Improved customer health and safety due to new safety standard
As the result of intensive collaboration between experts in the North German Metalworkers Trade Association, TÜV SÜD, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and TUNAP, a practice-oriented, independent safety standard was defined for solvent-based cleaning products (TPS Standard PPP53285). Cleaning products that want to meet the standard must fulfil criteria from the following areas:
- Health protection
- Explosion and fire risk
- Environmental impact
The safety standard is freely available for all manufacturers in the market. Cleaning products with TUNSolve® Technology have fulfilled all criteria for many years and are thus state of the art for solvent-based cleaning products.
Reducing risk of explosion and fire
In Germany alone, about ten million litres of solvent-based cleaning products are used in workshops each year. In the past, there have been many serious accidents. Using TUNSolve® cleaning products minimises effects on the health of users and reduces the risk of explosion and fire.
In 2007, TUN Solve® 117 cleaner was the first concept to fulfil the requirements that were previously not possible in the repair shop: optimum cleaning performance with a focus on health protection, the risk of fire and explosion and environmental impacts. On the whole, cleaning products with TUNSolve® Technology have the lowest hazard potential for users and, consequently, fulfil the risk minimisation requirements of the German Ordinance on Hazardous Substances.
Currently, approximately 1 million state-of-the-art cleaning products are used (e.g. the TUNAP own brand 915 cleaner).
- Lower explosion limit >1.5% by volume
- Spray jet (not mist)
- High resting conductivity, >1000 pS/m
- Free of n-hexane and aromatics
Improved occupational safety
The probability of a fire occurring in the presence of an ignition source is largely influenced by the lower explosion limit of the formulation used. With petrol-based cleaning products, this is approx. 0.8% by volume. The test criteria according to the TPS standard define a minimum value of 1.5% by volume. This means that almost twice the amount is required to achieve a flammable mixture.
Cleaning products with TUNSolve® Technology blow out immediately after ignition and exhibit no post-combustion behaviour (potential spread of fire to the vehicle, repair shop, clothing). There is also no flashback from the ignition source to the cleaning product (spray can), as the propellant is non-flammable.
Health protection: avoiding n-hexane
In accordance with the TPS standard, cleaning products are always assessed from a toxicological aspect. In particular, the neurotoxic properties of the colourless and low-odour n-hexane liquid can have a serious effect on the health of users. n-hexane quickly gets into the human bloodstream via the skin and, especially, the airways and can damage the nerves (also in the brain).
Since 1 June 2015, n-hexane must be named in the safety data sheet from a concentration of ≥ 0.1%. However, n-hexane and aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene) can be avoided or reduced to a minimum. This can be seen in cleaning products with TUNSolve® Technology, which are available for various applications.
Positive effect on environmental impacts
When choosing a cleaning product, health protection and safety play an important role as do impacts on the environment and the climate. Most cleaning products used in repair shops in the past contained toxicologically critical ingredients that are subject to labelling regulations (GHS09).
One critical ingredient often used in cleaning products is the fragrance dipentene (limonene). It not only irritates the skin and airways, but can also trigger allergies. Limonene is of environmental concern since it is extremely toxic for aquatic organisms. Cleaning products with TUNSolve® Technology contain no fragrances or aromatics.
Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories
Area: Social 400
PTB – Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
BGHM – Professional Association for Wood and Metal
Article in BGHM Aktuell 5/2011
DGUV Fachbereich AKTUELL 05/2021
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