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Emergency shower and eyewash systems

1st April 2013


Urban legend has it that the first steady stream eyewash was devised by an industrial plant manager who was concerned about his employees' and adapted two drinking fountain bubbler heads and valves mounted on opposing sides of a sink. When activated, the streams formed a double arch that aimed water from the outer perimeter of the sink to the centre. This was a great concept except for one thing: irrigating with streams that contact the eye at its outer canthus, or corner, and flow inward toward the nose, is diametrically opposed to the way healthcare professionals irrigate eyes.

The medical profession teaches and practices irrigating eyes by introducing the flushing fluid at the inner corner of the eye and letting it run across the eye to the outer edge. In effect, doctors irrigate eyes by moving the fluid away from the lacrimal puncta, which are the ocular cavity's drains. These drains channel excess fluids (including hazardous substances accidentally splashed into the eye) directly into the nasal cavity where they can be swallowed or inhaled. The medical best-practice for eye irrigation is opposite the flow direction of plumbed-in eyewash products.

Haws introduced the first and only eye/face wash head that is specifically designed to operate in concert with the natural function of the human eye. Axion MSR's eyewash streams are inverted versus the traditional eyewash. Streams contact the eyes at the inner canthus or corner, adjacent to the bridge of the nose.

Contaminants are swept to the outer edge of the eye, where gravity takes over running them into the eyewash bowl. Because the Axion MSR streams are almost vertically orientated, the company was able to engineer the design to allow them to in effect 'stall' at the prescribed height.

In engineering terms, when the stream exhausts its vertical velocity it turns outward and begins to fall horizontally. This causes a slight puddling of the flow in mid-air before it returns to the eyewash bowl. That stalling, puddling and soft horizontal flow occur directly at the optimal contact point with the eye, making for a more pleasant and effective irrigation experience.

- www.scientistlive.com/elab

- Haws Corporation is based Sparks, Nevada, USA. www.Hawsco.com or www.axionmsr.com





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