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Subject: Alternative to xylene

Alternative to xylene

From: John Burke <jb<-at->
Date: Sunday, February 12, 2012
Smadar Gabrieli <smadar.gabrieli [at] uwa__edu__au> writes

>Raymond A. Spiteri <raymond.a.spiteri [at] gov__mt> writews
>>We are seeking a less hazardous alternative to xylene to be used in
>>solvent mixtures and for dissolving acrylic resins like Paraloid B72
>>for eventual use in conservation treatments. Can anyone suggest, or
>>has used, a viable alternative. Has anyone used 'Clarify' as an
>>alternative to xylene, and if so, is it a viable alternative.
>I don't know of a substitute to xylene for all applications, but
>since you specify B72, it is miscible in acetone and in ethanol, or
>a mixture of the two. So is B67. Change the proportion according to
>the necessary working time. When making decision about which one to
>use, check also for change of colour - in different situations one
>or the other may cause change, while the other doesn't.

I agree that acetone and/or ethanol might be reasonable alternatives
to xylene for B-72, at least from a health perspective if properties
and effects are acceptable. Be careful with commercial solvent
substitutes though: most replacements for aromatics, such as
esters/cycloalkanes, are more driven by VOC regulations than
exposure limits (though I see a number of histology solvent
replacements online, q.v.). Check the MSDS carefully, and compare
threshold limit values (TLVs) as a start.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 25:38
                 Distributed: Monday, February 20, 2012
                       Message Id: cdl-25-38-002
Received on Sunday, 12 February, 2012

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