World Environmental Health Day is on Thursday, September 26, 2013. WORX Environmental Products will be providing tips, tricks, and educational resources every day this week to take part in the global discussion. This year’s theme is “Emerging Environmental Health Risks and Challenges for Tomorrow.”
We’ve discussed in the past the impact of hand hygiene and water usage on environmental and financial concerns, but it’s worth reiterating some key points in honour of World Environmental Health Day this Thursday.
- In North America, industrial workers use an average of 3,500 gallons of water each, just to wash their hands every year
The chemicals released not just from being removed off of worker’s skin, but also from industrial hand washes, are in many cases (up to 38%) not exposed to treatment prior to release into surface water. Hands need to be washed, and harsh contaminants need to be removed from the skin, but an environmentally-responsible, biodegradable hand cleaning product can be introduced to reduce harmful exposure. Additionally, offering a product that is safer on hands will reduce impact and incidents of skin ailments such as drying, cracking, and occupational dermatitis. Visit www.ecologo.org and www.greenseal.org to find products that work in your industrial application and offer environmentally-responsible alternatives to traditional cleaners.
- Employee health, and facility productivity, can be increased through vigilance in hand washing
Hand washing and maintaining a clean workplace has been shown to reduce respiratory and other illnesses obtained at work by up to 58% alone. When employees are healthier, absenteeism is reduced, and productivity is increased. With the increase in productivity comes an increase in efficiency, which can reduce environmental impact even further. All just from ensuring employees wash their hands.
- Water conservation can save money and provide a healthier environment overall
Whether it’s a city-level plan to institute porous paving or adding rooftop gardens to encourage water recycling, conserving this resource is imperative to ensuring a healthy environment for the future. Large manufacturing facilities can benefit from rooftop gardens to reduce noise pollution and increase energy efficiency and air purification.
In the long term, there are hundreds of ways to create a positive impact on environmental health in industry. We will review one option in a little more detail tomorrow, so be sure to check back!