Eyewash Station Infection Risks

Eyewash Station Infection Risks

Health Effects from Contaminated Water in Eyewash Stations

Eyewash Station Risks for Infection

Eyewash stations are used in workplace environments where potential irritants could lead to eye injuries. By law, research laboratories, production facilities, and medical environments are required to have eyewash stations in place. While designed to keep workers safe, they could pose serious health risks if maintained improperly.

Contaminated Eyewash Stations

Pseudomonas
Pseudomonas. Photo Credit: CDC

According to OSHA, eyewash stations that aren’t being regularly maintained could contain potentially dangerous organisms. This puts employees at risk for developing eye and full body infections.

Pseudomonas, for instance, is a deadly bacteria species known for causing serious health complications. An infection that begins in the eye could spread through an individual’s bloodstream to the other tissue, including the skin and lungs. This is just one type of harmful substance which could be lurking in your eyewash station.

Can You Prevent Eyewash Contamination?

First, it’s important to identify the type of eyewash system your company uses. Plumbed eyewash stations feature plumbing components like spouts. They should be activated each week to ensure proper working order. And to clear away any buildup that could accumulate over time.

There are also eyewash solutions that don’t require any plumbing. Called self-contained eyewash stations, these systems can provide a stream of eyewash to the user for 15 minutes, as mandated by OSHA. They can also be installed quickly and easily in a convenient location. There are also durable self-contained stations. These are ideal in a wide variety of settings, including remote plant areas and construction sites.

Pureflow 1000 Replacement Cartridges
Pureflow 1000 Replacement Cartridges

To ensure compliance, self-contained eyewash stations should be serviced according to manufacturer instructions. One of the most important factors to remember is that the saline solution they contain does have an expiration date.

Some have 24-month shelf lives. Others can be stored safely for up to 36 months. The expiration date will vary from one type of solution to the next.

A final way to provide employees with eye solution is to simply have a small emergency eyewash wall station in place. Many low-risk environments  don’t fall under OSHA’s requirement of a steady stream of 1.5 liters per minute available for 15 minutes.  These facilities will use a wall station with 16 oz or 32 oz bottles  of eyewash.   Others may just have eyewash included with their first aid supplies. These too must be changed regularly to provide employees with access to fresh, contaminant-free eyewash.

Tips for Safe Eyewash Practices

Eyewash should generally be stored at a temperature between 60 and 100 degrees. Different solutions may have more specific storage requirements. To effectively clean or service the station, be sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions.

It’s important to use only solutions appropriate for eye flushing in your stations. Avoid risk of serious injury by using the proper solution.

Eyesaline Eyewash
Eyesaline Eyewash

If you have a need for eyewash stations or refill cartridges/bottles, Harmony Business Supplies can help. Take a look at our selection of eyewash equipment on our website. Or contact a product specialist for assistance.

Pail Wipers vs Bagged: What’s the Difference?

Pail Wipers vs Bagged: What’s the Difference?

Pail Wipes & Bagged Wipers

The cleanroom wipes we know today are an evolution of baby wipes. Indeed, pre-wetted wipes used for baby care needs existed long before the cleanroom industry designed their own pre-saturated wipes. While the general concept behind the two products is the same, the difference lies in wipes’ composition and solution. To be used safely in critical environments, cleanroom wipes are made from materials like polypropylene and polyester, resulting in low particle generation and non-abrasive qualities.

Cleanroom wipes are saturated with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to help technicians clean work areas quickly.

There are two main options for purchasing presaturated cleanroom wipes: small packs, and pails (which contain a much higher quantity of wipes). Aside from the number of wipes each option contains, there are some other key differences among the two packages. Let’s take a closer look to determine which option will best suit your needs.

PACKS OF PRE-SATURATED WIPERS

Packs of Pre-Saturated Wipers

Bags of wipers are available, holding about 50 wipes. To retrieve a wipe, the user  opens the seal, which covers the hole into the package. The stacked layout of the wipes and resealable seal work together to minimize evaporation.

Cleanroom wipes are also available in flex packs, which also have stacked wipes. However, instead of opening a sticker seal, the user opens the interlocking bag (resembling a sandwich bag) to retrieve a wipe. If an entire pack of wipes is to be used over the course of a few days, the wipes will likely retain sufficient moisture.

PAILS OF WIPERS

Pails of Wipers

In addition to bags, pre-saturated wipers are also available in pails. The pails hold more wipes: some hold 150 cleanroom wipes while other pails house as many as 600. The advantage of this packaging lies in the fact that the lid creates a tight seal, which helps to prevent against evaporation.

Advantages of Pre-Saturated Cleanroom Wipes

Using a pre-saturated wiper improves cleaning performance & consistency. Anyone who has used a squirt bottle to dispense alcohol for cleaning knows how tricky it is to dispense just the right amount.  Overly wet wipes will simply saturate the surface and spread contamination further. Using wipes that are too dry may hinder your ability to attract contaminants in the area. A key feature of presaturation is precise saturation of the solvent. This provides optimal particle and contaminant removal and solvent usage as well as increases consistency of critical component cleaning.

Clean Up Right w/ Presaturated Pail Wipes & Bagged Wipers

If you’re working in a cleanroom environment where wipers are only used to clean up spills every now and then, small packs of wipers may suffice. Yet, for everyday cleaning needs, most technicians prefer to have a large supply of fully-saturated wipers on hand. For this reason, along with the cost savings, cleanroom wiper pails are the leading choice in many companies.

Harmony Business Supplies has a large selection of cleanroom wipes available to meet each company’s unique needs. Shop online through our inventory or contact a product specialist for assistance.