Even though paint stripper chemicals are great for removing paint they are also dangerous to use. There are proper ways and improper ways to use paint stripper chemicals and this article will share with you the dangers you may face if you improperly use them.
1. Damage to the Respiratory System
Whatever paint stripper you use, they all can cause this type of damage. They can harm the membranes in the throat and nose to various degrees of damage. Concentrated paint strippers can also damage the lung's soft tissue. This is where the chemicals can make their way into your body through the blood stream.
2. Skin Disease
Making skin contact with paint stripper can cause dermatitis. It dissolves the natural oils of the skin that protect it from damage. If you come into contact with it over a long period of time your skin may become white, dry and cracked. Wearing gloves while working with paint stripper is a must as well as is washing your skin as soon as you're done using them.
3. Internal Organ Damage
Paint stripper, along with skin damage, can lead to organ damage and failure. The cracks in the skin give the chemical every opportunity to enter the blood stream. Most common are liver and kidney damage. Certain chemicals can cause heart problems and some can even attach bone marrow which can lead to leukemia and aplastic anemia.
4. Nervous System Damage
Inhalation, skin contact and consumption of paint thinner can cause intoxication or acute narcosis much like drinking grain alcohol. This can lead to several ailments such as depression, headaches, fatigue, irritability, loss of reflexes and coordination among other problems. These effects are able to be reversed if contact to the paint thinner ends but if exposure continues they can cause permanent brain damage leading to changes in behavior, memory loss and seizures.
Paint strippers all come in varying degrees of flammability. This means that they can easily catch on fire. Some paint strippers on the market can cause flash fires which require no outside head. The chemicals are heating themselves up until a fire begins. Others will need an outside source in order to catch fire. These chemicals will have their sensitivity to heat on the label. There include: extremely flammable, combustible, non-flammable and flammable. Extremely flammable paint thinner can catch fire in weather 20-degrees Fahrenheit or less; flammable means that a flash fire can happen below 100-degrees Fahrenheit and combustible paint thinner needs to be heated above room temperature in order to ignite.
Precautions to Take
Whenever you work with paint thinners also adhere to these precautions:
- Always wear a protective face mask or breather
- Always wear protective gloves
- Always wear eye goggles
- Never smoke or light a match near these chemicals
- Work in areas with proper ventilation
- Never consume paint thinner
- Allow rags to dry before properly disposing of them