Tackling climate change using “best of breed” technology
Not that long ago the term “climate change” was viewed with scepticism by most of the world. Steadily, as scientists assembled more and more evidence relating to the causes and potentially drastic effects of climate change, it steadily sunk in – becoming the harsh reality we now know.
Today climate change is the single most important race ever being run by humankind, and indeed, every living thing on the planet. Governments, scientists and individuals across each of our continents are united in seeking and implementing ways to minimise and arrest the effects of climate change.
Although there are many contributing factors, including heavy industry and the effects of carbon on the ozone layer, there is one root cause that contributes significantly to climate change, and at a local level in enclosed spaces is also potentially harmful to our health. And that is the now infamous range of “Volatile Organic Compounds” (VOCs).
VOCs are the volatile solvents used in things like paints, adhesives and sealants, aerosol propellants, in cleansers and disinfectants, stored fuels and automotive products, pesticides, and in gases used in refrigerators and air-conditioners – to name a few.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “Indoors, VOCs are mostly released into the air from the use of products and materials containing VOCs. The main concern indoors is the potential for VOCs to adversely impact the health of people that are exposed. While VOCs can also be a health concern outdoors, the EPA regulates VOCs outdoors mainly because of their ability to create photochemical smog under certain conditions.”
VOCs play a significant role in the formation of ozone and respirable suspended particulates in the atmosphere. Under sunlight, they react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) to form ozone through a photochemical process. Ground level ozone is a highly reactive gas, and when in high concentration can irritate the eyes and bring upper and lower respiratory symptoms to healthy people. It may also provoke asthmatic attacks in people who already have asthma.
In view of the harmful effects of VOCs, some countries, including the United States, Canada and European Union, started to introduce VOC limits on various VOC-containing products years ago.
Clearly tackling reduction of VOCs through best of breed technology, research and development, is the best option, and one which has also been taken up with gusto by most governments across the globe, standards authorities, and many thousands of individuals and responsible companies.
One such company is European based Den Braven, respected and renowned manufacturer and global distributor of adhesives, sealants and foams. Applying its 40 years’ of technical knowledge and expertise, and through its dedicated Centre of Excellence research facility, Den Braven produces what are arguably the lowest VOC sealant products available to the construction industry as well as for a variety of industrial applications – all manufactured to stringent ISO 9001:2008 standards.
The company is a leader in the application of the four components of a responsible corporate management namely quality, health, safety, and environment (QHSE). This system includes:
A quality management system, according to ISO 9001:2008 standard, which governs purchasing methods, product development and production process optimization;
A Health and Safety policy plan to strive for optimal safe and healthy working conditions for all employees and others that may be affected by the working activities including suppliers, contractors and visitors;
An Environmental system, which, inter alia, includes: the compliance with laws and regulations, the reduction of environmental impact, the development of environmentally friendly products and processes and increasing the use and support of recyclable products and resultant sustainable development.
In South Africa, Den Braven is an active member of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) with its products contributing to Green Star building ratings across the country. Contractors in the building and construction industry as well as individuals in the DIY sector work with these products on a constant daily basis, in the knowledge that their health and safety is secure.
So the global “Green” race is now well advanced. Importantly, it is incumbent on our generation to “get it right first time” and win this Green race through the stringent and unrelenting application of best of breed technologies, as we will only have one shot at this opportunity to hand over a healthy planet to our children and our childrens’ children.