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A panic attack or fear is an unexpected occurrence that affects the individual’s psychological and physiological processes in the body. The condition is in many cases short lived but varies according to different individuals. Understanding the condition fully will help in panic attack treatment to the victims. However, the attacks are not frequent but when they strike, they may terrify the individual so badly. It takes quite some time before the person can accept it and be ready to seek medical advice.

drugs1Depressants and tranquilizers are the medical drugs that are used in treating the condition. The drugs work by relaxing the human nerves and reducing the body’s anxiety. As much as the drugs can help cure the condition, they are likely to bring about certain side effects to the individual. Some of these effects include restlessness, appetite loss and lack of sleep. All these side effects are in one way related to the panic attack condition itself and may bring upon confusion. This has made a number of the drug users dealing with the condition to neglect the drugs and lead a freestyle life.

Consequently, finding panic attack treatment without necessarily aggravating the problem requires the individual to look for other alternatives. Other treatment measures include use of homeopathic substances that comprise of special formulations. The internet can also provide you with the step-by-step procedure on how to manage the condition without triggering other problems.

The Procedure To Follow On Panic Attack Treatment

Panic attack treatment can be done in the hospital or just in the comfort of your home by yourself. You can also learn some self-help tips that treat the panic attacks and disorder. First step is to learn as much as possible about panic. Learning about panic helps a lot in relieving you from having hard times during an attack or when a loved one is going through attacks.

Panic attack treatment can also come about easily when one avoids smoking and caffeine. These two provoke panic attacks among many people in the society who use them for the purpose of stimulation. Stimulants such as coffee and other caffeinated beverages should be avoided at all costs. You should also be very careful with cigarettes since they are listed among the greatest triggers of panic attacks. A person who smokes is more likely to suffer from more regular panic attacks as compared to the one who does not smoke.

You should also learn to control your breathing any time you are experiencing a panic attack. This will slow down your heartbeat keeping you more relaxed and calm. Hyperventilation, a term that refers to the fast heartbeat rate brings dangerous sensations such as light-headedness. This can cause one to faint the moment they are attacked.

How To Arrest Panic Attacks

images-25Many people suffer from panic attacks and they end up even being admitted in hospitals for the same reason. All in all, there are very many people who do not have any details on panic attack treatment. It is imperative to have some details based on the panic attacks so as to make sure that you have the right information on panics. With the information, you rest assured that you will arrest a panic situation as well as how to undertake a panic attack treatment. Panics have become very common but most often the symptoms are the ones that are treated rather than treating the panics.

Panic attack treatment has always brought out some controversy for there is very much different information that has always been given based on the same. It is stated that there is no medical treatment of the panic attacks whereas there are some people who believe that there is medicine that can treat the panics. Some of the people claim that panic attack treatment has to be done by a specialist in physiotherapy. These are all different aspects towards panic attack treatment but it is always that you get the best of the services as you tackle panic attacks.

Some symptoms that come as a result of panic attacks need immediate panic attack treatment. Failure to receive treatments could lead to a lifetime of disability. Shortness of breath, also known as hyperventilation is one of the dangerous symptoms that need panic attack treatment. A person who experiences excessive hyperventilation is at a higher risk of developing other illnesses such as hypertension.

images10Nausea and upset stomach is also another symptom that is dangerous to one’s body. Excessive nausea can lead to dehydration in one’s body. The stomach upset also causes a lot of discomfort to a person. This means that a person becomes disabled and this greatly affects his or her productivity at the workplace. Fainting is also a bad symptom that one experiences. Sometimes, it begins as a light heady experience, which further develops to fainting. When a person is unconscious, they could be vulnerable to other illnesses that are risky to one’s life.

A person who suffers from frequent panic attacks develops a lot of fear for life. They develop the fear of dying which haunts them for long periods of life throughout their lives. A person also develops the fear of losing control and going crazy and this develops low self-esteem in them. Low self- esteem causes low productivity at the workplace.

Quick Panic Attack Treatment

There are actually long-term and short-term (quick) cure for panic attack. For the quick panic attack treatment, people who have this kind of problem would turn into this kind of treatment. It is because short-term cure can noticeably help right away. It is somehow assuring for them to see the quick positive results of this quick treatment.

One quick panic attack treatment is through medication. This treatment deals with benzodiazephines or anti-anxiety drugs, and antidepressants. The first acts quickly in an hour after taking it while the second works after several weeks of intake. Thus, compared to natural relaxation and breathing techniques (as in Yoga, Reiki and other Meditation practices), these drugs are quicker to take effect against panic attack than the natural ways, which would usually take effect after several months or even years of practice. Somehow, people would prefer to shoo away the panic attacks once and for all.

The negative effect of these medications though, once stopped, is that they are highly addictive and can contribute some nasty withdrawal symptoms. That is why, some physicians and ‘patients’ do not rely on this type of quick panic attack treatment. The long-term cure is usually prescribed or advised. As it is, natural remedies are always the best to use rather than those processed by pharmaceuticals.

Understanding Panic Attack Treatment

A panic attack is a term used to refer to the sudden occurrence that may affect the well being of a human and is short lived. However, depending on the attack, symptoms may vary. It is important to understand these attacks as it will help you in panic attack treatment. These attacks are not frequent and when they strike, they do so hard and it may take time before the victim can accept the situation and decide to seek medical attention. To some however, they take this as just another psychological condition that goes away with rest and a cup of coffee.

images-30Panic treatment is medically done using the drugs known as antidepressants and tranquilizers. These drugs are most effective when it comes to calming the human nerves as well as the anxiety in one’s body. In as much as these drugs are best used to take care of the panic attacks, they are also known to induce some symptoms (insomnia, restlessness, loss of appetite etc) that are related to
the condition that they are curing. Most patients have therefore been known to forego these drugs as they feel it leaves them in a much worse condition than they are in.

Therefore, when trying to look for a panic attack treatment without necessarily worsening the symptoms, it would be of importance if such drugs are avoided. Alternative drugs that can be used include the use of homeopathic treatment which employs the use of special formulations. The patient can also decide to visit the internet and find out sites which offer step to step instructions on how to avoid and manage panic attacks. There is much information that one can find concerning management of panic attacks.

Point of sale software is commonly used at various retail shops such as bars, restaurants and car hire companies to monitor the sales of their services and products. The installation of this software is done at the point where the clients makes payments for goods or services. The main role of this software in a business is to record and monitor each and every day sales to make sure that all accounts for the business are safe and up to date. In addition, the software is also responsible for management of prize fluctuations. Price fluctuations in many businesses are a common phenomenon.

In case where prices of different products may fluctuate on almost daily basis, it is very hard to control and manage them. This is the stage where point of sales software comes in handy. With this software installed, the only job of the entrepreneur will be only to feed the new digits and the software creates the new changes automatically. It is particularly very good for the restaurant sales management of different prices of various dishes on the menu card. When the customer is issuing payment for what he or she used, the restaurant attendant does not have to manually refer to the records to calculate the total price. All you have to do is to feed the prices into the software for instant and accurate billing. See more about restaurant POS here.

Every business establishment handling cash needs to be organized and accurate in every day operations. Traditional cash registers are now replaced with point of sale software. Using cash registers, it only shows you the accumulated cash throughout the day. However, using the new POS software allows you to find out how much money is in your drawer and how much of it is the profit. Moreover, it can present the best sold products and tell which items are of low stocks.

Theft is minimized through the use of point of sale software. It allows stocks inventory to be accessible instantly. Generally, employees are careful in every transaction especially when purchasing orders to avoid mistakes. Employees are alert and must not reach to a point of out of stock.

Inventory management needs detailed and accurate reports. When making an order for products, the point of sale software can instantly show what products sell the most throughout the year and what products are seasonal. For instance, swimming outfit are usually top sellers during summer. During the rest of the months, orders of swimsuits are normally low. In addition, the software can store list of client information for future advertising and promotions.

So many people are investing in businesses but not all of them know ways to properly treat their customers. Some use promotional products whereas others offer special deals as well as discounts. Even if you sell your products at a price below the invoice and your customer service is slow, you can drive your customers away. To be on the safe side, you need to use a good point of sale system. If you walk into some businesses, you will be amazed because of the way they attend to their customers. Many of them are still locked into the old days of using calculators and pens to total the amount of money spent by the customer. You can imagine a situation where there are more than 20 customers waiting to be attended. When a client places an order, he or she expects to be served ASAP. In a restaurant, the time that a customer spends looking at the menu does not matter. What matters most is the amount of time that a cashier takes to process the order and the waiters takes to serve the meal. To ensure that you serve your clients within the least time possible, you need a fast and a reliable point of sale system like from POS Software Associates.

If you are looking forward to starting a business, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. You need to develop your ideas well and list every single detail concerning your business. Many people exclude a point of sale system from their list despite the fact that it is the most important aspect in any kind of retail business. You also need a team of employees since you cannot work alone. Supervising employees is not easy and chances of them stealing are very high. This is the reason as to why many people fail in businesses. There are other careless mistakes that can only be eliminated by use of point of sale system. Managing a business is not simple as some people think but with the introduction of POS system, it become easy to keep track on important information. It requires sound mind and one should be ready to use all the strategies and tactics to succeed. A research shows that most of the market leading businesses use point of sale system. This is because it eliminates some simple mistakes that can affect a business like pricing error. It also enhances speedy service to clients thereby allowing more clients to your business.

Although voluntary, the ISO 14000 standards are expected to become an international passport for companies seeking business in countries with a high level of environmental awareness. They are also seen by some as a means of leveling the playing field among the myriad of regional and national standards which could potentially become trade barriers.

ISO 14000 loosely refers to a series of voluntary standards to check whether a company has an effective environmental management system in place. The standards seek to harmonize practices in several areas, including environmental management, auditing, performance evaluation, labeling, and life-cycle analysis.

Of these, ISO 14000 itself is the standard for environmental management system guidance. It is modeled somewhat after ISO 9000, the well known quality standard. But there is a substantial difference. ISO 9000 is limited to exchanges between contracting parties. ISO 14000 pertains to an organization’s relationship to global ecology.

Pulp producers would benefit more from ISO 14000…

The ISO 14000 series includes three other standards. ISO 14001 sets environmental management system specifications. ISO 14010-12 establishes environmental auditing and related investigations, and ISO 14031 issues guidelines on environmental performance evaluation.

At the Oslo meeting, only ISO 14000 and ISO 14001 were approved. Those relating to eco-labeling, lifecycle analysis, and environmental performance tools had mixed success and will require further negotiating.

While ISO standards are written as voluntary consensus standards, some countries adopt them as law or use them as a basis for contracting. This means, effectively, that though not necessarily laws or regulations, ISO standards can become a marketing point.

Many officials, including some from developing nations, left the Oslo meeting convinced that the two standards would have a bigger impact on the environment than any government or intergovernmental treaty or program. Others, particularly governmental and private environmental groups, criticized the ISO standard for avoiding specifics.

According to Pierre Hauselmann, a policy adviser for the Worldwide Fund for Nature, one key part of ISO 14001 is the definition of continual improvement. But he says there is no base on which to establish improvement, meaning that continual improvement could begin at a very low level.

The Fund’s skepticism reflects the concerns of the European Union that ISO 14000 may be too weak to serve as a standard for its recently launched Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). Indeed, the success of ISO 14000 standards could hinge on whether the EU decides to adopt ISO standards as compatible with EMAS, industry observers say.

In effect since April, EMAS itself is not detailed enough to be a standard, and the European Commission has asked the European Standards Organization, known by the French acronym CEN, to produce a Europeanwide standard. CEN has waited to see the draft versions of ISO 14000 and 14001 before it draws up its own European standard.

The next step after the Oslo meeting will be to determine EMAS and ISO 14001 compatibility — a feat that will be no less difficult than bringing the U.S. and Europe to agree on a basic framework for the ISO 14000 standards.

Among the major differences between ISO 14001 and EMAS:

* On environmental policy, EMAS specifies 12 key environmental issues that must be taken into account in a firm’s environmental policy and 11 principles of action. By contrast, ISO 14001 does not specify any issues, simply stating that top management must ensure that the policy is relevant to the nature, scale, and environmental impacts of its activities, products, and services.

* On environmental management systems, EMAS requires that the system and program apply to all activities on a site. Companies, for instance, must compile a register of “significant” environmental effects and past, current, and planned activities to assess these effects. By contrast, ISO 14001 directs a firm to set up a procedure and identify activities, products, and services that it can control or influence so as to determine which have or can have significant impacts on the environment. An example of this might be that a paper manufacturer would have much better benefits over a POS software developer, mainly because the raw inputs of producing paper from pulp creates so much more in the way of damage than simply working in a realm as “eco-friendly” as point of sale. On the other hand, any inputs the POS company could minimize to make their product more eco friendly (less paper in the transaction receipt process, as an example) would reflect well on them also.

* On public disclosure, EMAS contends that providing information to the public is essential for good environmental management. Companies that apply for EMAS certification must agree to publish an environmental statement detailing emissions output and resource consumption. By contrast, ISO 14001 shies away from demanding that companies make anything other than their environmental policies available to the public.

* On internal and external audits, EMAS mandates internal audits at least every three years to assess specified criteria, with a formal report of each audit cycle going to top management. Moreover, an independent, external verifier must validate the reliability and adequacy of the statement. ISO 14001 also requires periodic internal audits but does not specify in any detail the issues to be addressed nor the audit frequency. It also makes no mention of external verification.

It must have come as no surprise to Russian Greenpeace activists to be arrested for just standing on Red Square. Their August 6th demonstration, in which 50 crosses with radiation symbols marked the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima, was just one of many to fall afoul of Russian authorities.

The organization was denied permission to hold a meeting, and a few minutes after it began it was broken up by police. Most journalists present had film and tapes confiscated, under the pretext that all filming on Red Square had to be approved by the Kremlin commandant or the Presidential administration.

This heavy-handedness by the authorities is part of a long-standing tradition here of hostility to environmental consciousness, and goes a long way to explaining Greenpeace’s popularity in Russia, a nation with a built-in distrust of its rulers. In fact, what makes Greenpeace so relevant today in Russia is the absent tradition of environmental consciousness and activism. The organization’s commitment and aggressive tactics are geared toward maximum affect with a minimum of resources.

Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warriors are already something of a force in Russia. According to Dmitry Tolmatsky, coordinator of the nuclear energy campaign in Greenpeace Russia, his organization has 10,000 volunteer supporters. Some of them donate money, others just participate in events. In addition, there is a nationwide network of informers at nuclear and chemical facilities who keep Greenpeace well-briefed about local issues. In a random April 1995 survey of 800 Muscovites, Greenpeace found that over 80% considered the environment to be a top priority, half expressed faith that Greenpeace could help to promote environmental solutions, and 23.6% said that they would support Greenpeace financially.

But aside from having a solid core of supporters, Greenpeace seems to have captured the public imagination on a much broader scale. In fact, its reputation in Russia is such that 2×2, a commercial TV channel showing mainly pop videos and soap operas, provided the organization with broadcast time free of charge. Since then, its advertising campaign has taken off, and initial accusations of attention-seeking and empty sloganeering have been swept aside by overwhelming public approval. According to the survey, almost 70% of Muscovites have seen Greenpeace’s dramatic television clips, and over three-quarters of these expressed a positive reaction to them.

Greenpeace has managed to give a high profile not just to itself, however, but to a series of issues with an acute effect on Russia. They recently exposed a long-term scandal involving a French company, Union Mimiere, which produced chemical waste and sent it to Russia in the guise of cobalt and nickel scrap. About 1,000 tons of toxic substances were imported to Russia, containing 8-10% cadmium, 2-3% thallium, plus selenium, germanium and arsenic. Intoxication with these substances can cause intestinal colic, acute renal failure, serious dysfunction and even death.

Initially the toxic cargo was sent to the village of Svetly in Orenburg Region. However, workers refused to handle the toxic cargo and after research was carried out, the local authorities and customs officials decided to take the waste out of Russia altogether.

Another major priority for Moscow Greenpeace at the moment is the situation in Chechnya. While politicians and journalists alike lament the human suffering and the economic plight of the republic, the ecological situation is largely forgotten. Greenpeace Russia director Alexander Knorre is planning to send an expedition there when the threat of hostilities recedes. “After the end of fighting in Chechnya,” he believes, “Russia will get a republic with a completely wrecked economy and on top of that another ecological disaster area.”

So far, it is difficult to tell exactly how widespread the disaster is. There is a huge oil refinery and chemical plant in the capital Grozny, both of which were damaged in various stages of the war, causing massive pollution. Large depositories of chlorine, nitrogen and phenol have also become a source of real threat to the environment in Russia.

Eighty percent of all forests in Chechnya are tall beech forests. According to some sources, these very valuable trees were burned down by the Russian army in large numbers so that Chechen fighters could not wage a guerrilla war.

In recent years, Russia and the former Soviet republics have been specifically blamed for most of the ecological troubles of the human race. The most striking example was the leakage from the oil pipeline near Usinsk in northern Russia, which contaminated an entire region and whose clean-up operation is far from complete. The incident provoked unprecedented discussion throughout the world.

For several months ecological experts from many countries of the world, including representatives of Greenpeace, accused Russian industrialists of every imaginable sin. Knorre, however, believes that Western companies themselves should ensure the safety of Russian pipelines because the Russian oil was produced for them.

At the same time, in the opinion of key international experts, many ecological problems – have actually been settled and the global climate has even improved, but only by default. The industrial slump in Russia is so severe that dozens of major facilities have closed down.

In fact, when other factors are taken into consideration, western criticism of Russia’s ecological state begins to seem downright unfair. According to estimates by Greenpeace experts, Russia is the third ‘most popular’ country in the world to which chemical and radiation waste are brought from every part of the planet. 80 billion tons of all kinds of waste are located in Russia, and every year this figure increases by seven billion. Over the last year, various intermediaries have offered Russia 45 million tons of waste. According to data published by the Federal Security Service, 20,000 tons of waste were brought to Russia illegally. More than 50% of the attempts to bring waste to Russia were made by Germany, and over 80% of all waste is of German origin.

It’s understandable that many countries have discovered Russia’s vast potential as a dustbin for all kinds of the most unpleasant substances invented by man. The logic is that in a country where 8 million sq. km of land remains untouched by human hands, there is plenty of opportunity for surreptitious dumping.

And this may be why Russia needs activists like those at Greenpeace – to defend those areas that the often distracted and ever financially-stressed Russian government is unable to defend.

Using a computer is something that we’ve all gotten used to. Whether that’s a Mac at home to run our music, or Windows based POS systems in our retail stores, our usage of these monsters continues to grow. But what of the environmental impact of using a PC or Mac? It’s clearly a major one. Here are some things you can do to minimize power usage when you’re using your computer.

Auto Power On/Off works with all Macintosh systems that support soft power–those you can turn on and off using the keyboard’s power key.

1. Control the power.

What if your Mac doesn’t support soft power? Or you have a gaggle of external devices you also need to control? The answer to both questions is Sophisticated Circuits’ PowerKey ($110; 206/485-7979). This paperback-size box provides four surge-protected power outlets and connects to the Mac’s ADB port. Press the keyboard’s power key, and the outlets’ juice is on. PowerKey does not allow you to shut down by pressing the power key, but does cut power to the outlets when you choose the Finder’s Shut Down command.

The PowerKey lets you schedule not only power-on and power-off times, but other types of events as well. You could, for instance, schedule the PowerKey to execute a QuicKeys macro that backs up your hard drive, sorts a huge database, or batch-processes a folder full of Adobe Photoshop files.

Sophisticated Circuits’ PowerKey Remote ($59) lets you turn on a Mac with a phone call–it’s ideal for remote-access networking, fax modems, and digital answering machines. When the phone rings, the PowerKey Remote signals the Mac to start up, and the unit shuts the Mac off again when the communications session is complete. (If your Macintosh doesn’t support soft power–or if you want to turn on other peripherals by remote control–combine the PowerKey Remote with the PowerKey.) But there’s one catch: the calling device will only wait so long for your Mac to answer, so you need to use a utility to block unneeded extensions from loading.

Unless your system is a real power-guzzler, you might spend more for the PowerKey than you’ll save on electricity in the short run. But there are other benefits, such as surge protection and reduced wear and tear on equipment, that still make the devices worth considering.

Your Monitor

2. Go dark.

Turning off a monitor when you aren’t using it saves energy and prolongs the monitor’s life without making you wait through long start-up sequences or forgo dial-in communication.

Apple’s current monitors ship with a control panel, called Energy Saver, that powers down the monitor after a specified period of inactivity–the ultimate screen saver. Move the mouse, or hit a key, and the monitor springs back to life.

Berkeley Systems’ After Dark 3.0 ($49.99; 510/540-5535) includes a power-saving module named EcoLogic that powers down your monitor and, if you like, the Mac itself. You can specify separate inactivity intervals for each. And no, you don’t have to forgo the flying toasters–you can set up the infamous screen-saver module (or another module) to appear after a brief interval of inactivity, and have EcoLogic kick in after a longer one.

Your Printer

Printers impose significant resource demands of their own. The industry jargon for everything you put in a printer–paper, toner, and so on–would make any environmentalist cringe: consumables. Here are some ways to consume less.

3. Shop Energy Star.

Most monochrome laser printers today have power-down modes that kick in after a period of inactivity. Just look for Energy Star compliance–that means a product meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s energy-conservation standards.

4. Go ink-jet.

Compact ink-jets such as Apple’s Color StyleWriter 2400 use far less power than laser printers, and less plastic goes into ink-jet printers and their ink cartridges.

5. Print less.

Use page preview to proof documents on screen. Use the page-reduction features most printer drivers provide to squeeze multiple pages on a single sheet of paper. (The layout feature in the LaserWriter 8 Page Setup dialog box is especially useful for this.)

6. Use both sides.

Several workgroup laser printers on the market accept duplexer attachments that flip pages within the printer (see “Top Office Printers,” Macworld, June 1995). You can also print on both sides manually. First print the odd-numbered pages of a document, then flip the sheets over and print the even-numbered pages. For multiple copies, print originals as single-sided copies and then use a photocopier to make the rest two-sided.

A variation on the both-sides theme: Don’t throw away single-sided documents you don’t need. Use them to print first drafts, E-mail, or other nonfinal output. If security or privacy requirements prohibit this, at least recycle the paper.

7. Don’t pitch toner cartridges.

Don’t trash that spent laser-toner cartridge–recycle it (all major printer vendors now have free recycling programs) or refill it.

8. Conserve toner.

Working Software’s Toner Tuner ($24.95; 408/423-5696) extends cartridge life by printing draft copies in gray, using less toner or ink. If you’re using QuickDraw GX, get Peirce Software’s Peirce Print Tools ($129; 408/244-6554). Its InkSaver module performs a similar job, and its PaperSaver module provides n-up printing.

Your PowerBook

PowerBooks are designed around power conservation, so using one instead of a desktop Mac saves energy right off the bat. Batteries contain nasty toxins, but you can reduce their environmental impact by recycling them when spent. Combine a PowerBook with the following products to save even more.

9. Run on 12 volts.

Most home alternative-energy products–solar panels, windmills, and the like–generate 12 volts of juice to charge car batteries, which in turn supply power to lights and appliances. You can run a PowerBook from a 12V power source using Lind Electronics’ (612/927-6303) Automobile Power Adapter, which converts 12V DC into the lower-voltage DC required by a PowerBook. (One of these gems enabled me to keep working through a four-day power outage that struck the rural northern California coast during a winter gale last January. Even as 70-mph winds drove rain through the roof of his blacked-out house, your faithful correspondent was able to play Lode Runner–er, I mean, meet his deadlines.) A model that powers an Apple StyleWriter printer lists for $49. The PowerBook 100-series and Duo versions cost $69.95, while the PowerBook 500-series model is $99.95.

You can also use a DC-to-AC inverter to power your equipment from a 12V source. Radio Shack sells a variety of inverters, including big honkers that can power a small desktop Macintosh and monitor. Statpower Technologies’ Notepower ($69.95; 604/420-1585) is a compact, 6-ounce inverter that generates enough juice to run a PowerBook using the AC adapter.

10. Run from the sun.

You can get one step closer to the ultimate power source with Keep It Simple Systems’ (800/327-6882) Solar System series–solar panels that, in direct sun, generate enough juice for a PowerBook. The $229 Neptune Model I tested was thoughtfully designed. Closed, it’s an 8-by-14-inch nylon case less than an inch thick. Open it flat, and two amorphous silicon panels begin delivering 8.4V to a 10-foot cable that you plug into the PowerBook’s adapter jack. Models are available for all PowerBooks (and other laptops).

11. Recycle it.

And I don’t just mean recycling toner cartridges and paper. Donate old versions of software to a school or charitable organization. And if you work for a big business, recycle your equipment–too many retired computers and printers are aging in storerooms when they could be serving a school or organization that just can’t afford the latest model.

In response to recent emphasis on ecological concerns, Xerox Corp. decided to revamp its 30-year-old product, Dry Microfilm. The company renamed the film, now called Verde (Spanish for “green”), and packaged it as environmentally correct film for imagesetters.

Polaroid, 3M Corp. and Kodak also created dry-image films. The companies worked with hardware vendors such as AutoLogic Inc. and Linotype-Hell Co., whose imagesetters support “green” film.

Green techniques

Fortunately, the quality of imagesetting hasn’t suffered in the move to more ecologically sound consumables. For example, Polaroid’s Dry Tech imagesetting film, which works with an as-yet-unnamed device by Linotype-Hell, has a Dmin of 0.05 and a Dmax of 4, on par with better wet-process films.

During the dry process, selenium, carbon or other electrically charged particles rest between layers of plastic. When the imagesetter applies a pattern of light or heat to the sheets, the particles stick to the “sensitive” layer. What remains when a printer separates the layers is a piece of film to be set on the plate, as well as a throwaway layer of acetate or other plastic, which can serve as a proof of the image.

Kodak’s film, however, uses a thermal laser, which writes directly onto the film, leaving no peel-off layer as waste. Kodak’s film, which has yet to be named and is based on its Helios X-Ray film, will work with a Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co. Ltd. imagesetter, the TE-R1070.

Cost matters

With an eye toward reducing toxics, LaserMaster created the PressMate, a chemical-free imagesetter, which sells for $29,955. Powell said his company found that many users are more attracted by PressMate’s price than by its green capabilities.

Yet at least one PressMate user was lured by the promise of reducing toxins in her workplace. Margie Smith, owner of Margie’s Typesetting of Lenexa, Kan., said: “The environmental aspect played a big part in my decision. I’ve worked with chemicals for 25 years and couldn’t breathe when I went home at night.”

With no connection for water in her office, Smith originally began looking to buy a dry-process imagesetter to avoid the cost of using one at a service bureau. Her service-bureau bill was typically about $2,500 per month; now it tops out at $300, she said. “I do brochures for corporations, and it’s important for me to see what my output is going to be. I just love the 2,400-dpi color. My presentation pieces look like they’ll look when they come off the press, if not better.”

In the race to embrace the environment, higher-end manufacturers are also taking a new look at the market. The newspaper USA Today, based in Arlington, Va., is now beta-testing Xerox’s Verde film, which can be used with “Verde-enabled” imagesetters from companies such as ECRM Inc., Scitex America Corp. and Ultre, a division of Linotype-Hell.

Ken Kirkhart, vice president of production at USA Today, said a newspaper will be less likely to invest in an environmentally friendly device if it has to go out and buy new equipment. “We serve more than one lord,” he said. “We use recycled newsprint and soy inks, but we’re still concerned about money. I couldn’t do one without the other.”

In the end, manufacturers wondering which direction the market will go might look to AutoLogic Inc. for an example of safe product development. The company’s APS-EnviroSafe Imaging System machines, which work with 3M’s 9800 Dry Image Film and 3M 2243 Dry Image Paper, are modified versions of its wet-process imagesetters.

The APS-7/108C EnviroSafe Imaging System, at $89,000, is seemingly more expensive than its wet-process counterpart, the APS-6/108 Laser Imager, which is $61,500. But when the cost of plumbing, chemicals and water usage are factored in, the company believes the two are directly comparable in price.