Moulds and damage

Fungi and toadstools or mushrooms are actually fast developed molds organism. Long-term moisture content of at least 22% can cause fungi on grass, trees, but also in basements and wooden floors. We think about beautiful mushrooms in nature knowing by red with white dots, but fungi in houses make us less happy and entail serious health risks and material damage. Few facts about fungi.

Plague
Fungi indoors is nothing more than a plague of a living organism. Not only due to high moisture content and poor ventilation, but also due to the spreading of seeds or spore  a serious pest can arise in no time. So be there on time!

Seasons
If you say autumn, you also say mushrooms. In autumn is more organic material are available for fungi to feed themselves. But the fungus is actually present all year and in all seasons through a network of wires. Especially in basements and crawl spaces, it remains cool and moist and the wood serves as a good breeding ground through cellulose (nutrient of moulds).

Catch a cold
In fall or spring you might think you have a nose cold after another sneeze or sniffling. It may well be that there are moulds in your house. Are the plinths becoming loose and do you smell an earthy, stale air? Then all alarm bells should ring.

Behaviour
Fungi are most common in crawl spaces and basements in homes built before 1960. These homes consist of wooden floors where fungi can easily settle. The behaviour of residents can influence the development of fungi. Some tenants report fungal nuisance too late, because they simply do not notice it. Leaks, little ventilation and being economical with heating are also detrimental. Within a few months, a hole will be form in the floor due to uncontrollable fungi . Another reason to turn the heater up in fall and winter.

Treatment
Fungi are treatable and damage can be limited by acting in time. EWS Pest control employees are qualified specialists who, after the removal of moulds, can treat the room preventively against moulds by, for example, placing insulation chips so that the room remains drier. You can say goodbye for a long time to all your fungi problems.

New! Watch EWS Online Portal video now

Your time is valuable. That is why EWS Group has developed an Online Portal for its customers!

In this portal you can register and follow your gas measurements of containers. Schedules are visible 24/7 and it is nice to know that you can make your own analysis.

The portal serves as a fully automated reduction tool that is truly unique in the market.

Want to know more about our online portal? Check out our brand new animation about the Online Portal.

The Duration of ventilation when gas releases in containers is difficult to predict

Many people do not realize that dangerous gases are released from goods inside of sea containers. For Arjen van Perk, Operations Support Coordinator at EWS Gas Measurement, this is a daily routine. How much dangerous gas will be release in a sea container cannot be predicted, but accidents and damage can be prevented. Arjen explains how.

Physics
The first question is how these dangerous gases actually arise. “A little knowledge of physics and chemistry is useful, Arjen warns. “In the production of goods, there is a frequent use of solvents”. As the temperature in a sea container increases, the speed of the molecules of these solvents increases and will escape from the product. This is called “desorption”. There is very little ventilation in a sea container so these molecules will accumulate in gaseous form. The concentration will possibly increase during transit.

Limit value
Due to progressive insight, limit values ​​of various substances are regularly adjusted downwards. After extensive research at European level, limit values are set for additional gases. A common gas that has been found in recent years, for example, is ethylene oxide (EtO). This substance is often used to sterilise medical products.

Dangerous
The gases in a closed sea container will release when the container is unloaded. These potentially dangerous concentrations of gas can be inhaled by logistics personnel who have to unload the containers. In the long term, this can be very harmful to health. The gases can adversely affect fertility and cause hereditary changes and / or cancer. This certainly applies to the so-called CMR substances. The gases found in containers that have been “fumigated” with Methyl Bromide, Phosphine and Sulfuryl difluoride against insects can even result in instant death. “The concentrations of gases cannot be predicted, so measuring and ventilating when the concentration is to high is the best option to prevent damage to health,” says Arjen.

Ventilation
It is difficult to predict how long ventilation will take. It has to do with the level of the gas concentration at the start of the ventilation, the temperature and how the cargo is loaded inside the sea container. When a sea container is full of boxes, it is still difficult to achieve efficient air circulation with a fan. Goods that are composed of fiber material and glue such as chipboard, will continue to evaporate gases even after ventilation for a longer period of time. “If it appears that ventilation of the container has no effect, we can unload the container for the customer with the use of  respiratory protection” , says Arjen.

EWS expands capacity for the upcoming BMSB season

The “brown marmorated stink bug” or BMSB, the insect from Asia – but now also standing in the most parts of Europe – causes great damage to various crops.

Australia and New Zealand have imposed strict requirements against BMSB for container goods imported from September 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021.

These goods must be treated by fumigation or Heat Treatment.

Australia and New Zealand adjust the measures to be taken each year, but EWS has already prepared for a major capacity increase pending the coming season.

EWS has set up locations in several European countries and ports where treatments can take place.

Thinking of handling breakbulk, cars, containers and general cargo. EWS Group offers the solution for every object and / or volume!

Read more about our BMSB Treatment solutions

USS MOUNT WHITNEY I DAILY DISINFECTION ON BOARD

USS Mount Whitney is one of two Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ships of the United States Navy and is the flagship and command ship of the United States Sixth Fleet. USS Mount Whitney also serves as the Afloat Command Platform of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO. She is one of only a few commissioned ships to be assigned to Military Sealift Command.

Mount Whitney is the most sophisticated Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence (C4I) ship ever commissioned. She incorporates various elements of the most advanced C4I equipment and gives the embarked Joint Task Force Commander the capability to effectively command all units under their command.

Mount Whitney can transmit and receive large amounts of secure data to and from any point on earth through HF, UHF, VHF, and SHF (satellite) communications channels. This electronic technology enables the Joint Intelligence Center and Joint Operations Center to provide the most timely intelligence and operational support available in the Navy.

EWS Italy will take care of the Daily COVID-19 Prevention and Control Service on board, for the next 4 months, in the Port of Genoa.

Increased gas value in containers during summer

More sun hours, rising temperature and an higher percentage of rejected import containers. Every year EWS Group sees the rising percentage of containers with an excessively high gas value when the summer period begins. What is the exact reason behind the rising temperature vs. rejected containers? Will there be more gas added to containers? And what exactly does heat do?

Evaporation process
The answer to the question – “will there be more gas added to containers during this period?” – is no. About 90% of the rejected containers contain gases that arise from the evaporation process from the goods inside. After production, the goods are quickly placed in the container where the evaporation process continues. When the containers are in a cold environment and / or in an environment where there is less of sunlight, the temperature in the container would be lower. In the other way around, the container gets much warmer inside. Think about getting into a car that has been in the sun for several hours.

The result of more sun hours
What is the impact of heat in containers? When the temperature in containers will rise, the goods will evaporate more, which logically results in a higher gas value in containers. Below you’ll see a selection from our database to show the impact of more sun hours and warm temperatures.

Using this information to your advantage
So, now you know the gas value will increase when the temperature rises. Due to this reason, EWS uses Inland Terminals and the Drive-Through locations to perform gas measurements. Throughout the Netherlands EWS has collaborations with Inland Terminals and by having the gas measurements take place at one of these locations, the container can be directly connected to a ventilation system if the gas value is too high. This will prevent a unnecessary trip for your carriers because the container still appears to contain too high gas value on arrival. And don’t forget, you don’t have  to cancel the unloading team as well.

Ventilation without the desired result
However, ventilation can sometimes take longer than expected during this period. After disconnecting the ventilation, goods will evaporate in such a way that the gas value in the container increases again. There is also a solution for this case: EWS offers the possibility to unload the container at the customer’s location or an EWS location where we will use all necessary personal protective equipment. The container is a closed space with less air circulation. When the goods are unloaded safely with a mixture of “fresh” air, a high gas value is no longer measured. This means that the goods can still be delivered to the customer on time and the container can be returned to the terminal on time.

If you have any questions or problems regarding your measurements and ventilation, do not hesitate to contact us. We are pleased to assist you in your logistics process to offer the best solutions.

EWS Group – Our solutions, your sustainability

Disinfection in restaurant Kamiano for homeless people

Kamiano in Antwerp is a restaurant of Sant’Egidio who look after homeless people. Those in need can get a meal for free. Pascale Bemelmans is one of the co-founders of this organization in Antwerp. “Disinfection treatment by EWS was very welcome and is a wonderful gesture.”

Pascale learned more about the Sant’Egidio organization in Rome while she was on holiday. She started the restaurant in Antwerp in 1994 together with some other people. Sant’ Egidio has grown into a large organization with  thousand volunteers in Belgium. “It’s all about more empathy in this society without judging,” said Pascale. The organization’s message is that poverty can happen to anyone. Kamiano’s approach is very personal. People will be helped by a warm welcome with great respect and in a family atmosphere. Did you know that 250 people come to the restaurant for a warm meal each week? We reach more than thousand people in distress.  In winter, soups and other hot meals are brought to various groups of homeless people by cargo bike. “The hot meal is an answer to a first and immediate need. But for those who want, there is also guidance in many other areas, ”explains Pascale.

Kamiano’s team consists of several professional counselors, including psychologists and social workers. They have numerous of serveral volunteers to. “Kamiano is co-financed by the city of Antwerp, but also relies on donations and volunteers. That’s why it was a nice gesture that EWS Group wanted to help us disinfect our restaurant and guidance center ”, says Pascale gratefully. “It was impressive to experience the disinfection treatment!”. According to EWS, this location was already very clean, because Kamiano has monitored this very closely because of the Corona measures. “Hygiene is very important to us, especially for these vulnerable people. We are very happy that we were able to disinfect the spaces professionally, because the mist reaches places that are difficult for us to reach and is also able to kill bacteria, “says Pascale. So you help us help!”

Proud despite hard times!

Only 6 weeks ago – which feels like an eternity – it became clear what was in store for us regarding measures in case of Coronavirus.  The first notifications came from our Italian colleagues about quarantines, possible lockdown, hundreds of infected, and the first people who died from this virus. Then it escalated quickly. We also had to prepare ourselves, which risks and impact this pandemic would have for our companies in the other European countries, where we operate. We involved our customers to know their vision for the coming months. Also new forecasts have been made and we did some research into reducing work time. Various scenarios passed. Precautions have been taken; cars from the operational staff have all been supplied with soap and water, extra cleaning has been scheduled, all the office personnel were asked to work from home. We try to follow one clear policy as hard as we can. Of course, with specific exceptions in each Country.

 

 

The fact is that this situation is showing how strong our organisation is: there is more cooperation than ever on all fronts, we have daily team meetings, where we keep each other informed about developments by video conference.  HR, QHSE, Sales and Operations have never worked that close and intensively before. Everyone has a lot of creativity and is motivated to answer to all our customers issues. The most important thing is we remain self-motivated.

This situation reminds me of a Dutch quote: “alone you go faster, together you come further.” This sentence certainly applies to us. We really do this together!

We have divisions that are struggling, so we are blessed that we also work in branches that continue to run their business. Logistic never stands still, pests cannot be held back by coronavirus and the demand for our services has never been higher in the food industry. New services, such as disinfection, have been developed and time has been dedicated to knowledge transfer. Multidisciplinary training of our colleagues has always been a high priority on our agenda, but due to constant growth and tight labour markets, this has been difficult to achieve. Nowadays, colleagues between the different divisions are exchanged more than ever before.

It’s often said in the news: there is a world before coronavirus and a world after it, and it will never be like before. I must tell you honestly that I hope so, because this extraordinary situation brought significant changes. I am proud, extremely proud of our colleagues, our partners (customers and suppliers). We all stand together, with patience and understanding. This is inspiring and give us the drive to go for it every day.

Take care, enjoy the little things and try to stay healthy!

Joren Nieuwenhuizen

CEO

Article as PDF: Proud despite hard times!

MEDICAL PRACTICE DISINFECTED CORONA ROOM BY EWS GROUP

COVID-19 – well known as the Coronavirus – opens the eyes of the entire world regarding to hygiene, cleaning and disinfection. Frouke Kieboom, who works at a medical practice in Geertruidenberg The Netherlands, takes her responsibility: “Supporting and take care of each other is very important to prevent contamination. A disinfection of EWS Group based on hydrogen peroxide is very welcome at the practice. ”

Desinfectie Corona

Measures
Frouke Kieboom is a medical practice assistant at Medical Care practice Jacobs, Lammers and Smit in Geertruidenberg in The Netherlands. She is also registered as a BIG and has worked as a district nurse. Her experience is very welcome in this dynamic time of the Corona crisis. Doctors and nurses currently recognize high pressure in their work environment. They do everything they can to prevent infections so that they can still treat as many patients as possible. A doctor is even exempted from treating (possible) corona patients. The most important measure will be a disinfection treatment by EWS Group in one treatment room, killing up to 99.9% bacteria and viruses.

Safety
Only patients (possible) infected with Corona and designated doctors may enter the disinfected room. “Thanks to EWS Group we have a special COVID-19 room,” says Kieboom. Working in this environment feels much safer ”. In addition, professional disinfection based on hydrogen peroxide is more reliable than normal disinfection, because the disinfection of EWS Group can reach all possible angles and kills an unimaginably high percentage of all micro-organisms. “That gives a sense of security,” says Kieboom. That is why we can treat these (potentially) infected patients in this room so we don’t have to take any risks for other patients.

Expertise
EWS Group is a renowned company and market leader in controlling air concentrations in closed spaces, fumigation and pest control. Ragarding to the knowledge and skills of various divisions, EWS Group has developed an innovative product for disinfecting spaces based on hydrogen peroxide. The proven treatment kills bacteria and fights viruses. More information here.

EWS Pest control receives the IPM & KPMB certificates again

After a successful audit, EWS Pest control has received the IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and KPMB (Keurmerk Plaagdier Management Bedrijven) certificates again this year. The KPMB certificate shows that EWS is a specialized organisation of high quality. EWS Group also meets the requirements of ‘Rat control around buildings and food storage areas’.