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Is Casual Contact With Solvents A Health Risk?

What do paint thinners, acetone, aromatic hydrocarbons and many more solvents have in common?

They are all highly flammable, can be fatal if swallowed and can cause respiratory irritation and organ damage. Not all solvents are dangerous or equally harmful in all aspects, some being more dangerous than others.

It’s no surprise that exposure by way of ingestion or inhalation of solvents can cause severe illness or death. However the immediate and long term effects of skin contact by solvents are not so well known.

Solvents can be absorbed through the skin by direct contact and enter the bloodstream in this way.

In summary, solvents and many products based on them need be treated with great care. They should be used only for their intended purpose and never for personal use. 

So why do many people in industries such as the smash repair industry use them as the preferred way of removing various soils from the skin? 

The simple answer is they work, are readily accessible in many work places and many workers are unaware that skin contact can have serious long term effects. 

When specially designed products for personal use are not available, strong solvents are often used in the workplace as an inappropriate substitute. This poses an immediate risk with a long term effect posing a cost that can not be measured in terms of money.

What’s the answer? 

In terms of personal use, new formula, Fingertens Paint Peeler is a much safer alternative (Click here for SDS). It quickly and easily removes two pack epoxies, urethanes, silicone, rubber, gasket sealants, epoxy resins, polyester and vinyl ester resins, most polymers, adhesives, acrylics and many other paints, resins and sealants. 

It is suitable for use by spray painters, brush painters, construction workers and all trades personnel, as well as all workers exposed to 2 pack systems and polymer chemicals. 

Paint Peeler is applied to skin without water, worked in thoroughly until soil is loosened and rinsed with water.

Click here for advice from Safe Work Australia on managing risks associated with exposure to solvents in the workplace.



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