Garmon Chemicals, a chemical manufacturer for denim garment processing, developed a new neutralizing agent that is better for workers and the environment.
The Kemin Textile Auxiliaries-owned company bowed Avol Orange, a sustainable solution to neutralize bleaching agents like potassium permanganate and sodium hypochlorite without unpleasant smells or severe risks for workers health.
“The denim industry requires the production of thousands of garments every day,” Garmon said. “Mass production of clothes increases the exposure of the denim laundry workers to chemicals and the related equipment they work with. For this reason, Garmon’s mission is to develop products that respect workers health, and Avol Orange is the latest, great addition to the range.”
The neutralizing agent is an alternative to sodium metabisulphite and hydroxylamine which is commonly used for neutralization. However, Garmon points out that the products have “several drawbacks and possible severe impacts on workers’ safety.”
If inhaled, sodium metabisulphite can irritate the nose, throat and lungs, causing coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Moreover, Garmon said its strong smell is unpleasant for workers and compromises their safety.
Hydroxylamine poses more dangers. Garmon said it is classified as a dangerous good, meaning with exposure to heat hydroxylamine can explode, which causes shipping complications. In addition to causing irritation to the nose, throat and lungs, hydroxylamine is suspected of causing cancer and mutagenic effects.
The company said Avol Orange “satisfies the needs of the denim laundries that want to replace dangerous commodities with a product safer and more user friendly, at a very competitive cost.”
To achieve a fully sustainable bleaching process, Avol Orange can also be used to neutralize Avol Oxy White, Garmon’s sustainable replacement of potassium permanganate. The Bluesign-certified product touts easy application and authentic effects without tumble drying or curing.