Content Cleaner: Purchasing Less Harmful Solvent Products

ByTimothy Byron

Many elements must be considered before a business can purchase a new content solvent. A typical company needs a sufficient amount of cleaner in stock to tackle daily cleaning chores, and an industrial cleaning solution can handle any task. Content cleaners can affect business processes, employee health, company funds, and the reputation of being environmentally friendly.

Selecting the wrong solvent directly affects multiple aspects of a business. Employees can suffer from short or long term health complications. Too much money could be spent on an ineffective degreaser or other form of cleaning solvent. Solutions leaving large amounts of waste create extensive disposal costs. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has various regulations involving these solutions that should be kept in mind while an industrial strength cleaner is being selected for business use.

Industrial Degreaser: Key Selection Elements for Safety and Performance

The strength of an industrial degreaser weighs as a factor on the final purchasing decision. It is best to first determine the strength needed for the tasks it will perform. Solvents are designed to accomplish cleaning on certain materials and under specific conditions. Trichloroethylene is a chlorinated solution that can be used to strip paint, buff compounds, or remove varnish, but does not work as well for washing metals. Methylene chloride is a better choice for degreasing devices that respond to temperature changes. The solution must match the job and provide enough strength to get it done right. These particular solvents are not environmentally friendly; however, alternative products are available to reduce environmental harm. Choose a sufficient traditional solution and then locate a friendlier alternative.

An industrial degreaser can release two types of harmful compounds, and both can directly affect the health of those working with or around these chemicals. The released compounds may be inhaled as they enter the air. A person can experience breathing complications, nausea, or feeling lightheaded. Long-term exposure has been linked to nerve damage and cancer.

Hazardous Air Pollutants, or HAPs, could result in financial complications due to worker illness lawsuits and pose direct harm to the environment. Some eco-friendly solvents release a different type of compound into the air called a Volatile Organic Compound, or VOC. VOCs are not dangerous to the atmosphere, but pose the same harmful effects to employees. In some instances, an eco-friendly cleaner with this compound is necessary to perform cleaning appropriately. If a cleaner containing these compounds must be purchased, select an eco-friendly solution with the lowest possible amount of VOCs.

Other considerations before purchasing include flashpoint and biodegradability. Flashpoint is a measurement of when a solvent could ignite. The cleaning environment and purpose will determine how important this measurement is to an industrial cleaning environment. Vapor degreasing and other processes need a solution with an increased flashpoint. Biodegradable solutions create less waste, reducing the cost of cleanup.

Before purchasing, remember to include strength, compound release, flashpoint, and biodegradable properties into the final decision. This will ensure the most efficient and safe content cleaner is chosen for its intended purpose.

Organic agents are an available choice to companies seeking content cleaners. Solvent strength, harmful compounds, and biodegradability should be at the top of industrial degreaser concerns.

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