Hundreds of Thousands of Optical Stores and Optical Labs Endanger Employees Health by Emitting Toxic Fumes Inside Their Locations World Wide

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Hot glycol ether fumes are ingested on a daily basis in optical businesses, without owners or heakth authorities being aware of it.

Most optical stores and prescription laboratories (estimating about 80% in North America) are doing lens tinting operations by means of conventional lens tinting units, which use a chemical heat transfer media to heat the dyes and the dye remover chemicals (neutralizer).

Specially the dye removers are made with ether or ethylene glycols that are heated to near the boiling point, therefore emitting very toxic fumes, endangering employees to liver and kidney damage as well as brain cells. Customers to these stores and residents of a building that has central air conditioning are exposed to these fumes. (This presents no problem if a ventilation hood is placed over the tinting unit and the fumes vented outside into fresh air.) These tinting units are on hot mode from early morning to closing time for fast access and tinting.

The largest offenders are some of the well known optical chain stores in the USA and Canada which advertise 1 hour service and are located in central air conditioned buildings or shopping malls, because they can not vent the fumes outside.

Some of these optical chains, are not only emitting fumes from daily heated tinting units but also from lens hard coating machines that emit fumes of butyl alcohol and other toxic chemicals into the central air conditioning systems.

This is all due to optical chemical manufacturers and suppliers that hand out MSDS sheets that do not mention the danger of toxic fumes when these chemicals are heated. Without heat they would not work. OSHA and other health governing agencies do not seem to be aware of these conditions or they would have made these workplaces safe for the employees, customers and residents of these buildings.

OMS Opto Chemicals has recently developed a non toxic water based tint remover that will not emit any toxic fumes and does work as fast or faster than the conventional glycol products, and furthermore it can be used for every type of lens without damaging any surfaces. This product has been formulated purely from surfactants (soap family) with water as its carrier. Any evaporation can be replaced with plain tap water until it stops working and a new batch has to be used.

For enquiries contact OMS, Opto Chemicals

For further information contact Chris Ryser,    President OMS

OMS Optochemicals, 177108 Canada Inc.

97 Columbus , Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada, H9R 4K3

Tel: +1- 514-426-3055     Fax:+1 - 514-426-1138

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