The hydraulic fluids have numerous chemical compounds in them including esters, butanol, corrosion inhibitors, oils, silicones, polyalkylene glycols and many more. The widely used chemicals used in the hydraulic fluids are the phosphate esters, mineral oil and polyalphaolefins.
With the environmental issues raised every now and then, people have been cautious on how to take of the environment. People are not interested in keeping the environment a safe place to live. Because of the environmental cautiousness, there has been a surge of demand for biodegradable and bio-based hydraulic fluids. These fluids are composed of vegetable oils such as rapeseed, sunflower, soybean and the canola. The use of these fluids minimizes the risk of pollution to the environment in case of oil tank leaks.
These biodegradable fluids are crucial because the constant use of chemicals in the hydraulic fluid is very harmful to the environment. Whenever accidents occur and a spillage or leak occurs, some of the chemicals sink to the groundwater while other stay atop the soil. If some of the fluids are leaked into a body of water, the harmful chemicals will sink to the bottom of the ocean floor or riverbed where it can stay there for several years harming the aquatic plants and animals. The downside though with the use of biodegradable fluid is that it is much more expensive compared to a conventional fluid that is why these bio-based fluids are not commonly used in machineries.
You can become exposed to the harmful chemicals in these fluids by swallowing it, breathing the air near the machine and by touching them. You can also be exposed to these chemicals when you touch soil and water that is contaminated. Research has been on-going in order to learn more how airborne exposure to these chemicals will affect the health of humans. When you ingest these hydraulic fluids, it can cause pneumonia, intestinal bleeding and sudden death. According to reports, those workers that are regularly handling hydraulic fluid are said to be weak and suffer skin irritation on their hands.
When the hydraulic fluid is heated until its flash point, vaporized or is sprayed, it becomes dangerous or hazardous. You need to properly store the fluids. Proper storage requires the owner to store these in metal containers that are sealed. Ensure that storage for large quantities of fluids is done properly. Clothing and rags that have been soaked in the dangerous fluid should be encased in metal containers in order to avoid the danger of fire and should be disposed properly.