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Ask Me Anything with Daniel from UVPPE

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We’re hosting an Ask Me Anything event on Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 at 11am MDT with Daniel Jordan from UVPPE to answer your questions about worker protection and liability risks for growers.

About Daniel:
Daniel Jordan is the founder and CEO of UV Personal Protective Equipment (UVPPE) which specializes in light spectrum protective clothing and equipment for the cannabis industry. An avid researcher, Mr. Jordan was formerly the co-founder and head of operations for another light spectrum clothing line. He was also involved in the e-commerce side of the cannabis industry focused on software and business development.

Mr. Jordan studied under one of the leading dermatology experts, and pioneer, in the field of light spectrum protective clothing to gain the knowledge and insight needed to combat this vital industry issue. Backed by decades of combined experience, the UVPPE team is dedicated to helping you protect your workers while protecting your business and your bottom line.

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Hey Daniel,

I have a few questions I have been thinking about:

What is the real risk of working full time in a large grow from a UV exposure? Are we talking tanning bed everyday sort of risk?

Are there types of lights we should be more concerned about exposure to than others?

What are your thoughts of the safety and efficacy of using UV sterilizers in air ducts or using handheld uv “wands” for sterilization of air, plant surfaces and equipment?

What precautions should growers who are exposed to lights often and for long period of time take to protect themselves for the long term? Many people are now making growing their career, so they need to be worried about long term exposure over 20 or 30 years maybe.

Do you foresee any future regulations for PPE specific to the growing industry, mirroring that of other, more mature industries?

Thank you very much for your time!

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Hey Casey,

The real risk is much more than UV exposure, granted that is a significant portion. The real risk is light radiation exposure across the spectrum (UV, Visible and IR).

Any light spectrum that exceeds UV index warnings should be considered potentially harmful and depending on the spectrum, should definitely be accounted for. Each light source offers different spectrum concerns

I encourage any protective measure to protect people working in these conditions. The problem is focusing on the UV side doesn’t protect from other light radiation

You want to cover as much of the exposed area as possible. That is why we created our unique products that offer the most complete light radiation protection.

I absolutely see the significant health risks in the industry coming to the forefront of conversation very soon. Industry will always be ahead of regulation and health. But we already have the science in regards to what light does to the body, now it is just having people understand the cannabis industry and seeing the significant risks

Great questions!

@RayWearCC what is the most difficult aspect of your business?

@RayWearCC what keeps you up at night?

At this point is is getting the industry to understand the science behind what we are talking about. This is such a new concept (for cannabis), that people have never really but two and two together. Raising the awareness of this unavoidable risks and getting people to protect themselves and their employees is the paramount issue currently.

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As an add-on to Casey’s question: in the last few years UVB and UVC have really gained a foothold in the industry as we have better understood the stress-activated response (SAR) within the plant system and the higher resin/essential oil production that results from the introduction of UVB/UVC lights. More commercial facilities are integrating these lights as a supplement to regular lighting arrays. It’s been my experience that very few of (the vast majority in fact) cultivation facility owners have taken proper precautionary measures to protect the workers that labor in these potentially dangerous work environments. I have noted on multiple occasions in many facilities a decided lack of COMMON SENSE proper protective gear, eyewear, and even sunscreen in these workplaces (a cultivation facility, although sometimes fun, IS a workplace governed by the same regulatory agencies that oversee all workplaces in their given jurisdictions). What steps might the industry introduce as standards across the board to protect these workers from exposure to harmful, carcinogenic UVB/UVC rays? Do you forecast a possibility of legal action in the future from workers, class action or otherwise, that might result from owners negligence to properly warn and protect employees? To all individuals who work in the industry: We are humans that deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and always ought to be protected in the workplace, regardless of the industry. Stand up for your rights and take the proper measures to protect your body.

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Ahhhh…so many things. HAHAHA. Mainly making sure I am doing the right thing for the industry. I love what cannabis is doing and the opportunities it will provide for people on a medical level. I want to do everything possible to ensure the success and growth of cannabis. I truly believe protecting the front line of the industry (Growers) is the best way to ensure the industry as a whole.

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Speaking of the science around light exposure, do you have any good research that you can share with the community around the exposure risks?

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Besides horticultural lighting sources, are there other light sources which people might need UV protection (IE a driver from the sun)? I ask this because UV exists outside of our visible spectrum, and there may be undetected sources of hazardous light.

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Cigarettes/Silicone Breast Implants/Johnson and Johnson

These three cases alone should make every owner concerned. OSHA is slow, but regulation will catch up to the industry. Our goal is to protect people now so we can avoid health risks in the future.

The best way to have a successful business is to have healthy and safe employees. Protecting your team should be priority one for every business owner…especially those businesses that have hazardous work environments.

As each state is different in regards to regulatory bodies, most would be governed by the same concepts. A cannabis business would be under the same regulation as a tire shop. The difference would be PPE regulations for employees

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Are there any efforts underway around protection guidelines at the state level for cannabis employees yet?

I have a significant section on my website www.uvppe.com called “Light Spectrum” that goes over the pertinent spectrum regions and the affects those regions have on the body.

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How does one know and/or figure out that their light spectrum exceeds UV index warnings? Do bulb companies readily disclose that info? Where can you find it?

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Again, it is not just UV alone, but visible and IR light. I am not 100% familiar with glass in regards to the pass through rate for light radiation, so I couldn’t give an honest answer. But regarding light sources, the average person would not be exposed to high enough levels of light radiation on a daily basis (excluding being out in the sun directly). Grow lights however, operate at much higher levels of the spectrum and workers are exposed at much higher rates

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I am not sure of light companies disclose that information that way. They mostly will provide spectrum reading based on the McCree curve so so growers can pick and choose which spectrum they want to focus on.

But when looking at those light charts, the spikes you see around the blues and reds are going to be your significant areas of concern.

That reminds me of this amazing photo of a truck driver. The left side of his face got much more sun damage due to being next to the window, compared with the right side of his face:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/photo-shows-sun-damage-to-truck-drivers-skin_uk_56e7d73ee4b096ed3adc3ba2

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Hopefully the day comes soon when the owners or workers take the initiative and make the PPE’s just a regular part of SOP. I fear that legal action that results from death of industry workers forces the hand of regulatory bodies like OSHA. How can we make PPE’s industry standards short of making them a requirement by law? Is it going to take people dying from exposure to harmful radiation to make the industry take note?

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Yeah, I read that article…crazy right!!!

We just take for granted, or assume, we are protected…and sadly we are not.

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Can you explain how the UPF figure is characterized with your fabrics? I assume this is based on some type of UV/VIS transmission spectroscopy.

Risks associated with UV exposure are well documented. Can you point to any resources documenting the risks associated with PAR spectrum (400-700nm) exposure at light levels found in grow rooms (500-1000 umol /m2 s-1)?

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