Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lab update of activities for December 2009

Green Cleaning Testing
The lab is assisting several companies in their search for safer cleaning methods. One company is looking to replace toluene in its pre-painting operation. The lab has conducted bench testing and some basic piloting of the top products. The company is going to start evaluating these products on-site in January.

The wax removal project started back in October found a couple of options. While the lab has been waiting for sample parts, the company has taken the successful results and applied the testing methods on-site, using other products. They were getting good results with simply boiling water, skimming the wax off the top, then adding cleaner to the boiling pot to remove the rest of the wax.

We are getting ready to work with a LED company to replace acetone in their cleaning process. Representatives from the company came to the TURI Lab to discuss the project.

The site visit at the company looking for assistance in reducing the use of nPB in its aircraft parts manufacturing facility took place and the lab’s objective was to identify possible non-aqueous wipe solvents. Testing is ongoing.

In addition to the end users of safer cleaning products, the lab has been working with a couple of manufacturers of janitorial/household cleaners. Testing has been conducted to help these products get Green Seal and EPA DfE certification/recognition.

Overall, the lab has worked with 7 companies since July and conducted 34 trials.

Database
More work has been done to try and provide end users with a way to easily identify products that have received performance testing for janitorial applications. The plan will be to link the products with certifications to the testing we have conducted for these products. The testing will include all of the relevant testing beyond the minimum testing required for certification, allowing the end user to get a better idea of how well these products work.

Material Safety Data and Technical Data sheet links were checked to determine which products needed new MSDS/TDSs or if the vendor contact information was up to date. Early next year the lab will begin to reach out to vendors to get newer products listed in the database.

Outreach
The lab presented at the TURA 20th anniversary symposium held in early November. The topic focused on how the lab’s hands-on assistance has increased how many companies have adopted the changes we have identified for them. Before the hands-on assistance the lab had a 30% adoption rate, after changing the program, 80% adoption.

The lab is working on a couple of articles looking at how well green cleaners really work. The paper will be based on the testing program that the lab uses to assess products.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can Household Cleaners Be Making You Sick?

The TURI Lab was recently interviewed by WBZ TV Channel 4 for a piece on safer cleaning products. The segment aired November 10.

Interviewed by Prevention Magazine on laundry cleaners and dryer sheets.

How Effective Are ‘Green’ Cleaners?

We have established a partnership with the International Executive Housekeeping Association (IEHA) to promote cleaning products that are both green and effective. The TURI Lab will test and validate high performance products.

The fee-based program will test soil removal efficacy of hard-surface cleaning products—both those certified as green by third-party organizations such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, EPA DfE and EcoForm, as well as products with green attributes—and recognize products that perform well in standard and customized cleaning tests.

Products accepted into the program will be tested using a variety of scientific methods and devices producing a detailed analysis of product performance. Manufacturers can use this information to improve their formulations as well as promote their products. Manufacturers of cleaning products that qualify after testing will be entitled to display the IEHA "High Performance Cleaning Product" designation and logo.

For more information on test procedures, performance benchmarks, or to apply for testing, please contact us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TURI Lab Video - What we do, how we do it.

A short video on the services the lab can provide to companies looking to have the there green cleaners evaluated for performance.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lab update of activities for October 2009

Green Cleaning Testing
We are currently working on a wax removal project for a company that makes glass capillary tubes. Testing has found a couple of aqueous based cleaners that work well in conjunction with heat and ultrasonic energy. The next steps will be to test on dirty parts.

Overall, the lab has worked with 4 companies and conducted 15 trials. Two site visits for new projects were scheduled recently. One was for a company that wanted to replace toluene for oil removal prior to painting. The second end user wanted assistance for reducing the use of nPB in its aircraft parts manufacturing facility.

Database
New products have been added to the database. Uploading testing information will take place by the end of the October. Plans to move ahead with a Janitorial/Household interface have resurfaced again. Stay tuned...

Outreach
A training for janitorial service providers was given at the MA Operational Service Division. The session provided basic information about Green Seal's GS 42 and ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard. The powerpoint slides are available at the Lab section of the TURI website under the Going Green for Cleaning.


The lab has been serving on the steering committee for the upcoming Process Cleaning Conference. The scope of sessions has been the focus of the group so far.

The lab will have a chapter in the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Critical Cleaning. The chapter looks at metal cleaning and how to select, test and implement safer cleaning products.

The lab staff attended the ISSA Interclean conference in Chicago, IL. The lab was there to encourage manufacturer's of safer cleaning products to get their products tested for performance. The lab participated in the International Executive Housekeepers Association's conference that was running concurrent to the ISSA show.

TURI Status
TURI has received funding from the University of Massachusetts Lowell that will allow the Institute to continue work through June 2010.

TURI Lab Video

In partnership with the International Executive Housekeepers Association, the TURI Lab has put together a short video on what the lab can do for safer cleaning product performance testing. Take a look at the video: At YouTube and/or on the TURI site for the lab

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lab update of activities for Summer 2009

Green Cleaning Testing

During the summer we have worked with a couple of vendors to evaluate the performance of their products.

One of these companies requested testing for three of their automatic dish washing powder formulations. Testing followed ASTM D3556 using the two food based soils described within the standard. Additional testing was conducting using the lab's procedure for dish washer testing using ceramic, stainless steel and glass coupons soiled with a modified Hucker's soil.

Later on the same company requested testing for three more products. These were tested for Fryer cleaning, greasy floor cleaning and coffee equipment cleaning. The greasy floor testing followed CSPA DCC17. The other two cleaner performance followed the lab's general testing procedures.

The second company wanted testing conducted for all purpose cleaning performance for Green Seal's GS 37 standard. Four products were tested on the modified Hucker's soil using ceramic, painted steel and plastic coupons. A follow test was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the products for removing hard water stains. This was accomplished by running a marble block test, where a piece of marble is immersed into each product to determine weight loss. The greater the weight loss, the more effective the product will be at removing hard water stains.

Database
The latest update of data to the website CleanerSolutions was conducted on August 10th. Plans are set for student interns to work on evaluating products based on search logs from the site. We will look at what users of the database have been looking for and not finding. With this information, students will test products to fill in these gaps.

Outreach
The lab has submitted the latest edits for chapter in the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Critical Cleaning. The chapter will focus on metal cleaning and how to select, test and implement safer cleaning products. Several case studies will be included on companies the we helped in the past year and a half.

The partnership for the disinfection-sanitation performance testing lab within the School of Health and Environment at UMass Lowell is moving ahead. We are getting ready to begin pilot testing of various products.

The lab has been serving on the steering committee for the upcoming Process Cleaning Conference. The conference is being put together upon the realization that the cleaning industry has been void of any type of trade show in North America for 8 years. PCX will be the only event in North America dedicated to cleaning within the manufacturing process.

The lab will be at a solvent symposium in Marlboro, MA to discuss how we can help companies find safer alternatives to solvents in cleaning applications.

TUR Planner Course
The work the lab does will be integrated into the TUR Planner course. The session will look at how to use the CleanerSolutions database for screening products for safety and performance and how to use P2OASys for a more comprehensive safety profile.

TURI Status Still Uncertain
The situation regarding the state funding TURI receives still has not been fixed. Currently the University has been able to provide funding to keep the Institute up and running on a reduced staff and scope of work.

The lab is still running testing for both end users and for vendors. We are investigating possible partnerships with trade associations that may help to generate funding opportunities.

We will keep you up to date once we know more.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lab update of activities for June 2009

Alternative Cleaning Testing
As our fiscal year finished up, the TURI Lab had a very successful year. We met out goal of working with 25 companies. We conducted 125 cleaning trials for these companies. Our students also conducted 35 cleaning trials based on search requests from the CleanerSolutions website.

Our most recent project evaluated the performance of a new aerosol cleaning product line. The testing compared this new set of safer cleaning products against several other product lines for cleaning performance, odor, residue, gloss, and vertical cling. The Aspire products were as effective as the traditional aerosol formulations in many of the tests.

Another project evaluated the performance of automatic dish washing soaps. These products were compared against an industry standard product. These products were tested following ASTM D3556 Deposition on Glassware During Mechanical Dishwashing and the labs modified version of ASTM G122 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Cleaning Agents.

Students in the lab continued our testing on the Do-it-Yourself cleaning recipes.

Database
The CleanerSolutions database had features added through out the past 12 months. A new Contact the Lab feature was added, making it easier for end users to get their questions answered. An on-line survey was created that should help us continue to make changes based on the needs of the database users.

A new search feature is just being fined tuned that will allow for searching based on part descriptions.

As of now the database contains testing results for 1,860 trials run at the TURI Lab since 1993. That's about a 115 trials a year or about 1 trial every 3 days for 16 years.

Since January 2009, there have been 58,000 searches conducted using the database. From June to July, there have been 2500 visitors to the site from all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as 76 other countries/territories.

Outreach
The lab is currently working on a chapter for the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Critical Cleaning. The chapter will focus on metal cleaning and how to select, test and implement safer cleaning products. Several case studies will be included on companies the we helped in the past year and a half.

We are still working on the setting up a disinfection-sanitation performance testing lab within the School of Health and Environment at UMass Lowell.

The lab has been asked to serve on the steering committee for the upcoming Process Cleaning Conference. The conference is being put together upon the realization that the cleaning industry has been void of any type of trade show in North America for 8 years. PCX will be the only event in North America dedicated to cleaning within the manufacturing process.

Presentations were given in 2008-9 at ASM's Heat Treating symposium in October, TUR Planner continuing education conference in November and at the Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute Seminar in March.

New Cleaning Process

We have two Active Ion units in the lab and will begin testing for performance this fall. We hope to include this product as part of pilot for the disinfection-sanitation performance testing lab.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

TURI Status in Question

For those of you following the TURI Lab on our blog, we thought we would take a second to let you know that our state funding may have been eliminated for the next fiscal year. Read the article in the Boston Globe.

We will keep you up to date once we know more.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lab update of activities for May 2009

Alternative Cleaning Testing
We have surpassed our goal of working with 25 companies. We have worked with 27 companies and run over 100 cleaning trials since July 1, 2008.

Most recently we evaluated a product for Green Seal's GS 41 Hand Cleaners and Hand Soaps Used for Industrial & Institutional Purposes. We put together a video clip of the process



Database
Still working on adding new features to the CleanerSolutions database.

The P2OASys data links for cleaning products is up and running for about 100 products. Here is an example of one product with P2OASys data

Outreach
We are putting together a new lab brochure on services provided.

Planning a meeting with others on UML campus looking into setting up a disinfection-sanitation performance testing lab.

Lab Equipment
Getting trained on new analytical equipment, BYK Gardner Spectro Guide

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lab update of activities for April 2009

Alternative Cleaning Testing
Two more companies have had testing done for them. Currently we are working on evaluating the performance of a dish washing detergent for EPA's DFE formulator program.

Do It Yourself Household cleaners
“What Does This Mean” section now populated with information. We have added to other resources as well.

A short video also has been added for the DIY testing process

Database
Working on Search Wizard to help users when using the database.
Working on a P2OASys data links for cleaning products – up and running
We created a feedback survey on the TURI site to provide a way for users to make suggestions on new features they would like to see.

New Cleaning Processes
We have a new dishwasher unit installed. No more washing our glassware by hand.

A representative from Activeion came in to show us their hand held ionizing cleaning product that recently received EPA certification for sterilization.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More on the DIY Household Cleaners

We have added to the health and safety pages for the ingredients. The "What does this mean?" summaries have been populated for all the ingredients. In addition, material safety data sheet links have been added for some of the products that have been tested in the lab.

Plans are in the works to restart the testing of the remaining formulations. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

CleanerSolutions In The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green

The lab's database is referenced in The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home (St. Martin’s Press), by author Terra Wellington. The first how-to book for everyday parents on saving the environment and improving the health and safety of their families hit bookshelves March 17, 2009.

The mention in the manuscript is a recommendation to use the CleanerSolutions Database to determine the greenness and safety of cleaning products in the cleaning chapter of the book.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Do-it-Yourself Household Cleaning Recipes

Recently articles on the DIY cleaning recipe work conducted at the TURI Lab:

The UMass Lowell Toxics Use Reduction Institute recently demonstrated for The Sun how it tests various solutions for safety and cleaning effectiveness.


Brazilian Women's Group work

Lab update of activities for March 2009

Alternative Cleaning Testing
Testing has finally slowed down. No new companies worked with the lab this past month. We did run some testing for companies already working with the lab.

We are working on case studies documenting the work we have accomplished with several of the companies. The reports are currently being reviewed internally by the TURI staff.

Product Certification Testing
Several companies have been working with the lab to have products evaluated for performance so that the products can be certified by various environmental standards. Testing has been conducted for Green Seal certification for GS 8, 34 and 37. Additional work has been done for product certification for EPA's DfE Formulators project.

Database
Work is continuing on the Search Wizard. Preliminary links to TURI's P2OASys data links for cleaning products have been added. This will give the end users more access to health and safety information for alternative cleaning products.

Outreach
Presented at KSU workshop in Wichita – 3/10/09 on database and lab services. Nearly 80 people were in attendance. A couple of the vendors contacted the lab about getting their products listed on the site.

The lab has been asked to write a chapter in the Handbook for Critical Cleaning, edited by Barbara and Ed Kanegsberg from CRC Press. The chapter will document the lab's success in assisting companies in the search for a safer and effective cleaning product.

Strategic Planning for Next Fiscal Year
Work has begun for next year's plans for the lab. In the works: a hands on workshop held at the the TURI Lab; an on-line P2OASys interface; and a possible disinfection assessment partnership established on the UML campus within the School of Health and Environment.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reducing Solvent Emissions, Green Practices to Improve Air Quality

Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute Seminar

On Tuesday, March 10, a presentation will be given on the lab's process of assisting companies looking to find safer cleaning chemicals. An overview of the CleanerSolutions database will be given.

To find out more about this presentation check here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lab update of activities for January 2009

Alternative Cleaning Testing

We have been busy this year having run 91 trials for 23 companies. Last year at this time we had run 44 trials for 15 companies. We are working on follow up projects for two wire and cable companies and have started working with a light bulb manufacturer.

The six case studies are still being worked on. One of these, looking at how the database can help companies find safer alternatives is nearing completion. Three others are ready to begin the internal review process.

Product Certification Testing
Several companies have been working with the lab to have products evaluated for performance so that the products can be certified by various environmental standards. Testing has been conducted for Green Seal certification for GS 8, 34 and 37. Additional work has been done for product certification for EPA's DfE Formulators project.

DIY Household cleaners
We are working on a “What Does This Mean” section to help people understand the health and safety information on the various ingredients of these recipes and how recipes compare to traditional cleaners. We have conducted lab testing on more recipes for performance. These recipes are used by the Brazilian Women's Group Co-op to support Brazilian house cleaners in their professions while creating community and promoting healthy and environmentally-friendly methods.

Database
Plans are in the works to start adding new features to the CleanerSolutions site. We are working on Search Wizard that will help guide users on how to select a cleaning process that will be best suited to their needs. In addition, we are adding more information on the health and safety of cleaning products beyond our five point screening process.

Outreach
The lab may be presenting on the database and other lab services at an upcoming event during March for Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute located in Wichita. The event is targeted at aerospace, auto body,printers, and misc solvent cleaners. The goal will be teaching participants how they can reduce solvent emission by changing the process, technology, and/or material.