Archive for the ‘Sourcing Safe Products’ Category

What’s in Your Water?

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Ivy Ray, Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1974 to protect drinking water.  This act also protects rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells. There are approximately 54,000 public water systems that serve the same people year-round. Most residences, including homes, apartments, and condominiums in cities, small towns, and mobile home parks are serviced by Community Water Systems.  The safety of these water systems is detrimental to our health, and the health of our ecological environment.

Why should we be concerned with vehicle washwater?

Washwater from vehicle/equipment cleaning activities may contain significant quantities of oil and grease, suspended solids, heavy metals, and organics, as well as pollutants from detergents. These pollutants can be toxic and harmful to living organisms, including fish. The ingestion of the affected fish by people can also be harmful. Washwater from pressure washing and steam cleaning are likely to have more pollutants than cold, low-pressure water.

Oil and grease contain hydrocarbon compounds, some of which can injure or kill aquatic life even at low concentrations. Oil and grease can also coat fish gills and prevent oxygen from entering water, starving fish and other aquatic life.

Some detergents may contain metals such as arsenic. Low concentrations of dissolved metals can be toxic to living organisms. Detergents contain emulsifiers that break up oil particles. Emulsifiers can also cause harm to aquatic life. Many detergents also contain nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen. High nutrient levels in streams and lakes can harm water quality by stimulating excess weed and algae growth. This overgrowth causes unpleasant odors and scents, and depletes oxygen levels necessary to support fish life.

Washwater discharge options 

There are three options available for the disposal of vehicle washwater (one is not recommended).

■ Preferred option: Zero discharge, or closed-loop water recycling

■ Second option: Discharge to a municipal wastewater system

■ Third option (not recommended): Discharge to land or ground

Of these options, zero discharge, or the use of water recycling systems is the preferred option and is strongly encouraged. The second most preferred option is to discharge to a municipal wastewater system.  (Program Development Services Section, Revised November 2012).

The International Carwash Association has completed a two-year study that is designed to gather and analyze data regarding wastewater discharges, as well as contaminant levels in solid wastes. Professional car washing is unique in the fact that it has the capability of collecting both discharges of water and solid waste.  (Chris Brown, Water Conservation Consultant, 2002).

The SDWA sets up multiple barriers against pollution, but  the public is responsible for helping local water suppliers to set priorities, make decisions on funding and system improvements, and establish programs to protect drinking water sources. Water systems across the nation rely on citizen advisory committees, rate boards, volunteers, and civic leaders to actively protect this resource in every community in America.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

Works Cited —————————————————

Chris Brown, Water Conservation Consultant. (2002). Water Effluent and Solid Waste Characteristics in the Professional Car Wash Industry. Chicago: International Carwash Association. Retrieved from https://www.carwash.org/docs/default-document-library/water-effluent-amp-solid-waste-characteristics-in-the-professional-car-wash-industry.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Program Development Services Section. (Revised November 2012). Vehicle and Equipment Washwater Discharges/Best Management Practices Manual. Olympia: Washington State Department of Ecology. Retrieved from https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/SummaryPages/95056.html

 

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My App Needs What?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

In our ever evolving mobile age, apps are a must have on our devices. Whether you want to clip coupons, like through Target’s Cartwheel app, watch your favorite shows while you’re out (thank you Disney Junior!), or just have fun with photo filters and Face Swaps, our phones have become essential in the things we do every day, giving it equal everyday importance to that of wallets and keys.

Before we can enjoy the fun and helpfulness of new apps, it must first be downloaded. Part of that initial download, however, the app asks for permission to access portions of your phone. These permissions can vary from app to app, but generally include your identity, email, location, contacts, photos, camera, microphone, and messaging. So, why would an app need those?

This is where you must decide whether an app is something you need or not. Apps that have access to email, can access and use the information in your email, despite an email being private or confidential. Accessing your phone’s camera and microphone can be equally unsettling, because once an app has been downloaded, it can use your camera to take photos and your microphone to record audio, all of which no longer needs your permission. While it is unknown how often this actually happens and what app companies do with the information they gather, it is known that there are many companies that make profits selling consumer information.

There are, however, other reasons an app would need access to your phone, many of which are completely legitimate. For example, I would expect a Map app to need to access my phone location and Snapchat would need access to the camera and other media files.

While app permissions vary, it is ultimately up to you which ones you choose to download. If you ever question why an app might need specific permissions, an easy way to find out is to simply google whatever app it is plus the word “privacy”. You can then read what each app needs, why, and what they do with the information they receive.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help keep your information safe and source what you need, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

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What do I need to keep in mind when purchasing an external storage device?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Troy Lowe; Vice President of Development at SafeSourcing.

When looking for a backup solution, the most ideal solution for most people are external storage devices. The prices of these devices have dropped significantly over the past few years which make the option even more attractive.  When looking for an external storage device to keep your important documents and files on, there are a few things that you want to keep in mind such as storage, size and speed.  Storage is the amount of space that is available for saving information.  There are lots of options available, but for the most part 1 terabyte should be enough for most users.  Size is the physical size of the device.  If you are traveling or carrying the device with you, you may want to purchase a smaller device that can easily be stored in your laptop case.  Along with that you may want to look into purchasing one that is more durable.  For example there are manufacturers that make the devices with protective covers that can withstand shock, drops, dust and water.  Speed is not as important as an internal storage device because the device is usually used for backup purposes and not accessed on a regular basis like an internal drive.  If you will be accessing the drive regularly, then you may want to purchase a storage device that contains desktop based components.  Another factor to consider is the software packages that come with the device.  This is usually the main difference between the different manufacturers of the devices.  Some of the software packages offer the ability to do backups and automatically upload files to cloud offerings.  Below are some other things to consider when doing your research.

  • Connectivity
  • Price
  • Security
  • Warranty
  • Durability
  • Failure Rate

If you would like some help finding the right solution, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which device will meet your needs.  If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help you, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

 

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EPA and Business

Monday, November 28th, 2016

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in December, 1970 in response to growing population concerns over heavy pollution. In the 50 years it has been around, the EPA, through research, monitoring, and enforcement activities, has accomplished numerous things, such as regulating clean drinking water, prohibiting hazardous toxic dumping, removing dangerous carcinogens from food and pesticides, removal of harmful lead from paint and gasoline, implementing recycling programs, and helping to reduce toxic air emissions. On top of that, the EPA helps with environmental cleanups, including natural disasters, oil spills, and brownfields. All of these things help to provide a safer and cleaner environment for people and animals.

With all the good the EPA does for our health, safety, and environment, they also make impacts on our daily lives and businesses. For example, over the last ten years there has been a rise in the number of Energy-Star appliances that use less water and other resources to perform household tasks, like heating, cooling, and washing. This in turn, can save residents hundred or even thousands off of their annual energy bill and help conserve resources.

The EPA has had tremendous impact on agriculture as well. By eliminating harmful pesticides, the food grown by farmers has become safer to eat. By eliminating industrial dumping, streams and rivers have been cleaner and safer to drink, allowing livestock to drink untainted water, thus living longer, healthier, and providing people with better, healthier, toxin-free milk and meat.

Possibly the biggest impact the EPA has made, however, is in the industrial sector, often with less than happy industry owners. For example, a factory has to spend significant amounts of money to prevent heart and lung disease-causing smog to be reduced, to safely contain and dispose of water-based industrial waste instead of dumping into fresh streams, lakes, and rivers, and using safe chemicals in products instead of cheaper, known carcinogens.

To help support environmental regulations, the EPA offers green awards to businesses that make positive change and steps toward healthier, greener business culture. Through education and green policies, the EPA has made huge positive impacts on the country over the past 50 years, helping not only the environment, but also the health and safety of wildlife, livestock, and every single person in this country.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your business stay green, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

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What is a CertiPur-US® Certification?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

 

CertiPUR-US is a voluntary testing, analysis and certification program

Today post was written by Ryan Melowic, Vice President of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.

According to the CertiPUR-US® website “the CertiPUR-US® program was developed to provide the comfort and confidence of knowing the flexible polyurethane foam meets standards for content, emissions and durability and are analyzed by independent, accredited laboratories. Today, foam producers from all countries may participate in the program, as long as they meet our rigorous certification guidelines.

CeriPUR-US approved foams are:

  1. Low emissions (VOCs) for indoor air quality
  2. Made without ozone depleters
  3. Made without PBDEs
  4. Made without mercury, lead, and heavy metals
  5. Made without formaldehyde
  6. Made without prohibited phthalates

CertiPUR-US is a voluntary testing, analysis and certification program developed by the global flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) industry.”

For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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It’s nice to see companies take steps to protect the earth.

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

 

 

Today post was written by Ryan Melowic, Vice President of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.

Through my readings, I uncovered a company in Delray Beach, Florida named Saltwater Brewery who has developed six-pack rings which are 100 percent biodegradable and edible. The rings are constructed of barley and wheat ribbons which can be safely eaten by animals who come into contact with the refuge.

According to an article on craftbeer.com: Besides being biodegradable and edible, this innovative technology is still as resistant and efficient as the plastic packaging it replaces. It is, understandably, more expensive to produce, but many customers are willing to pay the difference knowing that it’s better for the environment and animal life. However, if more breweries would implement this technology, the production cost would lower and be competitive with the current plastic options, saving hundreds of thousands of marine lives.

Head of Brand at Saltwater Brewery, Peter Agardy says, “It’s a big investment for a small brewery created by fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea,” but as President Chris Gove notes, “We hope to influence the big guys and hopefully inspire them to get on board.”

SafeSourcing has a wealth of knowledge on environmentally safe sourcing. For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

 

We look forward to your comments.

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Data Commodity

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

Unfortunately, most of us have experienced this first hand. You may be looking for more information on a particular subject online and next thing you know you are giving that site your email address. In nearly no time, that company could have taken your information, categorized it, and sold it to other companies looking for leads. Your data just became a selling commodity.

The most surprising thing may be, however, that this selling of information has been going on for a long time and is perfectly legal. Even big internet sites, like Google and Facebook, allow your information to be shared, sold, or used by other companies. Luckily, much of the time, this sharing of information is strictly for target marketing, and won’t bog down your inbox. This kind of marketing can even be beneficial at times, like if you are researching local animal charities, you may suddenly see more animal charitable project ads pop up on the web pages you visit.  On the other hand, though, some sites do take all of your information and simply sell it to whoever will pay.

Before you worry too much about your information, keep in mind that the commonly used websites, like Facebook, take precautions so that your specific information isn’t just given to anyone. For example, they may share how many people like a particular restaurant without disclosing any specifics.

If you have comments, advice, want to share your own experiences with information online, or to find out more about SafeSourcing, our policy to never share information, our Risk Free trial program, or any of our free informational tools, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

 

Today’s post is from SafeSourcing.

During the month of October you see the color pink almost everywhere you go. You see it in stores, offices, on cars, even grown men in the NFL are wearing pink football equipment head to toe, to raise awareness on breast cancer. Dedicating a month to such an important cause helps raise money and helps to get closer to a cure.

In previous posts we have discussed how BPA products can increase your risks for breast cancer. We hear more and more different types of products, foods, etc. that can be harmful to our health and increase our risks for many types of cancers and other health risks.

In your business how aware are you of how the business is run? Are you sure you are getting the best prices on everything you purchase? Are you absolutely sure your business is the most successful it can be and consider yourself low-risk? Taking control and becoming more aware of how your business is run can lower your risk for financial problems and increase your potential for success! E-procurement is a great way to trim the fat and make your financial plan a leaner choice. It allows you to make purchasing decisions more clearly and know that you are getting the all-around best value.

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, I challenge you to contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Representative for more information on our “Risk Free” trial program. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative at 888-261-9070.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

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Health Canada, a tool for buyers in Canada that costs little yet contains a lot.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

 

Todays post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

In Canada, it’s as simple as visiting the Health Canada Website. According to Wikipedia Health Canada (French: Santé Canada) is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for national public health. Here you can find news releases, speeches, media notices and research a variety of data related to health and food safety within Canada.

Just as a recent post titled  “Buyers; Do you need a great place to research product quality and recall issues” that talked about The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission  the Canadian Government has many tools that buyers can use that also cost nothing. You just have to spend a little time on their site.

Sometimes the best tools are the ones you don’t have to pay for.

If you’d like to learn more about SafeSourcing tools that are free for your use, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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CONEG Legislation

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

 

Today’s blog has been written by Ryan Melowic Senior Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.

SafeSourcing supports the proper recycling, recovery and handling of waste associated with packaging. Therefore, it is appropriate that we inform our readers about CONEG (Coalition of Northeastern Governors) LEGISLATION. CONEG laws have been around in some states for 20 years.

The law was originally developed by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors.  The legislation calls for a ban on the use of packaging that use any of the below specified heavy metals during manufacture or distribution.

According to the  pvctech-CONEG-web-summary-02.04.15.pdf, “On February 2015 ,The goal of this legislation is to reduce the sum concentration levels of four incidentally introduced heavy metals, namely lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent Chromium present in any package or packaging component to not exceed 100 parts per million by weight.”

A variation of enforcement instruments are available, including injunctive relief and civil penalties, but no doubt the potential disruption to product distribution is likely the harshest penalty of all.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure its supplier database is packed full of quality suppliers.  The CONEG Legislation is an example of one of the many requirements that SafeSourcing tracks.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with insuring certified suppliers, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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