This is quite an extensive topic and has not had much coverage, perhaps this will highlight some concerns
In general the toxicity is closely connected to the ingredients and the solvent carrier system the particles are in. In general all the particles are tested before they are released for sale - in most consumer products you will find SiO2 particles which are safe; of course we should admit that "safe" is relative since we don't know the long-term (30-40 years) affects 100% I think one should take into consideration that we have much better research systems to assess potential risks today.
“At least 1.7 million U.S. workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in a variety of industries and occupations, including construction, sandblasting, and mining. Silicosis, an irreversible but preventable disease, is the illness most closely associated with occupational exposure to the material, which also is known as silica dust.
Occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica are associated with the development of silicosis, lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, and airways diseases. These exposures may also be related to the development of autoimmune disorders, chronic renal disease, and other adverse health effects” - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
A few problems mentioned before are clearly mostly due to the solvents that contain the particles - in most cases you will have IPA/ethanol/water as the solvent of choice, there are no problems with water or other volatile organic compound (VOC) free solvents. The industry has mostly switched to VOC-free solvents whenever possible, if that was not possible some mfg. made the switch from Propanol to Ethanol, which is much less aggressive to the skin and has been successful in most.
When you have IPA/ethanol based products there is the risk of getting drowsy/dizzy but that is in no way linked to the particles, it's usually the solvents that cause these symptoms.
When you use any type of coating you should always wear gloves (well you should always wear gloves, no matter what you use) and the room should be very well ventilated; then there shouldn't be any problems. One should also keep in mind that the particles remain on the surface as the solvent evaporates.
I will reiterate the use of personal protection equipment (PPE). As a minimum- skin protection in the form of nitrile gloves, eye protection in the form of safety glasses or a face mask if pressure spraying the coating and a NIOSH-approved half face respirator equipped with a combination filter cartridge should be worn while using them.
Consult the current 3M Respiratory Selection Guide for additional information or call 1-800-243-4630 for 3M technical assistance.
Paint Coating Safety Concerns - http://togwt1980.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/paint-coating-safety-concerns.html
Always wear appropriate personal protective clothing to include: Safety glasses, Hearing and Respiratory protection
· Eye Contact: May cause severe irritation to the eyes. Use protective measures to avoid contact.
· Skin Contact: May cause skin burns with redness. Use protective measures to avoid contact.
· Inhalation: May cause irritation of mucous membranes if vapour or mist is inhaled.
Silicosis happens by breathing the dust particulates of silica (glass), which cut and scar the lungs, causing damage, which results in diminished lung capacity. So where does the silicon dioxide enter into this equation as a safe product to breathe when applied as a spray?
Liquid glass is actually a mixture of caustic soda, quartz sand, and water are prepared in a mixing tank, then fed into a reactor, where steam is introduced. The reaction is (n SiO2 + 2 NaOH → Na2O•nSiO2 + H2O). Sodium silicate is spherical silica in a liquid state, which essentially means ‘liquid glass’ crystals which are smooth and round instead of sharp and pointed.
Because there are no sharp edges to damage lung tissue it is relatively safe to breath. But why would we think it is safe to fill our lungs with round glass any more than with jagged sharp glass particles? Do the lungs have the ability to process and get rid of the ‘spherical’ shapes through the blood stream?
Is ‘liquid silicon dioxide’ really ‘colloidal silica,’ or is it ‘sodium silicate’? Silicon dioxide = SiO2 and Sodium silicate = Na2SiO3. Colloidal silica is simply the liquid spherical shape of silicon dioxide while sodium silicate is silicon dioxide with an added salt element (Na). Both products are derived from the second most abundant element on Earth – sand.
I would strongly suggest you do not breathe it in but use the appropriate personal protection. If you were to examine the urethane clear coat with high-performance electron- microscope, you would see lots of fissures or micro holes. Nano sized silica glass particles penetrate these fissures to form a mechanical anchor with the clear coat, creating a durable finish that won't fracture
Respiratory Protection (N95): Materials such as aluminium oxide (Aluminium oxide is on EPA's TRI list if it is a fibrous form) or silicon carbide (Nuisance particulate-Accumulation in lungs) used in polishes and compounds, and powdered fillers Crystalline silica (polishes and compounds) poses a serious inhalation hazard because it can cause silicosis and Isocyanate clear coat residue represent a hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress.
The reliability of any respiratory is dependent on proper selection, training, medical screening, and respirator maintenance. Use a NIOSH-approved half face respirator equipped with a combination filter cartridge should be worn while using them
Consult the current 3M Respiratory Selection Guide for additional information or call 1-800-243-4630 for 3M technical assistance
Any problems that may become apparent are mostly due to the solvents that encapsulate the silica particulates, the most often used solvent / carrier system is a dilute isopropyl alcohol or ethanol water solution. Obviously there are no problems with water and other VOC-free solvents.
When using IPA/ethanol based products in an unventilated environment there is the risk of drowsiness or of becoming lightheaded, but that is a factor of the solvents used not the Silica particles - it's usually the steams of the solvents that cause these symptoms, Be cognizant the particles remain on the surface as the solvent evaporates - they are not in the steams.
Material data sheets (MSDS)
Be aware of dangerous ingredients and request Materials Safety and Data Sheets (MSDS) from the manufacturer if there is any question. An (MSDS) is required under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and must comply with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (29CFR 1910.1200)
The MSDS is a detailed informational document prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a hazardous chemical. It describes the physical and chemical properties of the product. MSDS’s contain useful information such as flash point, toxicity, procedures for spills and leaks, and storage guidelines.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against a hazard. General work clothes (e.g., uniforms, pants, shirts or blouses) not intended to function as protection against a hazard is not considered to be personal protective equipment.
For your safety and the legally required protection of employees (using personal protection is not an option) you will need to have personal protective equipment available for you and your employees. At no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. OSHA standards require that employers maintain or improve workplace conditions to protect employees.
Protection from Potential Health Hazards
Much easier to work without it, but the cost of your health should never be put ahead of convenience or slight discomfort. Wear appropriate personal protective clothing to include: Safety glasses, Hearing and Repertory protection, along with Boots, Chemical resistant gloves, Aprons, No loose fitting clothing or articles that may be caught in moving parts, Avoid belts with buckles that may damage painted surfaces, Avoid sharp objects that may damage leather or fabric upholstery
OSHA Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3151.pdf
1. Warning: Always use a ground circuit fault indicator) (GFPI) when using any electrical device around water Electricity, you can't see it and you can't smell it; you only know you have found it when it finds you
2. Eye Protection: I would strongly advise the wearing of safety glasses or visor (prescription eyeglasses are not a substitute) when operating any machine polisher. OSHA requires employers to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment. Eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards.
3. Hearing Protection; the constant pitch of a polishing machine could affect your hearing so wearing ear plugs would be wise to protect you from hearing loss.
4. Hand Protection; Gloves- with the verity of chemicals a detailer uses on a daily basis wearing chemical-resistant gloves resist penetration and permeation, and will provide protection against dermatitis and chemical burns. Gloves can provide protection, but they must be chosen with care, the proper selection matched to the hazard is critical as they offer a much needed protective barrier when handling cleaning chemicals such as wheel cleaners and multipurpose cleaners.
Nitrile gloves are made of synthetic latex. They contain no latex proteins and offer excellent resistance to punctures and tears. Nitrile gloves are three times more puncture resistant than rubber and can be used to offer superior resistance too many types of chemicals. Nitrile gloves are usually not recommended for use around solvents like thinner or reducer because the solvents penetrate the gloves (use Vinyl).
Chemical-resistant gloves resist penetration and permeation, and cam protect against dermatitis, chemical burns and corrosion. Nitrile gloves are three times more puncture resistant than latex rubber and can be used to offer superior resistance to many types of chemicals. Unlike other latex gloves, Nitrile gloves have low resistance to friction and are very easy to slide on
Clove Chemical Resistance Chart - http://www.adenna.com/pdf/ChemicalsResistance.pdf
Thioglycolic acid, ammonium and sodium salts that many ‘colour change’ wheel cleaners are formulated with are harmful upon skin contact and may cause irritation, redness and inflammation
5. Respiratory Protection (N95): Materials such as aluminium oxide (Aluminium oxide is on EPA's TRI list if it is a fibrous form) or silicon carbide (Nuisance particulate-Accumulation in lungs) used in polishes and compounds, and powdered fillers
Silica ingested orally is essentially nontoxic, on the other hand, inhaling finely divided crystalline silica dust can lead to silicosis, bronchitis, or cancer, as the dust becomes lodged in the lungs and continuously irritates them, reducing lung capacities. Crystalline silica (polishes and compounds) poses a serious inhalation hazard because it can cause silicosis and Isocyanate clear coat residue represent a hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress. Use a NIOSH-approved half face respirator equipped with a combination filter cartridge should be worn while using them
Consult the current 3M Respiratory Selection Guide for additional information or call 1-800-243-4630 for 3M technical assistance.
UK - http://www.hse.gov.uk/respiratory-protective-equipment/
6. Material Safety Data Sheets: Use a ring binder or other filing system to ensure the appropriate MSDS is always available to identify hazardous substances
7. Work Hygienic Practices: Rinse cloves under running water before removing them
8. Chemical clean-up: small spillage: absorb spill with an inert absorbent material (vermiculite floor absorbent or other absorbent material e.g. dry sand or kitty litter), then place in a chemical waste container. If liquid has been spilt in large quantities clean up promptly by scoop or vacuum.
9. Protect yourself, work safe. As in all things, allow common sense to prevail and proceed with due caution
10. It is the responsibility of the operator to fully comply with regulations relating to his trade, this also applies to the storage of flammable liquids.
11. See also OSHA regulations - http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owastand.display_standard_group?p_toc_level=1&p_part_number=1910
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) is the UK law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health - http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/basics.htm
I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professional’s alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.
I hope the article are informative.
By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.
I would appreciate it if you would share these articles as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.
Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated.
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