Why Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are Important

Even though the word is getting out concerning the harmful effects of industrial cleaners, groups such as the Air Quality Management District feel it is not spreading fast enough. In a time where everyone to some degree, should be doing their part to make changes to their daily habits that could benefit the environment and the health of our planet, it comes as a shock to many at the AQMD that people are still so freely willing to expose themselves to harmful chemicals when there are cleaning materials with safe heavy duty solutions.

The harmful chemicals that emanate from these products are known as Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. VOCs harm the planet, the environment, and anyone who comes into contact with the noxious gases. Exposure can lead to long lasting effects, even death from too much exposure. What the AQMD wants to do is make sure companies and people know that there are green alternatives that produce Low VOCs. Low VOC Cleaners are now on the market, and if you have not already made the switch, you should right away and promote ecofriendly alternative cleaners.

The difference in the VOC emission is so significant that the AQMD estimates that the clean air index can be significantly reduced, and smog in many of the metropolitan cities that deal with this thick grotesque air could see elimination of the noxious cloud. The AQMD, along with several other concerned organizations are trying to make it mandatory for companies to switch to Low VOC Cleaners, since it does not require significant increase in expense. As a matter of fact, almost all of the green alternative degreasers and cleaning solutions are cheaper than their harmful predecessors.

These environmentally conscious organizations believe that fining companies for the continued use of harmful chemical emissions should be instituted. Considering the need to preserve our environment as best we can, coupled with an actual savings in overhead by switching to a green alternative cleaning solvent, and it is hard to argue against the mandatory change and fines for not being compliant.

Looking for a low VOC cleaner? Call us today or shop our products conveniently online!

Reducing Exposure to VOC Chemicals: 4 Strategies

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical compounds that have a high vapor pressure at normal room temperature (roughly 72 degrees). Their high vapor pressure results from their low boiling points, which accounts for their swift transition from liquid to vapor, and gives them their “volatile” nature.

VOCs may be organic — a term we typically associate with healthy, sustainable products — but don’t let the word “organic” in volatile organic compounds fool you. Just as there are plenty of healthy organic substances, there are plenty of unhealthy ones, too — and VOC solvents often contain more than one of these dangerous substances.

That’s why we’re taking the time to discuss strategies you can take for reducing VOC chemicals in the workplace. By reducing VOC exposure, you’ll help prevent short-term effects of exposure to dangerous VOCs (e.g., headaches, dizziness, and respiratory distress), and help eliminate long-term effects of exposure (e.g., cancer, liver damage, and central nervous system (CNS) damage).

  1. Low VOC / VOC-free Replacements

We’ll start with the best option — and usually the most cost effective one — first: replacing solvents that have a plentitude of VOCs with solvents that are used for reducing VOC chemicals. It’s the same as with solving other problems in the workplace: Removing the source of the problem is the most effective way to remove its consequences. Ecolink can supply you with solvents that are low VOC or have zero VOC content.

  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The next best solution for reducing VOC chemicals in terms of the health protection is to implement Level 3 PPE that features an aspirator that removes airborne contaminants. This level of PPE essentially encloses the worker in a protective envelope that prevents the inhalation of toxic vapors, as well as skin contact with them. PPE can be expensive, but, in the legal arena, it isn’t nearly as costly as the chemical injury lawsuits it helps to prevent.

  1. Special Air Filtration Technologies

Any company or organization that works with VOC solvents should have an air filtration system that removes VOCs from the air in the work environment. However, an air filtration system alone is rarely enough to prevent health problems that occur due to VOC exposure. The filtration system seldom captures VOCs immediately after they vaporize, which is often when the most intense level of exposure occurs.

  1. Sealed Parts Washing Systems

If you must absolutely use a solvent that has medium to high VOC content, using it in a sealed parts washing system is typically the best-case scenario. But the scenario is dependent on using a parts washing system that automatically transfers the solvent to a waste trap, or condenses the solvent in a cooling chamber that prepares the solvent to be reused.

Who We Are

Ecolink is a longtime supplier of industrial grade, environmentally preferred and environmentally safe solvents that are used for various applications, from general degreasing to removing flux residue. In addition to supplying stock solvents, we also accept custom orders that address the needs of specific customers. To learn more about our products and services, please call us today at (800) 563-1305, or use the contact form on our website.

The Benefits of Using a HAPS Free Solvent

Hazardous air pollutants (HAPS) are substances that commonly emanate from chemical solvents that have a high rate of evaporation. Both artificial chemicals and natural compounds can contribute to the level of HAPs in the work environment, with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that vaporize at room temperature being especially difficult to manage and control.

Why Use a HAPS Free Solvent?
As recently as a few decades ago, a HAPs free solvent was relatively hard to acquire, as companies tended to use toxic solvents, and wished to avoid the hassle of switching to new ones, and also because environmental conscientiousness was not as profound as it is today. However, as more HAPs free solvents hit the market, and their benefits became more well-advertised, many users of traditional solvents made the switch to a HAPs free solvent.

Helps Protect Workers
HAPs can cause acute health problems, such as respiratory distress and upset stomach. The toxic pollutants can also lead to chronic health problems in those who have a high level of exposure to them over time, such as nerve damage and potentially cancer. For companies whose workers who develop chronic health conditions due to HAPs exposure, costly legal settlements, workers compensation payments, and loss of business productivity are the norm.

Helps Reduce Operating Costs
Effectively protecting workers from HAP exposure requires at least two things: a high level of personal protective equipment (PPE) and a ventilation system that quickly removes the largest percentage of HAPs from the work environment. Consequently, switching to a HAPS free solvent can help reduce operating costs by making certain protective measures unnecessary.

Helps Protect the Environment
HAPs also have a deleterious effect on the environment. Although the pollutants are airborne, they can be delivered by rainfall into water bodies and soil. Over the past two decades, this is one reason why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been so motivated to regulate and ban solvents that contain HAPS, and levy large fines against companies that fail to comply.

Complies With EPA Regulations
To date, the EPA has severely regulated or banned the use of hundreds of solvents that contain HAPs. Unless your company uses an exceptionally small volume of a regulated, toxic solvent, switching to a HAPS free solvent is the optimal choice. In doing so, you remove the threat of EPA fines for exceeding emission caps, and you needn’t worry about the solvent being banned.

Looking for a HAPS Free Solvent?
If so, the solvent specialists at Ecolink will help you choose an eco friendly solvent that delivers the same cleaning power as the toxic solvent it replaces, if not more cleaning power. We sell a wide array of pre-formulated, HAPS free solvents, and we can also create a custom, HAPS free cleaning solution if our inventory doesn’t contain a solution that meets your cleaning needs.

For information on transitioning to a HAPS free solvent, call us today at at (800) 563-1305 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to helping you create a safer cleaning process for your workers and the natural environment!

Why Does Low VOC Matter?

low vocNowadays, more products are being promoted as offering low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound), non VOC, VOC free, or properties with similar wording. First, we must discuss what “low” or “no” VOC actually means and whether it really matters. Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are organic compounds that have a high vapor pressure at normal room temperatures. The high vapor pressure of VOCs stems from having a low boiling point, which causes the molecules from the VOCs to evaporate and become released into the air in a gaseous state. Compounds with high vapor pressure and low temperatures could emanate seriously harmful toxic agents that can hurt people and our environment, and the fact that VOC’s evaporate so easily is an even more cause for concern.

People spend most of their time indoors, especially at work, at home or in public buildings. The quality of the air we breathe is already under scrutiny due to the frequent releasing of toxic agents from power plants, energy facilities, and even the vehicles we operate. Our country’s concern stems from evidence proving that our Ozone Layer is weakening, and that empirical information shows that toxicities from VOCs is one of the main culprits. Because the United States has recently increased the nation’s focus on indoor air quality, the topic of VOCs has become quite prevalent. People are spending so much of their time indoors; therefore, indoor air quality matters even more.

As stated previously, VOC is all about the migration of chemical substances into the air we breathe. One does not have to be a chemist to understand that finding methods of reducing VOCs is pivotal to improving air quality. We need to find ways to reduce the use of VOCs, especially in the workplace, so that we can preserve the health and safety of our population, animals, and all of the flourishing life on earth. The first order of business is to educate businesses, especially those involved in industry, that frequently use great quantities of VOC’s, and help them find eco friendly, green alternative methods of chemical usage. Luckily, thEcolink1ere are companies that provide assistance and guidance in informing businesses of their unreasonably high carbon footprint, and how the use of VOCs can be drastically reduced, perhaps even eliminated.

Ecolink is such a company. They are leaders in providing industrial solvents & degreasers with either non toxic cleaners or reduced toxins. Ecolink will help industrial businesses get away from the constant use of VOCs and instead use an eco friendly, green alternative substitute that will function as efficiently and effectively as other more toxic compounds. Please contact Ecolink and find out how your business can reduce its carbon footprint, and help preserve all life on earth. An Ecolink representative will be happy to assist you, and you will soon be on your way to doing your part in protecting life, health, and well being.

Finding Low VOC Cleaners an Industrial Hygienist can Endorse

It is the duty of the industrial hygienist to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, communicate, and control environmental hazards that stem from several workplace toxicity releasers that could potentially hurt, harm, injure, impair, or seriously negatively affect the workforce. An industrial hygienist is expected to find, analyze, and deconstruct – if need be – any toxin that could lead to Ecolink2dangerous conditions for workers. The roles of industrial hygienists have been put under a microscope due to the more strict regulations set forth by government regulatory committees, as the United States has seen a strong push by both its citizens and their representatives to make sure people, along with the environment, are protected by the ignorance, incompetence, or even more frightening, the apathy of industrial businesses and their possible use of hazardous cleaners, liquids, gases, and materials. With advancements and alternatives designed and now made available to replace harmful agents used by industrial companies, there is no reason why any organization should be using harmful chemicals to clean or treat parts, metals, or materials. This is why industrial hygienists mandate strict enforcement on the rules and regulations set forth pertaining to the penalties for using harmful chemicals and materials.

As mentioned above, there is really no reason why industrial corporations cannot make an easy transition to an eco friendly, green alternative cleaner or degreasing product that cleans and degreases as well, if not better than the previous solution. It is merely a matter of finding a low VOC (volatile organic compound) cleaner an industrial hygienist can endorse. Thankfully, there are companies out there, such as Ecolink, whose sole purpose is to research, find, and create eco friendly and green alternative solvents that have a low VOC to which industrial businesses can transition, and an industrial hygienist can approve.

Ecolink has evaluated most industrial solutions and can notify industrial businesses that use cleaning agents whether the chemicals their company is using are harmful to their workforce and to the environment. Ecolink has also found success developing alternative solutions that boast very low VOC agents, and are considered harmless to both people and to the environment, even with extended use.

Because of how serious the repercussions are for using high VOC cleaners, as well as the penalties set forth by industrial hygienists and federal regulatory committees, it is recommended that you contact Ecolink, and discuss with them the type of cleaning and degreasing solvent you are using, and they can tell you whether it is a high or low VOC cleaner. If your chemical solution happens to be a high VOC cleaner, no need to worry, as Ecolink will decipher the best alternative solution to the solvent you are using. Ecolink promises that the new, low VOC cleaner will be eco friendly, and will clean as well as, or even better than your previous brand. It will also be a low VOC cleaner an industrial hygienist can endorse.