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Identifying Occupational and Environmental Exposure Hazards to Organic Solvents

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides a wide range of industrial hygiene and environmental testing services to protect workers and the public.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

Solvents are widely used in industry and can even be found in many products in people’s homes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes solvents as substances that are capable of dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances.

The term solvent usually refers to organic solvents, which means it contains carbon. Organic solvents can be classified into three main types:

  • Oxygenated solvents
  • Hydrocarbon solvents
  • Halogenated solvents

While most solvents are liquids, they can come in other forms, such as a gas. People can be exposed to these chemicals by breathing them, absorbing them through the skin or by swallowing them. In the home, people can be exposed to solvents by using cleaning products, personal care products, nail polish remover, paints, glues, adhesives and various other household products. Children exposed to high levels of solvents may suffer from asthma.

In occupational settings, employees can be exposed to solvents if their work involves dip cleaning, vapor degreasing, manufacturing that uses glues and adhesives, paint stripping, fueling, transferring flammable solvents, painting, offset printing, dry cleaning, installing carpets, and cleaning electronics, automotive parts, engines or circuit boards. Workers may also be exposed if they are involved with manufacturing soap, printed circuit boards, semiconductors, personal care products, pharmaceuticals or textiles among other occupations.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that millions of workers are exposed to solvents on a daily basis,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The agency also states that health hazards associated with solvent exposure may include toxicity to the nervous system, reproductive damage, liver and kidney damage, respiratory impairment, cancer and dermatitis.”

To protect workers and the public from exposure to solvents, EMSL offers a wide range of industrial hygiene and environmental testing services. They also provide all of the sampling supplies necessary and have respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) available for sale. EMSL even recently sponsored an educational video about solvents and exposure concerns that can be seen at:

To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, air quality, health and safety testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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