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Why cold cleaners are not cool

Cold cleaner” means any cleaner using solvent that, if heated, is maintained below the initial boiling point temperature. They are used in many industrial cleaning processes, especially in solvent-based parts washers to clean or remove soil particles and contaminates from surfaces, and they are really good at doing this!

However they come with many implications:

- to health

- to the environment

- to your finance department

Health costs

Exposure to low levels of solvents can lead to short-term health effects including irritation of the eyes, lungs and skin, headaches, nausea, dizziness or light-headedness. Some of these effects may also increase risks of having an accident at work - and therefore secondary health effects.

There can also be long-term health effects from repeated exposure to particular solvents. These may include dermatitis and liver, kidney or neurological diseases.

High airborne concentrations of some solvents can also cause unconsciousness and death.

Environmental costs

Organic solvents react in the atmosphere in sunlight, producing an air pollutant known as 'ground-level ozone'. High concentrations of ground-level ozone seriously affect human, animal and plant health.

Some solvents, particularly perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene, are common groundwater contaminants that can end up in drinking water.

Whilst some solvents evaporate quickly and can spread throughout the atmosphere, others remain in underground soils and water for long periods of time - even decades - creating contaminated plumes near the sites of spills or improper disposal.

Financial cost

Because of the nature of how solvents work (by breaking down the contaminate and absorbing it back into the solvent) their cleaning power diminishes overtime as the amount of soil builds up, and so they must be replaced often. In addition to a short service life, there are many other associated - and sometimes even hidden - costs of using solvents:

  • Once the solvents are spent, they need costly specialist storage & disposal.

  • Staff require training in the handling, storage and disposal of solvent - another expense.

  • PPE needs to be invested in.

  • Specialist ventilation areas need to be created for using solvents - add to the expense list.

  • Compliance needs to have time & money spent on it.

  • Lost man hours & sick pay expenditure through sick leave from the affects of working with solvents.

What's the sol(v)ution?

Replace your solvent-based cleaners with aqueous BIO-CIRCLE liquids - powerful cleaning without the health and environmental risks, plus completely cost controlled. Contact us to book your free site survey - email or call 03300 415 396

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