Pros and Cons of Isopropyl Alcohol


Recently, the term "isopropyl alcohol" has been liken to poisonous snakes and ferocious beasts, what exactly is isopropyl alcohol? Where is it used? What are its characteristics? Is it dangerous? Perhaps too many reports have caused public panic, and therefore, direct associations with isopropyl alcohol have been made, such as with the aromatherapy bottle, and controversies arises; such reports have led to over-generalized and inadequate knowledge of isopropyl alcohol, knowing some aspects but not the others.

Dr.Billy Wang , who holds a Dotorate in Biochemistry from American New York University, and Senior researcher of German Nuremberg Biochemistry Research institute, he gave a specialized explanation from a professional angle on the above questions. Isopropyl alcohol is used more commonly as an artificial chemical additive, as a solvent for the production of Latex, shellac, volatile plant oil and resin. Actually, isopropyl alcohol can be commonly found in our daily life, like in non-alcoholic beverage, candy, dried provision food; and in everyday products including emulsion, shaving cream, ethyl alcohol cotton pad, and so on, have in them, traces of isopropyl alcohol.

Dr. Wang emphasized, that although the temperature of an ignited aromatherapy bottle is very high, even if accidentally toppled, and spilling the essential oil within, it would not of itself start a fire. Moreover, statistical data shows that, using Bel'Air's plant essential oil as example, after ignition, the average density over 6 hours, of isopropyl alcohol content in the air is 5.4ppm, compared to 25ppm found in non-alcoholic beverage, 10~75ppm in candy, and 77ppm in dried provision food; the isopropyl alcohol density found in plant essential oils is much lower, and far below the standard by Gong Yan Institute, harmful limits of the air at tolerance standard 400ppm!

It cannot cause harm to the human body, moreover, for such a low volatile density to reach the (2% is 20000ppm) density, which is needed for an explosion to take place, is even more difficult. Furthermore, all plant essential oil, regardless of origin, contain isopropyl alcohol content; the isopropyl alcohol solvent contained in essential oils prepares the burner head to reach its functional temperature, and enables a smooth flow of essential oil through the ceramic burner head, maintains its temperature, and enables essential oil to vaporize at a moderate temperature, and enables essential oil to vaporize at a moderate temperature to spread through the air, achieving the effect of aromatherapy. Therefore, taking the spatial volume of an average home as example, under normal environmental circumstances (such as normal temperature, and open spaces), it is impossible for the rate of natural vaporization within a short time frame, to reach the level for detonation and create an explosion.

Using an average home of 30 square metres as example, to achieve the lower limits of detonation requires 36 litres of isopropyl alcohol to completely vaporize, which is almost impossible in the real life. Moreover, an average person uses essential oil in aromatherapy for only a few hours, which is enough to maintain a room full of fragrance for 24 hours. Isopropyl alcohol is common in our everyday life. Emphasis should not be to completely annihilate or simply reject its usage, but rather to understand its effects and methods of application. Public and government agencies need not regard isopropyl alcohol, which has been part of our everyday life, with undue suspicions.


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