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EPA, CPSC team up on nanomaterials

BY Brae Canlen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have announced a research collaboration effort to assess any potential impacts of nanomaterials on people’s health and the environment. Nanomaterials are very small particles that are about 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair appear in many household products ranging from clothing to building materials.

“Nanotechnology and nanomaterials used in the development of these products improve our everyday lives, but it is important that we understand how humans are exposed to nanomaterials and to assess the risks they may pose to people’s health and the environment,” said Tina Bahadori, national program director for EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research. “This innovative research greatly improves what is known about nanomaterials and will inform the future design of more sustainable, effective nanomaterials.” 

Treye Thomas, program manager for the CPSC Nanotechnology program, said: “These tiny nanomaterials are widely used in products ranging from clothing to sunscreen, but the need for additional research and knowledge on how they affect consumers is great. The CPSC staff is working diligently to meet the challenges involved in regulating this emerging technology, and is pleased to be collaborating with staff at EPA to develop test methods and exposure data to adequately address health and safety concerns.”

EPA’s collaborative research with CSPC, which will coordinate with 25 other U.S. agencies, will focus on a number of nanotechnology issues, including protocol development to assess the potential release of nanomaterials from consumer products, credible rules for consumer product testing to evaluate exposure, and determination of the potential public health impacts of nanomaterial used in consumer products.

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Micro Shield offers in-home pet control

BY Brae Canlen

The makers of Invisible Fence, a yard containment system for pets, have introduced the Micro Shield Avoidance Solution, a mobile wireless unit that helps pets avoid areas of the home where their owners don’t want them to go.

At only 3 ins. in diameter, the Micro Shield can be put under Christmas trees, on kitchen counters or near trash cans. The device emits an audible warning tone to the animal. After a few training lessons, pets learn to stay away from the designated area, which can be adjusted from 16 ins. to 4 ft. in diameter.

Cats scaling the Christmas tree and getting tangled in tinsel are only one holiday danger, according to the Micro Shield makers. Pets are also attracted to holiday food spreads and leftovers in the trash can.

“Our dealers use Micro Shields to safely teach pets to avoid areas of the home that can cause problems, reducing stress for homeowners, especially during the holidays," said Albert Lee, director of Invisible Fence Brand.

 

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Philips launches redesigned LED bulb at HD

BY Brae Canlen

Philips’ 60-watt LED bulb, the yellow capped one that turns on white, has a new look, brighter light and uses less energy. Philips unveiled the new bulb at the Home Depot store on 59th Street in Manhattan on Dec. 4 and 5, and at the 23rd Street store on Dec. 5 to 6, offering consumers a $5 savings. It will also be available at Homedepot.com/lightbulbs with rollout expected at the beginning of the year.

The latest generation of the 60-watt A-19 LED bulb uses 10% less energy than its 12.5-watt predecessor, while increasing brightness by nearly 5%. The new design has a more streamlined and stylish appearance. 

Designed to exceed Energy Star specifications, the bulb will reduce energy consumption by 85%, last 25 times longer and save an estimated $134.00 in electricity costs during its lifespan, as compared with the traditional 60-watt incandescent. This LED bulb will also offer consumers two different color temperatures, Soft White and Daylight, while the new sleek white shape makes it ideal for open fixtures and sheer shades.The new Philips A-19 LED bulb also offers enhanced dimming capabilities, with the potential to dim down to 2% of light level, while working with a broader range of dimmers.

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