Optisource’s several green products include All Off lens marking remover, Nu-Tralizer lens dye remover, and a full line of dry packet lens dyes.
Dynamic Labs’ The Eliminator, a non-acetone lens marking remover, is safe to use on polycarbonate lenses and other coatings.
RESPONSIBLE CHOICES Some of the potential negative health effects from using acetone are skin, eye, and lung irritation. Long-term exposure can result in dry, cracked skin and possible damage to the nervous system. While it is a very handy and helpful solvent, it is highly flammable and must be stored properly to avoid a fire hazard. There are alternative choices to get the job done without using this liquid with its potential dangers. Why not ask yourself: “What am I doing in my daily routine as an ECP that will have a negative effect on the eco-system?” We can make responsible choices with our consumables that will minimize their environmental impact.
Salem’s REVEAL lens protection tapes are free of chemical compounds.
Phantom’s Opti-Safe dry lens dye packets are an alternative to conventional liquid dye bottles.

ECPs can minimize the impact of harsh chemicals on the environment by using green consumables.

It may seem like an oxymoron to put “green” and “consumables” in the same sentence but there are a few choices we can make in our dispensaries, and in-house and full- service labs that will minimize the negative effect that chemicals have on the environment.

Dynamic Labs offers a non-acetone lens marking remover packaged in a user-friendly pen. There is always less of a health and safety risk if your staff doesn’t have to expose themselves to cleaning solutions that must be dipped into or soaked in an open air environment. The Eliminator is a safe marking remover liquid pen that allows your staff to use it without touching the cleaning agent and breathing a room full of fumes. It is safe to use on polycarbonate lenses and all other lens coatings, making it a great choice for your shop.

Optisource International’s All Off lens marking remover can be used to eliminate progressive ink markings, and blocking debris, as well as for AR preparation. This solution works better than acetone for layout ink removal without risking damage to polycarbonate lenses. No scrubbing is required with this product, which easily dissolves lens markings and micro scratches on your expensive lenses. It also dries instantly without oily residue. Not only is this product used by ophthalmic laboratories around the world for removing ink marks, but it is also a previous winner of the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) Award of Excellence. All Off is available in lab-sized 16-oz. bottles, dispensary-sized 4-oz. bottles, convenient 1-oz. flip-lip bottles, and the popular pen-style with felt tip.

For over 20 years, Optisource has offered its “Nu-Tralizer” lens dye remover. This product performs well on CR-39, high-index, polycarbonate, and Trivex material lenses. It is an environmentally safe product that poses no threat to skin from irritation, inhalation, or ingestion; and is drain-safe biodegradable. It is formulated to not craze scratch-resistant coatings or cause streaking. Nu-Tralizer will work to remove lens dyes in as little as 30 seconds to 10 minutes depending on tint density. It too is a former winner of the OLA Award of Excellence due to its performance in the lab and its low impact on the environment. Another plus is that it is available in gallon bottles, which saves on packaging when compared to smaller containers.

Brain Power, Inc. (BPI) uses a “food quality” glycerol to create a heat transfer fluid (HTF) that is non-corrosive and non-toxic. This HTF is called GL-77 and, according to the company, has proven to be one of the best heating mediums in the business. Maintaining an even or a high temperature is one of the best traits of GL-77. Being environmentally friendly is meaningless if the product doesn’t work well for its intended use and GL-77 is at the top of its game. Its evaporation factor is almost non-existent and it protects heating elements and tank walls against corrosion. With no toxic vapors and a drain-safe disposal, this product is squarely on our “best of green” products list.

Phantom Research Laboratories, Inc. promotes its Opti-Safe dry lens dye packets as an alternative to conventional liquid dye bottles. These dry dye packets have at least a five-year shelf life that eliminates waste from an expired product. They are available in a choice of over 100 colors.

Optisource also offers a full line of dry packet lens dyes that can be shipped in mailing envelopes to your office or lab. The obvious environmental benefit here is that there is far less packaging required for these 1-oz., 3-in. x 3-in. packets that are shipped in a manila mailing envelope. This compares favorably to traditional liquid dyes that require plastic bottles and reinforced boxes for shipping, not to mention the added weight that liquid dyes contribute to the cost of shipping. With these dry packet dyes, you simply drop a packet into your dye bath of heated, clear water and watch it dissolve. These Dry Dye Packets are available in a wide palette of colors.

With the advent of free-form lens surfacing, there’s need for a product that is as rigid as alloy for blocking. The problem with alloy is that there are multiple health, safety, and environmental concerns associated with its use in lens processing. Coburn Technologies, Inc. has come up with an excellent alternative to alloy with its Onyx Bond. This product is reusable, biodegradable, as well as alloy- and wax-free. You’ll find that it is very rigid and stable, making it an excellent product for free-form lens surfacing. With Onyx Bond, you won’t be putting your lab technicians’ health at risk and Environmental Protection Agency concerns are eliminated.

Salem Vision Group’s REVEAL line of lens protection tapes are designed for use with alloy or wax blocking systems on all types of lens materials. REVEAL is manufactured using an adhesive that is free of any volatile organic compounds.  It conforms to all base curves without releasing at the edges and securely adheres to both the lens and the blocking medium yet easily de-blocks after use.

There is no question that free-form surfacing has benefitted the environment due to the fact that it requires far less consumable waste in the fining and polishing stages. Fining and polishing are accomplished with “soft tools” like the Hyper Flex Enduro series from Coburn. These high-quality soft tools are Coburn’s longest-lasting, highest-performing tools with the lowest possible cost per lens and lowest tool failure rate, so they reduce breakages in your lab. They are very chemically resistant, which helps keep your polish free from the particles associated with tool erosion. These tools produce that high-gloss finish that is essential for a good AR coating to bond to the surface. Less waste and more productivity are better for the environment.

Dynamic Labs offers a unique combination coolant defoamer called the Edger and Generator Coolant that is formulated for both generators as well as edgers. By using an agent that is multifunctional, you can reduce container waste and exposure to multiple chemicals. This long-lasting combination coolant requires only one cup of concentrate per five gallons of water to produce the desired results. The coolant is a proprietary blend of Hydrogenated Tallow Glycerides that are non-petroleum based, making it far safer on people and the planet. It is also available in gallon containers so it requires less plastic packaging than single use containers.

Thankfully consumable suppliers are on the ball when it comes to providing products that will give current and future generations a safe planet.

Steven Warfield is a lab technician and freelance writer based in Harrisburg, PA.


Brain Power, Inc. (BPI)
800-225-5274 •

Coburn Technologies, Inc.
800-262-8761 •

Dynamic Labs
888-339-6264 •

OptiSource International

Phantom Research Laboratories, Inc.
800-225-5559 •

Salem Vision Group
800-234-1982 •


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