Monthly Archives: June 2021

What is Ambient Air?

A good article to read regarding ambient air.  Have a great day!

What is Ambient Air?

Source –

What is Ambient Air?

By David Sherwin – 08.08.2017

“Air quality is an important issue, especially in highly regulated industries such as coal mining, cement processing, and coal- and oil-fired power generation. Rules such the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standards are designed to protect the public and keep ambient air pollution-free. Ozone is another pollutant of ambient air that has been linked to global warming and health risks for children. The 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone addresses primary and secondary ozone standard levels.

What do we mean by ambient air?

Safeopedia explains that ambient air is atmospheric air in its natural state, not contaminated by air-borne pollutants. Ambient air is typically 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. The extra 1% is made up of a combination of carbon, helium, methane, argon and hydrogen. The closer the air is to sea level, the higher the percentage of oxygen. Manufacturing processes and the burning of fossil fuels has directly impacted ambient air quality by releasing a high level of industrial and chemical pollutants into the atmosphere.

What is ambient air pollution?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines ambient air pollution as potentially harmful pollutants emitted by industries, households, cars, and trucks. Of all of these pollutants, fine particulate matter has the greatest effect on human health. Most fine particulate matter comes from fuel combustion from vehicles, power plants, industry, households, or biomass burning. WHO estimates fine particulate matter causes 25% of lung cancer deaths, 8% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths, and 15% of ischaemic heart disease and stroke.

Advanced technology is available to monitor particulates in ambient air. These instruments measure critical regulatory parameters including PM-10 and PM-2.5 mass concentration as it exists in ambient air. Monitoring for aerosols and dust within a designated area, whether for research or routine input, can include various industry-proven particulate matter technologies, such as gravimetric sampling, light scattering, beta attenuation, and inertial weighing TEOM technologies.

Portable and personal instruments are also available to monitor ambient air in the workplace to help detect the presence of toxic vapors and gases. Without such equipment, respirable particles can settle deep in the lungs, resulting in serious health and respiratory problems, such as decreased lung function, asthma, irregular heartbeat, Black Lung Disease and chronic bronchitis.

According to the U.S. EPA, there are many reasons why ambient air monitoring is needed:

Provide air pollution data to the general public in a timely manner;
Support implementation of air quality goals or standards;
Evaluate the effectiveness of emissions control strategies;
Provide information on air quality trends;
Provide data for the evaluation of air quality models; and
Support research (e.g., long-term studies of the health effects of air pollution).”


Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Hand Sanitizer

We have had to use hand sanitizer so much lately!  But how does it work and is it effective against viruses?

How Does Hand Sanitizer Really Work?

How Does Hand Sanitizer Really Work?

Updated March 19, 2020
By Rachelle Dragani

“Hand sanitizer has never had a bigger moment. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend our lives, hand sanitizer has turned into an important part of slowing the spread and flattening the curve.

But in between the globs of hand sanitizer (if you can can get your hands on it, that is) you may be wondering …

How Does Hand Sanitizer Even Work?
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer works by destroying the microbes that make up many bacterias and some viruses.

The main ingredient of these sanitizers is alcohol, usually ethanol (which is the same kind of alcohol you need if you’re brewing a drink like beer or wine), isopropanol (often found in rubbing alcohol, though some formulas have ethanol in rubbing alcohols instead), or N-propanol. Additionally, different manufacturers add ingredients like water, fragrances or ingredients that keep the alcohol from drying out your hands.

It’s the alcohol that does the job, though. When an alcohol-based sanitizer comes in contact with bacteria, a process called denaturation occurs. During denaturation, the alcohol unfolds and inactivates the important proteins and the outer coat of the bacteria. This process makes it impossible for the microbe to stay together, effectively rendering it useless, or killing it.

It’s kind of like if you were wearing a coat to protect you on a cold day, but then you walked by a magical machine that made the coat quickly shred into a million pieces. The pieces would still technically be around you, but when they weren’t held together by the threads that make them into a winter jacket, they wouldn’t be able to protect you – or anything – from the cold. Like the bacteria when it comes in contact with sanitizer, it’s rendered useless.

What About Viruses?
Since hand sanitizers are often called antibacterials, many people believe they’re ineffective against viruses. That’s not 100% true. But far more bacterias have that coat, which is usually referred to as an envelope, than viruses do.

There are enveloped viruses, though, and COVID-19 is one of them.

That means that hand sanitizers that have at least a 60% concentration of alcohol in them can be effective for at least fighting off some of the virus microbes that could be on your hands. You don’t need to go higher than 95%, as the killing of germs seems to top out there. Look for the percentage of alcohol listed right on the bottle.

If you are trying to use a homemade sanitizer or one where you can’t find the percentage of alcohol, do not rely on it to kill the virus.

And even if you’ve got one that’s 60% or more, don’t rely on hand sanitizer alone. The CDC recommends washing your hands with warm water and soap when possible, as it’s the best at fighting off all kinds of germs and chemicals. That’s especially the case if you’re trying to use sanitizers to clean your hands in addition to sanitizing them.

“Many studies show that hand sanitizers work well in clinical settings like hospitals, where hands come into contact with germs but generally are not heavily soiled or greasy,” says the CDC.

That means that if you’ve just gone outside to shoot some socially distant hoops in your driveway and come back inside with hands covered in grime, hand sanitizer alone likely isn’t going to get rid of all that dirt. In that instance, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, and save the sanitizer for a boost when your hands aren’t as dirty and greasy.

It’s always important to practice this kind of sanitation, but now, it’s literally a matter of life and death for people around the world. Wash your hands, use a 60% or higher hand sanitizer to supplement if possible and stay safe!”


Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Places that you forget while vacuuming

Getting rid of dust!  It’s a full time job!  Tips and Tricks reminds us to vacuum in these easily forgotten place.

Places that you forget while vacuuming

Ten places that you often forget while vacuuming

“Do you skip these places while vacuuming?

Are you the type who quickly gets the vacuum cleaning done? Or do you make sure to vacuum every corner? With this checklist you can be sure that your entire house remains dust-free. There are a few places in the house that would like to see the vacuum cleaner more often…

Bottom of the shoe cabinet

You often bring in a lot of dirt on you shoes, which then settles at the bottom of your shoe cabinet. You’ll be storing your footwear in a clean place if you vacuum the shoe cabinet more often.

Your mattress

Mattresses are often forgotten when it comes to cleaning, even though we spend many hours on them. A vacuum cleaner ensures that fewer dust mites will accumulate on your mattress. Don’t forget to turn it over regularly and vacuum both sides when you do that.

Brooms and dusters

Do you clean up crumbs or spills a lot? Often the broom and dustpan are within reach to clean everything. But don’t forget that the dusters and brooms themselves also need to be cleaned from time to time. By placing the vacuum cleaner on the bristles of brooms, you avoid spreading more dust while sweeping.

Air and ventilation grilles

Ventilation grilles are very important for the supply of clean air in your home. They are especially indispensable in the bathroom. Due to the air displacement, these grilles attract a lot of dust. So, while you are vacuuming, vacuum the ventilation grilles from time to time to keep the air exchange really clean.

TV or PC sound boxes

Do you have a beautiful sound system next to your television or computer? The speakers of these systems can also use a freshening up every now and then. This is good for your electronic systems, and they will also last longer. Make sure that the setting on the vacuum cleaner is not too high to prevent damage.

Laptop or computer keyboards

The chances are your computer keyboard is anything but hygienic, especially if you regularly eat in front of your screen. Dust and crumbs can collect in the deep grooves. These areas are easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner. Most people seldom do this, so it’s probably time to clean your keyboard.

Cracks inside the fridge

Cracks in the fridge, the crisps drawer and the back of the refrigerator shelves can collect a lot of dust and other debris. Vacuuming the refrigerator every now and then ensures that you keep your food in a clean environment. In addition, a clean refrigerator uses less energy. Always a bonus!

Window sills and frames

Window sills are often a favorite place for pets. Many people also have plants or decorations in front of their windows. All of this contributes to the fact that window sills quickly become dusty and collect hair and other particles. Use the small brush of your vacuum cleaner to clean the window sills.

Kitchen and wardrobe drawers

Drawers are real dust catchers. To keep your items clean – from cutlery to socks – you also need to vacuum the bottoms of your drawers. This is also a good opportunity to sort the contents again.


Use your vacuum cleaner to prevent the dust from your curtains spreading all over the rest of the house. This is a suitable method to clean almost all types of window coverings, from roller blinds to blinds. Choose the right head for the vacuum cleaner to get into every nook and cranny.”


Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.


Every wondered where gemstones come from?  Take a look at this informative article from Thermofisher.  Follow the link to read the full article.

Where Did Those Gemstones Come From?

Where Did Those Gemstones Come From?
By Ali Somarin

“Determining the Origin and Authenticity of Gemstones using EDXRF

Precious gemstones include diamonds and colored stones such as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. While diamonds remain the most expensive gemstone, the colored gems are rapidly gaining in popularity, as evidenced by their increasing use in engagement rings. As the value of colored gemstones increases, so does the need to verify their authenticity and source.

How Do Gemstones Form?

Most gemstones form in the Earth’s crust, approximately 3 to 25 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. Two gemstones, diamonds and peridot, are found much deeper in the Earth. Diamond forms in “kimberlite pipes” that originate in the Earth’s mantle (>125 miles) and end at the surface. Molten magma running through these pipes usually reaches the surface as lava and cools off, but if it doesn’t reach the surface, it cools more slowly, crystallizes, and forms coarse-grained minerals.

The first type of rock, igneous rock, is also formed by the cooling and crystallization of magma beneath the earth’s surface (intrusive or plutonic), or it can be formed when lava flows at the earth surface (extrusive or volcanic). Interlocking crystals grow within intrusive igneous rock and may form gemstones depending on the elements present, the cooling time, and the environment. The slower cooling (in the deep environment), the larger gemstones.

Gemstones found in igneous rock include the quartzes (including amethyst, citrine and ametrine), the garnets, moonstone, apatite, diamond, spinel, tanzanite, tourmaline, topaz and zircon. Some of these gemstones form in pegmatites and hydrothermal veins that are genetically related to igneous rocks.

Sedimentary rock is the second type and gives rise to the transported minerals such as jasper, malachite, opal and zircon. Sedimentary rocks are formed when rock is worn down and the fragments are carried by water or the wind, and they are finally compressed together over time.

The third variety, metamorphic rock, is formed when intense underground heat or pressure changes existing rocks. The beryls (emerald, morganite and aquamarine), jade, lapis lazuli, turquoise, spinel, ruby, sapphire and zircon are formed in metamorphic rock.

How Are Gemstones Found?

Diamond mining is an industrialized process. Diamonds are typically recovered through pit mining, which involves the use of heavy machinery, hydraulic shovels, and trucks to mine diamonds from kimberlite pipes. Colored gemstone (other than diamond) mining, however, is a very different process. Mining for precious colored gemstones is rigorous and time-consuming because the deposits are few and when found, tend to be characterized by small quantities of gems scattered throughout a large amount of rock. Modern mining techniques are of little value in these circumstances, and the deposits are often too small to be profitable for major mine outfits, who leave them to small, independent miners who rely on the same manual techniques they have been using for decades. Nevertheless, in recent years, several major mining companies have entered the gemstone market with new strategies for employing modern mining practice.

How Can You Be Sure a Colored Gemstone Is Real?

As with gold, gemstone counterfeits, or synthetic gemstones, can be mistaken for the real thing. Another important factor in establishing the value of a gemstone is to know where it came from, both geologically and geographically, which can’t be determined visually.

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) is an important tool for the determination of the authenticity of colored gemstones and their geographical origin. Depending on the geological setting, precious gemstones like rubies, emeralds or sapphires from different origins often exhibit a characteristic combination of trace elements at different concentrations. As an example, identification and quantification of such elements may allow tracking an emerald down to its location of origin such as Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, Zambia or Zimbabwe. Similarly, the presence of certain trace elements also helps to distinguish between a valuable naturally formed gemstone (e.g. ruby) and a quasi-worthless synthetic crystal (e.g. synthetic ruby.)”


Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.