Going Bust Over Degreasing Solvents: How Did Clean Get So Ugly?

ByTimothy Byron

Successful manufacturing business owners adopt incredibly resourceful ways of dealing with daily, predictable stress. So much, in fact, it is commonly viewed as "part of the job." In a position with endless decisions to be made, degreasing solvents being used in the facility hardly seem worthy of a second thought. Owners realize that grease, oil, and dirt on equipment will need to be cleaned regularly. They contact solvents suppliers, find a product for a competitive price, and no longer have to worry about a mess, right?

Wrong. A majority of grease removal products are made with highly toxic chemicals, and threaten the health of employees. Business owners who utilize chemical degreasers in any part of operation or maintenance procedure are strongly advised to take a look at the facts, and consider the financial devastation caused by an unsafe working environment.

How Employees Are Affected

Degreasing solventsare made of industrial-strength chemical compounds that emit Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs). Trichloroethylene (TCE) is one of the most common toxic chemicals used in degreasers. The health risks of TCE exposure are so pronounced that its use must be regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Considered a maintenance cleaning product for regular and continual use to promote sanitized work environments, employees are constantly at risk of inhalation exposure. TCE in the workplace is responsible for causing minor symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and poor coordination. The more severe and chronic health symptoms of employee exposure include damage to vital heart, liver, and kidney organs of the body, as well as the central nervous system, and even death. Employees usually trust that business owners would not intentionally put their lives in danger, and certainly not on a daily basis by way of removing grease build-up.

How Exposed Employees Function

Employees exposed to HAPs do not always recognize they have been poisoned just by breathing at work, often mistaking the minor symptoms of headache or dizziness as just feeling slightly under the weather, and not significant enough to punch their time card out for the day. At the very least, an employee's level and speed of doing their job, contributing to the productivity of the company is disabled. Failure of heavy industrial machinery is the least of concerns when a worker attempts to operate with impaired judgment, slowed reaction time, and lack of basic hand-eye coordination. Completely preventable instances like this can easily multiply the number of people hurt in a shop, assembly plant, or warehouse whether the individual victims were personally exposed to chemical degreasing solvents or not.

Industrial business owners spend an enormous amount of money to have manufacturing equipment repaired, maintained, and serviced to guarantee desired productivity and profit. Justifying these costs by viewing the machinery as a vital lifeline for creating goods which will ultimately bring profit dollars is a standard and widely used practice. Factoring the crucial expenses your company needs to operate, and knowing your minimum overhead costs is common business sense. The well-being of employees is essential for the lifeline. As the majority of operators and laborers within a production facility, their safety cannot be left out of the overhead.

The Bottom Line

Lack of responsible ownership and hazardous working environments rob companies of potential productive earnings, while enhancing the likelihood of a wrongful employee injury or death liability lawsuit that can easily result in financial devastation. Fortunately, toxic chemical solvents suppliers are only one of two varieties. Reputable companies producing degreasing solvents organically are available to assist business owners with the exact same equipment methods, application, and desired removal strength to continue desirable and safer working conditions for all.

Health hazards of chemical degreasing solvents are explained for business owners, to demonstrate how choosing solvents suppliers that expose employees to dangerous conditions will hurt overall business profit.

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