Blog posts of '2014' 'January'

RSS
The Environmental Impact of Degreasing Chemicals and the Naturally Derived Alternatives - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The term ‘Degreaser’ refers to a product that is used to clean water insoluble substances like oil and grease from hard surfaces such as machinery parts. Degreasing of machinery and equipment is vital in order to carry out effective maintenance and to preserve quality control in the manufacturing industry. It is a long-held belief that for effective, heavy-duty degreasing you need products loaded with harsh solvent based chemicals and surfactants. Unfortunately these chemical degreasing agents are often damaging to not only the user but also to the environment. With the ever closer scrutiny of environmental initiatives being imposed on companies, it is becoming more important to take a greener approach to choosing industrial degreasers. Particular attention needs to be paid to the biodegradability of your degreasing products as any remaining chemical that gets washed away or released into the atmosphere will ultimately have an effect on the environment.  A quick research into some of the chemicals found on the ingredients list on the back of your industrial cleaners will reveal some worrying facts about the damage it may be doing to the environment.

Other things to consider; harsh chemicals bring about higher costs for your backend waste disposal or treatment, plus added costs of PPE to comply with current health and safety and environmental regulations. There is now also higher insurance premiums for storage costs of hazardous products.

 

Chemicals in Degreasers That Cause Harm to the Environment

v Solvents

Industrial cleaners and degreasers have traditionally been formulated with organic, non-aqueous solvents. These solvent chemicals are frequently non-biodegradable, making their way in to water systems and being absorbed in to the ground where they cause damage to animal and plant life. Solvent based degreasers often contain Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) that enable the product to vaporise at room temperature. These chemicals when airborne can cause irreversible damage to the environment and also to the health of humans. Another component of many solvent based degreasers that causes harm to the environment is the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). VOC’s evaporate quickly and can often combine with combustion emissions to form ozone at ground level creating “smog”.

Another dangerous chemical found in many industrial solvent degreasers is trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is frequently used in industrial degreasing products used for metal cleaning. Extensive research has been carried out on this chemical and several studies have found that prolonged exposure to the chemical has a carcinogenic effect on humans.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified Trichloroethylene as a “probable human carcinogen’.  TCE is released into the environment via the air and through water. A large proportion of the TCE that enters water courses evaporates, however some will remain in water courses for a long time as surface water or will be absorbed in to soil. TCE is prevalently found in water courses used for drinking water therefore humans come in to contact with this chemical on a frequent basis.

v Surfactants

In addition to the harmful effects of solvent based degreasers there is also the effect of certain surfactants that you need to consider. Today many ‘green surfactants’ have been developed from synthesized petroleum. These surfactants are biodegradable and pose low risk to aquatic life and microorganisms. However what many people may not realise is that because they are petroleum based they are usually made from non-renewable resources making them a less environmentally friendly option than they appear.

Another harmful ingredient frequently found in household cleaning products and industrial degreasers are Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APEs). These APEs are frequently found as contaminants in water systems and water treatment plants. When the APEs degrade in the water treatment plants they are partially absorbed by the sewage sludge that is then applied to the land. When these APEs naturally degrade they form shorter chain APEs that mimic natural hormones causing damage to the endocrine functions of animals and humans when they come in to contact with contaminated water.

Another chemical to be aware of in industrial cleaning products is Nonthynol, a non-ionic surfactant widely used in degreasing products due to its particularly good wetting and dispersant properties. REACH Regulations restrict the use of this chemical as Nonthynol does not readily break down when it is released into the atmosphere or into water systems. This chemical poses a particular threat to aquatic life but it has also been proven to affect the cells of land animals causing fertility problems.  

Environmentally Friendly Degreasers

In order for a cleaning product to really be called ‘green’ they need to be biodegradable, safe for the environment and sustainable. In a practical sense these products also need to be readily available and have the same high performance level as traditional industrial cleaning chemicals. The Solvent Emissions Directive in the UK focusses on limiting the exposure and release of solvents instead of emphasising the possibility of substitutions.

The increasing demand for degreasing chemicals that are low toxicity, biodegradable and made from renewable resources has lead to the development of enzyme based surfactants. These enzymes have been developed to act as a catalyst to chemical reactions to replace the chemical reactive agent in traditional degreasers. These enzymes do not drain the earths natural resources and offers a sustainable alternative to using toxic solvents and harmful surfactants. Citrus based cleaning products are another effective, more environmentally friendly alternative to these chemicals. The substance D-Limonene, a terpene found naturally in citrus oils sometimes referred to as orange terpene or citrus terpene, is increasingly being used as an alternative to solvent cleaning. Products containing D-Limonene as their primary degreasing agent have been proven to be effective in cleaning light cutting oils and lubricants to even the thickest of industrial greases such as cosmoline. It is particularly useful in industrial cleaning processes as it is non caustic and non-reactive to metal surfaces. It can effectively be used in liquid concentrations and in aerosol form for a wide variety of cleaning applications. The high solvency power of D-Limonene means that a smaller concentration can be used making it an economical alternative that eases the problem of environmental pollution and waste disposal issues.

As responsible managers and buyers it is vitally important to consider the environmental impact of any products you purchase. Speak with your supplier to ensure you are purchasing a product that has been formulated with environmental considerations in mind.

Resources

Surfactants from Renewable Resources edited by Mikael Kjellin, Ingegärd Johansson

Biological Effects of Surfactants by S.A. Ostroumov

The biodegradation of surfactants in the environment, Matthew J Scott, Malcolm N Jones

Cleaning with Solvents: Science and Technology By John Durkee 2013

Handbook for Critical Cleaning: Cleaning Agents and Systems, Volume 2,

www.saferchemicals.org

www.hpa.org.uk

www.atsdr.cdc.gov

http://www.sustainablecleaning.org.uk/

Comments (0)
Effective Ice Removal Techniques - Friday, January 17, 2014

Whilst it may be a novelty at first, snow & ice can soon become a real hassle and quite a time consuming issue to have to deal with. There are all kinds of tips and techniques to removing ice but, if you run a business, you'll need to make sure that you have effective ice removal techniques so that it can be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In some situations, it may be necessary to take urgent action in order to remove ice. For example, those working in the emergency services, such as the Fire, Police or Ambulance service, may not be able to respond to a call until their windscreen has been de-iced! APT Cleaning Supplies are one of the UK's leading suppliers of cleaning, hygiene and de-icing products and they have one item which is ideal for this type of situation – the Thawout Professional De-icer Aerosol. Other products used to combat the issues caused by ice build-ups include Ice Break Extreme. Working up to eight times faster than salt, Ice Break Extreme is perfect for removing ice from areas that could cause a safety hazard and it is non-toxic and non-corrosive meaning that it can be used on virtually all surfaces!

To find out more about APT just visit the website at www.aptcleaningsupplies.co.uk or for more information or advice call the team on 01495 308048.

Comments (0)
Prepare for Ice Problems this Winter - Friday, January 17, 2014

The build-up of snow and ice can be a major hazard during the Winter and it's important, especially if you run a business, that you deal with the problem as soon as possible in order to keep employees and customers safe.

Common issues caused by ice include iced-up windscreens, icy pathways & surfaces and frozen/blocked drains. Rather than having your staff unable to carry out their jobs or risk someone being injured on your premises, you need to deal with the problem quickly and efficiently.

APT Cleaning Supplies, a UK-based manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of de-icing solutions, has products that are essential for any Winter maintenance planning. They include the Thawout Professional De-icer Aerosol – perfect for rapidly clearing icy windscreens, and Ice Break Extreme – suitable for all types of applications including dissolving ice on floors, stairs, drains and much more.

Ice Break Extreme works eight times faster than rock salt, and can cover an area twelve times the size. Other advantages to using Ice Break Extreme over salt or grit include an increase to 48 hours coverage versus 4-5 hours coverage for salt/grit, biodegradable formulation, and it leaves no residue.

Contact APT today by calling 01495 308048 or visit the website for more information at www.aptcleaningsupplies.co.uk

Comments (0)
Industrial Oven Cleaner - Friday, January 17, 2014

If you or your company is responsible for making sure that an industrial oven is kept as clean as legislation demands, it can be a difficult task to choose the best industrial oven cleaner for the job. Whilst most commercial and industrial oven cleaners may look the part, they simply don't get the desired results due, in part, to their roots as domestic cleaning products.

The solution to this common issue is to find a supplier who can provide a fast acting and safe heavy duty industrial oven cleaner that is up to the job at hand. APT are a leading UK based supplier of a range of cleaning chemicals & equipment and they have a number of products suitable for industrial oven cleaning. The products available include:

·       Gladiator Professional Oven Cleaner Aerosol – Using a unique blend of alkali cleaners (caustic based) and detergents, this heavy duty oven cleaner is able to remove stubborn, baked-on carbon deposits and is suitable for use on all industrial ovens and grills whilst also being eco friendly and rapidly biodegradable.

·       Gladiator Heavy Duty Professional Oven Cleaner – This fast-acting, easy to use and extremely powerful industrial oven cleaner is able to quickly remove hardened, baked-on grease, grime and carbon deposits and is fully biodegradable and phosphate-free.

For more information on APT and all their professional cleaning products simply visit www.aptcleaningsupplies.co.uk

Comments (0)
Ice Melter - Friday, January 17, 2014

During the winter months, ice can cause significant problems for commercial and industrial companies. An iced over car park or loading bay presents a skidding hazard, whilst an icy ramp or set of steps poses a substanial safety risk to staff and the public. Every year thousands of accidents are attributed to ice, which is why it is crucial to remove the ice quickly and effectively.

If the ice is covering a large area, such as an icy car park, runway, loading bay, or railway, then finding a product that can melt the ice quickly will be necessary. Every minute spent removing the ice is costing your company time and money.

Professional Ice Melter - Ice Break Extreme

Ice Break Extreme is ultra-fast ice melter, which works 8 times faster than rock salt. Used by the NHS and the MOD, this non-corrosive product is not only effective it is also environmentally friendly and will not harm vegetation or wildlife. Composing of 100% pure graded ice melt granules, Ice Break Extreme keeps on working for 48 hours, making it a highly cost-effective solution.

If you are looking to buy an effective ice breaker, then take a look at the APT Cleaning Supplies website - http://www.aptcleaningsupplies.co.uk/. APT Cleaning Supplies are stockists of Ice Break Extreme, in addition to other ice removal products and equipment.

 

 

Comments (0)
Industrial Solvent Cleaners - Sunday, January 05, 2014

Removing dirt, grease and oil is necessary on a large scale in industrial sectors such as engineering, transport and manufacturing. Solvent cleaners effectively dissolve tough dirt and grease, making the removal of these deposits quick and easy.

There are numerous safe and effective solvent cleaners to choose from, an example of which is Citrus RTU. Citrus RTU is a solvent degreaser and glue remover that is extensively used in the transport and engineering sector. Ideal for cleaning machinery, vehicles, gearboxes and workshop floors, this degreaser penetrates and dissolves heavy grease and dirt. Many companies show concern that solvent cleaners are unsafe, however Citrus RTU is free from hazardous solvents and is a safe, eco-friendly alternative to other solvent-based cleaners on the market.

Industrial Solvent Cleaners from APT Cleaning Supplies

APT Cleaning Supplies stocks Citrus RTU, along with other popular solvent cleaners such as Kagez 703 and Microtec 41-80. If you require the tough cleaning power of industrial solvent cleaners then take a look at the APT Cleaning Supplies website for their full range of products - http://www.aptcleaningsupplies.co.uk/

Comments (0)
Strong De-icer - Sunday, January 05, 2014

During the winter months iced over windscreens can become a significant problem for companies with a fleet of vehicles. With the majority of bus companies, haulage companies, van delivery fleets and highway agencies beginning work in the early hours, removing ice can become a common and time-consuming issue. Utilising a strong de-icer, which contains chemicals to prevent re-freezing, is a timesaving and cost-effective solution.

Thaw-Out Professional De-Icer

Comprising of a solvent based, water-free formula, this de-icer is ideal for use on windscreens. Capable of removing thick ice at sub-zero temperatures, this de-icer is available as a spray or in a handy, easy-to-use aerosol can or trigger pack. The smear-free formula is highly concentrated, which means that a little goes a long way. These economical benefits of this strong de-icer make it the number one choice for large companies.

Buy Thaw-Out Professional Strong De-Icer at APT Cleaning Supplies

Thaw Out Professional De-Icer is available at APT Cleaning Supplies, stockists of commercial, janitorial and industrial cleaning products and equipment. Find out more by visiting the website - http://www.aptcleaningsupplies.co.uk/

Comments (0)