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solvent-replacements

4 Steps to Choosing Safe Degreasing Agents

The safety profile of a degreaser can be interpreted in several ways. In this entry, we take a look at four of the most important ways to assess whether a degreaser is “safe” for your degreasing operations, and where the operations take place: how the solvent is applied, its flashpoint, the density of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) in the solvent, and solvent-associated safety measures that are already in place in the environment where degreasing solvents are applied.

  1. Consider Solvent Application

The first step in choosing safe degreasing agents is identifying degreasers that are formulated to be used for your specific degreasing applications. For example, if you need to degrease energized electrical equipment, such as motors or switchgear, you should use a degreaser that has a strong, dielectric formulation that minimizes the risk of electrical shock. All degreasers are made for degreasing, but not all of them are formulated for the same degreasing applications.

  1. Consider Solvent Flashpoint

Choosing degreasers that have high flashpoints or are inflammable is always a good idea. Even if your degreasing applications don’t involve obvious heat sources that could cause low flashpoint solvents to combust, there is still the issue of fire safety in the solvent storage area. Degreasing agents that have no flashpoint don’t contribute to damage that building fires cause, and they can usually be stored safely alongside combustible materials in the solvent storage area.

  1. Consider HAPs in Solvent

HAPs are considered “hazardous air pollutants” due to their negative impact on the environment and/or human health. HAPs can be volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or synthetic chemicals; what practically all of them have in common, however, is the creation of short-term and long-term health consequences in workers who regularly apply solvents that contain HAPs. Degreasers that have an exceptionally low level of HAPs or no HAPs can be found in our online store.

  1. Consider Existing Safety Measures

If implementing a degreaser that contains no HAPs currently isn’t an option, the degreaser you use may still be relatively safe for workers to apply if the work environment has measures in place to protect against human exposure to HAPs. These measures include: special exhaust hoods at work stations where degreasers are applied, air filtration systems designed to remove airborne contaminants, and high-level personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers who apply the degreaser.

Need Safe Degreasing Agents?

Regardless of why you need to implement safe degreasing agents, Ecolink can provide the solutions you need in the form of readymade solvents or custom solvents that are formulated for your unique degreasing requirements. We offer degreasers that are designed a variety of applications, have a high flashpoint or no flashpoint, and contain no HAPs. We even offer free solvent samples, so you can see the benefits of a degreaser in action before you buy.

For assistance with choosing safer degreasers that offer as much degreasing power as your current solutions, please call us today at (800) 563-1305, or use the contact form on our website. We look forward to supporting your cleaning operations with safe degreasing agents.

How Safe Are Industrial Cleaners?

Industrial cleaners are essential in many areas of business, but can be harmful to humans, wildlife, and the environment due to the chemicals used within these products. While companies require these items to clean parts, equipment, flooring, and for certain manufacturing processes, products designed without eco-friendliness in mind create numerous safety concerns. Cleaning products used in industrial environments not only contain tough abrasives, but also contain several hazardous ingredients. Cleaners formulated for home use have numerous manufactured or chemically based ingredients. Agents designed for industrial use contain an increased amount of toxins thus making the dangers of improper handling increasingly important. Eco-friendly alternatives eliminate a vast amount of complications experienced with traditional chemicals used for industrial cleaning and contaminant removal processes. Deciding to switch to greener choices decreases health costs, ensures the ability to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements, and limits the impact made on the atmosphere when performing these necessary industrial processes.

What Risks Are Associated with Volatile Industrial Cleaners?

Industrial cleaners contribute to a number of health problems as individuals are exposed to dangerous toxins. The chemicals used by these products create certain risks due to the volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) they release during use. These compounds pollute the atmosphere as they are released into the air, enter water sources, and leak into the ground. Improper use or storage of industrial cleaners can result in these health complications:

  • Upper Respiratory Conditions
  • Eye Irritation
  • Light Headiness
  • Nausea
  • Skin Irritation
  • Allergic Reactions

Prolonged exposure to volatile cleaners has also been linked to more chronic conditions, which result in increased insurance costs and loss of work. Improper handling of agents containing toxic ingredients not only causes the health complications mentioned above, but also results in the release of toxins into the atmosphere. Cleaners naturally release toxins as volatile components evaporate or as the remaining product is disposed of.

Environmental concerns include the decreased quality of water due toxins entering local water and soil sources. Industrial cleaners have been found in soil, which directly impacts local plant and wildlife in addition to human health. The release of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere contributes to pollution by reducing indoor and outdoor air quality. Toxins found in industrial cleaners present many problems; however, companies have several options outside of these traditional choices to accomplish defined needs and prevent harm to the environment. Eco-friendly products with these attributes are better for the atmosphere:

  • Biodegradability
  • Low Toxins
  • Low VOCs
  • Recycled Packaging
  • Reduced Manufacturing Energy Use

A plethora of buying choices makes it easy to choose an effective, environmentally safe alternative. The decision to “go green” with industrial cleaners minimizes health impact among workers or building occupants, boosts indoor air quality, and reduces pollution. Safer alternatives with the ability to get the job done offer increased benefits such as disposal cost savings. Eco-friendly choices are the best approach to reducing the risks associated with harmful chemically-based agents and are a great way to implement greener practices within a business.

Industrial cleaners are necessary in a number of industries and play a pivotal safety role. For more information about environmentally friendly, low VOC products, please call (800) 886-8240 or email info@ecolink.com.