Safe Industrial Solvents: Why Are They Being Provided?

ByTimothy Byron

Safe cleaning solutions are essential in every workplace. Industrial solutions are highly useful for the removal of grime, dirt, grease, and oil. Solvents are a common chemical found in many business settings. They can be hazardous when the appropriate cautionary measures are not taken. Some are still dangerous, even under the right environmental conditions. These liquid substances dissolve various materials to clean surfaces. Typical applications include vapor degreasing, removal of corrosion, and heavy duty cleaning.

Many businesses rely on industrial cleaning chemicals to perform daily processes or keep machines operating efficiently. Consumers use less toxic solvents such as alcohol or acetone because they have minimal effects in small doses, but could pose severe harm to individuals if large amounts are used by various industries. Safe industrial solvents are an option being provided to companies that typically use cleaning agents to operate their business.

Organic Solvents Eliminate Many Health Problems Caused by Toxic Substances

Organic solvents have been designed to reduce the hazards commonly associated with agents such as trichloroethylene. Common agents are known for resulting in many health conditions if used inappropriately. Inhalation, direct eye contact, and skin absorption all provide medical complications. Eye contact with more toxic substances causes irritation, symptoms of pink eye, and in extreme cases could result in loss of sight. These substances can be absorbed through an individual's skin. A worker may be allergic to a solution or get too much into their blood stream. Skin rashes or burns are a sign of this problem. Workers who inhale or swallow a cleaning solution are the largest concern.

An agent will typically evaporate quickly, leaving no trail of its presence. Inhaled chemicals work through the blood stream at a fast pace. Initial signs are a headache, dizziness, upset stomach, drowsiness, and an irritated throat. Prolonged inhalation can be quite dangerous, even fatal, to internal organs. Certain solvents have been directly associated with cancer. Fire, pollution, and explosions are additional concerns when handling industrial cleaners.

Solvents are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency. OSHA standards require businesses to inform all employees of possible hazards associated with the chemicals they handle. Every substance must have a label with handling instructions and potential risks. Each company using them must also provide training to their employees. The EPA also regulates these substances to protect the environment. Regulations attempt to reduce the use of harmful chemicals.

Organic solvents can reduce some of the OSHA and EPA requirements put on a business using these substances. They provide the same cleaning power without the high risk of health problems. Volatile Organic Compounds are one concern any business should have when selecting an agent. Products with lower VOCs are available and reduce overall toxicity. These chemicals are less flammable, offer reduced harm to the surface being cleaned, and do not have the intense handling risks. Businesses are turning to safe industrial solvents to prevent the aftereffects of using extremely toxic cleaning chemicals.

Health problems are a top reason for any business to consider switching to safe industrial solvents. Organic solvents clean effectively without harming people or the environment.

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