Solvents are liquids used to: 1) Dissolve greases, oils, and paints; 2) Thin or mix pigments, paints, glues, pesticides, and epoxy resins; and 3) Remove paint and other materials from surfaces, such as steel. Solvents are in adhesives, carpet glues, cleaning fluids, epoxy resins, hardeners, lacquers, mastics (asphalt or coal-tar), paints, paint thinners, and primers. They are used to clean tools, too. Examples of solvents are acetone, alcohol, benzene, epichlorohydrin, esters, gasoline, glycol ethers, heptane, hexane, kerosene, ketones, methanol, methylene chloride, mineral spirits, naphtha, toluene, trichloroethane (methyl chloroform), turpentine, and xylene. The Hazards: You can be exposed to solvents if you: 1) Breathe them (This can happen when you mix glue or paint - or spray or brush them - because solvents evaporate fast.). 2) Get them on your skin (Many solvents can go through your skin. For some solvents, the danger is as bad as if you breathe them). 3) Swallow them. Solvents get into body fat in the skin, nerves, and brain. Many solvents can catch fire, even in cold weather. Protect Yourself: Very small exposures over many months can harm you. So can one large exposure. A very large exposure can kill you.
Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Work-environment; Work-practices; Worker-health; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Solvent-extraction; Solvent-vapor-degreasing; Solvent-vapors; Solvents; Organic-solvents; Employee-exposure; Hazardous-materials; Toxic-dose; Toxic-effects; Toxic-materials; Toxic-vapors; Adhesives; Cleaning-compounds; Chemical-cleaning; Chemical-reactions; Epoxy-resins; Asphalt-fumes; Coal-tar; Paint-thinners; Paints; Acetones; Alcohols; Benzenes; Esters; Glycols; Ethers; Hexanes; Ketones; Methyl-compounds; Mineral-spirits; Toluenes; Ethanes; Turpentines; Xylenes
Building and Construction Trades Dept., AFL-CIO: CPWR, Suite 1000, 8484 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910