Australian environmentalists propagate awareness on aerosol canister recycling

Environmental organization Planet Ark will begin its campaign during the National Recycling Week to inform the public about aerosol recycling following the publication of research showing that many Australians are ill-informed about the issue.

Planet Ark conducted a survey of 1,003 Australian residents this year on their recycling habits and found that 54 per cent believed wrongly that aerosol cans could not be recycled (in fact, aerosols are fully recyclable, just like any other type of metal packaging.

Twelve per cent said they didn’t know, while just 33 per cent said it was possible.

Planet Ark has teamed up with Unilever, the company behind popular deodorant brands such as Rexona, Dove and Lynx, to help raise awareness about safe recycling of aerosol products during National Recycling Week

Unilever is a signatory to the National Packaging Covenant and has in place an ambitious sustainability agenda to double the size of its business while reducing its environmental impact.

Among the company’s key focus areas is a target to halve the waste associated with the disposal of its products and make it easier for consumers to recycle.

Consumer aerosols have been safely and effectively recycled for several decades but people have been unaware or unsure, so the more information out there the better.

John Bigley, president of the Aerosol Association of Australia and managing director of Ardagh Australasia, has reportedly said that  metal packaging world have been well aware for many years about the recyclability credentials of tinplate and aluminum as used in the production of aerosol cans.

However, it is extremely encouraging to see that in NRW aerosols are being exposed in such a positive way and the key is to improve peoples’ understanding about recycling.

However many observers have said that the campaign’s success could only be measured in people’s knowledge based on a follow-up survey rather than the improvement in the actual number of aerosols recycled.


After Gorilla Glass, Corning Labs is now integrating display sensors

Someday your smartphone might be able to help you in a new way when you’re traveling: by telling you whether the water is safe to drink.

Although a water app isn’t close yet, researchers at Corning and elsewhere recently discovered that they could use Gorilla Glass, the toughened glass made by Corning that’s commonly used on smartphone screens, to make extremely sensitive chemical and biological sensors. It could detect, say, traces of sarin gas in the air or specific pathogens in water.

Displays account for about half of Corning Lab’s revenue, with roughly a third of that coming from Gorilla Glass. To expand this market and withstand challenges from other firms, Corning is trying to add capabilities to Gorilla Glass. The sensor application, if added, could secure Corning for another generation of smartphones.

The ability to turn your phone into a biological and chemical sensor is one of the earliest-stage projects in the lab. Researchers at Corning discovered that they could make very high quality waveguides, which confine and direct light, in Gorilla Glass. The researchers were able to make these waveguides very near to the surface, which is essential for sensors. Doing so in ordinary glass would break it. However, in all gratitude to its earlier successful invention, the Gorilla Glass can withstand the waves. This alone is what gives Corning an edge in kickstarting the integration of this technology and help phones get even smarter.

Corning survived more than 160 years of industry exposure and has done so gracefully due to its innovations. One example is the fact that the time when market for fiber optics collapsed, its business selling glass for cathode-ray-tube display TVs also took a steep dive. It was saved by a process it had invented for making the high quality glass needed for the transistors that control pixels in LCD displays, the very display technology that was diminishing its cathode-ray business. A few years later, the company was commissioned by Apple’s Steve Jobs who needed tough glass for the display screen of the first iPhone. Corning just happened to have a technology sitting on the shelf—the toughened glass that came to be called Gorilla Glass.

But this time clearly Corning is not going to wait for someone to call. They are going full throttle into designing the technology that will power the future generations of smart devices.


After US explosion, Holland youth becomes victim to aerosol misuse

After an aerosol can explosion in a University in the United States, another misuse report of this spirited industrial substance has emerged, this time from Holland.

On autopsy of the body of a 20-year old man who was found dead in September has revealed that he had inhaled aerosol before his death.

Holland Hospitals has further determined that the cause of Soto’s death was drowning, but the inhalants likely led to to him drowning in the first place.

Several chemicals found in commercial aerosol products were found in significant traces in the deceased’s blood.

Inhaling fumes from aerosols such as cleaners, markers or glue is known as “huffing,” a habit Soto’s mother has said publicly acknowledged that his son indeed had.

Huffing causes a brief “euphoria” , which is characterized by light-headedness, but is very dangerous. It can cause a lack of oxygen in the participants, who commonly pass out, and can even cause heart failure due to uneven heart beats which the substances trigger. It has been suggested that the 20-year old continued huffing for a long time to have an effect which lead to his death.

According to Ottawa County’s medical examiner, Dr. David Start, huffing is related to one or two deaths examined in his office every year. Death related to drug use has become a more common cause of death in Michigan than deaths from car crashes, he said.

He further expressed his concern over the rising cases of drug over doze, especially among the young population.


Unusual danger posed by canned aerosol

This week an explosion occurred at the Montana State University which has a called for an increased scrutiny over the danger posed by canned aerosols.
However on going through the details of the case it is clear that the incident occurred due to the mis- handling of the container by the student and that the aerosol market will certainly not collapse over an issue like this.
Most aerosol cans use some kind of hydrocarbon as a way to get the product out of the can by pushing it. These hydrocarbons are highly inflammable which raises the risk if one has fire nearby.

However, at Montana State University, students are prohibited from having an open flame in their room. However it is said that a lighter was the source of fire and that a very large amount of aerosol has to be sprayed out to cause an explosion of that magnitude.

The product is said to be of high concentration which the student, who apparently smelled it to get a “kick” out of it, had mixed in the air until it reached a source of combustion.

Aerosol canned products are categorized into three levels, Coburn says the Freez-It product involved in the explosion most likely fell into the level 3 category that include things like spray paint and carburetor fluid.

Level one is the least hazardous it is a water-based product, level two is usually an alcohol based product which is your hair sprays and level three is a little more hazardous.

It is ideally common sense be aware of the pretty prominent warning label posted on the back of a can to avoid any accidental fires or explosions. The students, as a sign of clear recklessness on their part had most likely chosen to avoid the sign or never bothered to read it to begin with.

A spokesman  of the university has reportedly said that a lighter ban in the dorms would not have changed the outcome of Thursday’s incident, as he insists that there was “simply a lack of common sense”.