by: Jo Alelsto
What do you know about isopropanol? The term may seem too technical for you, but it is actually a part of our day-to-day living. One of its definitions is that it is a colorless, flammable chemical compound with a rather strong odor. Well, it is a part of our everyday lives because it is widely used as a solvent for cosmetics and personal care products, food, inks, adhesives, among others.
Also, the chemical product is used for cleaning electronic devices that we use everyday such as monitor screens and mobile phones. It can also be used to make your old and worn records look new. Moreover, it is helpful for removing stains from most fabrics, wood, and cotton, among others.
As mentioned, the largest use for the chemical product is as a solvent. A solvent is generally a liquid substance that is used as a dissolving agent or that is capable of dissolving another substance. It is used as a process solvent for extraction and purification of natural products, examples of which include vegetable and animal oils and fats, gums, resins, waxes, colors, flavorings, alkaloids, vitamins, kelp, and alginates. It is also a solvent for topically applied preparations, such as your cosmetic products in the likes of hair tonics, perfumes, skin lotions, hair dye rinses and permanent wave lotions, skin cleansers, deodorants, nail polishes, and shampoos. It is likewise used as a coating and dye solvent for synthetic polymers such as phenolic varnished and nitrocellulose lacquers as well as aerosol solvent for medical and veterinary products like antiseptics, foot fungicides, first aid and medical vapor sprays, skin soother, and house and garden insecticides.
Furthermore, the chemical product is a rather cheaper preservative than ethanol and it is a relatively non-toxic alternative to formaldehyde and other synthetic preservatives.
It should be taken note that isopropanol is a highly flammable substance; hence, proper care should be observed when storing and using it. It must be handled only with adequate ventilation and in places where ignition sources, such as matches and unprotected light matches, have been discarded. On the other hand, using gloves while using it can prevent ingestion, inhalation or absorption of the chemical product; long term application to the skin can cause defatting, just like many other organic solvents.
When we speak of chemical products, we usually tend to think of their health risks. Well, if this kind of substance is accidentally swallowed in large amounts then it can cause serious injury and even death. This chemical compound is usually found in household products such as rubbing alcohol, alcohol swabs, paint thinners, cleaning supplies, and perfumes.
Now, symptoms of a person having swallowed a large amount of isopropanol include abdominal pain, dizziness, headache, nausea, burns and damage to the ear covering of the cornea, low body temperature, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, rapid heart rate, skin redness and pain, slowed breathing, slurred speech, throat pain, unconsciousness, unresponsive reflex, urination problems, and vomiting that may contain blood. On one hand, exposure or swallowing a small amount of the substance does not pose any adverse injury.
With regards to environmental concerns, public and wildlife exposure via environmental releases of the chemical is limited as it quickly biodegrades in water and goes through photo-oxidation quickly in the atmosphere. The product is also not expected to persist in soil because of its fast evaporation and it has a small amount of potential to bio-accumulate in aquatic organisms.
Indeed, isopropanol is used in various ways and it is, in one way or another, a part of our day-to-day living. But, it being a product of our everyday lives should not make us forget of how to make use of it responsibly.
Jo is a writer for ReAgent Chemical Services Ltd (http://www.reagent.co.uk), a well-known UK based chemical producer that manufactures, has a supply of and sells a huge variety of high quality chemical products as well as analytical laboratory chemicals, specialty chemicals and solid chemicals. If your business is seeking premium organic solvents for instance Isopropanol or has other industrial compound requirements for applications similar to chemical fusion, analytical purposes and cleaning then check out ReAgent Chemical Services Ltd.