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Lose the Solvent Headache with Cole-Parmer VapLock™ Closed Systems

publication date: Dec 27, 2018
author/source: Cole-Parmer

VapLock closed systems make it easy to improve laboratory safety by reducing exposure to vapors and hazardous solvent waste.

Labs can have a fragrance which is characteristic of a build-up of trace vapours. Ideally, the lab should not smell; however, in an environment in which automated analysis equipment continuously runs, the likelihood of organic chemical and reagent volatiles leaking increases. This concoction of substances in the air can not only be a fire and explosion risk, but can also be harmful to health.

German-Swiss physician and alchemist, Paracelsus, stated that all things have the potential to be toxic, but the effect is dependent on the dosage. Although there are a number of entry routes, the most common way for toxins to enter the body is through respiration. Once in the body, a toxic substance may be metabolised, detoxified and excreted. If the substance has not had an immediate acute effect, then there is the possibility that chronic exposure can cause sensitisation and/or disease in the long-term.

People working with HPLC, UHPLC, FPLC, LC-MS, ICP-MS, spectrophotometers, flow analysers, or dissolution apparatus often come into contact with large amounts of solvent and reagents. To limit exposure to harmful volitiles, it is vital to contain those vapours thereby minimising their entry into the laboratory atmosphere. This can be achieved by targeting key sources:


  1. Bottles holding the reagents at an inlet
  2. Containers that collect spent reagents
  3. Flow path tube connections


In response to regulations and best practices for hazardous chemical handling, many laboratories require closed system solutions to minimise solvent vapor release and exposure during instrument operation. In light of this, many scientists, laboratory technicians, and safety officers have chosen to utilise products that limit exposure. The Cole-Parmer VapLock™ Closed Systems are designed to incorporate features that maximise safety whilst being functional. These systems prevent the release of hazardous vapours at both ends of a typical fluid pathway. On the solvent inlet side at the beginning of the fluid pathway, VapLock systems prevent vapour release from the solvent reservoirs whilst maintaining the pressure equilibrium and controlling evaporation of the mobile phase, facilitating more repeatable analytical results. These systems also ensure waste chemicals are captured safely and that the exhaust gas is scrubbed free of hazardous vapours, whilst being flexible and adapted to virtually any solvent container.

VapLock closed systems are a cost-effective safety solution for solvent containment and hazardous vapour control, promoting safer and healthier laboratories for scientists, chemical hygienists, and researchers who work with HPLC and similar liquid-based technologies.


more about VapLock™

About Cole-Parmer

Cole-Parmer is a leading global source of test & measurement, biosciences and fluid handling products, instrumentation, equipment and supplies.  We are proven experts in the fields of temperature measurement and control, electrochemistry and chromatography.  Our portfolio of unique industry-leading brands includes Argos Technologies®, Electrothermal™, Environmental Express®, Ismatec®, Jenway®, Kinesis®, Masterflex®, PCRmax®, Stuart®, Techne®, TELOS®, Traceable®, VapLock™ and a wide range of private-label products


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