That’s How You Learn – Episode 7: UL Environment/GREENGUARD

That’s How You Learn – Episode 7: UL Environment/GREENGUARD


Hello friends! I’m here in Marietta, Georgia, which is just outside of Atlanta or should I say “Hotlanta” because it’s
really really hot here. Anyway, today we’re gonna learn about UL Environment
and some of the tests that are done here at this lab. It’s really hot so let’s
just go inside. Okay? Come on, let’s go. Kevin? Kevin it’s closed.
Let me In man. Dude it’s hot out here! It’s like 90 degrees in the shade! Kevin!! So now I’m in the chambers laboratory
here in Marietta, and I’m here with Elliott. – Say “hi” Elliott
– Hi Elliott So Elliot tell me, what do you what do you here at UL Environment? Well, there are a couple of things that I’m involved in here. We do some testing of materials
for use in clean room situations, we also test medical devices for respiratory
assistance and we also test some pieces of furniture and wood products for
whether or not formaldehyde emissions are above a certain level. Okay, now why is this so important? Well, start with the clean room. There are very important manufacturing facilities which can be harmed by very small amounts of
microscopic dust particles so materials and devices that are used in these
facilities need to be tested to make sure they’re not releasing any particles
which could interfere with the manufacturing process and incur large
economic losses to the manufacturing facilities. OK, great. Is it okay if we see like some of tests that have been done? What we have here are pieces of either
flooring or furniture, such as the bottom of a
drawer or the back of a chest of drawers They’ve been cut out and we put them in our
small chambers and measure the formaldehyde emissions that result from
from these samples being placed in the chambers. Ultimately, what we’re looking
for in order to receive a passing grade is a certain level of formaldehyde,
or no formaldehyde at all? Well, we’d like to have no formaldehyde at all.
But it’s gonna be in there, in a lot of these engineered wood materials, so it’s a matter of how much
is being emitted, and yes, there are regulatory levels for the formaldehyde
emissions rates that have to be met to be legally sold in the United States. Okay, wow that’s that’s interesting! information to know, and this is
potentially saving lives and that’s what we want to do. Okay great! Thank you
so much Eliott, this is really helpful. – Thank you.
– Thank you. So I’m in the the HPLC
lab here at the UL Lab in Marietta and I’m here with Allison, say “hi” Allison.
– “Hi Allison”! So Allison, can you tell me what you do here at UL? So what we’re
doing is we’re trying to find specific chemicals within our samples that we
take in in the chambers lab. So this is a HPLC. What it does is it separates
each individual chemical through the column, and we’re able to test and tell
you how much is in there. Now, is it your job then to, like, move these things
around or to…? – This whole instrument is automated, as you can see right here. It’s picking up the extracted sample and it will inject it into the system, so each
one runs by itself on automation. Now why is all of this important?
– This is important because we want to make sure that these chemicals
that could be coming out of different samples aren’t in your home and you’re
not breathing them. OK, so we’re looking for things that are potentially harmful when we breathe them or that fall on our skin? – Yes.
OK, and that’s what these machines do, they look for those specific chemicals?
– Yes. OK, perfect…and how long
does it take then for all of this to go through, or all of this to happen?
-Well, we tend to run one throughout the night. Our run is about 20 minutes for
one sample and we could have anywhere from about 30 to 120 samples in a day. Wow! So this is a very very busy laboratory!
– Yes. Well Alison thank you so much for showing this to us. You’re welcome. So this is the LCD chamber here at the Marietta lab,
and this is the biggest chamber in the building. You could put all kinds of stuff in here.
We can put medical equipment or large furniture, or large machines,
or even if you take a look… We could even fit ourselves in this.
So come on, if you want to check it out… Actually, it’s a little scary in here. Kevin!
Kevin, take a look. Let us know what you think. Alright? Have fun! See you later! This will teach Kevin not to lock me out of the lab. Though it looks like a big mirror room, You might see a product or device placed in this LCD chamber, where clean air is pumped in and air samples are collected and then taken to
the HPLC lab for analysis. So that’s the inside of the LCD chamber.
Other chambers are just like this, only a lot smaller, but they do pretty much the exact same work.
Want to learn more? Let’s go check it out. So here now I’m in the product emissions lab here in Marietta and I’m here with
Mark. Say “hi” Mark. – Hi Mark.
– Why do they always do this? I don’t understand… What do we have here? There seems to be a lot of metal. What is this what is this for? Well, each one of these is one of our
test chambers, and each one of these test chambers we use in order to gather
emissions of chemicals from different products that we’re testing.
– Now is is that your job? Is that what you do here? To manage all the chambers?
Well, part of my job is preparing the samples to go into chambers and also to
take air samples of the air going through them. But another part of my job
is to make sure that all of the chambers keep working so that we can trust the
data that we’re getting. Now, why is this type of testing so important?
– Well this testing is important because we want to understand what
chemicals are coming off of the products that we’re putting in our homes. What we
do in our product emissions lab is we take a look at what chemicals are coming
off of the products that we put in our homes every day, so we know whether or
not they’re safe for people to use. Alright, so when you look inside these chambers, you see it’s all made out of high
polished stainless steel so that the sides of the chambers aren’t actually
holding on to any of the chemicals, and that means that we don’t have to worry
about chemicals from one product that we tested affecting the test for the next
product that goes into this chamber. It also makes it much easier to clean. So today here in the UL lab in Marietta, we learned about VOCs, we learned about
toxicity, we went to the chem lab, we saw chambers, we learned a lot today, but most
importantly, we learned that it’s so important to breathe clean air and why
there’s people here in Marietta that are so dedicated to make sure that the
chemicals that come out of products that we use every day, are safe. It’s really important work and I’m glad we’re here to learn more about it. For UL Safety Smart, I’m Dennis Avelar, and That’s How You Learn. Kevin, you ready?
– Yep. OK, ready, go ahead. That was pretty close to the camera!
Ha ha ha!!

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