Nitrites are used in VCI in the form of sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite has been used as a food preservative for over 100 years. It is found in the bacon you eat for breakfast and the salami you eat for lunch. It has been approved as a food additive for over two-thirds of a century. In fact, over 85% of the sodium nitrite present in our body is produced by our own body. In order to consume the MSDS reported hazardous dosage of sodium nitrite, for a normal VCI at 1.0 g/sq. ft. a person would have to EAT all of the sodium nitrite present in 31 sq. ft. of VCI treated paper. Not only does a person not ingest VCI paper, but rarely comes into contact with it, given the fact that workers should wear gloves to avoid the acidity that our fingerprints give off on the metal surfaces.
Similar to most ordinary household chemicals, sodium nitrite is not without risk. It simply must be handled in the same judicious fashion as such ordinary chemicals as household bleach, windshield washer fluid, floor wax, and several others. None of these components would be considered as “hazardous” within normal usage; however, sodium nitrite is often singled out as if it is. While sodium nitrite in VCI Paper should not be construed in the same light as a food preservative, it is not the lethal enemy that some make it out to be. It is used in the VCI industry because it is an excellent inhibitor of rust, especially for steel products. Armor Protective Packaging® manufactures several different VCI products, with and without sodium nitrite. Please contact an ARMOR representative for information and help in specifying the correct product(s) for your application.