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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Health and Safety Considerations with Cleaning Agents

Question:
What are health and safety considerations when selecting and using a cleaning agent?

Answer:
Human health and safety considerations include detergent toxicity, corrosivity, reactivity, and flammability. These considerations can be evaluated by reviewing a Material Safety Data Sheet for the solvent, chemical, or detergent with which you intend to clean. The detergent(s) you choose for your application preferably should:
  • be formulated to minimize health-safety concerns while still offering outstanding cleaning performance
  • not contain any hazardous ingredients listed on the OSHA standard and Hazardous Substance List 29CFR1910 subpart Z
  • not have flash points or stability hazards.
Many detergents strong enough to remove fingerprints can remove oils from skin and, therefore, have the potential to dry out skin and cause "dishpan hands." This is especially true of detergents designed for machine spray washing which, in order to perform in the limited contact time afforded during spray cleaning, are considered to be aggressive cleaners.

Protective neoprene, butyl, rubber, or vinyl gloves are recommended for any extensive manual cleaning operation. In addition, many detergents are potential eye irritants, and should not be used without eye protection.

Alconox, Inc has downloadable MSDS at www.alconox.com for each brand of cleaner.

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