Xylene, also referred to as xylol, is any of three different isomeric liquid substances used as a solvent in the manufacture of dyes, resins, insecticides, fuels, perfumes and films. Xylene is highly toxic and can cause a host of dangerous side effects, including damaged neurological function, fatigue, mood swings, irritability and dizziness. Scientists have thus sought and developed a number of safer xylene substitutes, including the following list of leading industry alternatives.
Developed by Anatech Ltd., Pro-Par Clearant is an ideal alternative to xylene. The formula possesses the same evaporation rate, penetration rate and drying time as xylene, is recyclable and sustains a small degree of water tolerance.
An almost odourless formula with low toxicity levels, Clear-Advantage is another xylene substitute available from Polysciences, Inc. (see Resources). Clear-Advantage is distinctive in that it offers faster drying time than xylene.
Clear-Rite 3, produced by Richard-Allan, is similar to Pro-Par Clearant in that it has the same evaporation rate, penetration rate and drying time of xylene. Unlike Pro-Par, however, Clear-Rite has zero water tolerance.
Histosolve is a Shandon product and another xylene mimic with equal evaporation rate, penetration time and drying time. It is also recyclable, but like Clear-Rite it has zero water tolerance.