Safety Tips





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Safety first

Many substances used in the home environment and within the artist's studio are toxic. Especially oil based products, such as paints and varnishes, as well as lacquer, shellac and agents used for stripping surfaces. Knowing and understanding these materials will not only be beneficial for your health, but will help insure the success of any project undertaken.

artSparx extensive product and material resource is designed to help you easily search and learn about the items you need to successfully complete your project.

Feature links:
Center for Safety in the Arts - tel: 212.366.6900 ex. 333
http://www.artswire.otg/l/Artswire/csa/
155 Ave. of the Americas, NYC, NY. 10013-1507

Hazardous Substance Facts Sheets - tel: 609.984.2202
New Jersey Dept. of Health CN364, Trenton, NJ 08625-0368

General safety principles:

  1. Always read the labels, as many oil paints, stains, lacquers and varnishes are extremely toxic.  

  2. Keep out of reach of children.

  3. For your own safety, always work in ventilated areas. Allow fresh air to circulate. 

  4. Wear protective gear, including gloves, eyewear and respirators. Always use appropriate protective gear on all exposed body areas, especially the hands and eyes.

  5. Leave the working environment regularly to access fresh air. 

  6. Many products are highly flammable and combustible, so NEVER WORK NEAR HEAT SOURCES and DO NOT SMOKE while working with these products.

  7. All solvents should be properly disposed of at your local facility. find

Vapors are harmful. They may affect the brain or nervous system causing dizziness, headache or nausea. Reports have associated repeated and prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage. Always follow manufacturers suggested use found on all labels.

 

Oil / Alkyd based products:
Paints, primers, varnish and stains.
These products contain petroleum solvents. Keep away from heat and flame. Avoid breathing vapors or spray mist by opening doors and windows or use other means to ensure fresh air entry during application and drying. If you experience headaches, eye watering or dizziness, increase fresh air or wear a respirator (NIOSH/Msha TC 23C or equivalent) or leave the area. Avoid contact with skin.
Do not smoke or use near open flame.

Rag disposal: Soak soiled rags and waste immediately after use in a water-filled closed metal container.

Shellac:

Shellac is highly toxic. It has a strong odor and should always be used in a well-ventilated area. Respirators and protective gear is recommended with the use of any shellac product, such as shellac, spray shellac and white pigmented shellac. Always use disposable gloves. Vapors may cause flash fire. Do not smoke or use near open flame. If you experience headaches, eye watering or dizziness, increase fresh air or wear a respirator (NIOSH/Msha TC 23C or equivalent) or leave the area. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Always wash hands after use.

First Aid: If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Call physician immediately. In case of eye contact, flush immediately with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention. For skin, wash thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean up: Use Denatured Alcohol when cleaning up after shellac.

Strippers:

Strippers are highly caustic, can cause sever chemical burns to skin and clothing and can quickly destroy a surface due to spilling, or spattering during brushing. Always wear protective gear over any exposed area of the body. Gloves and eye wear should be mandatory. Latex or surgical gloves are not sufficient protection from stripping agents. Always use rubber gloves. Isolate area or object to be stripped and protect surrounding areas with newspaper or drop cloths. Always work in a well-ventilated area. Do not smoke or use near open flame.

First Aid: For skin, wash thoroughly with soap and water.

Lacquer:

Lacquer is highly toxic and highly flammable. Vapors may cause flash fire. Do not smoke or use near open flame. If you experience headaches, eye watering or dizziness, increase fresh air or wear a respirator (NIOSH/Msha TC 23C or equivalent) or leave the area. Lacquer has a strong odor and should always be used in a well-ventilated area. Respirators and protective gear is recommended with the use of any lacquer product.

First Aid: If you experience difficulty in breathing, leave the area to obtain fresh air. In case of eye contact, flush immediately with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention. For skin, wash thoroughly with soap and water. If swallowed get medical attention.

Kerosene:

Kerosene is highly flammable. Do not smoke or use near any open heat source. Always use in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective gear over all exposed areas of the body. If you experience headaches, eye watering or dizziness, increase fresh air or wear a respirator (NIOSH/Msha TC 23C or equivalent) or leave the area.

Gasoline:

Gasoline is highly flammable. Do not smoke or use near any open heat source. Always use in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective gear over all exposed areas of the body. If you experience headaches, eye watering or dizziness, increase fresh air or wear a respirator (NIOSH/Msha TC 23C or equivalent) or leave the area.


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