Water-based degreasers: Actually more dangerous than solvent-based?

Discussion in 'Solvent, Chemical and Haz Waste Best Practices' started by Andy, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Andy

    Andy Administrator Waste Min Publisher 2013 Industrial Waste Survey Participant

    I think there is a major misconception out there in users that "water-based" chemicals and degreasers aren't harmful to people or the environment.

    Here's why: take a look at the availability of some pretty heavy-duty degreasers to consumers... we're talking degreasers with pH around 12... being sold for less than $10 a gallon. And not at specialty stores, but on big endcap displays at your local big box retailer.

    Then, I see some of the stories posted online by what I would call "advanced consumers"... people who are rebuilding engines at home, etc. They're amazed about these degreasers are doing to their skin and lungs and that their aluminum parts are getting "eaten up" by these water-based degreasers in a matter of hours.

    Do you feel that water-based degreasers might get some of the same treatment by workers... overuse, mishandling, and generally not seeing "water-based" as harmful. I'm curious if anyone has had to deal with this in the past, because it doesn't seem to get much attention out there.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013