The denim dying process involves many chemical reactions.
Photo: Worakit Sirijinda

Indigo may be called the “king of dyes”, but the denim dying process is wasteful and may expose workers to potentially harmful fumes and chemicals.

While currently 50,000 tons of indigo are used to color cotton blue jeans and other products, scientists are looking for more environmentally friendly ways to dye denim.

Indigo has been used for centuries and used to be harvested from a bush native to India. Indigo can dye products in a range of hues, from deep navy blue to pale pastels.

Chemists discovered a method to manufacture the dye, which is used all over the world.

However, the dying process produces large amounts of waste and requires chemical reactions before and after the dye impregnates the cotton fibers get a lasting dye job on the fabric.

Now, two companies are working together to try and come up with a greener process to dye denim. They are trying to eliminate the use of sodium hydrosulfite in the process, which also causes water pollution.

An article in the American Chemical Society’s weekly news magazine Chemical & Engineering News describes the efforts.

Source: American Chemical Society

Protect workers from chemical fumes and gases

Whenever chemical reactions are required in a manufacturing process, there is a chance of chemicals and fumes in the ambient air.

Even traces of those chemicals may have an effect on the workers’ health and well-being and should be filtered out.

In addition to source control and proper ventilation, an industrial-strength air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPA filters can help remove pollutants from the air.

Electrocorp offers portable and customizable air cleaners for industrial and commercial applications that can help remove airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold, among others.

Electrocorp has designed air cleaners for chemical processing plants as well as for effective chemical and odor control.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

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