Water Bottle Filling Stations are Fighting the Microplastic Epidemic. Here’s what we know.

 

Microplastics in Plastic Bottles

Less than a month into the New Year, researchers at Columbia University and Rutgers University issued findings on the distressing micro and nano-plastics found in plastic water bottles. The study revealed a staggering average of 240,000 microplastics in everyday liters of water. Researchers took five separate samples looking at three popular bottled water brands. Although the sampled brands remain anonymous, the microplastic levels ran between 110,000 and 400,000 per liter.  

What does this mean for human health? Currently, research on the effects of micro and nano-plastics on human health is minimal. However, researchers do know some things to be true. Once certain microplastics leak into an environment, they will likely stay forever. The human gut accumulates much of the micro and nano-plastics ingested. Researchers attribute this to the minuscule size of specific plastic particles. Some variations present in bottled water are less than a micrometer (a millionth of a meter).  

Recent studies have proven that the time and intensity of microplastic exposure impact the effects. Many studies consider drinking water the most pervasive issue of long-term exposure to plastic particles. These analyses found adverse effects on mouse models, saying “long-term inflammation of particles in liver tissues and chronic inflammation could lead to liver disease and chronic pulmonary disorders” (Gambino et al.). 

Despite minimal research on the human effects, Duke University professor of medicine and comparative oncology director Jason Somarelli found more than 100 known cancer-causing chemicals in bottled water plastics in work yet to be published.  

Woman holding thermos bottle at workplace.

Reusable Water Bottles Have Become the New Norm 

Not only can reusable water bottles reduce the time and intensity of microplastic exposure, but they also improve the global carbon footprint. A study conducted by Oceana estimates that only a 10% increase in market share for soft drink beverages sold in refillable bottles could reduce marine plastic pollution by 22%. This reduction would help prevent tap water microplastic contamination, ultimately mitigating climate change.   

Individuals can also make a tangible impact by substituting plastic water bottles with refillable ones. According to a report published by Plastic Oceans, plastic bottles make up 14% of littered waste. When one person switches to a reusable bottle, they would have prevented approximately 170 plastic bottles from being improperly discarded in just one year. 

The cost effectiveness of reusable water bottles is often overlooked. A paper produced by The Earth Policy Institute explains that bottled water costs more than gasoline at $10 per gallon. Comparatively, the average cost of tap water is about $0.002 per gallon. For manufacturers, this means lower production costs. 

Woman refilling a reusable water bottle at a bottle filling station.Filtered Bottle Filling Stations Facilitate Good Environmental and Human Health  

A popular alternative on the rise are filtered bottle-filling stations like the Hydration Station Bottle Filler and Drinking Fountain. These stations compliment reusable water bottle use by encouraging people to refill their water throughout the day.

While the initial installment of hydration stations may seem costly, they have a lifespan of up to 12 years, provided they are cost-efficient and eco-friendly. Research at the University of Chicago examined an average of 177,480 plastic water bottles saved across 102 bottle-filling stations over two weeks (Piccirillo-Stosser 25). Over a nine-month school year, this constitutes around 3,470,177 plastic water bottles.

Alongside cost efficiency and environmental mitigation, bottle fillers and drinking fountains improve general health. Unlike reusable bottles alone and plastic water bottles, filtered bottle filling stations guarantee fresh, filtered water. Some benefits of drinking filtered water include increased hydration, better taste and smell, decreased risk of certain cancers, and a strengthened immune system.

Seeking Sustainable Bottle Fillers 

The findings of microplastics in plastic water bottles emphasize the importance of mindfulness when it comes to hydration. While transitioning to reusable water bottles protects individual and environmental health, the communal impact of bottle fillers and fountains amplifies the efficacy of health-driven initiatives.  

Click here to learn more about the Hydration Station Bottle Filler and Drinking Fountain. Choose wisely for a healthier and greener tomorrow. 

Hydration Station: Water Bottle Filling Station

ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 Emergency Shower & Eye Wash Testing

The standard guiding the placement, functionality, and maintenance requirements for ANSI/ISEA Shower Eye Wash Testing, which was last revised in 2014. In its current form, it is the clearest and most useful tool for protecting workers from eye, face, and body injuries resulting from caustic and corrosive materials introduced by workplace incidents such as spills, splashes, and blown particulates.

[via OH&S]

The standard requires stringent testing to be conducted on a regular basis to ensure properly functioning equipment is being provided at all times if an incident were to occur. We should all understand that compliance is not a once-a-year or once-a-month responsibility. Compliance is an all-day, every-day requirement. Accordingly, emergency showers and eyewashes are required by the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 Standard to be activated weekly, with a more thorough evaluation on an annual basis. This requirement is established in Sections including 4.6.2, 4.6.5.

In practice, emergency response equipment such as eyewashes and showers sometimes falls to the wayside when it comes to maintenance, especially when prioritized against emergency preparedness equipment such as eye protection and fall protection. It's pertinent to know that OSHA does not prioritize or take a backseat when it comes to providing adequate and properly functioning equipment, regardless whether the equipment aids in pre- or post-incident situations. With OSHA fine increases of 80 percent taking effect in August 2016, violations for inappropriate or inadequate eyewash and shower equipment have resulted in penalties of more than $100,000.

Weekly Minimum ANSI/ISEA shower Eye Wash Testing Performance Requirements

The standard for ANSI/ISEA Shower Eye Wash Testing has three minimum requirements for weekly inspections:

  1. Emergency equipment shall be activated weekly. (Each piece of equipment is required to be activated.)
  2. Activation shall ensure flow of water to the head(s) of the device. (This would be both the eyewash or eye/face wash head as well as the showerhead.)
  3. Duration of the activation shall be sufficient to ensure all stagnant water is flushed from the unit itself and all sections of piping that do not form part of a constant circulation system, also known as “dead leg” portions. (The duration is determined by the length of piping where stagnant water could be sitting before it reaches the head(s) of the unit.)

In addition to the above weekly minimum performance checklist required by ANSI/ISEA, it is recommended as a best practice to conduct additional weekly ANSI/ISEA shower Eye Wash Testing functional checks. The purpose of these additional checks is to fully ensure the equipment is operating correctly and is capable of providing proper first aid in the event of an emergency.

Access

  • Path of travel to the safety station shall be free of obstructions. (This could include hoses, boxes, and doors.) (Sections 4.5.2, 5.4.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2)

Emergency Shower

  • Shower must deliver a minimum of 20 gallons (75.7 L) per minute. (Sec. 4.1.2, 4.1.4, 7.1)
  • The valve shall go from “off” to “on” in one second or less and flushing fluid shall remain on without the use of operator’s hands. (Sec. 4.2, 7.1)

Eye wash / Eye/Face wash

  • Outlets shall be protected from airborne contaminants. (Dust covers must be in place.) (Sec. 5.1.3, 6.1.3, 7.1)
  • The valve shall go from “off” to “on” in one second or less and flushing fluid shall remain on without the use of operator’s hands. (Sec. 5.2, 6.2, 7.2)
  • The flushing fluid of an eyewash or eye/face wash shall cover the areas between the interior and exterior lines of a gauge at some point less than 8 inches (20.3 cm) above the eyewash nozzle. (sec 5.1.8, 6.1.8,7.1)
  • Must provide a means of a controlled flow to both eyes simultaneously at a velocity low enough to be non-injurious. (Sec. 5.1.1, 6.1.1, 7.1)

Combination Safety Shower Eye Wash

  • Combination unit components shall be capable of operating simultaneously. (When the eyewash or eye/face wash is activated, and then the shower is activated, there should be no “starvation” occurring to either of the heads.) (Sec. 7.3, 7.4.4)

Temperature

  • Deliver tepid flushing fluid. (The required temperature range is 60°F - 100°F [16°C - 38°C])(Sec. 4.5.6, 5.4.6, 6.4.6, 7.4.5)

Plumbed Shower & Eye Wash Equipment

As a general statement, all equipment needs to be inspected weekly to ensure that there is a flushing fluid supply and that the equipment is in good repair. If the equipment is of a plumbed design, then it should also be activated weekly to clear the supply line of any sediment buildup and to minimize any microbial contamination due to stagnant water.

Self-Contained Shower & Eye Wash Equipment7603_wHose crop

Self-contained, also often referred to as “portable,” emergency response equipment is typically used in locations where there is either no access to water or at highly mobile sites where hazards are mobile.

The ANSI/ISEA requirement for this type of equipment is to be visually inspected weekly to determine if the flushing fluid needs to be exchanged or supplemented (Sections 4.6.3 and others). The units should be maintained as per the manufacturer’s specific model instructions. A majority of self-contained units that use potable water also offer a sterile bacteriostatic additive option to prevent the water from growing bacteria. An exchange of the water and refill of the additive is required every three months for most additive products, as well as rinsing the unit clean between the exchanges. If an additive is not being used, then the water should be exchanged on a weekly basis, at a minimum, with a thorough tank cleaning monthly. On an annual basis, self-contained units are required to undergo the full test just as plumbed units do.

The question is often asked whether a company must hire a certified tester to conduct the weekly and annual inspections. Fortunately, there are no prerequisite or certification requirements to be able to test the equipment, although having a complete understanding of the installation and performance requirements will aid in ensuring conformance. There are various training tools, including Online Competent Person Training, offered by equipment manufacturers and others for individuals to become subject matter experts. This allows company personnel to get familiar with what to look for and how to conduct the tests appropriately. Many companies today opt to have an outside third-party inspection performed for them annually, which provides an added measure of credibility and assurance to the review process.

Facilities that contain hundreds of shower and eyewash units should strive to create as many subject matter experts as possible. Once trained, the weekly checks can be completed rather quickly. Creating facility maps, having full testing kits available, and holding reoccurring training classes can assist in the tedious, yet crucial weekly task.

Worker protection should be a priority in every safety plan and simply providing emergency showers and eyewashes is not enough. It is necessary to inspect, test, and monitor equipment readiness and performance for optimal response.

Safety Shower and Eye Wash Testing Kit

Model 9011 is the new ANSI compliant Safety Shower Test Kit for showers and eyewashes. It includes a 5-gallon bucket with lid and marked line indicating the 2 gallon mark, a shower sock and 3-piece pole to direct water into bucket, eyewash gauge, tape measure, thermometer, ANSI checklist for testing compliance, and testing instructions. All items included fit directly into the bucket for ease of transportation.


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Hydration and the Holidays – and a Holiday Beverage Recipe

Hydration_HolidayTips Whether you’re hosting family or hitting the road over the Thanksgiving holiday, it is important to keep hydration in mind. Follow these simple tips to ensure you are getting enough water throughout your celebrations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HolidayCiderRecipe To add a little holiday cheer to your menu this year, follow this recipe for homemade apple cider from one of our favorite food bloggers, Ali – Gimme Some Oven. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributed by Lynne Pierce, Sr. Graphic Designer

 

 

 

 

Our Most Loyal Friends Need to Hydrate, Too

Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), adult dogs need about one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. But growing puppies, despite their small size, drink proportionately more than their adult counterparts. And, on especially hot days our furry friends may need even more water. Help them stay hydrated this summer with solutions from Haws®. Visit https://www.hawsco.com for a variety of dog-friendly fountain options.

 

Shown here is the model 3500D

Shown here is the model 3500D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haws Outdoor Modular Bottle Filler and Drinking Fountain with optional dog bowl attachment

Haws Outdoor Modular Bottle Filler and Drinking Fountain with optional dog bowl attachment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post submitted by Joanne Benz, Market Researcher
Make Proper Hydration a Priority This 4th of July

Hydration_4th of July

With the 4th of July holiday quickly approaching, there are many questions we ask ourselves in preparation. Do we have enough briquettes/fuel for the BBQ? What food will we be cooking? Who else is bringing food? The drinks? If traveling, what needs to be packed, and is the gas tank full? In all our preparations, do we take proper hydration into consideration?

Whether we’re watching the fireworks at the beach, the park, or in our backyard, having plenty of fresh water available – for the whole family – is essential to having a safe and healthy holiday.

An average of six to eight glasses of water each day is important to stay hydrated, and if we’re out in the sun all day – eight to ten eight-ounce glasses is better. There are many water delivery options on the market, from one-time use plastic bottles (let’s protect the environment and avoid those), to reusable bottles, and insulated bottles that keep water cool for hours. Dehydration can happen quickly, especially when outdoors, so it is important to recognize the symptoms. If you start to have muscle cramps or headaches, or become lightheaded, you are probably becoming dehydrated. Be sure to carry water with you, or if at an event, know where it is provided.

And don’t forget that there are many foods that help with hydration; strawberries, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, pineapple, and watermelon are all great sources of water, so when planning your food items, be sure to add some of these options to your grocery list.

Enjoy the holiday, and be sure to hydrate!

Post submitted by Lynne Pierce, Sr. Graphic Designer

 

 

 

 

 

Hydration By Haws™ – Save the Planet One Bottle at a Time
Hydration By Haws

Hydration By Haws

Earth Day 2018 focused on plastic pollution. This year’s theme is Protect Our Species. Upon reflecting on our oceans and rivers and the fish and fowl that live and feed in these bodies of water, these two themes are enmeshed. Our oceans are such vast expanses of water, but they are all polluted with debris, most of it plastic.

A segment on 60 Minutes covered the pollution on the Midway Island – and not just how much debris ends up there, but how much of it is ingested by the birds that live there. The plastics floating in the ocean are broken up into smaller fragments by the waves, reefs and rocks. These fragments are mistaken by the birds to be food. Plastic is so ubiquitous on Midway that every single albatross on the island will likely die with a stomach full of it. A typical albatross stomach includes “stuff about the size of a cigarette lighter – everything from golf balls to shotgun shells, or chunks of plastic that used to be something bigger,” according to Bret Wolfe, deputy manager of the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. When birds die and decompose, the plastic in their guts remains. “Anywhere you see a big pile of plastic but nothing else,” Wolfe said, “that’s where an albatross died.” Link to segment.

So this year, let’s think about how we can help save the lives of not only the birds on Midway, but all of the birds and bees and all of the other species we share this beautiful planet with. For those wanting to rid themselves of plastic from one-use water bottles, Haws offers several alternatives, like our Hydration By Haws™ wall-mounted bottle filler, and retrofit bottle fillers for drinking fountains.

 

One Hydration By Haws™ unit can reduce the consumption of as many as 36,000 standard 16.9oz plastic bottles each year! Think how many birds and fish that reduction can save! Haws offers a fundraising program for schools and colleges, here’s how the program works;
Sell Nalgene® bottles with your school logo printed on them. The bottle sales proceeds pay for a new Hydration By Haws bottle filling station. After 90-days, pay for the filling station with the bottle sales proceeds. No money comes out of your budget! Install your Hydration By Haws unit and start reducing the amount of one-use plastic water bottles!

 

Post submitted by Lynne Pierce, Sr. Graphic Designer

 

Haws Sightings. We’re (almost) Famous.

Whether you’re taking a stroll through Central Park or chasing your kids through The Happiest Place on Earth, most likely you’ve come across a Haws drinking fountain and didn’t even know it. Or maybe you did.

We are everywhere, and below are a few images to prove it.

Around Disneyland

DisneylandAlcove

HawsDualWallMount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Throughout New York City

Haws_DF_NewYork_6 Haws_DF_NewYork_4

Haws_DF_NewYork_2

TradeCenterDF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that Haws can create custom drinking fountains? We can customize the color, materials, coating, and much more. A great example is the gold-colored fountain at the Guggenheim Museum, or the shiny coating on the fountain at the One World Trade Center, both shown above.  Learn more here

 

Even on TV

HawsFountainOnTV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you guess the show? Here’s a hint the answer: Netflix’s The OA (season 2, episode 7)

 

Even our emergency equipment has been spotted on Alcatraz Island.

Haws_EE_SF_Alcatraz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next time you’re out, take a look at the fountains in your path. Find a Haws product? Submit it to [email protected] for a social share on our Facebook or Twitter page!

 

A New Year’s resolution we should all be following

2019_1stQtr_Inforgraph_v2 How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Still hitting the gym every day? Getting up without hitting the snooze button? Making your bed before heading out of the house? But what about a simple resolution that is healthy and super easy to implement? Drinking more water everyday should be on top of all our lists as we think about living a healthy lifestyle.

In 2019, let’s all try and increase our water intake.

 

Infographic created by Lynne Pierce
Haws supports the community through charitable contribution programs

As we look back on the year and gauge our organization’s global achievements, we look a little deeper than the numbers to evaluate success.

Haws has a culture that believes in supporting the community in which it resides. It’s one of our core values – to be a caring organization. This is evident by the various giving activities we participate in throughout the year to engage and help our local regions.

H2018_CasseroleFundraiser_1aws has a unique way of participating in local charities. Every two years team members are responsible for nominating and then voting on two charities to support company-wide. For the next two years, each charity receives a $5,000 annual contribution from Haws, and throughout the year we hold numerous unique employee fundraising events to support these charities and add to the Haws corporate donation amount. Did someone say bake sales and chili contEddy_House-Checkests?

In 2018, we once again supported the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation and, for the first time, the team selected local charity, The Eddy House. On top of the corporate $5,000 donations, Haws offers a one-to-one matching program for employees. Through our matching program, we’ve been able to donate an additional $1,000 for each of the two selected charities.

And that’s not all! On top of organized giving programs, our employees step up during times of need. This year, many of our Reno employees donated their Haws gift, a holiday grocery voucher, to those who had lost their homes in the Northern California Camp Fire. The vouchers were used to purchase dinners for displaced families.  In addition, we hosted a denim and clothing drive for the Reno Rodeo Foundation.

It’s clear that there’s no shortage of charitable spirits here, and in 2019 we hope to surpass those numbers as we continue to support The Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation and The Eddy House!

For more information about Haws and our team, please visit us at www.hawsco.com/ourstory .

Come work with us!

Does the new year have you looking for a new career? If so, Haws has multiple positions open. If you’re passionate about making a difference and working with a company that shares that drive, submit your resume today.

Check out open positions

Haws offers a competitive salary and benefits package. To learn more about what it’s like to work at Haws, check out our story.

https://www.hawsco.com/our-story/careers/

Safety During Winter Holidays

With the winter holidays here, who better to warn you about the lurking dangers and offer safety solutions than Haws™.

Holiday Safety Statistics (according to the National Fire Protection Agency)

Christmas_Image

Safety Tips:

Additionally, the Haws Model 7620 AXION® eyePOD® is a convenient safety tool to keep in your home at all times in case of an emergency.  The eyePOD® is an eyewash that is easily mounted onto your faucet to provide a Medically Superior Response consistent with all EMT, emergency room and doctor office protocols by sweeping contaminants away from the vulnerable nasal cavity.  Find out more about the model 7620 and more Haws products by visiting the website at: https://www.hawsco.com.

Happy Holidays to all!

Post written by Hayden Del Dotto

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OSHA WEBSITE: Haws® Corporation Lowers Workers’ Compensation Premiums 25% and Earns SHARP Status

Haws SHARP team
READ ARTICLE FEATURED ON OSHA’S WEBSITE HERE>>

Haws® Corporation invents, manufactures, and builds standardized and customized hydration and emergency response products. Customers vary from heavy industrial and refinery sites to schools and local municipalities. Founded in 1906, Haws® Corporation, has its global headquarters in Sparks, Nevada.

The Haws culture has a strong foundation in safety and takes great pride in continuous improvements in safety products and processes. To encourage progressive safety practices, Haws®Safety Supervisor, Melanie Mayer, and other team members often attend trainings offered by the Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS). “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)On-Site Consultation Program, and Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) were discussed during one of these sessions, and we decided that we would like to pursue the award,” said Haws® Communications Specialist, Samantha Hoch.

The OSHA On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small- and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations.

“We regularly use SCATS for occupational assessments when we do not have the technical capabilities in-house, said Mayer. “When a Job Hazard Analysis identifies a potential hearing or industrial hygiene risk, we rely on SCATS to perform the assessment.”

In December 2013, during the initial On-Site Consultation visit, the Nevada SCATS consultant identified two main types of hazards: electrical (misuse of power strips, extension cords, etc.) and using water hose type clamps on air lines. Haws® corrected all of the identified hazards, using cross-functional teams, comprised of operations supervisors and managers. Each team had assigned action items that they tracked and managed to completion in biweekly meetings.

People from all levels of the organization continue to contribute to workplace safety activities. For example, building maintenance personnel were trained on what to look for to prevent the electrical and air line issues. Feedback during the walkthrough also revealed that a need for consistent clarity about reading Safety Data Sheets (SDS), so an in-depth training session on reading and retrieving SDS was conducted. Now, one SDS is reviewed in each bi-weekly Production Meeting. In addition, the Safety Supervisor is available in each Production Meeting to answer questions.

Given the Haws® business history and product offering, achieving SHARP status was an organizational priority, and resources were assigned as needed. The company has benefitted in several ways from working with Nevada (SCATS). Employee engagement in the safety programs has increased. Workers’ compensation insurance premiums have decreased. “We have always had a very strong safety culture, but the involvement of line employees has increased since we decided to go for SHARP,” noted CEO Tom White. “The whole Haws® team is proud to have achieved the award, and everyone continues to work diligently to report hazards and maintain a high level of safety. It’s important that we demonstrate the value of safety culture.”

On June 11, 2018, Haws® vision and hard work were rewarded; the company joined the ranks of OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program recognized participants. This program recognizes small business employers who have used the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program services and operate an exemplary safety and health programs. Acceptance of a worksite into SHARP from OSHA is an achievement of status that singles the company out among its business peers as a model for worksite safety and health.

To locate the OSHA On-Site Consultation program nearest you, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit www.osha.gov/consultation.

Sources: Samantha Hoch, Communications Specialist, Haws®
Melanie Mayer, Safety Supervisor, Haws®
John Lindgren, Industrial Hygienist, State of Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section

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