A Solvent-Free Future

It’s difficult to imagine a world without solvents. They’re everywhere we look. We’ve got solvent chemicals to thank for degreasers, paint thinners, perfumes, nail polish removers and a vast array of commercial cleaning products.

The most commonly used industrial solvents include turpentine, ethanol, acetone and ethyl acetate. Without venturing too deep into the chemistry, a solvent is essentially any liquid substance that is able to dissolve another substance, which is why these chemicals are so useful for cleaning and removing paint and grease. There’s a multibillion dollar global market for solvent-based products, and scarcely an industry on earth that doesn’t make use of them in some way.

Which brings us to the problem. While solvents are a crucial tool for so many industries, they’re also some of the nastiest and most dangerous chemicals around. The health risks associated with solvent exposure are well-documented. Research has linked solvents to nervous system toxicity, respiratory impairment, liver and kidney damage and various types of cancer. Furthermore, most industrial solvents are highly-flammable and must be used with extreme care. These chemicals contribute to countless accidents in the workplace each year.  In short, solvents can spell very bad news for the people who have to work with them.[1]

Solvents don’t do our planet any favours either. They are a major cause of environmental damage, particularly soil contamination. Because solvent chemicals can migrate long distances, an accidental spill of even a small amount can affect large areas of land. A solvent spill can render soil highly dangerous to people and animals.[2]

Doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? Luckily for us – and luckily for the planet – we’re beginning to discover alternative solutions. Solvent-free products are emerging on the market, which perform the same function as traditional solvents without posing a threat to people and the environment. Research into these alternatives is gaining momentum, and we have every reason to be optimistic about a solvent-free future for Australia.

The importance of moving toward solvent-free alternatives cannot be understated. In the 21st century there is a universal need to break away from the hazardous and unsustainable materials of the past. Responsible businesses recognise this. Customers recognise it too, which is why green solutions are the smart business decision. Sticking with the dangerous pollutants of yesteryear will only turn people away.

Envirosafe Solutions strives to provide Australian industry with green options. We believe that a healthy business needs to do its bit for a healthy planet, and we are here to help make it happen. Start by embracing the possibilities of a Solvent-Free future.

[1] http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/solvents/index.html

[2] Hogan, Patmore, Latshaw and Seidman (1973). Computer modelling of pesticide transport in soil for five instrumented watersheds, ESL Inc., Sunnyvale, California

The Danger of Using Phosphates

Phosphate chemicals have long been a core ingredient in soaps and detergents. Because of their capacity to mix with both water and fat, phosphates are  highly effective at dislodging fat molecules (oil, grease etc.) and dispersing them in water. If you’ve ever tried washing an oily plate with only water, and then again with water and detergent, you’ll know that the detergent makes all the difference. It’s phosphates and other related chemicals that make this possible.

The problem with phosphates is not so much the chemicals themselves, but the flow-on effects they create once they’ve been disposed of. When phosphates disappear down the drain, their journey is only just beginning. Once these chemicals are released into our waterways, a whole new process begins that can lead to all sorts of problems. Phosphates are rich in the types of nutrients necessary to support marine plant life. This means a glut of phosphate chemicals in the water can spur on huge growth in underwater plant life, radically upsetting the marine ecosystem.[1]

The biggest problem this creates is the growth of poisonous algae blooms. Algae thrive on phosphate nutrients, and certain varieties such as blue-green algae are toxic to humans and potentially very hazardous. Blue-green algae is known to cause nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, and in extreme cases pneumonia and paralysis[2] – not the sort of thing we want in our water supply.

The drama doesn’t end there. Phosphates released into the water gradually build up over time into deposits, which contain high levels of naturally-occurring heavy metals like lead, nickel and chromium. We know well the hazards the these metals pose, particularly to children. Nervous system toxicity, memory impairment and severe brain damage have all been linked to heavy metal exposure.[3] With phosphate deposits in our lakes and rivers, there is a serious risk of heavy metals penetrating into our drinking water supply. The consequences of this are far-reaching and deadly – not even remotely worth the risk if we can avoid it.

All of this boils down to a simple truth: we need reduce our usage of phosphate-based products and find safer alternatives. The Envirosafe Solutions product range is 100% phosphate free, because we understand that the risks involved with using these products simply outweigh the benefits. We are constantly exploring enzyme technology and other alternative ingredients to produce the cleaning results without the negative effects of phosphates. Make sure that your business isn’t contributing to water pollution and public health risks by insisting on phosphate-free soaps and detergents. It’s time to think smarter about the cleaning products we use.

[1] http://www.howstuffworks.com/phosphate-info.htm

[2] http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/factsheets/pdf/water/w3.pdf

[3] http://pureflow.com.au/water-articles/heavy-metal-health-risks.php

The Importance of Biodegradable Liquids

‘Biodegradable’ is a term that gets kicked around a lot in environmental discussions. For several years now the biodegradable label has been a major selling point for eco-friendly products. Most people these days would understand the basic concept: biodegradable products are derived from organic materials, which means they can be safely disposed of. These products “degrade” over time through contact with air and water, eventually being absorbed back into the earth. Conversely, non biodegradable products will float around for hundreds of years to come, creating huge landfills and polluting the environment.[1]

The dangers of non biodegradable plastics have been a prominent theme in environmental campaigning for a long time. The images that immediately jump to mind are those of polyethylene shopping bags floating in the ocean and turtles choking on plastic six pack rings. There has been a significant trend in recent years toward reducing the use of these plastics and finding biodegradable alternatives.

Less documented, but no less serious, is the danger posed by non biodegradable liquids. You can’t necessarily see liquid waste, but it certainly exists and is a serious problem. While it’s tempting to think that liquid products simply disappear once they’ve been washed away, in reality the chemical components can linger around in soil and water for years. Many of the chemicals used to make detergents and other cleaning products are inorganic, meaning they cannot be broken down and absorbed into the earth. These substances can remain active for long periods of time. Inorganic chemicals in our rivers and oceans cause serious damage to marine life, poisoning plants and fish.[2]

It’s not something we often think about when we wash our car or scrub the bathroom floor, but the products we use will eventually all wind up in the same place – our waterways. Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth, and we should be extremely wary of what we put into our water system. Can we really afford to pollute our most precious resource?

It is therefore imperative that we develop biodegradable alternatives to the pollutant chemicals that are currently used in so many industrial liquids. Envirosafe Solutions is at the forefront of research in this field. We believe that there is always a greener alternative, and we’re constantly exploring the possibilities. Biodegradable liquids are the future of Australia’s environment, and we’re hard at work to make this goal a reality.

[1] . Diaz, E. (2008). Microbial Biodegradation: Genomics and Molecular Biology (1st ed.). Caister      Academic Press

[2] . http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/environmental_management/water/caring_for_our_water/

Dust Suppression & Soil Wetting Agents – All Products Are Not The Same!

It’s a dry and dusty country we live in – any Australian could tell you that. Dust is a domestic nuisance that all of us have to live with. But for those in the earthmoving, mining and construction industries, controlling dust is much more than an issue of comfort; it’s a major part of the job that requires professional solutions and attention to detail. Uncontrolled dust on the work site can have expensive and potentially dangerous consequences.

Dust suppression is a water-intensive exercise, and a great balancing act in this drought-stricken country of ours. Water is the most precious resource we have in Australia, and it’s absolutely vital that we use it sparingly. Poor water absorption in soils and road bases costs your business time and money, and it costs the country precious water resources. Using an effective wetting agent ensures that you’re getting the most of your water usage and none is going to waste.

Soil Wetta/Dust Suppressor a new product from the ‘Extreme Green’ range by Envirosafe Solutions, is a highly active, deeply penetrating and extremely versatile wetting agent, designed with economy and efficiency in mind. No two jobs are exactly the same, and we’ve designed Soil Wetta/Dust Suppressor to be effective in all situations. Our product works equally well with all water types – salt, rain and bore. Soil Wetta/Dust Suppressor represents outstanding value for money. At an average cost of only 3.3 cents per square metre, our product is one of the best investments you could make for your business.

Soil Wetta/Dust Suppressor is also a powerful solution for long term agricultural soil wetting. A mere 100ml per 100 litres of water will drastically increase the spread and absorption of water over a full acre of land – perfect for stubborn dry soil.

Soil Wetta/Dust Suppressor is 100% safe to use and non harmful to people. As an example, the same tanks used to cart drinking water can be used to apply Soil Wetta/Dust Suppressor, without any health risks. It’s an extremely powerful product, yet poses no threat to the health of those using it.

Suppressing dust and wetting soil should help the environment as well as your business. There’s no sense in polluting the earth that you work on. At Envirosafe Solutions our goal is help you get the job done without leaving an environmental footprint. Like all Envirosafe products, Soil Wetta/Dust Suppressor is an eco-friendly solution made from non toxic and biodegradable ingredients. For more information on how Envirosafe Solutions can assist you with dust suppression and soil wetting, please contact us on 1300 88 90 70

On the Nose? – Not anymore..

Anyone who’s been near a long drop toilet, septic system or holding pond knows that odour control is a serious issue – and this is especially true in the summer months. People who work with these systems need an effective and reliable odour control agent. The problem is that many such products are made from harmful chemicals that pollute our waterways and threaten our health.

A toxic petro-solvent product will certainly get rid of odours – temporarily, at least – but what happens once it’s flushed down the drain? At Envirosafe Solutions we don’t believe in pollution for the sake of cleaning and comfort.

Waste & Odour Treatment from the new ‘Extreme Green’ range doesn’t simply kill odours with harsh chemicals. It’s much more intelligent than that. This product works by a process of fermentation, utilising naturally-occurring compounds within waste. Waste & Odour Treatment stimulates microbiological activity which then attacks sludge and odour. Waste build ups are eaten away naturally by an army of microbes. In effect, Waste & Odour Treatment simply triggers the process, and then sits back and makes nature do all the hard work. Pretty clever, hey?

Waste & Odour Treatment is by no means limited to septic systems and odour control. There are a hundred and one uses for this ingenious product. Waste & Odour Treatment can be used in soiled animals enclosures, as an odour control solution as well as a general floor and wall cleaner.

Waste & Odour Treatment is perfectly safe to use in your kitchen and food preparation areas. Wipe down your bench tops to keep them clean and odour-free, then wash it all away without fear of polluting the water. Waste & Odour Treatment can even be sprayed over compost and manure to accelerate the organic breakdown process.

The real beauty of Waste & Odour Treatment is that it keeps on working even after it’s been flushed away. The ingredients in this product boost microbe activity inside the drain, eating away at blockages and keeping your pipes flowing freely.

Waste & Odour Treatment is further evidence of nature’s impressive cleaning powers. At Envirosafe Solutions we believe that there is a natural alternative to all harsh chemical products – and we are making them available to Australian businesses as fast as we can. Waste and odour management doesn’t need large quantities of toxic chemicals. What it needs is an intelligent product that harnesses the power of nature

For more information on how Envirosafe Solutions can assist you with odour control and waste management, please contact us on 1300 88 90 70.

Extreme Green Glue Cleaner

Glue CleanerIn many workplaces, adhesives are the ultimate double-edged sword. Indispensable tools on the one hand, and enormous hassle on the other. Super glue, duct tape, labels, blu-tack . . . where on Earth would we be without these things? It’s just a shame that the usefulness of adhesives is matched by the annoyance involved when it comes time to remove them. How many hours have you spent scrubbing furiously at leftover glue or tape remains?

If the answer is “many”, then you’re no doubt familiar with the vast range of adhesive removal products on the market. There’s an arsenal of cleaning products out there that can reduce your adhesive scrubbing effort.

The problem is that most of these products are full of harsh acids and petro-solvents. They achieve results through brute force. Sure, they’ll strip the adhesives away quick smart. But you’re dealing with nasty toxic chemicals that are a health risk to the operator and a pollution risk to the environment. What’s worse, a bit of leftover glue on your wall, or breathing toxic fumes and then flushing pollutant chemicals down the drain?

Either way, this isn’t a compromise you need to make in your workplace. Extreme Green Glue Cleaner is a far more intelligent approach to adhesive removal. Using only biodegradable ingredients (that’s no petro-solvents, no acids and no alkalis), Extreme Green Glue Cleaner removes adhesives quickly and effectively. It emits no unpleasant odours, poses no health risk to the operator, and washes away safely without risk of environmental damage.

But don’t let the gentle touch fool you. Extreme Green Glue Cleaner gets the job done. The performance of this product is on par with any competitor. This is a rapid-acting cleaner, taking effect in under three minutes. Extreme Green Glue Cleaner is super-versatile, and works on steel, aluminium, glass, concrete, wood and just about any other hard surface you would ever apply adhesives to. Extreme Green Glue Cleaner is a free-rinsing solution – once this product has worked its magic you can simply rinse it all off with water.

Apply Extreme Green Glue Cleaner neat, wait three short minutes, wash it all off. Adhesives removed. Nothing more to it.

There’s beauty in simplicity, that’s what we believe at Envirosafe Solutions. You’ll find that the most effective cleaning solution is often the simplest, and what could be simpler than all-natural ingredients? For more information on how Envirosafe Solutions can assist you with adhesive removal, please contact us on 1300 88 90 70.

The Organic Acid Advantage

The word ‘acid’ has many connotations, and for most people probably conjures up images of corroded metal and hazardous chemical symbols. Many would be surprised to realise how many different acids they actually use in their homes and businesses.

Traditionally, inorganic acids (also known as mineral acids) have been used in industrial liquids, particularly cleaners and rust removers. Sulphuric, hydrochloric and nitric acids are some well-known examples. The reason for their popularity and widespread use is obvious: these are highly corrosive substances with powerful cleaning properties. Unfortunately, like so many other industrial chemicals, the effectiveness of mineral acids is matched by the danger of using them.

Mineral acids are carcinogenic to humans, and long-term exposure to these chemicals is potentially fatal. The highly corrosive properties of mineral acids can cause substantial tooth erosion, as well as damage to the delicate capillaries of the lungs. Severe respiratory ailments can develop in people who use mineral acid cleaning products on a regular basis, particularly in aerosol form.[1]

Clearly we should minimise our use of such products, but this presents a dilemma. Acid-based industrial liquids are far too useful and wide-ranging to simply abandon. The realistic solution is to find alternative safe acids to replace dangerous and harmful ones. This is where we begin to explore the other side of the acid equation: organic.

You don’t have to look far to find organic acids. Remember the last time you ate an orange? Citric acid. Yoghurt? That’s lactic acid. The list is endless. We encounter naturally occurring acids every day, many of them inside our own bodies. What we now understand is that many of these natural acids can perform the same cleaning functions as harsh mineral acids. The acidic cleaning effect is the same, but organic acids are much gentler and less corrosive.[2] This equates to less wear and tear on the surfaces being cleaned. There is a growing range of cleaning products that utilise organic acids to the same effect as traditional inorganic products, without any of the associated health risks. No carcinogens, no lung damage, no noxious fumes and odours. Just a gentle all-natural cleaning solution.

The other enormous benefit of organic acids is their biodegradability. Because these acids are naturally occurring and derived from living matter, they will break down in the earth over time without polluting soil and water. When you add all of this up, natural organic acids make a lot of sense. If there is a safer, cleaner alternative to dangerous mineral acids, we have every reason in the world to pursue it. Envirosafe Solutions is working to harness the power of organic acids, because we firmly believe that nature can provide us with all of the cleaning solutions we need.

[1] http://www.inchem.org/documents/icsc/icsc/eics0362.htm

[2] http://www.daff.gov.au/animal-plant-health/aquatic/aquavetplan/operational_procedures_manual_-_decontamination/contents/cleaning_before_disinfection/cleaning_compounds#3.3.2