Thursday, February 15, 2018

Beads, Sewers, Fun and the Environment

Beads and fun go together during Mardi Gras, so it's said.  But those thousands and thousands of beads have a dark side. 

Not only do these beads make their way into the sewer system clogging drains and wreaking havoc, the time it takes to clean them up and the impact on the environment due to the mercury, lead and other toxins in them is tremendous.

And when the facts come to light that most of these beads come from sweatshops in China where girls work 16 hours/day stringing beads for a measly pay of 10 cents an hour, the dark side of it all sky-rockets. 

Below is a table taken from the article linked here regarding how many beads are left behind after the partying ends.

Imagine 1,800 tons of beads

Michael LaRussa with the Krewe of Hercules estimates that Terrebonne Parish parades toss 1,800 tons of beads to crowds during the Mardi Gras season.
That’s the same weight as:
878 Ford F-150 pickups.
360 killer whales.
18 Boeing 737 Max 9 airplanes.
25,714 kegs of beer (full).
45,000 Labrador retrievers (full grown, male).

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

~ 2300

Our last poll asked about how many students grace the hallways and classrooms of the new high school.  The answer is about 2300. 
When classes are in session, you wouldn't know there was anyone there. But when the lunch bell rings are its passing time, the hallways are packed.  And that doesn't include the 200+ staff as well.

Smart Toilet

There's now a toilet that responds to voice commands via Siri and other smart devices.  Here's the short article about this unique John. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Wrong Soap, Burned Children

Secondary labeling is a must and the law. It is imperative that chemicals and cleaning solutions are always checked as being the right product.

An article from cmmonline.com highlights why. Several kids washed their hands at a YMCA in California and ended up in the hospital because the wrong product had been filled in the soap dispenser. Here's what the article said.

If you’re a facility manager, it’s a good idea to periodically review product safety with your cleaning staff and make sure all solutions are labeled correctly. Several children who washed their hands in the restroom of a YMCA facility in Palm Desert, CA, earlier this month were injured when a janitor unintentionally put harsh dishwashing soap in the hand soap dispensers, the Desert Sun reports.
The children were taken to a hospital to treat rashes on their hands and arms. Emergency responders found the restroom soap dispensers held an industrial-strength dish soap containing lye, which can cause burns when it comes in contact with skin. Fortunately, the children were not seriously injured and were treated and released.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Global Glitter Ban

Glitter has always been the nemesis of custodians and janitors the world over. Now, it seems, not only is glitter a nuisance due to the impossibility of removing it completely from carpets and other surfaces, it seems that scientists are concerened about the affects of glitter on the environment.  The followiing is an article published by Fox News regarding this concern.



Environmental scientists have urged glitter to be banned worldwide due to the damage the art supplies does to the environment.
Glitter, which is commonly used in arts and crafts, is comprised of small plastic particles. Scientists argue the particles get into the ocean and the environment where animals eat it, CBS Philly reported.
Professor Richard Thompson did a study and discovered a third of fish caught in the United Kingdom contained plastic particles.
“I was quite concerned when somebody bought my daughters some shower gel that had glitter particles in it,” Thompson told The Independent.  “That stuff is going to escape down the plughole and potentially enter the environment.”
Dr. Trisia Farrelly, a scientist at New Zealand’s Massey University, said glitter should be banned because it was a microplastic.
Microplastics, or small pieces of plastic, have been known to pollute ocean, including the Great Lakes, the National Ocean Service reported. The microplastics come from many places, but microbeads, a tiny piece of plastic that were common in beauty products, were the biggest culprit. The small particles easily get into water filtration systems where they wind up in oceans and lakes.
The BBC reported that some British nurseries have banned using glitter in its establishments due to the “terrible damage” the arts supplies does to the environment. Some states in the U.S. have banned using microbeads in beauty and health products.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Custodial Responsibilities

100% of the votes for our last poll were correct.  Custodians do perform more tasks than just cleaning.  As the question highlighted, custodians deal with HVAC, lighting, fire, security and many more systems and building-related demands than meets the eye.  A custodian has to know more than just how to clean.  They have to know their building and how to run it.

World Toilet Day - 2017

What is World Toilet Day?

World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Today, 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste.
The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to a safely-managed household toilet by 2030. This makes sanitation central to eradicating extreme poverty.
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Self-Disinfecting Door Pads

Scientists at the University of Leeds in England have designed a system that disinfects doors after each use and has helped to reduce the amount of germs by 90%.  Handwashing is still always recommneded, but this new system will help to reduce germs and cross-contamination immensely.

Door Pads

Sunday, September 17, 2017

More Fat News

Here's more information from National Geographic regarding fat blobs clogging sewers in cities around the world.

Fat Blobs

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Custodian vs Janitor

The poll that just ended asked if there was a difference between a custodian and a janitor.  100% of the answers said yes.

Back on April 16, 2008, I posted about the difference between the two titles. I've re-posted those comments again here.

What Is A Custodian?

What is a custodian? Do they differ from a janitor? What is their job like?
Basically, the two words are similar. A janitor often times refers more specifically to the work they do, that of cleaning. A custodian is portrayed as more than just a cleaner. He also maintains and takes care of a building as well as performing cleaning tasks. In a school setting, custodian is the preferred term.
The duties of a custodian differ from person to person depending on their job description, the time of day they work and their skills. They may be required to unlock the building in the morning, put up flags, bring in newspapers, de-ice walkways in cold weather, check HVAC systems and so on. Then there is the exciting world of cleaning! Toilets, sinks, floors, vacuuming, dumping garbage, windows and more. Add to these duties such things as setting up and tearing down tables, chairs, risers and other furniture for special events. And don't forget the sporting events. Cleaning these events requires cleaning the stadium at times, the gyms, locker rooms, concession stand area, bathrooms and more. At times, it can be quite overwhelming and tiring.
Custodial work can also be enjoyable. Having the opportunity to meet teachers, the public, administration, public officials and others adds to our ability to interact with others and to absorb more knowledge. Dealing with outside vendors who specialize in various trades is an exciting way to add to our repertoire of information too. And don't forget the students. What an ideal way to be a mentor and example for our young people!
Custodial work involves much, but much can be given back. Although at times stressful, the benefits outweigh the negatives in the long run!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Fatbergs

F.O.G. (Fat, Oil, Grease) These lipids are clogging sewers around the world and wreaking havoc on city sewer systems.  This National Geographic video gives a glimpse of what is happening.  More info can be found on nationalgeographic.com.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Restrooms, Phones, Germs and Toilet Plume

According to an article in Time magazine, using your phone in the restroom "and then leaving with it is kind of like going in, not washing your hands and then coming back out...It’s the same level of concern."  Studies show that phones have ten times more germs than toilet seats. And because toilets spray creating a "toilet plume" when flushed, that just adds to the germs present.  So, be smart, wash your hands frequently and stay healthy.