Toxic Solvents

There’s a whole variety of toxic solvents. Some of this are common in many art studios. A lot of people are still using them as an art material. Many are not aware of the health hazards they can cause. Here are some toxic solvents that should be use with care and precaution.

  1. Lacquer Thinner. Lacquer is a mixture of a variety of different solvents like petroleum, aromatics, ketones, esters, alcohols and glycol ethers. These are all toxic in their own way and we have a difficulty of understanding what are all this thing added to make lacquer thinner.

Why should we avoid lacquer thinner?

  • It evaporates both quickly and slowly. It can be inhaled inside the body.
  • It can cause reproductive harm
  • It is highly flammable
  1. Turpentine. This is a commonly used solvent that is also toxic. Chronic exposure can harm the skin that can cause allergies, liver, kidneys and nerves. It causes contact dermatitis; this is a reaction very common to artists working with these ingredients.

Odorless minerals like Gamsol are less toxic. This contains few of those aromatic solvents that we find in lacquer thinner and turpentine. However, this can still be absorbed in the skin. So you still need to be careful when working with them.

  1. Paint removers. We should also be careful when using this ingredient. This contains methylene chloride that is very volatile. It is easily inhaled and absorbs through the skin. It is known to be a carcinogen and mutagen. When inhaled, it can damage the liver, kidneys and brain.

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