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Air quality a major challenge in law enforcement

Electrocorp units protect indoor air in evidence rooms, police stations

When a sheriff’s office in a county in North Carolina experienced air quality problems, they did not merely accept is as unavoidable - they found a solution in the RSU 48 CC.

IAQ concerns in law enforcement are much more profound than those found in other workspaces: Not only are law-enforcement officers exposed to the “normal” IAQ contaminants from building materials, communication centers and ventilation systems, but also to contaminants linked specifically to police work -- including overstocked property rooms, evidence in form of narcotics, bio-hazards, flammable liquids, weapons, fire aftermath, etc -- which all add up to a substantial list of possible indoor air quality concerns and correlated health effects.

Electrocorp has equipped countless police stations and property rooms across North America with powerful activated carbon and HEPA air cleaners to provide relief from these airborne contaminants and to ensure better workplace health and safety conditions.


Case in point: North Carolina evidence room

The sheriff's office in North Carolina had to store drugs such as marijuana plants in the evidence room, and there were noticeable odors in the closed-off space.

Conventional air purifiers that rely on HEPA filtration would not have been effective in this case. HEPA removes only fine particles and dust from the ambient air.

For fumes, odors, chemicals and gases, the best filtration media is virgin activated carbon. Made from natural materials such as wood and coconut husks and treated with oxygen, activated carbon is extremely porous and provides a large internal surface area for the adsorption of gaseous pollutants.RSU 48 CC by Electrocorp air cleaners

The sheriff’s department purchased Electrocorp’s RSU 48 CC unit, a tall air scrubber with a multi-stage filtration system that includes a HEPA for particles as well as a 120 lb. activated carbon filter for the removal of odors, chemicals, gases and fumes.

They placed it in the evidence room, where it could run continuously on a low setting, drawing contaminated air through its filters and releasing scrubbed air into the room.

The evidence room technicians soon noticed a difference in air quality.

“With the odors of drugs, especially marijuana,” says T.K. of the North Carolina sheriff's office in question, “this system removes the odors and smell of different types of evidence for all personnel handling the evidence in and around the vault. [It] has been one of the best investments for the evidence technicians in the evidence vault. ”


Easy use and upkeep

Electrocorp has always made a point in designing industrial-strength air cleaners that are easy to use and maintain. When the unit gets delivered, it’s quickly put together (if needed) and plugged in.

The filters can be switched out separately, which means they can be used to their full potential. Electrocorp’s IAQ experts can help analyze how often they may need to be changed.

“Being able to replace the filters and carbon is an easy process for the evidence technicians,” agrees T.K. from North Carolina. “I would recommend these air scrubbers to evidence room technicians [everywhere].”

Law Enforcement spaces that could use an air cleaner:

  • Property rooms - a treasure trove for IAQ contaminants
    Even with a stellar packing, filing and storing system, most property rooms are busting out of their seams, especially when yet another load of half-dried marijuana plants arrives. Humidity in the plants often leads to aspergillus mold buildup in property rooms, which can cause respiratory problems and aspergillosis, among other health effects. In addition, there is a real risk of cross contamination because of airborne chemicals, dust particles and other IAQ contaminants in evidence and property rooms everywhere.

  • Police workstations and offices
    Despite the media’s portrayal of police work consisting of exciting car chases, one-on-one fights and dramatic standoffs with criminals, the reality of police work includes a lot of conscientious research, report writing, interviewing and similar activities. So law enforcement officers often work in offices and cubicles, being exposed to the same type of air contaminants as other office workers. Those include dust and particles, airborne chemicals and fumes, mold, bacteria and viruses. Large printers and other electronic equipment spread volatile organic compounds, while the building materials and furniture also contribute to poor indoor air quality. The result? Many police and office workers suffer from headaches, fatigue, sudden sneezing, dizziness, shortness of breath, coughing, nausea and irritation of eyes, nose, throat and skin.

  • Crime scenes with unpredictable IAQ
    When police officers are investigating a case or following up a call, they simply never know what they will encounter. Poor indoor air quality awaits in many homes, workplaces, warehouses etc, and police officers may suddenly be exposed to airborne chemicals, fumes, drugs, and more. If the crime involved arson and a fire, the volatile gases that were released during the fire may linger and affect the officers’ health. Once a crime scene is established, a portable air cleaner can help remove harmful contaminants (chemicals, fumes, particles, biological contaminants) without hindering the investigation.


Suggested air cleaners for law enforcement officers

For law enforcement office spaces and administrative areas, Electrocorp’s RAP series blends a sturdy metal-based design with industrial strength air filters. The RAPs feature activated carbon and HEPA filters, prefilters and optional UV (for mold and biological contaminants).

The RSU series offers the same types of unbeatable air filters, but with a slightly different design, which allows the air to be cleaned quickly and efficiently.

For larger, warehouse-sized property rooms or spaces, Electrocorp also offers the AirRhino, with a 100 lb. carbon filter, a Super-HEPA and pre-filters.

In office spaces, a smaller room air purifier may also do the job, as evidenced by a client who purchased an AirMedic unit from Electrocorp’s parent company AllerAir (specializing in home and office air purifiers).

AirMedic Pro air purifier by AllerAir and ElectrocorpHe has been using a carbon + HEPA air purifier from AllerAir for many years: “I began as Property Officer and immediately started having upper respiratory problems for approximately nine months,” Public Safety Officer J.M. says.

“After purchasing two of the AirMedics, my problems almost immediately cleared up and have never returned.”