Although it is such a commonly used material in the home, paint thinner is a very dangerous and toxic product if not used correctly. Similarly to gasoline, when paint thinner enters the lungs, hydrocarbons can cause a burning sensation in the throat and mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, and brain or nerve damage if heavily exposed.
If these internal effects weren’t enough, paint thinner is also highly combustible, so it poses a threat to your home if not handled properly. With a flash point of around 104 degrees (F), if it were to come into contact with a heat source, you could be faced with the task of having to put out a house fire.
Here are a few simple tips to consider when working with paint thinner that can protect both you and your family.
- Most importantly, protect your skin and eyes through the use of gloves and protective face wear. Avoid any and all exposure of the paint thinner to your skin.
- Be sure to properly ventilate the space in which you’re using the paint thinner. Opening windows surrounding the space and using ceiling or exhaust fans if necessary is recommended.
- As mentioned above, keep any exposed household materials such as rags away from heat. In addition to this, avoid smoking around paint thinner.
- Handle with care! Avoid any mixtures of other household chemicals with paint thinner. Use the product for its intended use and proceed to store it properly. Make sure containers are sealed tightly and have no leaks present when complete. In addition, avoid storing paint thinner in warm environments for long periods of time.
These tips are an excellent framework for managing the risk of chemical-related injuries from paint thinner in the home. However, if you or your family have a project that requires the use of paint thinner, always consult the safety guidelines for instructions on how to properly handle and use the product you choose.
For more information on how to properly use paint thinner, review the infographic below, Top 7 Paint Thinner Safety Tips courtesy of SolvChem Custom Packaging Division. As with any painting project — or any home improvement project of any kind, for that matter — safety must always be the first priority. By forcing safer habits when conducting home based projects, you can protect your family from serious chemical harm.
Author bio: Lynn Place is Vice President of Marketing for SolvChem Custom Packaging Division. She has 30 years of professional experience in the manufacturing industry and specializes in consumer packaged goods, new product development and strategic planning.