Spring is the Busiest Season for Landscapers


Now that the snow has finally melted and the grass is starting to grow again, many people are starting to think about sprucing up their yards and gardens. Landscaping companies may field a higher volume of calls than normal. Therefore, it is important to have the right gear on hand for landscaping projects.

Even places that have been hit by recent droughts, such as California, are considering new landscaping options. Due to water restrictions that are in affect, many residents are thinking about replacing the existing flowers, shrubbery and grass in their yards with desert plants that require less water, according to Palm Springs CBS affiliate KESQ.

Landscapers must be sure to have all the protective gear they need at the ready to complete their contracted projects. Workers need the right gloves to protect their skin from thorns, fertilizers and pesticides. Gloveworks HD Orange Nitrile Glovesstretch synthetic vinyl gloves and GPX3 vinyl gloves are chemically resistant barriers for handling lawn and garden chemicals. Dipped work gloves are also perfect for landscapers. In addition, companies may need face masks to prevent employees from breathing in dirt and dust.

No matter how big or small the landscaping job, companies should be properly equipped with personal protective equipment to handle the task.

For more information, follow this link.

AMMEXSpring is the Busiest Season for Landscapers
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Barrier Protection Needs in the Beauty Industry


Whether customers seek no-chip manicures or a relaxing foot massage, nail and beauty technicians need barrier protection to guard themselves against harsh chemicals and pathogens. This presents a large sales opportunity for distributors of disposable gloves and masks.

Not only are salon owners looking out for the safety of their employees, but they are also liable to regulations from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). These best practices and rules are in place for a good reason.

The chemicals used by technicians include acetone, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone and isopropyl acetate. Prolonged exposure to these substances via skin contact or breathing in the vapors leads to symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Skin, eye, mouth and nose irritation
  • Burns
  • Harm to fetuses of pregnant technicians
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Coughing fits and asthma attacks
  • Kidney and liver damage

With regard to biological risks, employees need protection against bloodborne pathogens.

To address these risks, salon owners should purchase a few types of barrier protection:

Disposable gloves
Several glove materials are fitting for the safety risks present in salons. Latex gloves, such as the LX3 and Gloveworks Industrial Latex, are suitable for guarding against chemicals and pathogens.

However, because of the growing prevalence of latex allergies, the industry is trending toward non-latex gloves, such as nitrile and vinyl. Though nitrile gloves, such as the X3, X3D, and AMMEX Indigo Nitrile Exam Gloves, are not recommended for use with acetone, technicians are able to use these gloves because they have limited exposure to the chemical. Stretch synthetic vinyl gloves are also suitable. With these alternatives, neither workers or customers are exposed to latex.

“Gloves protect nail technicians from pathogens and harsh chemicals.”

Masks
Not all masks provide equal results in nail and beauty salons. Many salons use ear loop face masks (ELFMs), which also protect customers from what workers exhale.

N95-rated masks are filtering face pieces. These products, such as the N95 face mask, are useful for nail buffing and applying acrylic powders because they filter out germs and dusts. To fully realize this protection, workers must have properly fitted masks. They will find proper fitting information on the mask packaging.

Reaching the wide open market
With the aforementioned information in mind, it’s not hard to see why the more than 375,000 nail technicians in the U.S. need barrier protection. Distributors who would like to learn more about products that are suitable for their salon clients should speak with their AMMEX sales representative or contact us on our website for more information.

AMMEXBarrier Protection Needs in the Beauty Industry
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What to Know: OSHA’s Change MSDSs to SDSs


In 2012, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The revision sought to make the HCS align more closely with international compliance and provide a more standardized approach to the formatting of OSHA’s material safety data sheets (MSDSs), which will transition to safety data sheets (SDSs). Additionally, the update implemented new labeling requirements. These changes will make the HCS closer to standards of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

OSHA is introducing the update gradually. The implementation period started Dec. 1, 2013 and ends June 1, 2016. Employers must be compliant with the SDSs requirement by June 1, 2015.

What the revised HCS entails
The new provisions pertain to distributors, importers and manufacturers of chemicals. While the goal of the HCS, which is to give end users information about hazardous chemicals in products, remains the same, OSHA revised the standard to make the information more accessible. Per OSHA’s standards, these chemicals are:

  • Pyrophoric gases
  • Combustible dust
  • Simple asphyxiants
  • Health or safety hazards for any other reason

Manufacturers, distributors and importers must now communicate these hazards to end users via SDSs, which are largely the same as MSDSs. The key change is the new forms use a 16-section format to make the information easy to digest.

“Employers must be compliant with the SDSs requirement by June 1.”

Overview of the 16 sections
Sections 12 through 15 are the ones that specifically align with the GHS. The preceding sections detail information about the chemicals as well as control measures. The final section is for any other pertinent data.

The sections cover a number of issues. Sections 4, 5 and 6, for instance, list steps for responding to emergencies stemming from the chemical. These include first-aid, firefighting and accidental release measures.

Other sections define the nature of a chemical. What is it and what hazards are associated with it? If the chemical is a substance or mixture, what are the ingredients? What are the physical and chemical properties? These and other factors are covered in Sections 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11 and 12.

Other factors addressed in the SDSs include disposal guidelines, storage guidelines, associated regulations and shipping restrictions and requirements.

Caveats to the rules
OSHA has some exceptions to its new rules for SDSs. One particularly important designation is the exemption relating to articles. These items are exempt from the regulations because they do not release the chemical used in their development or present an exposure risk by any other means. For example, nitrile gloves do not need SDSs.

SDS regulations apply to several parts of the supply chain.

For items to be classified as articles, they must meet additional criteria. The product must have a specific design or shape that defines its end use. Disposable gloves are shaped to fit hands and provide barrier protection for those body parts, so they are articles.

One glove-specific exemption is medical-grade gloves. Unlike industrial-grade gloves, which receive oversight from OSHA, these products fall under the purview of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are therefore not liable to the HCS provisions.

How this affects AMMEX and our distributors
AMMEX is currently updating our MSDSs to SDSs. Both distributors and customers have inquired about when the change will be finalized. Per the OSHA deadlines, we encourage all vendors to ensure their products are compliant by the June 1 deadline.

AMMEXWhat to Know: OSHA’s Change MSDSs to SDSs
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It’s Time to Suit Up for Spring Cleaning


Dust bunnies, grime and clutter accumulate throughout winter, and it is time to attack these issues head on now that the weather has improved to allow for open windows. However, before you get started with eradicating the messes around your house, you must acquire the right gear for the job.

Your wash bucket will be full of cleaners, rags, scrub brushes and other items to give your home a new shine for spring. Do not forget to grab the appropriate attire as well. Before you start cleaning, slip on a pair of disposable gloves to protect your skin. You may think there are not any serious consequences from touching cleaners and old dirt, but the opposite is true.

In fact, there are a number of items you should not touch without wearing gloves. Here are a few:

“Bleach is corrosive to your skin.”

Bleach
In addition to making your white clothes whiter, bleach also serves as a cleaning and disinfecting agent. Whether you are pouring a little into your dishwater or a bucket for mopping the floor, bleach is a useful substance to have on hand. Yet you must use it in moderation. If you use too much, getting a headache from the smell is not the only risk you face.

Bleach is a mixture of water and sodium hypochlorite that comes in various concentrations. Because sodium hypochlorite is an oxidizing agent, it is corrosive to your skin. Low concentrations may not produce noticeable effects, but higher concentrations or continuous exposure to low concentrations could lead to reactions that include skin irritation, burning and itching.

Even if you are using bleach for only a short amount of time, wear a pair of gloves. Nitrile gloves, for instance, are the best option for chemical resistance.

Detergents
These substances come into play when you are washing dishes, mopping, washing your car, cleaning your home’s windows and for other uses.

Most detergents are mild but over time, the effects are more serious than pruney skin. These substances dry out your skin and will lead to irritation following prolonged contact. Grab a pair of gloves before you wash your car, mop your floor or tackle the tower of dishes piling up by your sink.

Mold
Mold is a problem in many homes. Often, the presence of mold goes undetected because it grows unbeknownst to homeowners – hiding behind walls and in dark corners of attics and basements. If your home has moisture, leaks or flooding issues, you likely have mold growing somewhere in the property.

During winter, your risk for mold may increase. One of the best ways to improve your indoor air quality and minimize mold is to keep your windows open, especially when you shower and the steam causes moisture to accumulate in the bathroom. However, with the cold weather, your windows are closed for a few months. If you have not been using your exhaust fan – or your bathroom doesn’t have one – your bathroom may develop mold.

For significant mold growth, you must contact professionals to take care of the removal, but for small patches, it is safe to handle the cleaning yourself. Wear gloves when cleaning mold. Not only are there health issues that arise if you touch mold with your bare hands, including skin irritation, but also you need to protect your hands from the detergent or bleach you use to clean the mold. Furthermore, wear an N95-rated mask to avoid breathing in mold spores.

“Disposable gloves protect your hands from harsh chemicals, mold and pathogens while you clean.”

Animals
Due to the cold temperatures, small animals may have burrowed into your house or garage to find a warm place to live. While many of the animals will venture back out into the world once the weather becomes warmer, some will not have survived.

If you come across dead mice, rats or other animals, do not touch them with your bare hands. Also, wear gloves when cleaning the areas where you found these creatures. Many rodents carry pathogens, such as hantavirus, which spread through rodent droppings. That’s why it’s important to wear gloves and a mask. You must stay healthy to tackle all of your other spring cleaning chores.

These are just a few situations when you should wear gloves while cleaning your house to prepare for spring, and there is nothing wrong with putting gloves on for other purposes. Maybe you just want to feel like a superhero while you clean.

AMMEXIt’s Time to Suit Up for Spring Cleaning
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5 Benefits of Using Social Media Marketing


Social media is a prevalent part of consumers’ lives, and the phenomenon has strongly influenced marketing strategies. The push for social media marketing to reach consumers expanded to business-to-business interactions, providing companies with a new channel to reach their B2B clients.

This trend may be largely due to the increasing population of millennials in the workforce. This generation will soon account for the majority of workers in the U.S. as more baby boomers reach retirement age and exit the workforce.

With millennials acting as decision-makers in more companies, social media marketing becomes even more important for B2B sales. Millennials access social media from desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Often, social media is the only means of connecting with these individuals, so businesses must embrace this channel as part of their marketing strategies.

Not only will social media help companies reach an increasingly millennial-dominated business world, but it also provides several tangible benefits:

Brand awareness
Businesses may seek to address a market need, but that does not mean clients will immediately latch on to those companies. Often, this lack of engagement occurs because potential clients are not aware of a company.

Social media provides a way to increase brand awareness. This channel is all about sharing – whether through links, videos, images or text – and a company should leverage the viral potential of content. If one lead discovers the business via social media, that lead is likely to share that brand with others he or she interacts with on social media.

Established credibility
Thought leadership, especially in niche industries, is crucial. Businesses take an authoritative stance among their industry peers and potential B2B clients by posting content that shows their expertise. An appraisal company, for example, promotes its thought leadership through links to home sales reports, interest rate data and case studies.

Moreover, as businesses interact with other thought leaders in their industries, leads and current clients see those conversations. If the appraisal company engages in a Twitter exchange with the chief economist of a real estate information website, the former then reaches individuals who subscribe to the latter.

Direct engagement with clients
Social media marketing is built to foster relationships. Whether its networking with colleagues or connecting with new friends, this channel is designed for direct interaction.

Television, radio and newspaper advertisements are impersonal. With social media, current and prospective business converse with the company. If someone has questions or comments about products, services or content posted to the page, he or she posts inquiries to a business’s social media profile and receives real-time support from customer service.

More closed deals
The aforementioned points lend to higher conversion and sales rates. With increased traffic, engagement, brand awareness and brand authority, the odds of moving leads through the sales funnel improve.

Social media platforms also provide many tools to enhance conversions. Targeted advertising allows businesses to direct their marketing efforts to specific verticals. For instance, a marketing automation software company may direct its advertisements toward decision-makers at financial institutions. Facebook, Twitter and other platforms provide tools to streamline ads to these leads.

“Social media provides a way to increase brand awareness.  As more millennials become decision-makers at companies, businesses must leverage social media marketing to reach them.”

Real-time sales support
Improving sales is the goal of social media marketing, but that does not mean the channel solely reaches out to leads and clients. Social media grants sales rep immediate access to support while they are in the field. Whether reps need more materials for product demonstrations, access to content to nurture leads or other resources, they are able to pull that information from their companies’ social media efforts.

When B2B leads search for a product or service, a company wants to be the first and most authoritative source they see. If businesses leverage social media effectively, they take a crucial step toward becoming industry leaders.

AMMEX5 Benefits of Using Social Media Marketing
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March Madness: Team Nitrile


Sometimes, the game calls for aggressive players, and for March Madness: Team Nitrile delivers the “Xtreme” intensity needed to command the court. These gloves play hard in the paint to provide exceptional barrier protection, with the best chemical and tear resistance among all glove materials.

Here is our starting lineup for March Madness:  Team Nitrile:

Orange nitrile


These are the most aggressive gloves on the team. With a raised diamond texture to provide superior grip, no oily defenders are stripping the ball or tools away from them. Plus, Orange Nitrile Gloves provide superior chemical resistance to stay in the game longer in automotive, industrial safety and other applications.

Black nitrile


These gloves have long served as the star player of Team Nitrile, putting both AMMEX and the team on the map. One fan said her favorite feature of Black Nitrile Gloves is the sleek color that “conceals dirt, grease, and grime!”

Indigo nitrile


If you need a glove that will box out harmful pathogens or drive to the hole against tough chemicals, then you want Indigo Nitrile Gloves. These gloves play on any court, from the medical to industrial sectors and anything in between. They are also great for tattoo parlors.

Xtreme nitrile


Some gloves play to win and others play to dominate. If you are looking for disposable gloves that will deliver a landslide victory every time, go with Team Nitrile. AMMEX Xtreme nitrile series are ideal for safety and hygiene against a wide variety of opponents. Pick from our Xtreme Extra Long gloves for added protection or Xtreme Green for an easily identifiable target.

AMMEX is a premier importer and distributor of high-quality disposable gloves and barrier protection products. Established in 1988, AMMEX grew into a multinational corporation with offices in the United States, Philippines, China, and Malaysia. We support our AMMEX wholesale distributors with quality products, outstanding service, competitive prices, and proven marketing support to grow their glove sales. Today, AMMEX proudly supplies a wide selection of disposable gloves and personal protection equipment to thousands of distributors in a variety of industries. Whether your clients are in food service, janitorial, medical or automotive, AMMEX has the disposable gloves you need.  Contact us to today become a distributor and add nitrile gloves to your bracket!

 

AMMEXMarch Madness: Team Nitrile
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Gear up for St. Patrick’s Day


St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and you should stock up on disposable gloves in addition to green apparel, decorations and beer. Gloves will be out in force as much as the parade-goers March 17 – and the day after.

Many revelers will be dying or painting hair, paper mache decorations and other items green, and they need gloves to keep the chemical dyes off their hands.

After getting their emerald apparel and decorations together, many Americans will have a hankering for corned beef and cabbage, keeping restaurants and pubs across the nation busy on St. Patrick’s day. As customers crowd into these venues, food service workers will need an ample supply of barrier protection on hand.

While corned beef and cabbage is a staple of St. Paddy’s Day cuisine, it is not the only common sight around the holiday. Many cities, food service venues and others will be cleaning up after all the festivities and will need ample supplies of gloves for the task. For instance, Chicago, which has an iconic celebration that includes dying the Chicago river green, expects 500,000 people to attend the festivities, according to Medill Reports Chicago, and cleanup crews will need the right supplies, including gloves, to pick up behind the revelers.

Many will claim the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but certain things should not be left to chance. Make sure you have the gloves you need.

AMMEXGear up for St. Patrick’s Day
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AMMEX: From Start-Up to Industry Leader


Where a company goes all depends on where it starts, and we at AMMEX come from one man’s goal to provide comprehensive barrier protection to the world. Expanding from a small office to a headquarters in Kent, Washington, production facilities in Asia and distribution centers in Toronto and Atlanta, AMMEX is one of the fastest-growing glove suppliers.

How it all began
Like many businesses that started out small, AMMEX had inauspicious beginnings. Fred Crosetto, a 24-year-old law student from Seattle, started the company in March 1988. While Crosetto had a clear goal in mind, which was to address a growing demand for industrial barrier protection and infection control products, he did not understand what it would truly take to build an international company between the U.S. and Asia.

Rapidly expanding into a leading glove supplier
The spring of 1990 began a string of firsts for AMMEX.

Crosetto opened the retail business in May 1990, sold 50 cases during the first month and did all this by making deliveries with a borrowed van. He also ferried gloves in a 1989 Nissan Sentra, 17 cases at a time.

AMMEX’s first office/warehouse opened in early 1992, and in early 1993, AMMEX received the delivery of our first full ocean container

Where AMMEX lives today
In July 1994, AMMEX acquired Sime Health, a 12,000-square-foot facility located in Seattle. Not only did business double overnight, but this first acquisition lead to what would become our first headquarters in Kent.

While our headquarters is in Kent, AMMEX now has an international presence. With Crosetto leading the way with an attitude of “it can be the right time and the right place, but you still have to do something about it,” AMMEX opened warehouses in Atlanta in 1996 and another in Toronto in 2009. AMMEX continued to grow internationally when we opened our Shanghai operations, which included Shanghai Intco Medical Supply, in January 2005. We also have our AMMEX Weida Health and Safety Supply business Xiantao, Hubei, China.

“AMMEX has grown from a small operation to an international business.”

AMMEX is now a leading distributor in health, hygiene and safety supplies in the China market. Further expansion has included production, procurement and other facilities across Malaysia and the Philippines. One of AMMEX’s strengths is a deep and extensive network of suppliers across China and Southeast Asia. These relationships have and will continue to play a key role as the global growth of this market is only increasing.

AMMEX has grown significantly since our small office in Bellevue, Washington. We have been listed on Washington’s 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies an astounding eight times; are one of the largest privately held companies in the state of Washington; and have been voted one of Seattle Business magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for. However, we have not forgotten our founder’s initial mission. In these past 27 years, we expanded our product lines and international presence and are proud suppliers of a wide selection of disposable gloves and personal protection equipment to thousand of distributors in a variety of industries around the world.

AMMEXAMMEX: From Start-Up to Industry Leader
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West Coast Ports Reach Tentative Labor Agreement


Following weeks of negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the two organizations have finally reached a tentative five-year agreement. The tentative agreement will allow large backlogs of cargo containers along the West Coast to unload their shipments.

In Seattle ports specifically, the backlog will clear within three weeks, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported. However, the West Coast ports and the global supply chain are far from operating at normal activity. Containers shipping from the United States back to foreign ports will take time. The backup caused by the lack of containers in China and Southeast Asia is significant. Analysts are predicting that it will still be at least eight to 12 weeks before the supply chain will normalize, at the very minimum. This will be a welcome return to normal activity, as some industries lost millions of dollars because of the labor dispute. These losses were particularly felt in the agricultural business, which had shipments rotting in the ports.

As the situation continues to unfold, AMMEX is well stocked with inventory to support our clients and prospects. With that said, delays are still possible, as negotiations, which shut down ports several times, will not be complete until the union ratifies the agreement, an endeavor that could take a few months, according to the source. The tentative agreement is a sign of positive movement, but unpredictable changes in the situation could still occur.

For more information, follow this link.

AMMEXWest Coast Ports Reach Tentative Labor Agreement
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How Nitrile and Vinyl Gloves are Made


Unlike latex gloves, nitrile and vinyl gloves do not come from natural rubber. These gloves come from synthetic materials, but the manufacturing process is not too different from latex glove production.

Here is an overview of how manufacturers create these gloves:

Creating the synthetic materials
The processes for creating the nitrile and vinyl materials is similar.

The nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) used for nitrile gloves is a copolymer, which is a substance derived through the bonding of different molecules. In the case of NBR, the two parts are butadiene and acrylonitrile, which chemists combine using a process known as copolymerization. These molecules provide specific advantages for the gloves: Acrylonitrile enhances the chemical resistance, while butadiene creates flexibility and tear resistance.

Vinyl gloves come from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) monomers alone. Because chemists use only one species of monomer to create PVC, the material is known as a polymer. Once they have polymerized the substance, the chemists add a chemical called a plasticizer to the PVC. The plasticizer makes the material flexible – otherwise, the PVC would be rigid, as it is when used to form pipe. PVC is inexpensive to create, making it a cost-effective alternative to latex and for applications where glove changes occur frequently.

“Chemists combine molecules to create PVC and NBR for disposable gloves.  For easier donning, nitrile gloves undergo chlorination or polymer coating.”

Producing the gloves
Once the synthetic materials are available, they go to the factory for production. With a few exceptions, this process is mostly the same as the steps for manufacturing latex gloves:

  • The manufacturing equipment first runs ceramic, hand-shaped formers through water and bleach to clean them and remove any residue from the previous run. The formers then dry to remove all the water. Then, they dip in a mixture of calcium carbonate and calcium nitrate, which helps the synthetic materials coagulate around the formers. Afterward, the formers dry again.
  • The equipment dips the formers in tanks full of NBR or PVC. The following step involves heating the materials at a high temperature to form the gloves as they dry.
  • For easier donning, nitrile gloves undergo one of two processes: chlorination or polymer coating. Chlorination involves exposing the gloves to chlorine – as an acid mixture or gas – to make the material harder and more slick. Polymer coating lubricates the glove surface by adding a layer of polymer.
  • Finally, in what is known as the stripping phase, the gloves are removed from the formers. This is called the stripping phase.

Checking for quality
The last steps of the manufacturing cycle include testing the gloves and shipping them.

The quality control process, which is based on standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ATSM) and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), includes the pinhole leak test. While all gloves have some pinholes, this test tells manufacturers whether a glove has enough pinholes to lead to a noticeable leak.

After filling the gloves with 1 liter of water, the workers hang them upside down for two minutes to see if the gloves can hold the water. Exam-grade gloves undergo more intensive testing than industrial-grade gloves – the latter is composed of gloves that meet basic quality tests but not the higher standards for exam grading.

These tests adhere to acceptable quality limits (AQLs), which are percentages indicating how many gloves in a batch must fail the test to determine if the entire batch fails.

The final step is for workers to package and pack the gloves. Then, the gloves ship from the manufacturing facilitates in Southeast Asia via ocean freight to their final destinations. With this journey, the gloves have taken the final step from being molecules to effective barrier protection.

AMMEXHow Nitrile and Vinyl Gloves are Made
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