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What Causes Dropper Bulbs to Degrade? (or "The Sign of Ozone")

Have you seen this defect (photograph at right) in a dropper before? The bulb degrades from the outside in, becoming dry and brittle. Chances are it is the result of coming in contact with ozone for a period of time.

Many health food retailers and homeopaths are using ozone generators to kill air born baceteria, disinfecting their shops and offices. Ozone attacks natural rubber and causes degradation of the material where the rubber is stretched.

From the photo (left) it can be seen where the pipette flange is seated inside the dropper bulb. It is at this point that the bulb is stressed (stretched) and the point where ozone begins the deterioration process from the outside. It is interesting to note that nitrile, an alternate bulb material, will also degrade in the presence of ozone.

Other environmental factors that cause problems are UV light, heat and oxygen. Our experience indicates that keeping droppers away from direct exposure to sunlight and ozone will prevent the defect shown above.

However, if getting rid of the ozone generator is not an option, there is a bulb material that is compatible with most products and is NOT AFFECTED by ozone. Call 443-436-9400 for specifications of this material, samples and/or pricing.

NOTE: The information in this article is not intended to eliminate the need for thorough testing of all materials that come in contact with the packaged product.


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