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Technology for the Human Environment

An essential part of the 3M™ Novec™ Brand Promise is a commitment to worker health and safety. That's why every product that carries the Novec brand – whatever its chemical composition – shares several important characteristics:

  • Nonflammability – even when subjected to direct flame or electrical arcs
  • Low toxicity
  • Safe in its intended use

Following are key safety characteristics of some of the most widely-used products in the 3M Novec product family.

3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids Safety Attributes

Novec engineered fluids are a family of low global-warming solvent materials, used for a wide variety of industrial applications including heat transfer, lubricant and coating deposition and precision cleaning.

In all of these applications, workers are typically exposed to a small amount of solvent vapor during their shifts, which is why determining acceptable exposure limits is a critical factor in the selection of process solvents.

Based on extensive toxicity testing, the 8-hour worker exposure guidelines for Novec 7100 and 7200 fluids are 750 ppm and 200 ppm respectively. The table below provides the exposure guidelines for several other Novec fluids commonly used in vapor degreasing systems.

Other solvents with lower exposure limits, such as nPB, trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, do not offer nearly this same margin of safety.

  Exposure Guidelines
8-hr time-weighted avg. (ppm)
Exposure Ceiling
Novec 7100 fluid 750 None
Novec 7200 fluid 200 None
Novec 71DA fluid 750/2001/10002 None
Novec 71DE fluid 750/2001 None
Novec 71IPA fluid 750/4003 None
Novec 72DA fluid 750/200/2001/10002 None
Novec 72DE fluid 750/200/2001 None
HCFC-225ca/cb 50 None
nPB 104 Not determined
Trichloroethylene 104 25 ppm
Perchloroethylene 254 100 ppm
1 trans-1,2-chloroethylene has an 8-hr. TWA exposure guideline of 200 ppm
2 Ethanol has an 8-hr. TWA exposure guideline of 1000 ppm
3 Isopropyl alcohol has an 8-hr. TWA exposure guideline of 400 ppm

3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid Safety Attributes

Novec 1230 fluid is an advanced, clean agent fire suppression material, designed to protect high-value assets such as computer and telecommunications rooms, museums, archives and airport control towers. These are areas that are often occupied by people, which means that agent toxicity must be taken into account when designing a clean agent fire protection system.

Novec 1230 fluid is both low in acute toxicity and is a highly-efficient fire extinguishant, so that it puts out fires long before the agent reaches concentration that could adversely affect humans. In fact, because its use concentration is much lower than its No Observable Adverse Effects Level (NOAEL), Novec 1230 fluid offers the largest margin of safety among all other chemical clean agents, CO2 and inert gas mixtures.

3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid Safety Margin

Agent Novec 1230 HFC-125 HFC-227ea Inert Gas CO2
Use Concentration 4.2 - 5.9% 8.7 - 12.1% 6.25 - 8.7% 34.2 - 40.6% 30 - 75%
NOAEL1 10%2 7.5% 9% 43% < 5%
Safety Margin 69 – 138% Nil 3 – 44% 6 – 26% Lethal at design concentration
1 NOAEL for cardiac sensitization
2 NOAEL for acute toxicity, including cardiac sensitization

Learn more about 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid


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