We know that reducing your operator’s exposure to solvents is a big concern to cleanroom managers across the world. Greg explains to us some simple fixes as well as some permanent fixes. A non-permanent fix to this would be taking a cup, poking a hole in the bottom, and putting the top of the squeeze bottle into it. This creates a simple vapor recovery around the top. A more permanent solution would be to invest in pre-wetted wipers. This eliminates the need for mixing solvents, and manually putting them on the wiper. This also eliminates waste from the solvent and the wiper. Another plus of having pre-wetted wiper is that they have the same saturation from top to bottom. These are safer for operators and allow for a more product cleanroom. Learn more about this issue in the video below!
Hi I'm Greg Heiland and welcome to my weekly video blog, Critical Tips. This week will respond to an inquiry commonly posed by environmental health and safety professionals. The inquiry is “How do I reduce my operator exposure to solvents?” In the most common solvent exposure is the ubiquitous squeeze bottle. When squeeze bottles are squeezed in a fab you're introducing a liquid solvent that then aerosols with the ever increasing air velocity and air turbulence that goes with newer fabs. And the reason for the increasing air velocity and air turbulence is the more air exchange that you can have means that you can have more effective filtration to remove contamination. This air turbulence though is really counterproductive to introducing a volatile solvent because you're going to be introducing that volatile solvent throughout a lot of air volume. So let me get back to the question that the environmental health and safety community asks “How do we reduce the solvent exposure?” Well one creative work around is the repositioning of the ubiquitous Red Solo Cup and how can a Red Solo Cup reduce solvent exposure? Well it was a pretty clever operator, and maybe he had consumed a few beverages from his Red Solo Cup, but basically what you can do is you can take your Red Solo Cup pierce the bottom and what you do is you create a vapor recovery system. And so instead of squeezing the solvent on the wipper and as you can see not all of that goes on the wipe, some of it is aerosol into the environment when you when you situate your squeeze bottle with the Red Solo Cup you effectively trap all that reducing solvent operator exposure. But I don't think this is a really good long-term workable solution, but cheers to the Red Solo Cup.
What I would recommend is a better solution to the environmental health and safety community question “How do we reduce operating exposure?” Is eliminate purchasing, altogether, liquid IPA in the hassle of having to mix it into squeeze bottles in your facility. And the new sense of having to drop purchases of a dry wipe and then the unreliability of operators not following the instructions of how to saturate the wipe and consider the convenience of purchasing a pre wetted wipes from your supplier. The benefit of a pre-wetted wipe is from the first wipe to the last they're going to be uniformly consistent in their solvent application because the solvent is applied at the factory and then the wiper is vacuum packed all the solvent is driven into the wiper, as you saw by the sample that I illustrated, when you just squeeze the solvent onto a dry wipe you don't have a uniform wetting you have some areas of the wipe that are very oversaturated and others that are under saturated. Notice on a preset sure what you have uniform solvent wetting. So you're going to get a more consistent wipe and you're going to be able to reduce solvent exposure without having to resort to Red Solo cups.