Nearly all mixtures can be identified as solutes and solvents. The latter is usually composed of liquids, but also occasionally of gases and solids. The point is, these particles may escape from the mixture and become airborne vapors. When the evaporation rate and pressure release is high, some health and safety issues may ensue due to these solvent vapors.
These fumes are readily breathed in by those that come in contact with them. When this happens occasionally and time after time, this may be alright. However, when were talking about consistent workplace hazards, then the exposure becomes all too real. Among the problems this actuates are irritations in the nose and airway. When the dose is high, drowsiness, breathlessness, nausea, and unconsciousness may ensue.
That only pertains to the immediate effects, however. Long term implications are also actually resultant, especially if the chemicals involved are notably toxic. Among the documented effects are cardiovascular and nervous system damage, as well as some detriments to the kidney and liver. It goes without saying that these are very serious effects, indeed.
The danger this poses is not only due to the toxic quality of the vapors. More often than not, the gases are actually flammable and hazardous. When the condensation becomes too suffused, the fire hazards can reach up to alarming levels, and even explosions are likely. Even when only trace amounts are detected, then one must already be on the high alert.
Well beyond the health concerns, there are also considerations regarding the optimization of product usage. Wastage must be reduced to the bare minimum. The thing is, solvents are only effective in their basic states. When they vaporize, then theyre essentially wasted and more products will be needed to complete whatever task theyve been slated to do.
Those that are working with solvents should know the necessary first aid procedures to counter its ill effects. However, it should not come to that unless the symptoms have been too serious for reversal. The best course of action is to move away from the area. When the solvent touches the skin or eyes, then it will have to be washed immediately. When ingested, however, immediate medical attention is requisite.
Solvents may be classified as oxygenated and hydrocarbon. The first is produced through chemical reactions, made up of alcohol, ethers, glycol, and others. An example of the latter is paint thinner, and it has a unique chemical structure. Finally, theres the halogenated variant, made up of such examples as chlorine, iodine, and bromine, all of which are very useful in cleaning and sanitation.
Organic solvents are very useful in a lot of applications. For instance, you have its use in dry cleaning, as glue solvents, spot removers, detergents, nail polish removers, paint thinners, you name it. Its uses in purification processes, gas industries, as well as pharmaceutical and chemical enterprises are unsurpassed. Most particularly, its used in cleaning hard metal surfaces as a primer for paintwork and welding jobs.
Its uses in multitudinous industries are many and sundry. However, as fate would have it, it has dangerous corollaries and side effects when left unchecked. Therefore, it has to be used knowledgeably and responsibly. Beyond that, one can then go on to make use of its many boons and benefits.