultants typically specify Heat Illness Prevention?

Alliance Environmental Group Receives the 2015 ThermaPure® Best Practices Performance Award

IMG_2384

David Hedman, CEO of ThermaPure, Inc., announced the company’s first “Best Practices” Award to Alliance Environmental Group, Inc. The annual award was developed to recognize the ThermaPure licensee that best exemplifies the combination of performance and quality in delivering the ThermaPureHeat process.

“The application of elevated temperatures to a structure is a complex process and only the well trained are able to perform this successfully,” stated Hedman. “Alliance has repeatedly demonstrated this ability through their project success, training and quality control programs, and certainly management. We are extremely proud to recognize Alliance and their outstanding performance.”

In the past three years Alliance has steadily increased the number of ThermaPure projects and will complete well over 2000 ThermaPureHeat projects in 2015. What is significant about this performance is that in each of these three years, Alliance has decreased the number of heat related damages. To date in 2015 the cost of damages has been less than .5% of heat revenues.This is an impressive number and a reflection of an outstanding team effort.

IMG_2365

Alliance uses the ThermaPure technology in Pest Control for bed bugs and termites and for Environmental projects including the management of biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, and mold. Alliance recently had significant success using the technology for odors, including smoke. They have done restorative drying on water loss projects, particularly those involving contamination where structural pasteurization is effective.

Joe McLean, CEO of Alliance Environmental Group says “ThermaPure technology has been a great addition in the Alliance portfolio of services.  It has helped us reach clients and successfully serve them using a revolutionary new method.”

Alliance Environmental Group’s mission is to be the leading environmental services company by delivering innovative, customer-driven solutions to our clients and partners. We continuously strive to set the industry standard by providing safe, efficient, high-quality services; relying on our quality of service, industry expertise, and honest communication; consistently providing a safe environment; and adapting existing services as needed to keep up with our rapidly changing communities.

ThermaPure is delighted with Alliance’s success with the ThermaPureHeat process. Alliance is making a major, green contribution, with this technology. As they perform thousands of ThermaPure projects, they are replacing tons of toxic pesticide chemicals which protects the health of our communities and ecosystems.