Toxic Exposures Blog

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TCE Exposure from Parts Washers

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Understanding Parts Washers, Common Solvent Brands, and the Hazards of TCE Exposure

In industrial settings, parts washers play a critical role in maintaining the efficiency and functionality of machinery and equipment. These devices employ various solvents to remove grease, oil, and grime from components, ensuring optimal performance. While parts washers are a vital tool, it is essential to be aware of the potential dangers associated with solvent use, particularly exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE). As a leading law firm dedicated to workplace safety, we aim to shed light on the significance of proper solvent management and the health concerns related to TCE exposure.

Parts Washers and their Importance

Parts washers are an indispensable asset across industries such as automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and maintenance. They facilitate the thorough cleaning of parts, improving their longevity and functionality. These devices employ solvent-based cleaning systems that efficiently dissolve and remove contaminants, resulting in enhanced equipment performance and reduced maintenance costs. While parts washers provide numerous benefits, it is crucial to use them responsibly and with proper regard for the solvents involved.

Common Brands of Solvents

Several brands of solvents are available for use in parts washers, and each comes with its own unique properties. Some of the well-known names in the solvent industry include Safety-Kleen, ChemFree, Graymills, and CRC Industries. These brands offer a range of solvent options, such as hydrocarbon-based solvents, aqueous cleaners, and chlorinated solvents. Each solvent has specific advantages and applications, and it is vital to select the appropriate solvent for the task at hand while considering the safety and health aspects.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) Exposure and Health Concerns

Trichloroethylene (TCE), a commonly used solvent in parts washers, is a colorless liquid with a distinctive odor. While it has been widely used for its excellent solvent properties, it poses significant health risks. Prolonged exposure to TCE can lead to a range of adverse health effects, including damage to the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys. Moreover, TCE exposure has been linked to increased risks of various types of cancer, such as kidney cancer, liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is vital for employers and workers to be aware of these risks and take appropriate measures to mitigate them.

Protecting Workers and Ensuring Safety

Given the potential health hazards associated with TCE exposure, it is crucial for employers to prioritize the safety and well-being of their workers. Implementing effective control measures, such as ventilation systems, enclosed parts washers, and personal protective equipment (PPE), can significantly reduce the risks of solvent exposure. Additionally, regular monitoring and maintenance of parts washers, proper training on solvent handling and usage, and adherence to safety guidelines are essential steps to safeguard workers from the dangers posed by TCE exposure.

While parts washers and solvents are indispensable in various industries, it is imperative to understand the hazards associated with their use, particularly trichloroethylene (TCE) exposure. By being aware of the potential health risks and implementing proper safety measures, employers can create a safer work environment for their employees. As a dedicated law firm, we emphasize the importance of promoting workplace safety and protecting workers from harmful exposures. If you have any legal concerns regarding workplace safety or TCE exposure, our expert team is here to assist you and ensure the protection of your rights and well-being. Call Gianaris Trial Lawyers today for a free consultation.

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